Paul Kalburgi is a practitioner of a movement called “verbatim theater” — a sort of stage version of a documentary film where a playwright interviews and records the actual works of witnesses to real-life events, then mounts them, as spoken, in a theatrical setting. (If you’re familiar with The Laramie Project, you’re familiar with the essence of verbatim plays.)
The British-born Kalburgi moved with his partner to Dallas last summer, just as news was breaking of the murder of Shade Schuler — a trans woman of color whose decomposing body was discovered in a field in Dallas.
In the Tall Grass is Kalburgi’s project bringing this story — and the growing rate of transgender violence and murders — to the stage.
The world premiere will take place in a staged reading May 23–28, and Kalburgi and the show’s director, Anna Jones, are holding an open casting call Wednesday, May 4, for those wanting to participate. Previous acting experience is not required, though certainly welcome; more importantly, Kalburgi hopes that the trans community itself will turn out to audition and participate.
There are six speaking roles being cast: Two African-American trans females (one aged 20s, one aged 30s–40s); two white males; (one 30s, one 40s); a Latino female (aged 30s–40s); and an African-American male (20s–30s). There are also opening for ensemble parts of assorted ages, races and genders.
The auditions will take place Wednesday at the Oak Cliff Cultural Center, 223 W. Jefferson Blvd., from 6–10 p.m., and by appointment. Email email@example.com to schedule an audition.