Kirkwood Theatre Guild
Auditions - Sunday, August 20, Noon until 10 pm and Monday, August 21, 6 pm until 10 pm.
Callbacks will be on Wednesday and Thursday, August 23 and 24th, 7 pm until 10 pm.
GOOD PEOPLE Director Notes and Character Descriptions:
“Welcome to Southie, a Boston neighborhood where a night on the town means a few rounds of bingo, where this month's paycheck covers last month’s bills, and where Margie Walsh has just been let go from yet another job. Facing eviction and scrambling to catch a break, Margie thinks an old fling who has made it out of Southie might be her ticket to a fresh new start. But is this apparently self-made man secure enough to face his humble beginnings? Margie is about to risk what little she has left to find out. With his signature humorous glow, Lindsay-Abaire explores the struggles, shifting loyalties and unshakeable hopes that come with having next to nothing in America.” (from Samuel French)
"Wonderful…this isn't a manipulative tear-jerker or a simplistic diatribe. Good People is poignant, brave and almost subversive in its focus on what it really means to be down on your luck." —NY Post.
Margie (“Mar-Gee”): female, Caucasian, about 50 years old. Out of work, single parent struggling to make ends meet. She’s funny, loyal, persistent, and wants very much for people to like her. At the same time she can be insecure and lash out. A very complex character with huge range. Slight Boston accent.
Mike: male, Caucasian, about 50 years old. Raised in Southie, he got an Ivy League education and is now a doctor. Married to Kate. He talks a lot about his Southie background yet hasn’t kept in touch with anyone from his past.
Kate: female, African-American, early 30s. A professor of English Literature at Boston University who is married to Mike. Smart, socially graceful, and making sacrifices of her own.
Jeannie: female, Caucasian, about 50 years old. Margie’s best friend and confidante, nicknamed the “Mouthie from Southie” due to her tendency to speak her mind. Slight Boston accent.
Dottie: female, Caucasian, 60s. Margie’s landlord and sometimes unreliable babysitter. She’s a businesswoman, a bit of a gossip, and sometimes struggles to keep up with the conversation. Slight Boston accent.
Stevie: male, Caucasian, mid/late 20s. Margie’s manager at the Dollar Store and a member of the Southie community. Generally a nice guy who takes a lot of grief from the other characters, particularly because he likes going to Bingo. Slight Boston accent.
Voice of Priest: male, any ethnicity, any age. Slight Boston accent desirable but not required. (This is an offstage-only role. The voice of the Priest calls bingo in two scenes. No need to memorize lines, and this actor will be called to fewer rehearsals.)
One of the marks of a great play is that you continue thinking about it long after it ends. That was the experience I had when I read Good People. I found myself thinking back on my life and career path, asking whether I might be living in a “bubble” or failing to fully recognize the circumstances that worked to my benefit along the way. I would place my bet that audiences will have the same response. This script deals with complex questions and “lives in” that complexity, and as a result, it is incredibly engaging. Although the questions raised are serious, the show also has a lot of humor.
The concept for this production is that the characters and story will be presented with authenticity and honesty. These should feel like real people in real (but dramatic) circumstances. Every single character in this play has both personality strengths and personality flaws, so we will be working on bringing out all of those complexities. We will also be focusing on subtext. There are many times when the characters aren’t saying exactly what they mean, yet that meaning still needs to come across. We are going to have a lot of fun diving into the depths of these scenes! In terms of design, since social class is such an important part of the story, it will be a focus for both costumes and set. The set design includes concepts of access, economic segregation, and the idea that the characters live in what feel like “different worlds” depending on their socio-economic status. We’re going to minimize time spent on scene changes and make sure we keep the momentum both during and between the scenes. I hope you’ll all consider coming out to audition for the show – we’ll work hard, have fun, and put on a fantastic production!
GOOD PEOPLE SIDES:
NOTE: Anyone auditioning for Margie, Dottie, or Jeannie should read Margie's lines for the audition
RUBY SUNRISE Director Notes and Character Descriptions:
NOTE: Part One=1927, Part Two=1952
RUBY/ELIZABETH HUNTER: Late teens. Any race/ethnicity. Part One, rural girl, mechanical and technical genius, lots of determination, few social skills. Part Two, up-and-coming serious actress.
HENRY/PAUL BENJAMIN: Late teens, early twenties. Any race/ethnicity. Part One, earnest college boy, agriculture student, well-meaning. Part Two, earnest young actor, well-meaning.
LOIS/ETHEL REED: Forties to sixties. Any race or ethnicity. Part One, rural woman getting by on boarders, life has treated her harshly, alcoholic. Part Two, noted actress, tough, but used to compromise.
LULU: Twenties or thirties. Any race or ethnicity. Part Two only, TV studio production girl, lots of determination and ingenuity.
TAD ROSE: Twenties or thirties (older than Lulu). Any race or ethnicity. Part Two only, TV writer, real talent but not naturally inclined towards integrity.
MARTIN MARCUS: Forties to sixties. Any race or ethnicity. Part Two only, TV producer, a seasoned pro and company man.
SUZIE TYRONE: Late teens to twenties. Part Two only, popular actress whose primary resume item is looking good wet, not very smart, but hidden talent.
After hearing the premise of The Ruby Sunrise, lots of people have asked me if it’s based on a true story. It’s a more complicated question than it sounds. We don’t know of a young woman on the outskirts of Indiana who, but for a quirk of fate, would have invented the first working television, in spite of the naysayers. But we know for sure that there are countless young women like Ruby whose potential contributions to our world never happened due to the obstacles placed in their way and whose stories we may never know. For these young women, and for most of the characters in this play, obstacles don’t just get in their way, but knock them backwards. The meat of the story is not in the race to invent the television or the fight to have the real story told, but in looking at how the characters meet their obstacles. Do they get up and keep fighting? Do they redirect their efforts? Or do they give up? The decision they make is what defines their character and their lives. I am looking for actors who can tap into the spirit of these characters and bring them to life on stage. No one in this play is who they appear to be at first glance, and we will be filling them out into multilayered individuals, full of hopes, dreams, tenacity, and spirit.
RUBY SUNRISE SIDES:
LEND ME A TENOR Director Notes and Character Descriptions:
Playwright Ken Ludwig has this synopsis on his website, which is the best one I’ve read:
Winner of 3 Tony Awards and 4 Drama Desk Awards, Lend Me A Tenor is set in September 1934. Saunders, the general manager of the Cleveland Grand Opera Company, is primed to welcome world famous, Tito Merelli, Il Stupendo, the greatest tenor of his generation, to appear for one night only as Otello. The star arrives late and, through a hilarious series of mishaps, is given a double dose of tranquilizers and passes out. His pulse is so low that Saunders and his assistant Max believe he’s dead. In a frantic attempt to salvage the evening, Saunders persuades Max to get into Merelli's Otello costume and fool the audience into thinking he's Il Stupendo. Max succeeds admirably, but Merelli comes to and gets into his other costume ready to perform. Now two Otellos are running around in costume and two women are running around in lingerie, each thinking she is with Il Stupendo. A sensation on Broadway and in London's West End, this madcap, screwball comedy is guaranteed to leave audiences teary-eyed with laughter.
Director’s Preliminary Vision for Lend Me a Tenor:
Director’s Vision of the Show:
In more than my humble estimation, Ken Ludwig’s Lend Me a Tenor is one of the funniest comedies of the 20th Century. Part commedia dell’arte, part Shakespearian comedy, part old-fashioned melodrama, this outrageous door-slamming farce, like a great I LOVE LUCY plot, should be rooted in a reality based on its 8 fun characters that have a high-stake investment in this one afternoon/evening of the Cleveland Grand Opera Company’s 1934 gala opening of Otello.
I think it’s important that each character be distinct and much more than a comic stereotype: each actor must determine why this particular evening and having a face-to-face meeting with Tito Merelli is so very important to them on an operatic Shakespearian scale. Though this is not a musical and the playwright cautions that the show requires actors who sing, not singers who can’t act, I’m looking for three tenors, all three actors with extraordinary comedic timing capable of physical shtick– two (Tito and Max) must convince me and thus the audience that they can sing like a world-class opera star though only for a few measures. The Bellhop, who can easily become a scene stealer, just has to sound like an opera aficionado. Saunders does not sing, but he must possess the same comic ability. The four distinct ladies must also possess great presence and uninhibited comedic sensibility-two (Maggie and Diana) run about in their undies and dive onto sofas and beds with abandon. Tito and Maria Merelli, both demonstratively effusive in their speech and mannerisms, have Italian accents, which Ludwig writes into the dialogue. The ageless Julia is the most static character, but she, too, must turn loose and run in beautiful 1930’s costumes with the others. Obviously all actors must possess physical stamina and precision timing within the complex unit set to pull off the fast pace of this show while always keeping it intelligible to the audience.
Setting: The action takes place on a Saturday in September, 1934, in Cleveland, Ohio. The audience first sees an elegant hotel suite consisting of two rooms with a connecting door and five other doors leading to a bedroom closet, a bathroom and the hallway; a sitting room hallway door and the kitchen. I will have complete access to the set design since I will be wearing that hat as well. That way even at early rehearsals we will immediately understand the nuances of the set (which almost becomes a character itself) that provides the vehicle that drives the action of the show.
Director’s Objective: Both philosophers and physicians agree, “Laughter is the best medicine,” and I intend for our collaborative rehearsals and performances to provide palliative medicine for all from the outset of rehearsals to the final manic curtain call that recaps the show in 90 seconds. When the madcap mayhem based on a series of mistakes begins, it should snowball into a landslide of laughter. If we do it right, and our rehearsals will be designed to do it right, the audience will smile ‘til they giggle, giggle ‘til they laugh, laugh out loud ‘til they double over, and belly laugh ‘til tears of joy flow . . . if we do it right. Doing it right requires a brilliant cast of 8! Please audition!
Saunders: Middle-aged General Manager of the Cleveland Grand Opera Company who becomes more and more apoplectic throughout the show
Max: Assistant to Saunders, who says Max is the “company’s very own factótum, gopher and all-purpose dogsbody.” He’s in love with Saunders’ daughter Maggie and singing opera, which he does
Maggie: Saunders’ somewhat naïve 20-something looking daughter, who’s infatuated with Tito Merelli, and wants a fling before settling for Max
Tito Merelli: An ageless world-famous tenor, known also to his fans as Il Stupendo, also known for his womanizing; must be convincing as a world-class Italian opera singer
Maria: Tito’s long-suffering, jealous wife; playwright Ken Ludwig says she’s the Sophia Loren type
Bellhop: Singing bellhop and devoted fan of Tito Merelli-any age, size, and singing ability
Julia: Overbearing Chairman of the Opera Guild, a matron who’s used to getting her own way,
Diana: Sexy soprano who sees a relationship with Tito as a means to furthering her career
LEND ME A TENOR SIDES: