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Audition Notice – At Buffalo: A New Musical

AT BUFFALO: A New Musical
Book, Music, and Lyrics by: Amma Y. Ghartey-Tagoe Kootin, Khalil Sullivan, and Joshua Williams
Co-Conceived with: Jim Augustine
Director: Tamilla Woodard

See full Audition Notice here. Visit the At Buffalo Website. 


It’s 1901. Lynch mobs swarm the South. Blacks flee north in hopes of opportunity. Immigrants struggle to find their place. And the World’s Fair, in the then-shining city of Buffalo, beckons all to glimpse a brighter future for America. AT BUFFALO is an immersive and evocative musical journey through conflicting performances of race in post-Civil War America, tracking historical figures through the tumult of the fair. As the lives of our protagonists collide, at stake is nothing less than whether or not they will survive. Read More.

AT BUFFALO is in residence at the University at Buffalo as part of the Creative Arts Initiative. Seeking union and non-union actors to participate in a 10-day developmental residency of AT BUFFALO: A NEW MUSICAL as part of the University at Buffalo’s Creative Arts Initiative in collaboration with Deadria D. Harrington Productions. The developmental process will include: three public site-specific rehearsals, visits and rehearsals at Buffalo cultural and archival institutions, and will culminate in a concert staged reading on November 17th and 18th at The Katharine Cornell Theatre at the University at Buffalo.

November 9th – November 18th (daytime and evening rehearsals)

November 17th @ 7:30pm and November 18th @ 2pm

Wednesday, September 27th: 6 – 10pm
Thursday, September 28th: 1:30 – 4:30pm and 6 – 9:30pm
Location: University at Buffalo or downtown theatre venue, location details confirmed upon audition appointment confirmation To schedule an audition appointment, please submit headshot and resume to Subject line: AT BUFFALO/ACTOR. Please find audition requirements here.

*Note to UB Students: Any cast/crew members of American Idiot may not audition. Students who are
cast will be responsible for transportation to off-campus rehearsals.WHAT TO BRING TO AUDITIONS


  • Stapled headshot/resume
  • One, 1-minute contemporary monologue
  • One 32-bar cut, OR two contrasting shorter cuts. Bring sheet music in the appropriate key(s). Please bring your book for the accompanist. The score of AT BUFFALO includes authentic ragtime songs and traditional spirituals from the early 20th century, as well as character-driven songs infused with more contemporary soul and pop sounds. Selections from the musical theatre canon are perfectly acceptable (some recommended sources might be Ragtime, Side Show, Scottsboro Boys), and selections from outside the musical theatre canon are also perfectly acceptable, as long as they fit into at least one of the genres mentioned above (ragtime, spiritual, soul, blues etc.). All of the characters in AT BUFFALO have strong points of view. Vocal acrobatics are icing on the cake of course, but we are less interested in vocal tricks and more interested in actors with compelling points of view. Regardless of the theme and style of your selection(s) – oppression, social satire, ragtime, an earnest love song, a spiritual – make sure that you are singing/acting with a strong point of view!


*Indicates actor also plays general ensemble roles

  • MARY TALBERT – (F) 35 years. African American. A leader of the Black Buffalo elite. Determined to show the highest ideals of African Americans.
  • TANNIE – (M) Mid 20’s. African American. A variety player in a minstrel sideshow at the Fair. Hoping for a big break and his own act.
  • HENRIETTA – (F) Early 20’s. African American. TANNIE’s wife and variety player partner. Dreams of a better life away from the Fair.
  • OOMBA/KODWO– (M) Early – Mid 30’s. West African (Dahomeyan/Asante/Cape Lopez, Gabon). Intelligent and curious. Intent on bringing modern American technology back to his home in Africa.
  • SKIP DUNDY – (M) 30’s. Caucasian. Wealthiest showman behind Tannie and Henrietta’s minstrel show. Has his sights on being the Rockefeller of the Fair. Can pitch a great show to anyone.
  • XAVIER PENE – (M) 50’s – 60’s. French (with an Italian accent). Showman behind Oomba/Kodwo’s show. Wants to be taken seriously as a scientific explorer.
  • LEON CZOLGOSZ – (M) Late 20’s. Polish-American. Shifty and resolved. A revolutionary. Shoots President McKinley.
  • LAUGHING BEN – (M) 80’s. African American. Vaudeville performer who laughs for 30- seconds to a minute at any time and every time he speaks.
  • AUNT JEMIMA – (F) 50’s. African American. The iconic, larger-than-life, pancake saleswoman.
  • JIM PARKER – (M) 40’s. African American. Waiter at the Fair. Doesn’t like any trouble. The man who saves the President.
  • HIRAM – (M) 20’s. Caucasian. An out-of-town fairgoer.
  • MANDY– (F) 20’s. Caucasian. An out-of-town fairgoer, wife of HIRAM.
  • SARAH – (F) approx. 8 years. African American. MARY’s daughter.
  • JAMES ROSS (M) Early 20’s. African American. Member of Buffalo Black elite. MARY’s male antagonist.
  • PRESIDENT WILLIAM MCKINLEY (M) 58 years. Caucasian. President of the United States.
  • *FREDERIC THOMPSON (M) Approx. Late 20’s. Caucasian. DUNDY’s genius “Imagineer” partner whose architectural designs transports fairgoers to other galaxies.
  • *FREDERIC McCLELLAN (M) 30’s. Caucasian. DUNDY’s stage manager, formerly of Shea’s Music Hall, who can and will manage anything and everyone.
  • ADDITIONAL GENERAL ENSEMBLE ROLES: Fairgoers, Showmen, Fair Directors, Circus Barkers/Spielers, Police, Buffalo Black Elite Club Members, Old Plantation performers, Darkest Africa performers, Midway performers, and other colorful characters from the 1901 World’s Fair.