Written by George Brant
Based on true events
Directed by Andrea Makris
Stage Manager – Samuel Singarayer
Assistant Stage Manager – Anneke Schuurman
(This play is based on true events)
It is September 1916, Welcome to Erwin Tennessee! Erwin is a quiet town, the folks are honest, law-abiding citizens. It’s peaceful, and we like it that way. Every once in a while, the town gets rewarded with the coming of the Sparks World Famous Travelling Circus. Young and Old Folk alike, all get excited for the circus, their performers, but most of all: Mary. The largest land animal in the world, Mary the 5-ton elephant is the largest showstopper of her kind. And what better way to commemorate the coming of a circus then with an opening day parade? Although when excitement and festivities turn sour, the circus and the town are quickly split between the justice of man and animal. Elephant’s Graveyard by George Brant combines historical fact and legend, exploring the deep-seated American craving for spectacle, violence, and revenge.
Ringmaster (Charlie Sparks)
Charlie Sparks is the ringmaster of the famous Sparks Travelling Circus. They are optimistic and obsessed with the bottom line: being the best in the business. To Sparks, in order to be the best, you gotta have the best. The best performers, the most dare-devilling acts, and overall, the biggest, and best of Elephants: Mary.
Although they are in charge of all the animals at the Sparks Travelling Circus, the trainer’s one true love lies with Mary, the Elephant. They sleep with her, eat with her, and even have a drink with her. Although the trainer has dreams, and aspirations, they give it all up to tend to Mary, and makes them feel like they are on top of the world while sitting on her back.
Ballet Girl is the seductive, showgirl in control. She knows that everyone comes to see her death-defying trapeze and balancing acts, and most of all, her tricks atop Mary the Elephant. To Ballet Girl, she is the show, and everyone else is just the warm-up act; and Mary is her stage!
Hiring, Firing, the Tour Manager does it all. They are in charge of running a tight ship. Hired by Charlie Sparks to only recruit the best of the best for the Sparks travelling Circus, the tour manager will stop at nothing to get there, and nothing will stand in their way
A proud muscleman from Europe’s far-off shores, the muscleman is the strongest that the Sparks’ travelling circus has ever seen – well, second strongest to Mary. Although he dreams to be the star of the show, much like the other circus acts, he is constantly overshadowed by Mary the Elephant.
A comedian with an inferiority complex, Clown truly desires to be the main star of the show like Clowns once were. He often, sarcastically, and resentfully, wishes people treated clowns with more respect, because although they act clumsy, and goofy for an audience reaction, they are people with feelings, and dreams and aspirations. The clown preaches that a circus is nothing without laughter, but laughter is rare to come by these day
A proud American with a steel-trap memory. Erwin used to be a town, like every other town in America before freedom. Erwin’s had some faults, sure, but the circus could never repeat history, could they? The Hungry Townsperson’s narration guides the town and it’s spectator through the fateful September of 1916.
The Marshal is the town of Erwin Tennessee’s bigshot, nothing gets past them, and nothing ever will. They feel a moral duty to keep this town, and its citizens safe, doing whatever they need to do in order to ensure that not even a hair falls out of place. Anxious that the arrival of a Circus in town will disrupt their perfect system, at the end of the day, the Marshal will always be there to serve justice, to no matter who, or what.
The town of Erwin’s widow, they are part of the older and wiser members of the community of Erwin, Tennessee. Though that doesn’t keep them from being haunted by Erwin’s past. Living in Erwin during the war, they remember what time like was before the ‘mud’ came and made the hands of Erwin dirty. Now they wonder, could it be God, or the Circus that floods Erwin to ‘wash it clean’.
Focused on spreading the word of the lord in a WWI era, the preacher wishes to restore the joy and happiness that once flooded the streets of Erwin Tennessee. They are content that the Sparks Travelling Circus is arriving in town, so that spirits will be lifted, and people will just plain start coming’ to church again.
Steam Shovel Operator
Dig, Dig, Dig. Day in and Day out. The steam shovel operator lives day to day here in Erwin, but not without bigger and better dreams. They are always looking for an escape from this mundane town. Could it be up to the circus to give them the escape they’re looking for?
A young kid with dreams, hopes and a wild imagination, they are one of the only citizens in the town of Erwin excited for the Circus to arrive. For the young townsperson, life is about running around town with their siblings & friends, memories of playing pretend, and enjoying the endless possibilities that a circus brings to their imagination. For the young townsperson, it appears that seemingly nothing could go wrong when the circus is in town.
The railroad is bridge that connects many worlds. A timeless invention bringing people here to there, and everywhere across America. And there’s nothing more inspiring for the Railroad Operator knowing that he’s got time, and the railroad on his side.
Meet the Production Team
Andrea Makris (she/her)
– Director –
Andrea is a 4th year combined honours student studying Communications and Psychology. This is her 3rd season with Sock ‘n’ Buskin, acting in various roles for the company. Her first role with Sock ‘n’ Buskin in their 2021 productions of Concord Floral where she played Couch, followed by Raf in Advance Man, and most recently as Josie Pye in the March 2022 production of Anne of Green Gables. This is her 2nd year serving on the Board of Executives, first as Webmaster, and most recently elected as the Artistic Director alongside Gabbie Cruz. She is now pleased to add to her SnB resume as Director for the 2023 production of Elephant’s Graveyard alongside her amazing teammates, Anneke, and Samuel. Andrea holds Elephant’s Graveyard near and dear to her heart, as it was the first play she ever performed in, appearing as Clown. She is now ready to share her take on this heart-warming and gut-wrenching story to new audiences, hoping they find love in this tale the same way she did. Come join us here in the mud, in Erwin, Tennessee!
Samuel Singarayer (he/him)
– Stage Manager –
Samuel is a fourth-year finance student at UOttawa and, yes, he knows how peculiar that is on both accounts! He found his passion for the performing arts at an early age from his mother’s influence, watching films, and growing up in a musically talented household. At age ten Samuel had his first theatrical performance and was hooked ever since. From its ability to transcend one’s own experiences to embodying complex characters, the art of acting continued to fascinate him into his high school career where he starred in few productions. Now he is excited to reignite his passion but this time working behind the scenes of Elephant’s Graveyard in order to put on a show everyone is bound to enjoy!
Anneke Schuurman (she/they)
– Assistant Stage Manager –
In seventh grade, Anneke was peer-pressured into helping out at an after-school theatre club. Since then, she has worked backstage in lighting, sound, and stage management of over 15 productions. She has also won awards for lighting design at festivals in her home province, British Columbia. Her favourite productions from her theatre career thus far have been The Brothers Grimm Spectaculathon and The Addams Family Musical. Outside of theatre work, she is in her fourth year of a Bachelor’s degree in Cognitive Science. This is Anneke’s first season with Sock ‘n’ Buskin, and she is ecstatic to be working with such a talented and passionate group of students!
Elephant’s Graveyard auditions will take place Saturday, November 19th at Carleton University (Location to be confirmed upon audition registration, and subject to change pending university approval). Please sign up for an audition time slot via the audition page using the button above!
If you receive a callback, callbacks will take place throughout the day on Sunday, October 20th.
*Please note as per Carleton University health guidelines, all auditionners must be FULLY VACCINATED to audition for our shows*
- TECH REHEARSAL #1 – January 28th, from 8am – 6pm
- TECH REHEARSAL #2 – January 29th, from 8am – 6pm
- TECH & DRESS REHEARSAL – Tuesday, January 31st from 5pm – 10pm
- SHOW #1 – Wednesday, February 1st at 7pm
- SHOW #2 – Thursday, February 2nd at 7pm
- SHOW #3 – Friday, February 3rd at 7pm
- SHOW #4 – Saturday, February 4th at 7pm