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    The Exonerated

    GSU Theatre and Performance Studies presents...

    “The Exonerated” by Jessica Blank and Erik Jensen

    Directed by Patrick Santoro

    Performance dates: April 4 - 7 at Governors State University's Sherman Hall


    The Exonerated combines first-person narrative with letters, transcripts, case files, and legal records to tell the stories of six wrongfully convicted survivors of death row: Delbert Tibbs, Kerry Max Cook, Gary Gauger, David Keaton, Robert Earl Hayes and Sunny Jacobs, and their paths to freedom.

    Moving between first-person monologues and scenes set in courtrooms and prisons, the six interwoven stories paint a picture of an American criminal justice system gone horribly wrong—and of six brave souls who persevered to survive it.


    * The script can be accessed here: https://tinyurl.com/2vc3amxb


    This is a live production in front of an audience. Rehearsals will be held on campus with most rehearsals occurring in Sherman Hall.


    Casting 10 versatile, high-energy performers/storytellers passionate about creating social change through art:

    DELBERT: African American, 60. A seminary dropout, radical, and poet. His whole personality is like an old soul song: smooth, mellow and with an underlying rhythm that never lets go.

    SUNNY: White, 50. A bright, pixie-ish yoga teacher from California; her lightness and positivity contrast with moments of great depth and clarity.

    ROBERT: African American, 30s. A former horse groomer from the deep South; hardened but not lacking a sense of humor. Deep rural Mississippi accent.

    GEORGIA/FEMALE ENSEMBLE 1: African American, 30s. Robert’s wife, also Southern; opinionated, outspoken, and extremely warm. She and Robert have a lovingly contentious relationship. Loves to speak her mind.

    GARY: White, 45. A Midwestern hippie and an organic farmer. Clearly was in his element in the late 60s and early 70s. He is generally good-natured, friendly, and quite smart.

    KERRY: White, 45. A 19-year-old trapped in a 45-year-old’s body, born and bred in Texas. Kerry was imprisoned for 22 of his 45 years and is eager to rediscover the world. Always wants to make sure he connects with whomever he is talking to. Strong Texas accent.

    SANDRA/SUE/FEMALE ENSEMBLE 2: White, 40. Sandra is married to Kerry. Sweet, nurturing, loves Kerry dearly and has a great sense of humor about him. She has a strong Texas accent. Sue is married to Gary. Salt of the earth; she is also an organic farmer. She has a strong upper Midwestern accent – think Fargo.

    DAVID: African American, 40. A gentle, sad man, born and raised in northern Florida (otherwise known as southern Alabama). Has a very strong spiritual sense and had aspirations to the ministry before being put on death row at 18. He is continually engaged in a battle between resignation and hope.

    MALE ENSEMBLE 1 and 2: Both White, 35-50. Police officers, attorneys, suspects, and other supporting characters. Both actors should be good with dialects and characterization.

    Auditions are open to students and non-students, alumni, faculty, and staff. Previous theatre experience is not necessary. This is a non-paying production.


    Auditioners are asked to prepare a 1-2 minute memorized, character-forward monologue from a published text.


    Follow the below FOUR steps:

    1. Click "JOIN" on your desired date and time. Auditioners will be seen individually for 10 minutes.

    2. Enter your FIRST and LAST name.

    3. Enter your e-mail address.

    4. Click "JOIN".

    Once completed, you should receive a confirmation e-mail with a link and instructions on how to cancel your slot if necessary. Please save this e-mail in case you need to cancel or switch time slots. If you are unable to make the audition, please cancel as soon as possible to free up the slot for someone else.

    Prior to your audition date you'll receive a document via email to COMPLETE and RETURN before your audition begins.

    First round of auditions will be held in-person in Sherman Hall at Governors State University on Monday, February 12th and Tuesday, February 13th. Callbacks will be held on Thursday, February 15th in Sherman Hall.


    For further audition information or to express an interest in working backstage, please contact the Production Manager, Staci Corum at scorum@govst.edu

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