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Syracuse Stage is looking for a non-union actor to play the role of young James Baldwin in Citizen James, the 2021 Backstory program.

By Kyle Bass
Commissioned by Syracuse Stage

Character Breakdown
JAMES BALDWIN: 24 years old. African American. Gay. Brilliant. Possessed of a fiercely intelligent and literary mind. His soul and conscience are aflame with impassioned concern for the oppression of Black Americans and for the all-consuming wound of racism, which destroys all in its systems, black and white. Raised in the Black church and trained as a boy preacher, his way with words is singular, infused with piercing insight borne of wrenching lived experience as a black man in a profoundly racist society. A poet-prophet.

We meet Young James Baldwin on Nov. 11, 1948 at LaGuardia Airport. Young James is an unknown aspiring “Negro” writer whose first short story has just been published. He awaits his flight. He has just left his family with the news of his decision to leave racist America and move to Paris. He speaks no French. He has a one-way ticket and $40 in his pocket. As Baldwin relates his experiences, he embodies the people in his life; a white guard, a doctor, an Italian boy, a churchwoman, the Deacon, his stepfather, his mother, a gangster, a preacher.  An actor who connects the past with the present invokes the story.

Submit the following here.
- Headshot / Resume
- Where you live (city/state)
- For your video audition please choose two of the following sides: Side 1. Side 2. Side 3.

Please submit no later than December 31, 2020

Email with any questions


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