THE BOAT Audition Call

ICAH and FYI (For Youth Inquiry) are seeking submissions for the World Premier of THE BOAT (working title), directed by Quenna Lené Barrett and Nik Zaleski. We encourage performers of all ethnicities, gender identities, abilities and ages, to submit for an audition slot.

Taking inspiration from Women on Waves (an organization that provides legal abortions to people in countries where it would otherwise be illegal by sailing into non-territorial waters), The Boat will seat audiences in the metaphor for the islands that young people have to visit to get unfettered access to abortion. The Boat will collide stories ICAH has been collecting from youth across Illinois about their abortion experiences. It will provide opportunities for audiences to experience the abortion journeys of real youth and to take legislative action in support of reproductive access for all. It will do this through spectacle, movement, opera, and interaction with water.

The Boat asks, "What are the troubled waters that young people navigate when seeking abortions? And conversely, who and what helps sail them there?"


JANE--(17) POC who is a current CPS student; enjoys dancing and has a strained relationship with her mother. Becomes pregnant and knows she needs to have an abortion.

WISE JANE--(51) Jane at 51 years old. A pediatrician. This Jane has chosen to wait to have children later in her life.

ESTHER--(34) Jane’s Mom; deeply religious and has been worried about Jane getting pregnant. Had Jane at 17.

MALCOLM--(19) Open ethnicity. Jane’s partner. Trying to be supportive, but the pregnancy is incredibly “inconvenient” for him.

DAYA--(17) Jane’s daughter. As bright and bold as her mama.

DANIELLA--(17) Open ethnicity. Best friend of Jane.

REX--(30s/40s/50s) Leader of the choir of white men who make choices about our central protagonist’s body. Her “healthcare provider, father, husband, legislator…” Every man with a decision-making stake in Jane’s body.  



ACTOR 1: Wisdom Keeper, Daniella, and Daya

ACTOR 2: Wisdom Keeper, Wise Jane, and Esther

Audition Dates & Location

Sunday, February 11th from 5:30PM-8:30PM

Monday, February 19th from 5:30PM-9:30PM

Illinois Caucus for Adolescent Health @ 719 S State St, 4th Floor, Chicago, IL 60605 (ADA accessible)

Material to Prepare

Please be prepared to perform a 1 minute monologue or story, and to take approx. 1-2 minutes to "teach us something." This can be a theatre game, how to make a PB&J, a card trick, or anything at all.

To Request an Audition Slot

Please submit a headshot/resume in PDF format to and let us know what time and date work best for you. All slots will be a total of one hour. If you need access to the elevator, please let us know in your submission.

Commitment Dates

Rehearsals will occur at ICAH’s central office (719 S State Street), at the Arts Incubator (301 E Garfield Blvd), and at Palmisano Park (2700 S Halsted).

Rehearsals begin April 30

  • Mon-Thur- 6-10 PM
  • Sat-Sun- 12-4PM

May 31-Opening; performances:

  • Thursdays and Fridays at 5:30pm, 2pm on Sundays and holding 5:30pm on Sundays in case we've had to cancel a show that week due to rain.

Performances are 5/31-6/3, 6/7-6/10, 6/14-6/17 in Bridgeport's Palmisano Park, and 6/4 in Edgewater as part of the Pivot Arts Fest.