Synopsis: Hamlet‘s a challenge for any actor, but when Jessica is cast as the titular character in a New York production, it sends her into an existential tailspin. It doesn’t help that her acting coach is borderline abusive, or that every Starbucks barista with an MFA tells her she’s too young for the role. Or that she’s somehow managed to make Sir Patrick Stewart her nemesis. Not to mention the fact that she’s a woman. How can Jessica figure out “to be or not to be,” when she can’t even figure out herself? Featuring an all-female cast performing multiple roles, Woman Playing Hamlet is rip-roaring fun for Shakespeare fans and haters alike.
Cast: 4 f (4-19 actors possible: 4-19 f)
JESSICA, late 20’s – an actress, attractive, quirky, smart
GWEN, female, an acting coach
HUMANITIES PROFESSOR, male, overconfident
GHOST, male, Hamlet’s father
STARBUCKS ACTRESS, female, works at Starbucks
PRIEST, male, Catholic, celibate
BICYCLE MESSENGER, male, streetwise and hip
EMILY OSTERGAARD, female, Jessica’s computer-geek niece BARFLY, female, alcoholic
HOME SHOPPING NETWORK MODEL, female, bubbly ROSY, female, a young soap-opera starlet
LORD DERBY, male, English Shakespeare scholar
MINNESOTA MOTHER, female, Jessica’s mother
MALE PSYCHIATRIST, male, a Jewish Freudian psychiatrist
BARTENDER, male, rough, tough, and tattooed
HOME SHOPPING NETWORK HOSTESS, female, bubbly GILDA, female, grande dame soap-opera star and stroke victim
GRAVEDIGGER, male, a Cockney pun-master
STAGE MANAGER, female
An Average British Evening – A Musical
Written by Lain Walls
Directed by Cameron & Lain Walls
July 28 – 31, 2022
Thursdays – Saturdays at 7:30 PM
Saturdays & Sundays at 2:00 PM
Auditions: May 23 & 24, 2022
Publisher: [Lain Walls]
Synopsis: In this unpredictable, fluid, British musical written by Americans, James Manner, a wealthy English playboy and heir to a new estate, hosts a singles mixer for the most wealthy folks in the fictional 1920-something town of Jarrenhearst, England. James, along with his trusty butler, Ernest Bartlett, introduces the audience (also framed as guests to the party) to the other guests: Archibald McDonald, a silly man and James’s first boss and old friend; Ashton Foster, a flamboyant bachelor and the most sought after man in Jarrenhaerst; Marion Bailey, a prolific mystery writer; her brilliant son Edward; Scarlett, a woman once married to James’s uncle before his untimely death; and four volunteers from the audience! However, when one of the audience volunteers is found dead, the group bands together to figure out who is responsible. Enter Officer Skylar Gill, a walking parody of gentleman detective and police officer tropes. Gill questions the guests and tries to solve the mystery, but throughout the night, more guests continue to drop dead. The chaos of the night all culminates in a climax where the mystery gets solved, although the events of the show change every performance, leading to a story that’s a little different every night!
Cast: (6m, 2f)
JAMES Manner—Eccentric everyman and warm host of the night. Yorkshire-style
Ashton FOSTER—Wealthy American playboy. Speaks with a modern General American accent; the 20th century slang is intended to sound slightly uncomfortable coming from a flamboyant man. Actor also plays Officer #2.
MARION Bailey—Gentle, cocky, and a little overbearing. A young, self-made woman raising her 12 year old son all alone (with her servants, cooks, and maids, of course) and an accomplished mystery writer. Speaks as if her mind is always preoccupied with something else. Actor also plays Officer #1.
EDWARD Bailey—Short and unassuming, with a little flair for the dramatic. Marion’s brilliant son. Speaks with sophistication. Actor also plays Newsboy #1.
ARCHIBALD McDonald—Liberal and people-oriented. Old wealthy man and mentor of sorts to Manner. Cockney. Actor also plays Newsboy #3.
Scarlett STEVENSON—A snide and dramatic widow who married into her wealth. James’s step-aunt. Actor also plays Newsboy #2 and Dictionary.
Officer Skylar GILL—Wears a long beard. Offbeat but self-serious. An officer that comes to investigate the strange occurrences at Autumnburn Manor. Intended to be played by a female actress.
Ernest BARTLETT—Well-kept and sophisticated in appearance. Loyal, and a man of few words. James’s butler and best friend who is able to captivate the audience and lead the volunteers. Actor also plays Matthew Manner’s Corpse.
The Glass Menagerie
Written by Tennesse Williams
Directed by Michael Berkman
September 1 – 4, 2022
Thursdays – Saturdays at 7:30 PM
Saturdays & Sundays at 2:00 PM
Auditions: May 9 & 10
Synopsis: Amanda Wingfield, a faded Southern belle of middle age, shares a dingy St. Louis apartment with her son Tom, in his early 20s, and his slightly older sister, Laura. Amanda worries especially about the future of Laura, a young woman with a limp and a tremulous insecurity about the outside world. Tom works in a shoe warehouse doing his best to support the family, and he chafes under the banality and boredom of everyday life. Amanda is obsessed with finding a suitor for Laura, whose crippling shyness has led her to drop out of both high school and a subsequent secretarial course, and who spends much of her time polishing and arranging her collection of little glass animals. Pressured by his mother to help find a caller for Laura, Tom invites Jim, an acquaintance from work, home for dinner. The delighted Amanda spruces up the apartment, prepares a special dinner, and converses coquettishly with Jim, almost reliving her youth when she had an abundance of suitors calling on her. Laura discovers that Jim is the boy she was attracted to in high school and has often thought of since, though the relationship was little more than teasing acquaintanceship. After dinner, Jim and Laura are left alone by candlelight in the living room, waiting for the electricity to be restored. As the evening progresses, Jim recognizes Laura’s feelings of inferiority and encourages her to think better of herself. He and Laura share a quiet dance, in which he accidentally brushes against her glass menagerie, knocking a glass unicorn to the floor and breaking off its horn. Jim then tells Laura that he is engaged to be married, Laura asks him to take the broken unicorn as a gift and he then leaves. When Amanda learns that Jim is to be married, she turns her anger upon Tom and cruelly lashes out at him, although Tom did not know that Jim was engaged. Tom seems quite surprised by this, and it is possible that Jim was only making up the story of the engagement as he felt that the family was trying to set him up with Laura, and he had no romantic interest in her. The play concludes with Tom saying that he left home soon afterward and never returned.
Cast: 2m, 2f
Amanda Wingfield – A faded Southern belle who grew up in Blue Mountain, Mississippi, abandoned by her husband, and who is trying to raise her two children under harsh financial conditions. Amanda yearns for the comforts of her youth and also longs for her children to have the same comforts, but her devotion to them has made her – as she admits at one point – almost “hateful” towards them.
Tom Wingfield – Amanda’s son. Tom works at a shoe warehouse to support his family but is frustrated by his job and aspires to be a poet. He struggles to write, all the while being sleep-deprived and irritable. Yet, he escapes from reality through nightly excursions to the movies. Tom feels both obligated toward yet burdened by his family and longs to escape.
Laura Wingfield – Amanda’s daughter and Tom’s elder sister. A childhood illness has left her with a limp, and she has a mental fragility and an inferiority complex that has isolated her from the outside world. She has created a world of her own symbolized by her collection of glass figurines. The unicorn may represent Laura because it is unique and fragile.
Jim O’Connor – An old high school acquaintance of Tom and Laura. Jim was a popular athlete and actor during his days at Soldan High School. Subsequent years have been less kind to Jim; by the time of the play’s action, he is working as a shipping clerk at the same shoe warehouse as Tom. His hope to shine again is conveyed by his study of public speaking, radio engineering, and ideas of self-improvement that appear related to those of Dale Carnegie.