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SHANTI, Female. 15 years old. Born in Honduras and adopted by SAMI after her mom was deported last year. She is undocumented and she dreams of going to college. Shanti is at an age where she is starting to truly build an identity for herself; she has difficulty finding out what that identity is. She has been told to never draw attention for her protection, but she feels that this somewhat costs her sense of self. She is a naturally curious person, smart and enjoys learning. She wants to be more independent and prove her worth, but that is juxtaposed to the oppression of the outside world. She is on an emotional rollercoaster which she doesn’t know how to get off.
SAMI, Male. Palestinian. 35-40 years old. He has a Ph.D. in Artificial intelligence from Oxford and is under a lot of tension. He is someone who is a natural leader and looks after everyone, even at his own expense. SAMI considers SHANTI his daughter. He has limited resources, but he spares no expense if it means furthering Shanti’s education. Like his father, he keeps culture and heritage alive through storytelling. He is protective, worried, and stressed; as a result, he can be selfish and even cynical.
VICTORIA, Female. 40-45. Brazilian. Living in New York, undocumented. She lost her only son to the system and an abusive partner. She has been trying to get her son back, but due to legal issues, she has had a difficult time. Her goal is to do everything in her power to get him back. She avoids drawing attention to herself and dreams of going back home with him. In this basement, she is the rock of the family. She provides the group with an optimistic attitude while encountering several adversities.
DAVID, Male. Chinese. 30-35. He is not yet fluent in English and thus has a difficult time communicating with everyone else; this combined with his loss of family frustrates him. He is an example of someone who is not coping with his circumstances well. David appreciates music and wants to find a way of integrating it into the group, but the only way he knows how is by clowning around. He is goofy and always trying to make people laugh. He struggles with finding meaning in life and works at times square as Mickey Mouse.
AFAMEFUNA, Male. Nigerian. Gay Rights Activist. Manager of the Sanctuary. Incredible speaker and persuasive leader. He handles the finances and oversees the donations the center receives. He likes to appear like he has everything together, and is a beacon of light and hope. However, he doesn’t have that strong of a connection with those he is trying to help and he does not know how to handle the overload of work he has. It’s about appearances, and he tries to be well-liked. He does not handle money well. He molds reality to please people.
JULIE, 27-35 years old. American. Parents and brother are Jewish refugees from Ukraine. The more she works in the basement, the more she gets involved in the relationships she built there. She doesn’t know how to accept the group’s love and concern for her. She is a breath of fresh air and a beacon of hope for SHANTI.
ANGELS (Ensemble), Fourteen characters.
Call backs will be in person in NYC. Looking for actors with their own ties and connections with the refugee experience.
We are also looking for story consultants and musicians from: Ukraine, South Sudan, Brazil, Venezuela, Nigeria, Palestine, China & Syria.
EXI(S)T complies with applicable Federal civil rights laws and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, or sex. EXI(S)T does not exclude people or treat them diferently because of race, color, national origin, age, disability, or sex.