Ellis Island Actor Auditions

Application Process

The Civic Symphony of Green Bay is seeking seven actors for our April 16, 2023 performance of Peter Boyer’s Ellis Island: The Dream of America. Video audition applications are currently being accepted and will be reviewed on an ongoing basis until all seven roles are cast. Actors of all abilities, experiences, and ethnicities are invited to audition. As of March 15, 2023, all roles are filled. Tickets are on sale at https://gbcivic.org/events/april-coming-to-america/.

About the Work

Ellis Island: The Dream of America celebrates the historic American immigrant experience and the American dream. The 45-minute work is a multimedia masterpiece combining music played by the orchestra, actors reading the words of actual American immigrants, and projected historical images from the Ellis Island archives. The spoken texts for the work come from the Ellis Island Oral History Project, an historic collection of interviews with actual immigrants about their experiences emigrating to America. The work concludes with a reading of the Emma Lazarus poem The New Colossus (“Give me your tired, your poor…”), providing an emotionally powerful ending to this celebration of our nation of immigrants. Listen to the work at: https://propulsivemusic.com/work/concert-music/ellis-island-the-dream-of-america/listen/

Roles / Characters

Seven actors (four female, three male)—one to read each of the seven immigrant stories, monologues delivered in the first person with musical underscoring. Preference will be given to actors who use accents to add a convincing quality to the readings, however, intelligibility of the texts is more important than “authentic” or “thick” accents.

Four female roles:

  1. Words of Helen Cohen, emigrated from Poland in 1920 at age 20
  2. Words of Lillian Galletta, emigrated from Italy in 1928 at age 4
  3. Words of Helen Rosenthal, emigrated from Belgium in 1940 at age 30
  4. Words of Katherine Beychok, emigrated from Russia in 1910 at age 10

Three male roles:

  1. Words of James Apanomith, emigrated from Greece in 1911 at age 16
  2. Words of Lazarus Salamon, emigrated from Hungary in 1920 at age 16
  3. Words of Manny Steen, emigrated from Ireland in 1925 at age 19

Rehearsal / Performance Dates

Actors should plan to be available for rehearsals on the following dates. Specific rehearsal timing can be adjusted to accommodate individual actor scheduling conflicts, but all actors MUST be available for the dress rehearsal and touch-up at St. Norbert College. 

Rehearsals (must be available for at least one):
Thursday, March 23, 2023 (7:00-9:30 pm)
Thursday, March 30, 2023 (7:00-9:30 pm)
Thursday, April 13, 2023 (7:00-9:30 pm)
Ashwaubenon High School Band Room, Door 1E
2391 S Ridge Rd, Green Bay, WI

Dress Rehearsal (required):
Saturday, April 15, 2023 (2:00-4:30 pm)
Walter Theatre at St. Norbert College
315 Third Street, De Pere, WI

Concert Day (required):
Sunday, April 16, 2023 (Touch-up 12:30-2:00 pm, Concert 3:00 pm)
Walter Theatre at St. Norbert College
315 Third Street, De Pere, WI

How to Apply

Applicants should prepare a video audition utilizing scripts supplied in the Ellis Island Actor Audition Packet. Wearing period clothing or using props is allowed, although not required. Your video may contain multiple readings if you wish to be considered for more than one role. All applicants should also read the portion of the script with the Emma Lazarus poem. Please provide the URL of your video audition in the application form below.

Download Packet


Online Application

As of March 15, 2023, all roles are filled. Tickets are on sale at https://gbcivic.org/events/april-coming-to-america/.


Please review the Ellis Island Actor Audition Packet for more details, including video guidelines and tips. All applicants will be contacted at the conclusion of the review process. If you have any questions or need to update your application, please contact the Civic Symphony of Green Bay at 920-432-4676 or info@gbcivic.org.

About the Symphony

Founded in 1995, the Civic Symphony of Green Bay is a community of musicians committed to sustaining the wonder and beauty of symphonic music through live performances and artistic collaborations. Volunteer musicians of all ages play in the Civic Symphony of Green Bay. They are professional musicians and amateurs from all walks of life, drawn together by the love of great symphonic music and the desire to share it with others. Seong-Kyung Graham has been the conductor and artistic director of the orchestra since 2005.

Spread the Word

Help us spread the word about our auditions. Download and print the Ellis Island “Actors Needed” Poster to hang up at your location or share with someone you think would be perfect for a role!

Download Poster