Kent State Stark hosting open auditions for spring production


The nationally accredited play “26 Pebbles” makes its way to Kent State Stark Theater this spring. 

Brynn Pennal

Kent State Stark is holding open auditions for its final theater production of the school year, “26 Pebbles,” Jan. 30 and Jan. 31 at 6 p.m.

The play is a docudrama based on verbatim transcriptions of Newtown, Connecticut, residents recounting the tragedy of the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.

The script was written by Eric Ulloa, who traveled to Newtown a year after the shooting to talk to parents of students, shop owners and residents about continuing on with life after the tragedy. Ulloa wanted to do something to create a change about an event that deeply affected him, so he decided to use the power of words to make a difference.

“Here is a play that might deal with an issue that is so very important to our country, these mass shootings,” director Brian Newberg said. “But it is about not just the tragedy of the shooting itself, it is about the healing and the aftermath and trying to be a community.”

Four women and two men are needed to play the main roles, and each actor will play multiple characters throughout the performance.  

Auditions are open to the general public, including Kent State students from all campuses and community members. No children are allowed to audition.

Technical production opportunities are also available to the general public including; stage managers, assistants to lighting, set design, sound, costume designers and crew.

 “I am looking for people who care. We are a university… Our mission here is learning. No experience is ever necessary to work on our shows whether it is a technical area or it is acting because we train…” Newberg says.

“It’s hard to say what I hope people will leave with after seeing “26 Pebbles,” Ulloa wrote in a publication for TheatreMania. “It’s tough stuff, I’m not going to lie. But it’s also necessary. We change the channel way too fast in this country and compartmentalize our feelings about a tragedy as soon as we are done seeing with it.”

“26 Pebbles” has been performed nationwide and is publicly recognized by American Theatre and The New York Times.

Rehearsals are set to begin Feb. 26 and will occur five evenings a week until the show’s opening on April 13 at 7:30 p.m. The play will also be April 14, 20 and 21 at 7:30 p.m., and April 15 and 22 at 2 p.m. in the Kent State Stark Theatre.

For more details about the auditioning process, visit

Brynn Pennal is the regional campuses reporter. Contact her at [email protected].