Distant Thunder: Casting Call for Native Actors on Monday, January 7th in New York

(Gyasi’s Note: This is very short notice for a casting call on Monday, January 7th, in NYC. I apologize—that’s my fault. ALL the contact information is below. Shaun Taylor-Corbett got into contact with me about a paid opportunity for Native performers. I’m always in favor of that, PLUS Shaun had serious connection with many Blackfeet people. Paid gigs for performers are rare—paid gigs for Native performers are almost unheard of. This is one, with the potential to get a lot bigger. Therefore, if you know any Native performers within the NYC metropolitan area that are looking at gigs, please let them know about this incredible opportunity. Now, with no further ado, Shaun’s story.)

When I was in Middle School, I was a kid on a dark path. I didn't really look like anybody in my class at school. People were always asking, "What are you anyway?" My father had left when I was six and wasn't consistently involved in my life. His family had Blackfeet blood but they were not proud of who they were so I wasn't able to find out about my own heritage until shortly before my Grandfather died. Luckily, my mother understood how important this was to me and took me on a journey to the Blackfeet Reservation in Browning, Montana during the summer I was fourteen. Meeting Red Man Little Plume and Darrell Kipp, two respected men within the Blackfeet Nation, changed my life.

After college, I became a performer in television and theatre and began to dream of a way that I could express my journey of self-discovery and make a larger public aware of the people that had come to mean so much to me. My mom, a theatre director, encouraged me to write down ideas and between us, slowly a story began to emerge. Three years later, I submitted the script for the musical, "Distant Thunder" to Native Voices at The Autrey in L.A. It was selected for their writer's retreat and presented in a successful public reading at The Autry in June 2012.

Late this February, we are honored to have the opportunity to do a reading at Amas Musical Theatre in New York City. We hope to gain the support of regional and Broadway producers. The rehearsals and readings will take place from February 17th to the 28th. We are seeking performers with Native American heritage who can sing and act. There is an honorarium for each performer. We are also seeking a powwow singer/musician to integrate into the pop-based work. If interested, please contact Carol Hanzel Casting: 212 242-6113, email: carol@carolhanzelcasting.com. 

This is quick overview of the show and the Characters we are seeking.

Darrell Waters, a young, half-Native, half White man, returns to the Blackfeet Tribe to fulfill a promise he made to his mother on her death bed. For reasons unknown, she fled from the tribe when Darrell was five and moved back to Chicago where she resumed her law practice. Now a successful lawyer himself, Darrell must complete a land deal she brokered with the Bureau of Indian affairs and seek out his estranged father, White Feather, to tell him of her passing. He reunites with his childhood sweetheart Dorothy Dark Eyes, who now runs Tall Tree Immersion School, an institution founded by Dorothy’s father dedicated to preserving the dying Blackfeet language. Unwittingly Darrell’s actions are responsible for the Tall Tree land being absorbed by the U.S. Government. His mother had meant for the deal to benefit her impoverished tribe. Instead it opens a deep rift between those trying to preserve tribal lands and those trying to build a casino that will bring revenue to the people.

Relationships are devastated as more and more of the past is revealed. Darrell begins to understand the anguish he has caused and to feel the power of his Native heritage. He must attempt to pick up pieces that history has scattered in the wind and reclaim the courage of his ancestors.

NOTE: It is our hope to be able to cast actors and actresses of Native-American background or tribal affiliation. However we are also interested in submissions from actors and actresses of mixed ethnicities.


A thirty-year old lawyer, half Native American, half white, who is returning to the Blackfeet Reservation to fulfill a promise he made to his mother. 20's-30.

Darrell’s childhood friend, a devoted teacher who is committed to preserving the language of the tribe. Late 20’s-30.

A Roseanne Barr type who is a matriarchal pillar of the tribe. Mid 50’s-early 60’s.

Betty’s 28 year-old daughter, a bright, funny girl in her own right

Shareen’s boyfriend, an injured vet who has recently returned from Iraq- playing guitar a plus. Mid 20’s-early 30’s.

Darrell’s father, early-mid 50’s, a solitary, disillusioned man who lives on the outskirts of the tribe

The most respected elder of the tribe- 60’s- on up

A wayward 15 year-old who is Betty’s foster child

Sheriff Buck’s rebellious 16 year-old daughter

The 12 year old pipsqueak follower who tags along with Tonto and Aiyana

The local sheriff, a man who has skewed his life to the ways of the white world. Late 40’s – mid 50’s.

Ensemble includes: Deputy Sheriff Barnes, Grandma Jingle Dress, Hector and Roberta, Sam Silver (the official at the Bureau of Indian Affairs), young Darrell and Dorothy. All must sing well. Some also play instruments and dance.