Audition Notice: 'Gilgamesh Part 1' - groundwater productions (SummerWorks Festival)

groundwater productions is proud to present Erin Shields’ adaptation of the world’s oldest recorded story. Gilgamesh Part 1, directed by Gideon Arthurs, will be presented at this year’s SummerWorks Festival from August 6-16, 2009.

groundwater productions is dedicated to producing modern adaptations of the world’s foundation stories, from folklore and fairytales to ancient legends. Last year, Shields’ If We Were Birds won the Outstanding Production award at SummerWorks, and is being produced as part of Tarragon Theatre’s 2010 season. Previous productions for groundwater include Fewer Emergencies (co-pro MITCH @ SummerWorks 2008), the Canadian premiere of Wallace Shawn’s A Thought In Three Parts (SummerWorks 2007), The Unfortunate Misadventures of Masha Galinski (Fringe 2006, UNO Festival, FemmeFest, and Theatre Passe Muraille - Dora Nominated), Ubu Roi: Massacred (Fringe 2007), Goblin Market (EST - Dora Nominated)/


Gilgamesh - Male, 20s-30s - the original Alpha male, the part-God ruler of Uruk and strongest man in the known world. Gilgamesh’s uncontested power creates in him a deep malaise, and yearning for something more, even as he aggressively claims his rights as a supreme ruler over his people. Gilgamesh is a living specimen of perfect masculinity, capable of wrestling a bull to the ground and tearing away its flesh with his bare hands.

Enkidu - Male, 20s-30s - Gilgamesh’s mirror reflection, Enkidu is a wild-man created by the Gods to temper Gilgamesh’s malaise. Imbued with animal strength and filled with almost inconceivable vitality, Enkidu is eventually tamed and taught the ways of the civilized. Naïve and innocent, Enkidu becomes fiercely loyal to Gilgamesh.

Shamhat - Female, 20s-30s - Priestess of Ishtar and servant/lover to Gilgamesh, Shamhat tames Enkidu through her temple-taught lovemaking skills. Shamhat is perhaps the person closest to Gilgamesh before Enkidu’s arrival. Wise beyond her years, Shamhat sees the folly of Gilgamesh’s ways but is in his servitude through both her station in life and her affection to him.

Brief Synopsis - Gilgamesh Part 1 shows us Gilgamesh in his prime, full of boredom and malaise. His people plead for help to the Gods to distract Gilgamesh, to give him a purpose other than interfering with their lives. In response, they create Enkidu - a perfect balance to Gilgamesh - who can run with animals and is ignorant of the ways of man. Eventually tamed by Shamhat, Enkidu becomes a loyal friend to Gilgamesh, and follows him to the ends of the earth to attack Hambaba. After conquering this distant, foreign evil, Enkidu is haunted by dreams that eventually lead him to his death, and sets Gilgamesh on his quest for immortality (and onto Part 2…) The Epic of Gilgamesh is the oldest recorded story in the world, a prototype of myths, legends and narratives to come. What astonishes most is the resonance today of its morality and warnings - from pre-emptive strikes to the corrupting affects of power, Gilgamesh rings as true today as it did 4100 years ago.

Please submit photo and resume to:
Attn: Gideon Arthurs/groundwater productions
320 Margueretta St.
Toronto ON M6H 3S3

Email submissions are encouraged to groundwater1@gmail.com

Only those selected for audition will be contacted.

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