Call for actor-storytellers: deadline extended to Sept. 5!

PMA Fall Production: Off-Campus/On-Screen

Are you an actor? A performer? A playwright? A composer? A visual artist? A poet? Do you have an urgent story to tell about Covid-19 and the “off-campus/on-screen” experience? We’re looking for you!

The Department of Performing & Media Arts (PMA) announces an audition call for actor-storytellers and performer-creators for its upcoming fall production Off-Campus/On-Screen, a collaboration between theatre director Rebekah Maggor and filmmakers Jeffrey Palmer and Youngsun Palmer, with acting specialists Carolyn Goelzer and P.A. Angelopoulos joining the creative team. This exciting collaborative project, open to all Cornell students—no matter where you are in the world!—brings together theatre-devising techniques and filmmaking. We will create a series of short dramatic films that explore experiences of lockdown, pandemic, economic crisis, and protest, juxtaposing their differentiated impact on students from diverse backgrounds. The films will be the centerpiece of a weekend of live online events at the end of the semester.

Students selected to participate in this production course will experience cutting-edge training in acting, devising, scriptwriting, and filmmaking. We’re looking for actor-storytellers interested in forming a collaborative ensemble to explore a new genre of virtual storytelling.

Audition Submissions: What are we looking for?

We’re looking for a seed of an idea, not a polished product. Your audition submission will be a rough performance of a dramatic scene you create around the theme of “off-campus/on-screen.”

After Covid-19 shuttered our campus, what challenges have students faced in the shift from campus-life to off-campus home-life? How have lockdown, pandemic, economic crisis, and protest affected us in different ways? How have students attempted to complete their semester under extenuating circumstances catalyzed by the pandemic, such as isolation, loneliness, depression, lack of privacy, domestic conflict, poverty, economic anxiety, mass protest and unrest, illness, and death? What are students experiencing now in the new socially distanced fall semester on-campus and off?

Off-Campus/On-Screen is a 3-credit online course (PMA3609 “Making Theatre: Rehearsal and Production Techniques”). We will meet several times a week Mon.–Sat. 4:30–6:30 p.m. for US-based students and TBA rehearsal times for students based internationally. We will create a schedule that works for all.

Audition Submission Details:

  • Submission length: two minutes or less.
  • Please upload by September 5th.
  • Submissions are private; we will not share online.
  • Questions, please contact Rebekah Maggor:

For details on how to submit your material, visit the PMA Online Callboard.


  • Does my story need to be autobiographical?
  • It’s up to you. Write about your own experience, or dramatize the story of a friend, a relative, a story you read about in the news, or make up a fictional drama. We’re looking for compelling stories that represent the diverse experiences of the Cornell community.

  • What form might my submission take?
  • A dramatic scene in the form of a telephone call, a Zoom meeting, a WhatsApp chat through text and photos, a Twitter war, a podcast, an audio diary, etc. We’re also open to other forms—nonlinear, poetic, visual or audio collage—a poem, an original song, a collage of images set to music, and short animation. We prefer audio or visual performances in the form of an MP3 or MP4, but we will accept written submissions.

  • Can I collaborate with a family member or roommates?
  • Yes, as long as this person is in your social bubble. Even if this person or people may not want to join the production, you’re welcome to collaborate with them for your audition submission.

  • Can I submit a monologue?
  • We prefer collaborative scenes or storytelling pieces with two or more people, but we will accept an original monologue or story, written and performed by you.

  • How many students will participate in this production?
  • Our goal is to facilitate students’ dramatic storytelling through training and experience in devising and filmmaking. While we’d like to accept all submissions, we estimate that we will have the time and resources to workshop and produce around four short films with 8–12 students.

  • Do I need to be an actor-storyteller to be part of this production? What if I want to contribute solely as a writer or solely as an actor, or contribute behind the scenes?
  • Not everyone who contributes to the production need perform and write. If you want to be part of this production in another capacity, we’d like to hear from you. You can submit an audio recording or written statement telling us why it’s important for you to be part of this production. Please keep this submission to two minutes or less (800 words or less).

  • Does my submission need to be in English?
  • It can be in any language. If you submit something in a language other than English, please include a brief description/summary of your piece.

  • Can my submission include humor?
  • Yes.  

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