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Open auditions will be held April 16 [FRIDAY] at East Central University for "Te Ata," a musical play based on the life of Mary Thompson "TeAta" Fisher, the famous Chickasaw storyteller and actress. Auditions will be held from 1 to 4 p.m. and 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. in the Chalmers Herman Theatre.

Potential cast members will audition for the playwright, JudyLee Oliva, an ECU alum, and the director, Dr. Christy Stanlake, a theatre professor and director at the United States Naval Academy.

Rehearsals will begin the last week of May.

The play will be presented at ECU July 8-11 and July 15-18 in cooperation with the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma and the Chickasaw Nation. Since USAO hosted the world premiere in August 2006, the production has been revised and all new music was created by native flute composer Jan Seiden.

"Te Ata" has 13 roles and needs actors of all types, ages and ethnic backgrounds. For a description of each of the characters, contact ECU's theatre program.

ECU students will receive college credit for their participation.

A sign-up sheet will be available for both audition sessions. Those who audition will be heard in order of their arrival and should prepare a 60- to 90-second monologue from a play of their choice. They should bring a resume and a recent headshot photo.

Call Backs will be at 9 a.m. April 17 [SATURDAY]. All those called back will read from the script and need to wear clothing easy to move in.

Mary "Te Ata" Fisher performed a one-woman show for more than 70 years, including presentations at the White House and for the king and queen of England. The play covers her life story from a young girl growing up in Oklahoma and her college days at USAO and Carnegie Mellon to her years as an actress in New York, her marriage to Dr. Clyde Fisher, and eventually her return to her home state.

A brief biography of TeAta is available at

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