Theatre Auditions

Cicada – October 20 - 23, 2022
Written by Jerre Dye

Toriya Burford 

Stage Managed by:
Hannah Loftus 

Rehearsals start August 30th, 2022

More information and synopsis of the production is available at the bottom of this page. 
Please read all information before participating in auditions.

Initial auditions will be held on campus, August 24th from 7:30pm - 10pm.

Auditions are open to all MTSU Students. Please sign up for an audition time and fill out the audition form below.
Audition time sign up – Click here for audition time sign up
Audition form - Click here for audition form

For your audition:

Please prepare the following:

One contemporary monologue that is approximately 60 seconds in length.
If you need help on how to find the right monologue for you, reach out to acting faculty Kyle Kennedy 

Please use the audition form ( to submit audition information. You may upload your head shot and resume materials directly to this form. Once you have filled out the form, please select an audition time at (
Please arrive at least 15 minutes prior to your audition time to check in with stage management at the audition desk outside BDA 101. 

Call backs are scheduled to occur ON CAMPUS - August 25th and 26th. Call backs may consist of scene work, cold reads, and vocal exercises with our Director and other auditionees. Schedule of individual callbacks will be communicated and based on conflicts listed on audition form. Additional callback requirements and questions specific to the show will be communicated prior to your callback session.

We understand not all students will have the same experience in auditioning for an MTSU production. Faculty, staff and students would love to connect and can provide some insight on how the audition process may go. If you are new to this process and would like to learn more, please reach out Production Manager - John Underwood or Stage Management Faculty - Kate Goodwin.

Feel free to contact us:
Directing Advisors - Lauren Shouse and Kristi Shamburger 
Stage Management advisor - Kate Goodwin
Acting Faculty - Kyle Kennedy
Production Manager - John Underwood

Prospective participants have the right to ask about details pertaining to their participation, including how cultural personhood or identities will be portrayed in the production. Please email any questions to the Director or reach out to faculty or administrative staff in the department with any concerns. The wellbeing of our cast and crew is the highest priority. If you have questions regarding your participation and safety, please reach out directly to John Underwood, stage management team, and our directors.


Written by Jerre Dye

Set in rural Mississippi, this coming of age ghost story is deeply rooted in the life of a small southern family on the verge of transformation. The unrelenting July heat presses in on seventeen-year-old Ace and his mother Lily as they dig their way out the past. It’s a story about letting go and shedding what is no longer necessary in a world full of secrets, ghosts, and memories that hold on tight. Lyrical and hard-hitting, this unique piece of theater sheds light on the enduring southern spirit by exploring the complexity of the ties that bind. (TheatreMemphis.Org/Cicada)

A note from the Director on casting:
Hi everyone!

I want everyone to feel encourage to audition to this production. Do not feel intimidated about certain “requirements” or request to deter you from auditioning. You might have one role in mind in a certain production and ended up casted as the lead in said production. If a role speaks to you go for it, and I hope to see you at auditions!
Love, Toriya (Tori)


Lily - “I knew to love you. I didn’t even know what love looked like, but I knew to love you” – She is trying to find her way. She has experienced pain and loss her entire life and trying to find a breathing spot is hard for her. She holds her son near and dear to her heart because in her eyes he is perfect. There is nothing he can do wrong, and that is her saving grace: her son. Even with her son, she is still on a verge of losing it all.
Early 40s, white, female identifying

Ace - “Like Jesus opened his arms and died is how much” – Ace is Lilly’s son. He is the sole reason for Lily’s existence. He is her security blanket and protector. He tried to keep his mom together, so things don’t go falling apart. He is the kid that had to grow up and take care of his parent. While being all of that, he is also trying to find himself after years of being that blanket.
17, Black, male identifying

LaNora - “I’m too damn mean to go to hell” – She is hell on wheels. She is that old black southern woman who doesn’t play and is about her business. You cannot keep anything away from her, but she means well. Everyone knows that if you need her, she is there. She is caring and loving under that mean and hard exterior. What people don’t know or get to see is she’s hurting too but hides because of her reputation in the neighborhood. But if you talk long enough with her, you’ll see it clear as day.
Mid-late 60s, Black, female identifying

Dad - “You ready for bed, Sweetpea?” – Preacher is LaNora’s husband. He is witty and sharp tongued, but he is also and caring and sweet. He is that old southern man who is mean to the bone, the one you hear stories about, but you know that he means well and deep down cares a while lot.
Early-mid 50s, open to any ethnicity, male identifying

Preacher - “Sometimes we can’t help but fall in love with all the things we miss. And sometimes er just fall in love with missin’” – He is a mystery to say the least. He was too young at the time to understand what he had and was too young to deal with it in a mature way. He means well like everyone else, but he did his wrong. Over time, he was able to grow and see how his actions have had consequences and those consequences had an effect on the ones he loved and left behind.
Late 30s, Black, male identifying

Momma - “And you have done nothin’ but crush me with your sickness since the moment you were born” – When generational trauma continues in a person, it would be Momma. Life hasn’t been the best for her, and every time she looks there’s something knocking at the door. She doesn’t know how to deal with such things and in turn she takes it out on others. She tries her best to mean well but falls short each and every time.
Mid-late 50s, white, female identifying

Aunt Sis - “Why, I just love it here. Like a dead pig in the sunshine” – She is a helping hand. Like everyone else, she means well. She goes wherever she’s needed since she doesn’t have anything or anyone to call her hand. She isn’t necessarily the “outcast” of the family, but she doesn’t have a belonging, hence why she goes where she can be of assistance.
Late 50s, white, female identifying

Granny - “God’s test. But, amen his eye is on the sparrow” – She is a God fearing woman who has a scripture for any and everything. If she can’t figure it out, then the good book sure does have some kind of solution.
Late 70s, white, female identifying

Big Sis - “Want me to sing to you?” - She is someone who left before their time was due. She is sweet and innocent. She’s the perfect child and an amazing big sister. She does as told and would be deemed as the “golden child.”
10, white, female identifying

Chorus - The Chorus (including Momma, Granny Duvall, Big Sis, and Aunt Sister) are a group of women ghost from history pass. You see them throughout the house as if they’re still living in there at the current time.
Various ages and ethnicities


Auditions for Sense and Sensibility and Peter and the Starcatcher have concludedFor more information please contact John Underwood.

If you are interested in learning more about applying to work on the design or technical side of production, you can learn more at Production Applications


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