Blak Yak Theatre is thrilled to announce their upcoming production of Brian McAvera’s Picasso’s Women. This show is a series of 8 monologues which tell the story of the women (the mistresses, the wives, and the muses) of arguably the twentieth century’s best known artist, Pablo Picasso. Honest, brutal, funny, and confronting, this production pulls no punches.
The 8 monologues will be staged over 2 nights (4 each night), with performances on August 20, 21, 22, and 23, and again 27, 28, 29, and 30. The roles require strong performers who can carry a performance.
Each monologue will have an individual director, with an overall director ensuring the consistency of the production.
Auditions: Sunday, June 15th between 10am and 5pm.
Where: The Liddelow Pavilion at the Cannington Exhibition Centre (corner Albany Hwy and Station St, Cannington – where the Cannington Greyhounds race).
Auditionees are asked to prepare a two-minute monologue (no longer please) which showcases their talent. They may also be asked to read from selected pieces which will be available on the day.
There are only 28 audition slots on the Sunday, so we encourage you to book early. Bookings can be made at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fernande was Picasso’s first French model/ lover/ muse from 1904–12 and the subject of many of Picasso’s Rose Period paintings (1905-07). There is a quiet inner dignity to her character and sadness at the loss of the relationship, but also a person who is not afraid to speak her mind. This is a solo piece, a continuous monologue and so requires good memory, concentration, and recall. A great nuanced role, challenging but very rewarding for all actors and a wonderful string for your bow so DON’T be put off!!
Age range: Open. From mid-20s +, as it is set in ‘limbo’ so can be viewed as any age or indeed ageless…
Director Rob Whitehead
Eva Gouel (real name Marcelle Humbert)
Eva is a social climber. She met Picassoin 1912, when she was twenty seven, and he was on his way toward fame and fortune. She died 1915 at the age of thirty from tuberculosis.
The actor cast in this role must look believably within this age range (27 to 30). She must also be able to portray a woman who is not in robust health!
Director: Michael McAllan
Gaby Depeyre was involved with Picasso during 1915-16, when she was 27 and he was 34. Picasso began his affair with Gaby when his mistress Eva Gouel was dying of tuberculosis and kept it a secret from everyone – including his closest friends. At the time of the affair, Gaby was involved with – and eventually married – American artist Herbert Lespinasse. Gaby lived until she was 82.
The role: A 27 year old “ravishing” woman with a strong, no-nonsense character, Gaby comes from a comfortable family life, and has an allowance that allows her to live independently in Paris. She is already part of the artistic circles of the time and is not in awe of Picasso. Gaby – while happy to dally with Picasso – ultimately rejects him. The role is suitable for ages 25-80.
Director: Louise Carson
Age range: 40–60. Picasso’s first wife and mother of his firstborn child, Paulo. They were married in 1918 and never divorced, so they remained technically married until Olga’s death from cancer in 1955 at the age of 64.
She is a proud, strong, and embittered woman whose sense of injustice has driven her to the edge of insanity. She still maintains her ballerina’s grace and poise, and shows glimpses of vulnerability. This role requires the dexterity to switch emotions between comic sarcasm, vulgarity, anger, and melodrama almost without taking a breath.
Director: Joy Northover
In 1927, Picasso met Marie-Thérèse Walter (1909-1977), a 17-year-old whom Picasso then lived with in a flat across the street from his marital home. Marie-Thérèse and Picasso had a daughter, Maya, on October 5 1935. Marie-Thérèse understandably became jealous when Picasso started to fall in love with Dora Maar in 1936. It was Marie-Thérèse who was the inspiration for many of Picasso’s famous Vollard Suite etchings. Marie-Thérèse died by hanging herself in 1977, four years after Picasso died.
The role: While the monologue is set after Marie-Thérèse’s death, the image of Marie portrayed is that of the ingénue when she first met Picasso. She is a warm, gentle woman. She was bubbly, bright, and cheerful, and is filled with nostalgic longing about her time with Picasso. Stage age late teens or early 20s.
Director: Lorna Mackie
Dora Maar was a French photographer, poet, and painter, best known for being a lover of Picasso over nine years. He called her his private muse who brought back his love of painting.
The role: Dora Maar had a remarkable voice; she was intelligent, thus the voice should mirror her qualities: alert, perceptive, often dryly witty. She can be any age from mid-twenties to mid-thirties. Dora exists, for the purpose of this play on two levels; the early Dora, a sceptical, free-wheeling spirit and independently minded. The other Dora however is the image of herself that Picasso constructed, and which she eventually became: compliant, doormat, hermit. This piece will have 2 women portraying Dora to reflect the different aspects of her nature and experiences. They do not have to look alike and the actresses chosen will have a lot of input into the interpretation of the script.
Director: Christine Ellis
Picasso met Françoise Gilot in France, 1943. She was 21, he was 63. An artist herself, she lived in Picasso’s world. Aware that Dora was “on the way out” Françoise knew what she wanted, and knew what Picasso desired. They lived and worked, loved and fought, together for ten years. Françoise bore Picasso two children but, eventually incensed by his infidelities, left him in 1953. The only one of Picasso’s women still alive, Françoise is a successful artist living in New York and Paris.
The role: Articulate, intelligent, and resolute, Françoise is frank in her praise of Picasso’s genius and in her condemnation of his improprieties. The monologue looks back over her time with him, placing Françoise in her 30s or 40s. She is well-spoken, professional, and unequivocal.
Director: Jarrod Buttery
Remembered by history as ‘the unhappy widow who was to emerge in all her malevolence after the artist’s death’, Jacqueline Roque was Picasso’s last wife . . . or perhaps his final victim. McAvera describes the woman as ‘single-minded’ who was ‘indisputably . . . a good wife to Picasso in the practical sense’. Jacqueline was very much a woman of contrasts – generous to a fault with strangers and yet perceived as miserly and vindictive with Picasso’s children after his death.
Age between 27 and 60, the actress playing Jacqueline should be able to portray a ‘doormat’, under which a feisty, funny and engaging woman hides.
Director: Melissa Merchant