What: AUDITIONS FOR “EXIT STRATEGY” BY IKE HOLTER
Dates: March 22 and 24, 2022 at 7 p.m., sign-in at 6:30 p.m.
Location: Albany Barn, 56 2nd St., Albany, NY
Harbinger Theatre‘s “Exit Strategy” will be directed by Dennis Skiba, and show dates are June 16, 17, 18, 23, 24, 25 at 7:30 p.m. with a preview show on June 15 at the Albany Barn. Rehearsals begin April 19. Those who audition will need to wear masks and provide proof of vaccination.
The teachers of Tumbldn High School don’t live in an inspirational teacher movie. Tumbldn is in bad shape. Amidst funding cuts, bureaucrats running amok and a rodent infestation, a small, multiracial group of teachers launch a last minute effort to save the school, putting their careers, futures and safety in the hands of fast talking administrator.
They bring mouse-traps from home, they make the toilet paper last, and they show up for the kids nobody else shows up for. Ricky, the vice principal, has stayed firmly on the sidelines for all of the teachers’ previous battles, but now in the eleventh hour, he’s compelled to step up with a plan to save the school. Everyone, staff and students alike are reaching their breaking points as they risk everything to follow his lead; but does he actually have any idea what he’s doing?
NOTE: Holter has said that Exit Strategy was inspired by the 2013 mass closure of forty-nine Chicago public schools, which displaced nearly 12,000 children—the majority of directly impacted students were African American and Latinx.
Ricky Hubble, 29-30 years old
Vice Principal of Tumbldn High School. Nervous, fast talking, the king of saying the worst possible thing at the best possible time. He means well in everything he does but has so little luck with putting that into action on his own. Think hipster-chic but always a little on the verge of a panic attack. Has a strong moral backbone, and a severe case of being too nervous to use it. Private. We see him determined to keep his personal life out of the “sexual politics” of work, and learn that he has been engaged in a relationship (of sorts) with Luce, very much on the down low.
Pam Morse, Late 40s-early 50s.
Veteran English Teacher.
A take-no-bullshit kind of teacher who has had a lot of bullshit thrown at her from the powers that be. Seems cynical and bitter on the surface, one of the old guard, but she loves her job and she has poured her entire life and soul into the school.
Widely respected by both students and staff.
Arnold Reese, Late 40s-early 50s, Open Race
Bitter old man with about a thousand walls up who spends all day with teenagers in a broken system. He loves his job so deeply it hurts, and he’s been hurt a lot. Can run a room with a single look. Everyone’s toughest critic, students and coworkers alike. Has lost something. One of those examples of “Wasn’t born this way, became it over time.” Has a deep bond with Pam, they’ve been through it all together. Struggling with his sobriety (alcoholism) throughout the course of the play. Born and bred Chicagoan.
Luce, Early 30s, Latino
Ex-Frat boy turned Math teacher. Loud and bright, his personality fills up a room just as certainly as he won’t be able to read it right. Very down to earth and has a strong connection with his students and coworkers Donnie calls him simply Luce, and it is implied that other students do as well. Honest to a fault, can’t keep a secret to save his life and frankly doesn’t want to.
Jania, Late 20s Latina and Bilingual.
SPED teacher/Behavioral Management (It’s not specified) Youngest person in the room, and also the smartest (and she knows it). Ivy League graduate, works at a dangerous, failing high school by choice. Has been through her share of school closings, more than most, and carries the scars of it like battered chainmail.
Uses her words and intellect like a weapon. Will be the first one to talk, talk fast and cut you down before you have a chance to even think about doing the same. So serious that she doesn’t realize that she’s actually quite funny.
Sadie Wilson: Mid to late 30s, Black
Overloaded teacher who tries to take care of anyone in any way possible. Mother of two, but all her students are her family. She will fight tooth and nail for anyone and anything she believes in, no matter how many times she’s told no (and no matter how used to it she’s getting).
Donnie Bryant, 18 years old, Black
High school senior. He has a lot of passion, drive, and little filter. Says what he means and thinks and he is determined to not take “No” as an answer, at least not lying down. The most popular kid in school and a boots-on-the-ground activist in training. Wears his heart on his sleeve and never pulls his punches.
Admires Pam Morse, holds her in a very high opinion and compares other teacher’s to her.