Hear Me Now: Audition Monologues for Actors of Colour

edited by Titi Dawudu

HEAR ME NOW is a unique collection of over 80 original audition pieces written by and for actors of colour. Published by Oberon Books, the anthology has been edited by Titilola Dawudu in partnership with Tamasha, with a foreword by Noma Dumezweni.

Conceived in 2016 by our Tamasha Playwrights in collaboration with writer-producer Titi Dawudu, HEAR ME NOW brought together playwrights and actors in creative workshops to generate better audition material than the stereotypical characters currently on offer. In each workshop, an actor developed a new character they knew they could play, but would never get seen for. The writers would then write a 3-minute speech in the voice of that character.

After an initial pilot with the National Youth Theatre in 2016, Titi secured funding to run the project with five more young people’s companies in 2017. Meanwhile, two further iterations took place through the Tamasha Developing Artists network.

From this simple idea some truly wonderful characters emerged: from a cross-dressing imam, to the first black Prime Minister, to a devout Christian hit woman. It confirmed our hunch that if we can empower actors of colour with powerful, fresh, funny, stereotype-busting audition material, we could increase their chances of being considered for roles outside of those they are usually offered. In time, this might change the nature of the representations of diverse communities we see on our stages and screens.

More than 80 of these speeches are contained in this anthology available to students and professional actors across the UK and beyond. The book was officially launched at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in November 2018.

“Not a terrorist again!: Typecast actors applaud manual to boost role diversity” – read a feature in The Observer