Reserve FREE Seats for ZAREPHATH Musical Opening Friday at Columbia

Click Here to Reserve FREE Seats

The time has come! Zarephath, A Gospel & Jazz Infused Musical opens this Friday August 11th at 7PM at Columbia University Schapiro Theatre. Click here for other show times and locations. Seats are going fast, but it’s not too late to get yours. Make your FREE reservation at the link above. This is the perfect outing for you and your family, church group, and friends. Enjoy the spiritually uplifting story of the widow who shared her last meal with the prophet Elijah and the miracle that follows — a story of how God can take what little you have and bless it into abundance with a little faith from you. 

Columbia University Schapiro Theatre is located in Schapiro Hall at 605 W. 115th Street, New York, NY 10025. Click here for directions. See you at the show!

ZAREPHATH in the Press

Broadway World:

All Christian News 

Your Black World:



(Video) Listen to How Much My ZAREPHATH Cast Rocks!!!!

I just have to share this amazing moment from last week’s ZAREPHATH rehearsal with you. In this video, you will see some of the cast members of my summer musical put together an AWESOME vocal beat…ON THE FLY! I still can’t believe this happened, and I honestly can’t stop listening to it. All I know is that if these amazing actors can create vocal fabulousness for something as simple as an exercise, the actual show is going to be mind-blowing. Details for the show are below. Mark your calendars, invite your friends, tell strangers, and I’ll see you there!


Columbia University Schapiro Theatre
F r e e   A d m i s s i o n  
August 11, 2017 – 7PM
August 12, 2017 – 12PM
A showstopping, dance-filled, gospel and jazz infused musical based on the Bible story of the widow woman who shared her last meal with the prophet Elijah. ZAREPHATH is written and directed by Ayvaunn Penn under the tutelage of two-time Pulitzer Prize Winner Lynn Nottage & Tony Award Winner David Henry Hwang. Thrilling to perform, enthralling to listen to, and exciting to watch, this ball of summer fun will also be performed in various public spaces in NYC. To receive automatic updates on where the show will appear next, follow this blog by entering your email address at the bottom of this webpage.

Auditions for “Zarephath,” A Gospel-Jazz Fusion Musical

Hey fam!

Auditions for my summer musical are around the corner. Drum roll please. Ladies and gentlemen! I present to you! ZAREPHATH!  Click here for details about auditions taking place June 5-6, 2017 and how to register.

I have written — and will direct — this piece under the tutelage of Pulitzer Prize Winner Lynn Nottage & Tony Award Winner David Henry Hwang. ZAREPHATH is a showstopping dance-filled musical based on the Bible story of the widow woman who shared her last meal with the prophet Elijah. Thrilling to perform, enthralling to listen to, and exciting to watch, this ball of summer fun will be performed in various public spaces in NYC with at least one performance at Columbia University.

Hope to see you at auditions, my loves. Share this opportunity with your friends and family, too. We’re looking for a cast of 20-30, so don’t worry. There’s room for everyone. And if you’re not an actor, I’ll see you at the show in August 2017. Stay tuned for show dates, locations, and times to be announce via


Until next time,

Ayvaunn Penn

Follow: @PennSpeaks

My Interview with Pulitzer Prize Winner Lynn Nottage on Broadway Debut

Lynn Nottage is making her Broadway debut with her latest play SWEAT. She’s been in the theatre game for many years with hits such as Ruined (Pulitzer Prize), Fabulation, and Intimate Apparel (starring Viola Davis), but now she is adding yet another jewel to her playwright crown — The Great White Way aka Broadway. This is already exciting news, but it’s extra exciting because Nottage is my professor at Columbia University. What a blessing it is to be one of her students at this thrilling time in her career. Check out my interview with this amazing playwright at 42nd Street Studio by watching the video below.

SWEAT opens March 26, 2017 at Studio 54, but you can catch preview tickets now. Support the work of this talented artist by purchasing your tickets today! You can do so at

Until next time,

Ayvaunn Penn


Auditions for KING DAVID, the Poetry “Musical”

Seeking versatile performers with a passion for poetry, musicality, movement and ensemble work. Performers with backgrounds in poetry, dance, gymnastics, and stage combat are strongly encouraged to audition. Details about roles, important dates, and audition steps are below in the casting notice.

KING DAVID, lauded by theatre legends Anne Bogart and David Henry Hwang, has taken on exciting transformations in form and content since the original October 2016 production at Columbia University. Imagine a dance-filled “musical” where people are the instruments, poetry is the music, and the human body serves as the building blocks of the set. That is what writer/director Ayvaunn Penn has created with this piece. It is visually stunning and an absolute ball to perform.

This play explores the tragedy that befalls King David’s family in a way he never expects when his son, Amnon, rapes his beloved young daughter, Tamar. Will David have the strength to tell his daughter that his past actions are the cause of her pain? Through contemporary free verse poetry and dance we dive into David’s mind revisiting the mental battle fields of his past where the fate of his daughter is determined.


    • Friday, December 9, 2016
    • Tuesday, December 13, 2016
    • Thursday, December 15, 2016 (Callbacks)
    • 8:30AM — 3:40PM each day at
    • Riverside Church 490 Riverside Dr., New York, NY 10027, Room 12T
    • Auditions will be scheduled in 10 minute slots
    • Email Director Ayvaunn Penn at:
      • PennSpeaks [at] gmail [dot] com
    • In the subject line write: “Audition, King David”
    • Specify which ROLE you are auditioning for
    • Specify which audition DAY(s) and TIME(s) you are available for
    • Attach PDF of your Headshot
    • Attach PDF of your Resume
    • NOTE: Auditions will be filmed
  • CHARACTER BREAKDOWN: All roles include ensemble work
    • King David – Male. 18-50. King of Israel; Wrestles, often, with his divided conscience — literally; Stage combat skills a plus
    • David’s Good Conscience — Male. 18-50. The physical manifestation of King David’s good inner voice; Always at odds with the bad half of King David’s conscience; Stage combat experience a plus
    • David’s Bad Conscience — Male. 18-50. King David’s naughty inner voice; Always at odds with the good side of King David’s conscience; Stage combat experience a plus
    • Bathsheba – Female. 18-35. The married woman King David falls for and ultimately rapes; Stage combat experience and moderate singing ability a plus
    • Ziba – Female. 40-50. Head of the palace staff; Full of wisdom; The only person brave enough to challenge King David’s choices and tell him when he’s wrong
    • Jezreel – Male. 18-50. Faithful servant to King David — maybe too faithful
    • Tamar – Female. 18-20. Daughter of King David; Full blood sister of Absalom; Raped by her half-brother, Amnon; Experience in stage combat a plus
    • Amnon – Male. 18-30. King David’s son; Half-brother of Tamar and Absalom; Rapes Tamar; Experience in stage combat a plus
    • Absalom – Male. 18-30. Son of King David; Full blood brother of Tamar and half-brother of Amnon; Wants to keep Tamar’s rape a secret
    • Nathan – Male. 30-50. The prophet who foretells King David’s punishment for his actions
    • Ensemble – Males & Females. 18-50. Always actively functioning as equal parts narrator, musical underscore (with poetry & bodily percussion), dance, scenic elements, and soundscape. Requires basic rhythm and the ability to follow simple choreography and carry a tune (if you can hum “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” you’re good).
      • Individuals interested in auditioning for ENSEMBLE ONLY should be athletic and able to maintain high energy and rhythm. Above average vocal, dance, and gymnastics skills are a plus.
    • Arrive 10 min. early for your audition time to
      1. Fill out paper work
        • Have a list of any conflicts you may have during January 3 – March 12, 2017. If you are cast, any conflicts you fail to disclose in advance will not be excused.
      2. Turn in a printed copy of your headshot/resume
      3. Receive an audition number and sides
    • Do not prepare a monologue
    • This is a cold read audition
    • Come prepared to experiment and play
    • Start the week of January 1, 2017 (post-holiday)
    • End March 6, 2017 (opening night)
    • Rehearsals will take place 4 times a week
      • 3 weekdays 6-9PM
      • 1 weekend day 10AM-2PM.
      • For dates prior to January 17, 2017, weekday rehearsals will take place before 5PM
    • All rehearsals will be held in the area around Columbia University.
    • Dates and times may change due to creative team schedules and/or rehearsal space availability.
    • March 6-12, 2017
    • Show times TBA
    • Columbia University Schapiro Studio