Auditions for Grey Matters, a new play

by Shannon Elliott
Director: Larisa Netterlund

Famed super genius Albert Einstein had his brain stolen out of his body after his death and it was kept in a jar for forty years in the name of discovering genius.

This is 100% true.

This one act play styled as a 1950s instructional film takes its inspiration from the wacky world of the father of beat poetry William Burroughs. Three actors portray a myriad of characters throughout Dr. Harvey’s forty-year journey with Einstein’s brain. A non-stop rollercoaster exploring what it looks like to be so close to genius and yet so far.

Location for Auditions, Rehearsals, and Performances:
Phoenix Theater
2605 Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55408

Tuesday, Oct 16, 6:30pm-10pm
Wednesday, Oct 17, 6:30pm-10pm

Tuesday, Oct 23 – starting at 7pm

Friday, Jan 11, 7:30pm
Saturday, Jan 12, 7:30pm
Sunday, Jan 13, 2:30pm
Monday, Jan 14, 7:30pm – PWYC night
Thursday, Jan 17, 7:30pm
Friday, Jan 18, 7:30pm
Saturday, Jan 19, 7:30pm
(there will be ASL-interpreted/audio-described performances, either one of each or one performance with both)

Rehearsals begin Nov 5 and run through Jan 5 (taking breaks for holidays). The process might involve a bit of workshopping the script. Tech week is Jan 7-10.  Each actor will be paid a $75 stipend.



Thomas Stoltz Harvey (Male or female. Playing character from ages late-20s into 70s.) – A mild-mannered doctor with a passion for discovery. Against all odds. He is highly possessive of the brain.

William Burroughs (Male or Female. Playing multiple characters from ages 20s to 70s) – One of the narrators of the story and portraying many characters throughout Harvey’s life. The father of beatnik poetry and at one time Dr. Harvey’s neighbor . Deep-voiced and deep-thinking, Burroughs embodies the struggling artist in constant existential crisis while also having the answer to all of life’s tough questions. (Voice of Einstein / Nurse / Hospital Official / Government Official #2 / Reporters / Levy’s editor / Voice of Johnny Carson / Paterniti)

Harvey’s Wife #1 (Female or male. Playing multiple characters from ages 20s to 60s) – A narrator for the story and also portraying many characters throughout Harvey’s life. The stereotypical 1950s housewife, burdened with ‘genius’ but also not going to take any of that BS. She eventually leaves Harvey. (Little Arthur / Government Official #1 / Doctors / Professor / Levy / Scientist / Harvey’s Girlfriend / Roger)


Bring in resume/headshot and a list of rehearsal conflicts with you to the audition

*Please prepare a one-minute contemporary monologue.

Auditions will be seen in groups of six people every 35 minutes, sign up with the link below for a slot. Walk-ups might be added to slots.

Contact information

Arts Nest
Shannon Elliot
Web site

Respond by
Wednesday, October 17
Posted September 26