Audition Notice – “somewhere/elsewhere”

SATURDAY, JANUARY 28, 2023 11 AM – 7 PM





Call for Performers:

The creative team of SOMEWHERE / ELSEWHERE is seeking performers from any and all cultural/racial backgrounds for a public, staged concert reading in Portland, Maine of this new musical by Kerem Durdag and Andy Happel. The concert reading will be presented by Portland Ovations at the Westbrook Performing Arts Center at 7 p.m. on March 23, 2023.

Cast:          7 performers, 1 non-binary, 3 female-identifying and 3 male-identifying, ages 20s-60s of any body size, shape, or ability for this ensemble cast. Please see more detailed role descriptions below.

Time Requirement:    3, 8-hour rehearsal/performance days (24 hours total) for 3 major roles; 16 hours for 4 smaller roles. These hours may be spread across shorter virtual and longer live rehearsal blocks. 

Total Pay:       $500 per 8-hour day, non-Equity. 3 days, $1,500 total.

First rehearsal:    Saturday, March 4, 2023, 11 am – 7 pm, 120 Exchange St., Portland, ME

Second rehearsal:    WITH BAND Tuesday, March 21, 11 am – 7 pm, Westbrook Performing Arts Center, 471 Stroudwater St, Westbrook, ME 04092 OR Sunday, March 19, 11 am – 7 pm at 120 Exchange Street

Third rehearsal/dress/tech/performance:    Thursday, March 23, 2023, 2 pm – 10 pm, Westbrook Performing Arts Center, 471 Stroudwater St, Westbrook, ME 04092

All locations are wheelchair accessible.


Synopsis: SOMEWHERE/ELSEWHERE is a two-act, 135-minute autobiographical musical detailing the modern and historical experiences of immigrants to the U.S. via the Turkish character of MEHMET from Pakistan and the love of his life, ELISE, a second generation White woman from Finland. The plot is held and amplified by a Sufi Derwish and a popular, 16th century Turkish tragic romantic legend, that of Kerem and Asli. Created by poet/playwright/filmmaker Kerem Durdag and his collaborator, musician Andy Happel, this world premiere staged concert reading features actors in multiple singing and non-singing roles, film and animation, as well an original score performed live by Happel’s own major-label recording band, Thanks to Gravity. Using a pop/rock idiom, this is a story of finding love, belonging and self-identity in the midst of turbulence, joy and revelation; of separation and loss and the frustrations of confronting societal hurdles of ignorance and hate.


Casting Breakdown

LEAD 1: MEHMET: Male-Identifying, 25+ to play 18-50; Turkish/Pakistani/Middle-Eastern; Strong pop/rock vocalist. Vocal range: Bb3 to F#4 falsetto and full voice

LEAD 2: ELISE: Female-identifying, 25+ to play 18-50; White; Strong pop/rock vocalist.Vocal range: B3  to F#4

LEAD 3: DERWISH: gender non-binary, 30+ to play 50-70; Turkish/Pakistani/Middle-Eastern; traditional Middle Eastern vocal experience desirable. Vocal range: A3 to G4

ACTOR 1: Male-identifying, 30+ to play various roles. Experienced vocalist. Vocal range: D3 to G4

ACTOR 2: Male-identifying, 25+ to play various roles. 

ACTOR 3: Female-identifying, 35+ to play various roles. Experienced vocalist. Vocal range: D3 to G4

ACTOR 4: Female-identifying, 25+ to play various roles.


What to Expect:

The 8-hour rehearsal days will focus on character development through song and ensemble work. No memorization is required for the final staged reading.

Our inclusion and accountability practices as a majority white-led project are evolving, as is our understanding of historical harm done to our local community of Black, Brown, Indigenous, Asian, Arab, and people of the global majority. We are committed to fostering a creative community in which performers of all identities and cultural backgrounds can bring their whole selves to the audition, rehearsal, and performance process.


To prepare:
One two-to-four minute contemporary, cinematic monologue from either a stage script or screenplay, plus two songs of choice from the pop/rock canon such as Springsteen, Lady Gaga, Cohen, Lana del Rey, The Cure, Sharon Van Etten, Peter Gabriel, Amy Winehouse, Cash, Psychedelic Furs, Arcade Fire, Glen Hansard, John Prine, Damien Rice. Or… from your two favorites. You will also be asked to read from selected sides from the musical.


What to wear/bring:

  • Comfortable clothes you can easily move in. We will want to know about you as well as ask you to read from the play.
  • Questions, curiosity, and a willingness to experiment and be playful.
  • Auditions, rehearsals, and the performance will be conducted without masks. For this reason, please provide proof of your COVID-19 vaccination status and a negative antigen test within 24 hours of the audition. We appreciate your honoring this request to keep our communities as safe as possible. 


Who we are:

Book and Lyrics: Kerem Durdag

Score and Music Direction: Andy Happel

Director: Linda L. Nelson

Producer: Portland Ovations


To Participate

To schedule an audition slot, Please complete this Google Audition form. You will also be able to upload your C.V. and head shot as part of completing that form. To ask questions and let us know about any accommodations you might need please email director Linda Nelson at We will not be accepting video submissions for the first round of auditions. If needed we will review video submissions for round two. Overnight accommodations for the three rehearsal/performance periods can be provided for those located more than 80 miles from Portland. We look forward to hearing from you, transparent communication is welcomed and encouraged.