Theater: Musicals

'The Legend of Jim Cullen'

Casting notice expires: May 15, 2014

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Heartwood Regional Theater Company
Griff Braley, book & lyrics-artistic dir.-casting dir.; Aaron Robinson, music

Production Description

Casting three leading roles in "The Legend of Jim Cullen," a full-length, two-act, original dramatic musical that tells the story of the only lynching to occur in New England history. This event occurred in the town of Mapleton, Aroostook County, Maine, in the spring of 1873.

Rehearsal and Production Dates & Locations

Full cast table readings and staging begin June 16; runs July 24-Aug. 3 at the Poe Theater at Lincoln Academy, Newcastle, ME.

Compensation & Union Contract Details

All actors receive living stipends to cover living and/or travel expenses, negotiable based on distance, credentials, or collaborative abilities.


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About The Company

Download ABOUT THE COMPANY.PDF (98.7 KB) Prod. states: "Heartwood Regional Theater Company has a ten-year history of
production. The company is known for engaging dramatic work, original staging, strong spectacle, a
number of original works, and musical collaborations. Actors should expect strong direction from an
artistic director/writer/designer. The company is undertaking the creation of original Maine based
works. Heartwood draws a dependable core audience drawn from Portland to Belfast. "

Production History

This work began as a forty minute ensemble storytelling piece in 2006. A full script was developed for
staged readings in 2010 and 2011. A two act version of this play, with music, was produced by
Heartwood in the summer of 2013, drawing a record audience and stimulating an abundance of
insightful audience and performer feedback. A fully re-staged version starts production summer of
2014. At its core this is the story of a young man, Jim Cullen, lost in anger, lust and ignorance. Once
destitute, he steals, runs, murders and then stumbles back to the community--only to be captured and
made a spectacle, then taken from town and hung on a tree.

"The Legend of Jim Cullen" weaves storytelling, drama and history, songs and musical numbers, dance
and movement into a spectacle driven dramatic musical. Actors in our production will work in a style
that evokes an ensemble of players from a world of vaudeville, carnival or early American theater. The
play arcs in style from vaudeville to realism to fantasy in scenes that include a river baptism on the ice
in New Brunswick, a log drive, an axe murder, and a lynching.

The music landscape for "Jim Cullen" presents a broad aesthetic: while rooted in traditional music
appropriate to the period, the approach includes modern sounds, a strong Broadway sense, large choral pieces and character driven solos. At the same time, the play delves into myth with a visual spectacle that combines a sense of place with an urgent sense of storytelling. Actors must be strong dramatic actors, very capable singers in solo and group, capable of holding harmony in a large ensemble, and medium to strong in dance/movement.