Casting call for new mission: “No Turning Back”
WNET New York Public Media and Electric Funstuff are seeking voice actors for “No Turning Back,” the seventh installment of the award-winning Mission US series of educational games designed to immerse young people in American history, now played by more than 3 million users nationwide. Funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), this new interactive role-playing experience will follow the story of a fictional Black teen, Verna Baker, who must navigate the Jim Crow south in Mississippi in the early 1960s and discover her role in the freedom struggle.
We are currently casting for the following roles:
- Verna Baker (16 years old), the player character. Verna lives with her family in Sunflower County, Mississippi. Her family are tenant farmers and have decided that Verna can live with her uncle, Reverend Curtis Starling, in Greenwood to attend high school. The ideal candidate can sing.
- Lucretia Baker (mid 60s), Verna’s grandmother. The game opens on the grandfather’s funeral and Verna learns more about her grandparents’ involvement in pursuing change and empowerment in the preceding decades. Lucretia moves to Greenwood later in the game and Verna accompanies her as she attempts to register to vote.
- Reverend Curtis Starling (early 40s), Verna’s uncle. The Starling family lives in Greenwood and Curtis is the minister of a small Baptist church and drives a taxi to help make ends meet. Like many Baptist ministers of the time, he is resistant to rocking the boat and seeks to maintain the safety of his church, his parishioners, and his livelihood.
- Mabel Starling (late 30s), Verna’s aunt. She attended NAACP meetings in the past but no longer does out of fear of losing her job as a domestic worker for Judge Chalmers’s household.
- Addie Starling (15), Verna’s cousin who knows everyone around town and is an active member of the church’s youth choir. She is open to the movement, but cautious because of her father’s outlook.
- Fannie Hicks (30): The new youth choir director at the church, Fannie has sung professionally, including as a backup singer to Sam Cooke. She also works at one of the local hair salons. The ideal candidate can sing.
- Robert Atkins (17): The son of Verna’s father’s best friend, Robert and his family moved to Chicago a few years ago. He hasn’t visited since the Emmitt Till murder, but returns for the funeral and corresponds with Verna throughout the game.
- Sam Block (22, historical figure): Sam Block came to Greenwood in the summer of 1962 as a member of SNCC to promote voting rights and Black registration. He persevered through beatings and sabotage to build the movement in Greenwood.
- Medgar Evers (36, historical figure): The Mississippi field secretary for the NAACP, Evers fought for desegregation and voting rights. He was assassinated in 1963.
We will be accepting audio-recorded auditions via email. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information and details on how to submit an audition. Be sure to include your name, email address, and the role(s) you are interested in auditioning for in your message.
Please note the roles for Mission US: “No Turning Back” are not covered by any collective bargaining agreement with any union.