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SHANTI, Female. 15 years old. Born in Honduras and adopted by SAMI after her mom was deported last year. She does not have an American passport and dreams of going to college. Shanti is at an age where she is starting to truly build an identity for herself, but she has difficulty finding out what that identity is. She has been told to always hide for their 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, more open to exploring the outside world.
SAMI, Male. Palestinian. British influenced accent. 35-40 years old. He has a Ph.D. in Artificial intelligence from the UK and is a big fan of poetry, movies, and literature. 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.
VICTORIA, Female. 40-45. Brazilian. Living in New York, undocumented. She lost her firstborn 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. ANDREA is her lawyer.
DAVID, Male. Chinese. 30-35. He barely speaks 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. He appreciates music and wants to find a way of integrating into the group, but doesn’t know-how. Slowly we see his personality, he is goofy, funny, and tries to be a bit of a clown. Once the layers are stripped back, we see he is a kind soul who has lost his way. Back in China he was an activist and had to fake his death to survive.
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.
JULIE, 25-30 years old. Jewish American. Parents were refugees from Ukraine. She initially volunteers in the hope to find her brother who is missing. The more she works in the basement, the more she gets involved and starts to care and take an interest in cultivating the relationships she built there.
ANDREA 45-55. American.VICTORIA’s lawyer. She has lost her son to the system and now helps other mothers be reunited with their children.
We are also casting seven ensemble members.
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, Israel, 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.