Cher Public

BASTA: Super, tanks for asking

Comfortable clothing that breathes and honors mobility.

The day of the big BASTA audition, Evan found the flier Paul Upczuk had passed him the previous weekend at Aura Bar, flopped down on his bright, trapunto quilt, uncrumpled the lavender paper, and began to read. His jaw slackened. 




Bison Don’t Cry, a new opera in English.
Music by Zack Wedgie.
Libretto and spoken-word divertissements by Romana Clay.

Director: Joey Piccata; Conductor: Robert Richard Spandez; Assistant Director: Candi Boutin; Costume Design: Eugenie Puant; Lighting and Sets: Paul Upczuk; Choreography: Vanessa Spoleto; Wigs by Wigs ‘N Things By Kevin.


Thursday, February 1, 2018, 7:00-11:00pm. Mariachi Playhouse, 1700 Broadway, Manhattan.

BASTA is now casting 12 male supernumeraries for the New York premiere of Zack Wedgie’s Bison Don’t Cry. Production starts rehearsals on Monday, March 5, and will have five performances, opening on Wednesday, May 16, and closing on Sunday, May 20.


Story takes place in the scenic South Dakota prairie. Adapted from Romana Clay’s Sapphonic Scroll-winning graphic novel of the same name, Bison Don’t Cry is both a moving, sensual tribute to amor prohibido among men, and a sharp political indictment of homophobia on the open plain.

While at first perturbed by the arrival of his sassy new cowhand Atkins Brady, surly buffalo herder Barrett Della Casa soon learns the thrill of tending meat with a partner. But will the two ever find free love? Two of the great singing actors of our time, Galen Garland and Victor Montclare, bless this premiere with their clarion countertenors. R. R. Spandez conducts the serene, tempestuous Wedgie score.

Supernumeraries in Bison will play a variety of roles, from townsmen to buffalo boys to male nurses to Mormon family members to jolly bandits to avatars of the Greek god Eros. Those auditioning should be strapping and pliable; comfortable with leaping over wide escarpments; lying still for deathly long durations; crouching in dank, claustrophobic contexts; and getting sprayed with non-carcinogenic white slime. Experience in knife fighting and flame-throwing is encouraged but not required.

Supers will wear a variety of evocative costumes that hug the physique, or appear nude. Acting or other theatrical experience is advantageous but not required for this production. Unlike other titles in the 2018 BASTA season, simulating Reduplicative Paramnesia is not a requirement for this show.

Only male, male-transitioning, and exceedingly handsome female candidates will be considered. Supers must stand no taller than six feet. Lissome or heroic build is preferable but not required.

Rehearsals for Bison commence March 5 and may be held after 8pm Monday through Friday, at at any time on weekends. Extras will be paid for all rehearsals and performances at a rate of $8 per rehearsal hour and $30 per performance. There is no payment for the audition itself.

Does this sound like you? For open call, please visit the Mariachi Playhouse at 7pm sharp on Thursday, February 1. Bring picture (only front face please, no body shots or “artistic” portfolios) and resume.


Comfortable clothing that breathes and honors mobility.

Please note that interested candidates sporting any of the following will be subject to immediate removal from the premises:

  • Toe Socks or Hand Muffs
  • Sleeveless Hoodies
  • Cummerbunds or Comparable Evening Superfluity
  • Cromwell Shoes, Chopines, or Annabelles
  • Capri Sweatpants
  • Hobble Skirts
  • Codpieces or Ruff Collars
  • Eye warmers by Tensai Bakabon
  • White Sleeveless Undershirts (“Wife Beaters”)
  • Fleece Jumpsuits
  • Cooling Pants
  • Wearable Sleeping Bags
  • Denim Detachable Jeans
  • Distressed Capes
  • Thneeds
  • Thigh Wear With Baubles
  • Morris Bellpads, Baldrics, or Sashes
  • Armadillo Pinet Heels
  • Anything reminiscent of Lordosis Behavior and no Hosiery of High Denier (s’il vous plaît)

If you must wear a phone case fanny pack, please ensure it is composed entirely of crinoline or non-biodegradable materials.

Must be 18 years or older to try out. Any offer of employment is contingent upon the ability to provide documentation of the right to work in the United States.

Questions? Email

Evan sighed, then worriedly surveyed the contents of his tank closet. He might have to rethink his audition attire.

Illustration by Ben A. Cohen


  • Camille

    Romana Clay…jeez..why couldn’t I have thunk
    of that name afore ye?

    Could you perhaps provide a glossary?

    BASTA’s list of abbigliamento proibito has sent me on a merry chase and still am not quite through separating the chaff. I had utterly forgotten about chopines, for example. Further, I am giving BASTA a SO for outlawing sleeveless hoodies, an abomination in the eyes of Edith Head.

    • Armerjacquino

      Take my life, but don’t take away my sleeveless hoodies.

      • Camille

        How DAST you!! Only mad dogs, NOT Englishmen would sport those thangs!

        • Armerjacquino

          Perfect for not-quite t-shirt weather. Don’t get me started on my dungaree shorts…

          (Enjoying the nod to Big Gay Al in the headline, btw)

          • Camille

            So long as you don’t don detachable denim, sigh, I’ll cut you some slack on the dungaree cut-offs but do NOT wear those when presented at Buckingham Palace, PLEASE!

            • Armerjacquino

              No chance there, unless it becomes a really nice restaurant in the post-royalist utopia.

            • Camille

              Oh c’mon, how about when you become SIR ArmerJacquino for distinguished services to British drama— someday??? If Elton John can be a SIR, sure you can too!

              Do you think Gary Oldman will finally win his Oscar? I hope so!

              Here is Big Gay Al in a variety of BASTA prohibitions:


            • Armerjacquino

              Nope, no knighthood for me! Wouldn’t even take an MBE. The honours system is… not a thing I like, let’s leave it there.

              I’ve not seen DARKEST HOUR but I do know Oscar night will be a very big one for young Alfie Oldman, what with both of his parents up for the big ones (but only one of them likely to win).

            • Camille

              Who is young Alfie and who is his Mom?

              You should emigrate and come to New Yawk, armer!! You are a virtual Yank, you are! Oooooooh, just now remembered the outrageous orange ogre of Fifth Avenue. Nope, stay where you are.

              I’d like your, or any British person’s input on DARKEST HOUR, as I had No Idea if Sir Winston was such a lively 65 year old as portrayed therein, and since I don’t know your history I was at quite a loss as to what was fact and what, fiction.

              Hoping he shall win his Oscar, if not especially for his prosthetic merry skip and jig as Sir Winston, but for his truly magnificent Dracula and wonderful Beethoven. Don’t know about his Sid Vicious—but for one actor to incarnate all these very distinct and disparate personalities over the range of thirty plus years is a fairly spectacular accomplishment.

            • Armerjacquino

              ‘Young Alfie’ is actually around 30 now. He’s the son of Oldman and Lesley Manville, who’s up for best actress.

              Oldman is a terrific actor, and probably due an Oscar. I doubt I’ll see DARKEST HOUR, though, to be honest: I know too much about Churchill to buy into the ‘wasn’t-he-wonderful?’ narrative.

            • Camille

              Aha! I kind of figured on that in any case. Yes, I hope he gets it for
              the hours he must have spent in makeup alone.

              Thanks for your valuable input, armer. I can always depend on you for the theatrical and stage news and Gundula Janowitz, and of whom I always think, Every Single Time I Ever Hear The First Flower Maiden. She being the most impossibly perfectly beautiful one of them all, EVER!

          • Our Own JJ

            As we say, “jorts”

    • NineDragonSpot

      “Romana Clay” ostensibly created by one Eugene Kaplan of Great Neck, Long Island and subsequently disseminated by William Safire on tax day, 1984. Lynne Cheney gave the joke greater currency with her 1988 political satire “Body Politic”, and from there it took root among blogs and free kindle books. No such thing as a new joke, as folk wisdom has it.

      • Camille

        Master m.c.!

        She’s now apparently moved on from Long Island to upstate New Yawk:

        “Cleigh” is the plural used when there is a clot of Clay(s).

        Mucho spasibo!!!

        • NineDragonSpot

          I like your Romana clay best of all, Camille.

          • Camille

            Bol’Shoye Spasibo!

            m.c. —-
            I just saw a short film last night which raised the hair on my head —- “Tokyo Idols” — !!!

            I had no idea what was going on over there with them ‘anime’ and them thar’ ‘idols’.
            And here I thought that “AMERICAN IDOL” was bad enuf!!!!! Although some good has come out of it, Jennifer Hudson, at least.

  • Capri Sweatpants are a thing?