Auditions for “Knock Me a Kiss” – New Federal Theatre

WHO: New Federal Theatre – "Knock Me a Kiss"

ABOUT: On April 9, 1928, Countee Cullen was married to Yolande DuBois, the daughter of W. E. B. DuBois. The Reverend Cullen, Countee’s father, officiated over the wedding which W. E. B. DuBois called “the symbolic march of young and black America . . . it was a new race, a new thought, a new thing rejoicing in a ceremony as old as the world.” Two months later, Countee Cullen sailed to Paris with the best man from the wedding, Harold Jackman, leaving Yolande, his young bride, behind. Yolande was granted a divorce from Countee on December 9, 1929. This play is a fictional account inspired by those factual events. Time: 1928 Place: Harlem.

Yolande Du Bois: Black woman. The 26-year-old daughter of W.E.B. DuBois and Nina DuBois. Yolande is a romantic who has led a very sheltered life. The greatest love in her life is the love she has for her father.

Nina Du Bois: Black woman. Mid 60s. She is the wife of W.E.B. DuBois. Nina has a very provincial attitude towards sex, which she doesn’t enjoy but considers to be necessary. She lives in the shadow of her husband whom she met when she was a student and he was her professor. She never fully recovered from the death of her eighteen-month-old son Burghardt. His death was fundamental in forming her attitude towards her daughter, Yolande, who was born later, and towards her husband, W.E.B., whom she considered responsible for Burghardt’s death.

Countee Cullen: Black man. 25-year-old young boy-poet genius and protégée of W.E.B. DuBois, he is clearly a product of the Ivory Tower, Talented Tenth machine. He is very warm and charming, a man who has used words to get into and out of any situation. Although he’s a poet, there is nothing effeminate about him.

Lenora: Black woman. Late 20s-early30s. Friend and confidant of Yolande, she’s the down-to-earth, no nonsense, tell-it-like-it-is type of friend we all would like to have.

WHEN: 1st rehearsal: 10/18/10. Runs: 11/10 – 12/5, Wed – Sun (2 perfs on Sat), with adjusted Thanksgiving week schedule

HOW TO AUDITION: NYC auditions will be held on August 13, by appointment only. For consideration, email picture and resume to: Indicate in subject line: Knock Me A Kiss NYC appts.

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