Below you will find the cast list. The first column has our cast list, with the second column (In Blue Text) notates the roles that you are responsible for knowing should you have to go on. I avoided using the term “double,” because I thought that might be confusing this year. There are a few roles that will be more traditionally double cast– Grady and Our Mama.
Our FIRST REHEARSAL will be tonight (September 1 at 6:30.)
When you arrive be sure to wear your mask, sanitize your hands,
and take your seat in the theater.
Below are the rehearsal videos. Please do not share as these are our very roughest attempts! Others will be added as they are uploaded:
Moonshiners 1: Faincy
Moonshiners 2: In Plain Sight
Moonshiners 3: Buried Sugar
Marry You One Day
Not Alone 1: Denial
Not Alone 2: Anger
Not Alone 3: Bargaining
Hide the Shine Music
Drop in the Water
Skinny Dippin’ Scene
Skinny Dippin‘ Song
Good Old Days
Swamp Gravy 28 Policies, Procedures, & Auditions
We finally have some more information about this fall’s season of Swamp Gravy. The good news is we are hopeful we will get to have a production in October. The bad news is that it won’t look like it always does.
One of the hardest parts of these decisions is that we will not be able to have as large of a cast as we normally do. This has honestly been an agonizing realization to come to as it goes against the DNA of Swamp Gravy—to include as many people as possible. The idea of making cuts to the Swamp Gravy cast is heartbreaking, but it is also the best chance Swamp Gravy will have to survive into 2021.
We will be limiting our audience to 92 patrons per show, and based on our current script, will be casting approximately 30 actors. We understand that some of you are roaring to get back on stage right now, and that some of you would prefer more time. In either case, I understand.
What I want to do now is detail how this season will be different, so that you have all the information you need in order to know if you’d like to audition.
- During all rehearsal’s cast members will have assigned seats. At the first rehearsal, you will be assigned a seat number in the theater that you go to as soon as you arrive in the building. This is where you will put your jacket, purse, water bottle etc. This is an effort to limit any germ spread.
- Masks will be worn at all rehearsals for the duration of rehearsal. Our first performance without masks will be our dress rehearsal.
- We will block the show to include as much distance as possible. The show was written with this in mind, but there are some important moments of touch.
- We ask that cast members monitor their temperatures from day to day, and take note of any changes that might indicate sickness.
- While in most years, being at every rehearsal is considered vital to the team, we need to make sure that everyone realizes that this year, staying home if you are sick is the best way to ensure the safety of others AND the continued life of Swamp Gravy. I would rather you be overly cautious in missing a rehearsal than for you to assume you are well without knowing for sure.
- We will be choosing a member of each scene to act as our “Safety Patrol.” Their job will be to remind us—myself and Collin included—of the protocols we are operating under. I realize how easy it is to get comfortable and lax around people you are sharing space with, and we will need to remind each other of this.
- There will be no dressing areas in Cotton Hall. Everyone must arrive at Cotton Hall in costume, hair, and make-up. No make-up should be shared. We will not have shared costume pieces, either, if they are not EASILY disinfected.
- The costume area will not be accessible without an appointment. All costumes must be locked in by September 21st.
- Prior to the show, the cast will convene in InterACT. There will be no tables or chairs in the commons area, so this is where we will circle. We will ask for help from all cast members with the following jobs. These will be assigned and we will need to do a training day for this.
- House Managing
- Lobby Ushering—Guiding people toward the bathroom and concession stand.
- Disinfecting the theater and bathrooms between shows.
- Placing programs on the seats before the performance.
- Greeting audience members
- During intermission we will have live music on stage to encourage audience members to stay in their seats unless they need concessions or to use the restroom. Cast members will have assigned areas during intermission to limit movement through the building.
- In blocking the show, positions for dressing the stage will need to be more spaced out and assigned.
- Only designated workers will be allowed at the concession stand. The museum and giftshop will not be open in their current state.
- For the Fall Season, most roles will NOT be double cast. This is in an effort to limit the number of people who come in contact with one another in Cotton Hall.
- The main storyline will likely be double cast with a “Stone Cast” and a “River Cast” with the two not mixing.
- Cast members not involved in the main storyline will most likely receive one “standalone” role and another “one-liner” role. Many people will also be assigned a role to “understudy.” This means you will learn the role and the blocking, but only ever perform it if the person taking the lead on that role is sick or missing a performance. I know this feels a lot different than doubling, but again… this isn’t a hierarchy, but rather a way to limit contact between you and other cast members.
- Some cast members may be asked to serve as an understudy for several large roles as their primary responsibility.
- Based on the current script, we are looking for approximately 3 teen boys, 9 teen girls, 11 Adult Males, and 23 Adult Females. These numbers will may change based on who we have auditioning.
- We will also need one boy 10-13 years old to carry a large, very difficult role. Other than that, there are not many roles for young performers.
- Other than the one child’s role listed, there are no other spots for young children. We love you all, but this season will require lots of sitting still and waiting, and that would not be fair to you or your energy.
- After each performance, you will bow and immediately leave the building, we will have two people at each door to ensure the audience feels spoken to, but we will be unable to greet and speak to audience members. If you have family here that night, we recommend you choose a place in town to meet them after the show to say hello and let them shower you with compliments for your brilliant performance.
- We will not be able to move mics from cast to cast during the performance, so volume will be vital in your auditions this year.
- Mics will be disinfected after every show.
- Backstage movements will have to be as choreographed as onstage ones to ensure appropriate space.
- Our circles will not involve touch until further notice. Cast members should not hug as a greeting.
- There will be no group singing in this production. Music will be very differently distributed, and those singers will sing their assigned parts each night, barring a conflict.
- Cast meals will be individually boxed, and eaten at InterACT (TBD.)
- If you are sick, not feeling well, feverish, find out you have been exposed to someone with Covid-19, do not come to Cotton Hall. Alert Will and Collin as soon as you know so that swift measures can be taken to cover you and notify others if needed.
- If you have been exposed to Covid-19, you must let us know. You will need to quarantine for fourteen days. If you have a positive test result, you may not return to rehearsals or performances for ten days. At least two of those days must be symptom and fever free. We will utilize video and FaceTime to keep you up to date on blocking or choreo.
Obviously, all these details will make this experience a very different one than in past years. There will not be the same room for fellowship and physical connection, but we will strive to keep an attitude of vulnerability and play. After all, that’s what we are here to create… a play.
With that in mind, we ask that you consider what these facts mean to you. Is this still a production you would like to be a part of or is it safer, more enjoyable, or best for you to sit this one out. If you have questions, I will be glad to answer them. (Will Murdock, 1-229-376-0871.) The one thing I cannot tell you is if you should do the show… or if I “need” you. You first have to make that decision for yourself, and then we will fit our cast together as best we can.
Our auditions will be next week—August 25 and 26– and we will go straight into rehearsals, since we are already behind our usual start date of August 18th.
Thank you all so much for your understanding and patience. We hope that you know how much we appreciate what each of you bring to the table. I personally cannot wait to have all 84+ of you in the theater telling stories once again, but until then, remember… you all have a story to tell.
AUditions Character Breakdown
Carson – Son of a Moonshine Legend. A seasoned moonshiner desperately trying to teach Huxley how it’s all done.
Huxley (Hux) – A new moonshiner who is just learning the ropes.
Deak – A moonshining legend with too many stories and run ins with the law to count.
Buck – Daddy’s partner in crime that always seems to find himself in trouble.
Mama (Mags) – Daddy’s Wife and secret keeper.
Miss Coutreau – A revenuer from the big city with a distaste for Deak.
Rock – Miss Coutreau’s muscle.
Andy – The youngest brother in the family that is very much innocent and see’s the world through that lens. He milks the cows.
Ada – Andy and Jake’s sister. She is scrappy, driven, and won’t back down from a fight.
Jake – The older brother of Ada and Andy. Only appears as a memory.
Mama – A mother, broken by loss, who would give anything for normalcy.
Daddy – A quiet and strong man. Keeps his feelings to himself.
Great Aunt Helen – Mama’s Aunt who makes the world’s best divinity.
Wilbur – The county coroner.
Earnestine – The wife of Wilbur.
Elliot – Jake’s best friend.
Liza – A classmate of Jakes.
Mr. Henry – A local man.
Miss Mavis – Jake’s school teacher.
Tate – A classmate of Jake’s
Andrew – This is Andy grown up, in his late twenties, still grappling.
Woody – An older man. Husband to Clara and an avid skinny dipper.
Clara – An older women. Wife to Woody and an avid skinny dipper.
Mr. Hubert – A neighbor with a nice new pool and an open invite.
Mrs. Molly – The wife of Hubert and a gator enthusiast.
Miss Ola- One of Molly’s Sunday school class and Bridge club.
Miss Eunice– One of Molly’s Sunday school class and Bridge club.
Miss Mildred – One of Molly’s Sunday school class and Bridge club.
Marry You Someday
Grady – A teen boy who is keen on falling in love at first sight, no matter how many girls he has to do it with.
Lester – Grady’s best friend who is trying to talk some sense into him.
Piper – One of the girls that Grady intends to marry someday.
Sage – One of the girls that Grady intends to marry someday.
Maisy – One of the girls that Grady intends to marry someday.
Zora – The girl who finally accepts Grady’s date offer out of pity only to cause more confusion.
Aunt Goodie– Zora’s crazy aunt
Aunt Clarice – Zora’s crazy aunt
Aunt Wendy – Zora’s crazy aunt
Mail Order Murderer
Newsboy – Miller County Liberal newsie
Arrie – Cant seem to keep a husband, but can always easily find a replacement.
Jane – Arrie’s Granddaughter.
Gossip’s – Three towns people that spread rumors.
Nessie – Arrie’s Daughter
Mailman – Brings the mail.
Sheriff – Law enforcement
Levi – Non-Speaking part. He is the Murderer.
The Good Old Days
Our Mama – A monologue given a women in a kitchen about how things used to be and how we can make them better. She’s your mama.
Hope – The Storyteller
Leonard Chambers – Hope’s neighbor
Mr. Worthy – Hope’s father.
Uncle P – Hope’s Uncle.
Faith – Part of the recipe.
True– Part of the recipe.
Harmony – Part of the recipe.
Love – Part of the recipe.
Patience– Part of the recipe.
Mercy– Part of the recipe.
Joy– Part of the recipe.
The Theater-Going Experience for October 2020
The health and safety of our guests, staff and cast are of the utmost importance to us. In order to offer the safest, most enjoyable experience possible, we have made a number of changes that will affect your visit. Please review these before you book your seats:
- All patrons are required to wear masks for the Swamp Gravy: A Stone’s Throw Away. Masks must remain on the entire time. We will have a small number on sale at the Box Office should you forget yours.
- We will be thoroughly cleaning and sanitizing the theater after each performance. This includes all high-touch areas such as restrooms, railings, seat armrests and door handles.
- Hand sanitizer stations will be available at each entrance and in the restrooms.
- Our staff and cast will be staying home if they are sick, and we ask you to do the same. If you are not feeling well, please contact the theater immediately, and we will do our best to reschedule your tickets.
- The doors of the theater will open one hour prior to showtime in an effort to cut down on lines. You will be able to enter the theater anytime in the hour prior to the start time. (6:30 for Evenings and 1:00 for Matinees.)
- Patrons will be shown directly to their seats upon entering the building, and can utilize the restrooms from there.
- Marks on the floor will help you social distance as you enter and exit the theater. We may also have to delay your entrance into and exit from the theater if a line has formed. Staff will be available to assist with this.
- Patrons must maintain six feet of distance between themselves and others while waiting to use the restroom. Soap and paper towels will be kept well-stocked.
- Ushers will wear masks and gloves. They will take tickets upon delivering you to your seat, and discarded afterwards to limit transference.
- Playbills will be placed in your seat prior to the performance, with ushers using gloves to deliver them.
- Our concession stand line will be re-routed to allow better social distancing. Please return to your seats after completing your purchase. Concession stand workers will wear masks and gloves.
- For the safety of our patrons, volunteers and staff, the museum and gift shop will remain closed throughout the fall season and seating areas in the Commons area will be removed.
- At the end of the show, patrons will be instructed to exit by section to minimize crowding and maximize space.
- All ticket purchases will be made via the Box Office, with tickets sold in pairs or groups of four to familial or household groups. Single tickets sold to non-family members will not be side by side.
- We have identified pairs of seats and seat groups of four that maintain social distancing requirements of six feet. We will only sell these seats for the Fall production, and no more. This unfortunately means that some favorite seats may not be available. Please let the box office know if you have any mobility issues at the time of your purchase as our theater has several sets of stairs. Handicap accessible seats will be very limited this season.
- No actor will come within 6 feet of the first row of the audience.
- The entire theatre, including seats, armrests, countertops and other high-touch surfaces, will be sanitized after each performance using a commercial disinfectant fogger, disinfectant sprays, and wipes.
- We will be replacing our air conditioner filters with HEPA filters prior to performances.
- As you can see from our new map, in order to maintain social distancing between seats, we have reduced the capacity of the theater from 284 to 92, equaling only 32% capacity. In order for us to afford to perform with this few seats, we are placing some restrictions on your choice of seats
MORE ON SOCIALLY DISTANCED SEATING
- All seats are pairs or groups of four with a very few spots for groups of three. There are no groups larger than four. If your group is larger than four, you will have to split up. We will do our best to seat you near one another.
- Due to these restrictions, we have very few lower-level seats. As these seats are easiest to access for our older patrons, we ask that patrons with ease of mobility to please utilize higher seats.
AUDITIons sign up!
Please sign up for your time slot to audition at:
2020 Plans moving forward
As we are constantly evolving our plans to meet the best safety practices to protect our cast and audience from Covid-19, it can be frustrating to know how we can best move forward. As such, we have come up with a plan that allows us to be as flexible as possible while also hopefully helping us avoid cancelling any planned performances—as that poses a huge risk to the future of our programming.
Our goal for the rest of the year is to open tickets sales to individual performances two months prior to the show dates. This way, we have the best available knowledge to work with. For instance, our plans for A Southern Christmas Carol at this point may look vastly different by October 1st— those plans could include a venue change, a change in the number of cast members and audience members, among other things.
Below I am detailing our plans for all of the live events planned for the rest of 2020 to the best of my knowledge.
Much love and more to come,
Filming of Behind Closed Doors
At this time, with the time constraints and restrictions placed on social distancing, we are still unable to come up with a creative plan to capture all of Behind Closed Doors. Our plan as of now is to sit on this idea, but we hope to capture this show on tape in August or September if we are able. Please try to keep this show held in your mind just a little. We will also ask that if we are able to find another date to do this that participating cast members increase their isolation measures in the 14 days before filming limiting your contact as much as possible.
If we are able to achieve this, it will likely mean re-blocking some of the full cast songs—Storytelling, Super-Secret Recipe, Flowers Can Keep Secrets, and the Finale to involve fewer people.
Tickets on Sale: November 1, 2020
Show Dates: January 15, 16, 17, 2021
We were really hopeful that Camp Murder would be our first performance back in Cotton Hall, our plan varied from our normal Murder Mystery, with the intention to serve the meal in the Commons with the performance to follow in the Theater. This would allow us to maintain plenty of distance between groups. Restrictions then tightened and made this not feasible at this current moment.
Due to this, we will be moving Camp Murder to January 15, 16, 17, 2021.
Cast members will keep their assigned roles unless they are unable to participate due to the new dates. We will be contacting you about a different performance opportunity.
A Thousand Words:
A Night of Living Murals
Ticketing Plans Announced: July 15, 2020
Show Dates: August 7, 8, 9, 2020
Rain Dates: August 14, 15, 16, 2020
Our solution to the current restrictions is actually an idea Kate and I have talked about for years. We will be doing a living murals tour. Each of our murals tells a story and now we are going to bring them to life in this outdoor walking performance.
Audience members will begin at Cotton Hall’s Memorial Courtyard in groups of ten—from here they will travel to Neighbors, Down at the Depot, Saturday on the Square, Gospel of the Rock, the Tarrer Inn, the Colquitt State Theater, Ghost Story Alley, and Nuthin’ But a Will where they will see the murals come to life.
Audience members will be seated six feet apart from each other and the cast. Masks will be recommended for audience members. There will be no dressing rooms available for this performance. All cast members must arrive in costume. Rehearsals will be socially distanced and will require masks. When possible we will rehearse outside. As casting occurs, I will be happy to discuss people’s individual comfort levels with blocking. Each scene will be performed 8 times in a night. (That’s a lot of times to do one scene and keep it fresh.)
Cast members MUST tell us if they are not available for the RAIN dates before accepting their role. It may not affect casting unless it is a tremendously hard role to learn quickly.
Cast members of the postponed Murder Mystery will be offered roles in this performance first, and then the remaining roles will be opened up to others. We will begin casting this show Monday, July 13, 2020.
A Hilariously Haunted May-Haw Halloween
Ticketing Plans Announced: September 1, 2020
Show Dates: October 30, 31 & November 1
Audition Dates: October 5, 2020
It is unclear at this time what the venue of this show will be. By September 1st, guidance might allow us to return to Cotton Hall in a safe manner. Or it may not.
I wonder if many of those unable to return for Swamp Gravy might find their triumphant return here, but it is still too soon to make any determination here. The script for this performance is about 50 percent finished.
I’m hoping this cast list will land somewhere around 30 people.
A Southern Christmas Carol
Ticketing Plans Announced: October 1, 2020
Show Dates: December 4, 5, 11, 12, 2020
Call Backs/ Final Auditions: October 6, 2020
It is unclear at this time what the venue of this show will be. By October 1st, guidance might allow us to return to Cotton Hall in a safe manner. Or it may not.
We will be having our preliminary auditions in August, but those auditions will not result in a cast list. They will be to give us an idea of who we have to choose from as we still may hire one or two professional actors if needed.
I’m hoping this cast list will land somewhere between 30-40 people.