Age in the Cage

Ladies and gentlemen!  This is it.  The battle for the heavyweight championship of the room.  In the house right corner, wearing the muted colors, she is known as the Brooding Brawler. . Abby!!!!  Her opponent, fighting out of house left, wearing the light, bright colors, she is called Sinfully Sweet. . .Marilyn!!!  And now. . .LET’S GET READY TO RIPCORD!!!!!!!! at the Omaha Community Playhouse.

David Lindsay-Abaire’s Ripcord tells the story of two senior home roommates who mix about as well as oil and water.  Curmudgeonly Abby is used to having the room to herself and cannot stand her new perky roommate, Marilyn.  When Marilyn claims never to get angry and Abby claims never to get scared, the two ladies make a bet.  If Abby angers Marilyn, then Marilyn will move to a different room.  If Marilyn scares Abby, she gets Abby’s bed by the window.  The result is an escalating war of pranks between the two women as they pull out all the stops to win the bet.

Lindsay-Abaire has written a clever script reminiscent of The Odd Couple with the exception that the two main characters are not friends, giving their interactions a bit more of an edge.  The script moves quite fast and is seasoned with hot zingers, sautéed with some well placed over the top moments, has a dash of drama and sensitivity, but has a peculiar palate cleanser of an ending.

Kimberly Faith Hickman has gathered a gaggle of comedic talent which she leads to solid and uproarious performances.  Ms Hickman has mastery of the beats as she knows when to let her performers go huge, be normal, or pluck the heartstrings.  The staging of the show is quite strong as, even in the slower moments, there is always a bit of movement from the actors to keep the scenes animated.

Three character actors playing multiple roles support the action of the play, but each also has a particular role that allows them their best moment in the spotlight.  Matt Tarr’s towering presence and rich voice serve him best as a zombie butler in a haunted house.  Kaitlyn McClincy serves up some laughs as Marilyn’s somewhat devious daughter who gleefully assists her mother in winning the bet.  Kevin Goshorn shines in the show’s most poignant scene as the estranged, recovering addict son of Abby who visits her for the first time in years.

For a debut performance, Sahil Khullar is quite capable in the role of Scotty, the aide at the senior living center.  Khullar definitely has the personality for the kindly Scotty who is implied to be a struggling actor.  He also has a good instinct for timing, though his gestures need to be a bit more economical and precise.

But this show does indeed rest on the shoulders of its leading ladies.  Rest assured that Charleen Willoughby and Judy Radcliff are more than up to the task as the pair deliver gutbusting performances and have a chemistry and repartee bordering on the symbiotic.

Charleen Willoughby is a bitter delight as Abby.  Ms Willoughby well communicates Abby’s cynicism with a stony, stoic expression and bearing that says, “Just let me read and leave me alone”.  She always has a quiet sense of mourning about her, lamenting the things she either lost or never had.  Despite this downer description, Ms Willoughby does make this stick in the mud quite entertaining as her sense of delivery always makes Abby’s retorts and put-downs funny.  Ms Willoughby also allows Abby’s long buried decent heart peek out from time to time with her love of her plants and the wistfulness of wanting grandchildren.

Judy Radcliff is a darling scream as Marilyn.  Ms Radcliff makes Marilyn so sweet and sunshiney that one could probably spit in her face and she would laugh it off.  Ms Radcliff brings an incredible sense of fun and kindness to the chatty Marilyn who just wants to bring a little brightness to the days of others.  But a bit of orneriness lies beneath the sweetness as Marilyn dreams up the more dangerous pranks played in her war of oneupmanshp with Abby and the fact that she does it with a smile on her face makes it all the funnier.

Paul Pape has designed a fluid, open set bordered by ropes that easily transforms into the bedroom at the senior living facility to an airplane and to the airiness of a haunted house and the outside.  Jim Othuse’s lights are some of the best I’ve seen in a Playhouse show as they really help define the scenes with the eerie greens and reds of the haunted house to the shadows of trees and sunlight outside of Abby’s window.  John Gibilisco delivers on sound once again, especially with an impressive propeller sound effect in the skydiving scene.  Amanda Fehlner’s costumes well define the personalities of the leading ladies with Marilyn’s bright, pretty dresses and Abby’s muted, sedate pantsuits.  I also was quite pleased with the original score composed by Timothy Vallier.

There were a few blips in this preview night performance.  Actors broke character on a few occasions with some of the jokes.  There also seemed to be a bit of a dead spot on house left as microphones didn’t seem to work quite as well there as they did on house right.  But these are easily fixable items.

I also thought the leading ladies were a little young to be in a senior living facility, but I also recognize the tough balancing act as I’m not certain older ladies would have been capable of handling the needed physicality for the roles.

This show has all the right ingredients for a most amusing night of theatre.  It’s got laughs.  It’s got heart.  It’s got sensitivity.  Get a ringside seat and watch the comedy brawl to win it all.

Ripcord plays at the Omaha Playhouse from Jan 19-Feb 11.  Showtimes are Wed-Sat at 7:30pm and Sundays at 2pm.  Tickets cost $36 for adults and $22 for students.  For tickets, contact the Playhouse at 402-553-0800 or visit www.omahaplayhouse.com or www.ticketomaha.com.  A little discretion is advised due to some coarse language and inappropriate gestures.  The Omaha Playhouse is located at 6915 Cass St in Omaha, NE.

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‘Eminent Domain’ Conquers the Playhouse

An estranged family reunites to wage battle against an oil company seeking to use eminent domain to claim part of the family’s land.  But the fallout from the court battle and the actions of one of the company’s employees may tear the family asunder once more.  This is the story of Eminent Domain by Laura Leininger-Campbell which is making its world premiere at the Omaha Community Playhouse.

Ms Leininger-Campbell has written an exceptionally thought-provoking and powerful story.  What I found most impressive about the tale was its deceptive simplicity.  Through ordinary conversation, Ms Leininger-Campbell taps into the heart of what it means to be family.  The love.  The banter.  The fights.  The heartache.  The camaraderie.   The unity.  It’s undoubtedly one of the most real and believable plays I have ever seen with a tight, well-balanced script that gives all of its characters a chance to shine.

This strong script is further aided by a cast consisting of the cream of Omaha theatre under the watchful eye of Amy Lane who leads her cast to a series of sterling and stellar performances.

Memorable performances are supplied by Chris Shonka and Christina Rohling.  Shonka plays Trent Nichols, an attorney for the oil company who seems like a decent man who, through business or circumstance, brings the MacLeod family buckets of grief when he files the claim of eminent domain and cuckolds the son of the MacLeod patriarch.  Ms Rohling plays Theresa MacLeod, the unhappy wife of the cuckold who feels like, and is treated as, an outsider by the MacLeods and longs for a better life away from the farm.

My personal favorite performance was Eric Salonis’ interpretation of the autistic Evan MacLeod.  As Evan, Salonis nails the nuances of autism with his completely blank features, failure to make eye contact, laserlike focus on tasks, twitching, monotone speech patterns, and repetitive motions.  Though he often seems in his own world, Salonis’ Evan is more aware of things than one may think as he often tries to help his family through difficult moments by offering them his grandfather’s watch to wind.

Bill Hutson is quite the character as Rob MacLeod.  As the patriarch of the MacLeod clan, he is irascible, foul mouthed, set in his ways, and slightly prejudiced.  Hutson effortlessly swings from one extreme to the other as Rob engages in loud arguments with his family and then, just as easily, sits down for an enjoyable meal with them.  Rob is the type of old-fashioned man who thinks he always has to be strong and in control to lead his family which makes his emotional collapse in Act II all the more heart-wrenching.  But his collapse is what finally allows him to show his real heart and strength.

Erika Hall Sieff is definitely her father’s child as Adair MacLeod.  She is just as stubborn and pig-headed as he is and their similarities led to their long estrangement prior to the events of the play.  Ms Hall Sieff is marvelous as the lawyer who returns home to help save the family farm from the greedy oil company and well embodies Adair’s potent sense of justice.

Jeremy Estill gets the play’s most tragic character in Bart MacLeod.  Estill’s Bart is a borderline, if not full-blown, alcoholic whose drinking hides his frustration at giving up a potential and promising career as a poet to return to the family to help his father, Rob.  Estill’s Bart has an incredible command of the English language which he uses to provide some of the show’s lighter moments and softening some of the darker ones.  Despite his issues, Estill will make you feel Bart’s pain when he learns of his wife’s adultery and finally explains the motivations for his life’s choices.

Technically, this show was a masterpiece.  I was floored by Michael Campbell’s scores and arrangements, especially the driving drumbeat in Act II which supports the play’s darkest moments.  John Gibilisco’s sounds were top notch especially the sound effects of the thunderstorms that served as ominous omens.  Jim Othuse’s farmhouse was a thing of beauty and his lights were wonderful in showing the passage from day to night.  Megan Kuehler’s rural costumes really gave the actors the look and feel of a Nebraska farming family.

Ultimately, this play is a great slice of life story.  While it may sound cliché, you will laugh, cry, and think.  Eminent Domain is a real winner and I am so pleased that the Playhouse took a chance on mounting such an extraordinary story.  Don’t do a disservice to yourself by missing this show.

Eminent Domain runs at the Omaha Playhouse through Sept 17. Performances are Thurs-Sat at 7:30pm and Sundays at 2pm.  Tickets cost $36 for adults and $22 for students.  For tickets, contact the Playhouse at 402-553-0800 or visit www.omahaplayhouse.com or www.ticketomaha.com.  Due to strong language and some mature themes, this show is not recommended for children.  The Omaha Community Playhouse is located at 6915 Cass St in Omaha, NE.

Lead On, “Ladies”

Two broke, out of work Shakespearian actors hatch a plan to steal an inheritance from a wealthy old maid by pretending to be her long lost nieces.  Wrenches start to get thrown into the plan when the two cross dressing con artists fall in love with a pair of women and word comes that the real nieces are on their way.  This is Ken Ludwig’s Leading Ladies currently playing at the Omaha Community Playhouse.

Ludwig is a masterful writer who knows all the ins and outs of good farce.  You’ve got the slamming doors, the over the top characters, the mistaken identities, and the ludicrous scenarios.  But Ludwig also adds a story that has got quite a bit of heart and includes a couple of surprising plot twists before the tale ends.  His terrific script is supported, nay, enhanced by a sterling cast that runs like a well oiled machine and obtains the maximum amount of yuks possible.

Jeff Horger paints a beautifully funny picture with his direction.  He clearly has an excellent grasp on farce with his use of broad, comedic strokes on the canvas.  Horger’s staging is top notch with his actors constantly moving about the performance space and his sight gags are completely organic and always apropos to the situation.  He’s also led his actors to strong, humorous performances and they made nary a misstep throughout the production.  Horger’s use of a melodramatic score composed and arranged by Vince Krysl is a positively inspired touch.

The supporting cast provides an excellent foundation for the comedy as each has developed a unique, zany character with his or her own particular quirks that brought vivid life to this world.  This includes Catherine Vazquez as a not overly bright waitress who builds a more complex vocabulary one word at a time, Sue Mouttet as the acid tongued matriarch with a heart of gold, and especially Don Harris and Christopher Scott who provided me with some deep belly laughs as the inept and lusty Doc Myers and his dopey son, Butch.

Will Muller stuns with his portrayal of Rev. Duncan Wooley.  With his unyielding posture, monotone voice, and limited, robotic movements, Muller has crafted one of the funniest characters I’ve seen in quite some time.  Muller’s Wooley may be a man of God, but he isn’t very likable as he is a stick in the mud’s stick in the mud who never wants to have any fun, plans a dull, businesslike wedding, and schemes to do God’s work using his fiancée’s wealth.  Muller is at his comedic best when his buttons get pushed to the point where his emotions finally explode out of him.

Victoria Luther is absolutely darling with her interpretation of Meg Snider, Wooley’s fiancée and heiress to a large fortune.  In many ways, Ms Luther is the glue of this cast as her character fuses the play’s unreality to its reality.  She is the most natural character in the show and brings a bright vibrancy with her character’s love of theatre and life.  Ms Luther shows impressive versatility as she easily switches from believable, grounded moments to over the top reactions when the need arises.

As important as the other characters are, the heaviest burden of this show lies on the shoulders of its “leading ladies” and the burden is well and ably carried by Kevin Goshorn and Michael Judah making their Playhouse debuts.

Michael Judah arguably does the most heavy lifting with his rendition of Leo Clark.  Clark is not only a sucky, over the top actor, but he is always on and has a mouth with an inexhaustible energy source.  Judah’s energy is unbelievably phenomenal as he rises to the challenge of this role with a feat of skillful overacting that would make John Carradine proud.  How he maintains that energy without collapsing is beyond me as he easily transitions from the theatrical Clark to the equally over the top “Maxine”.  Yet the over the topness of the character still seems completely natural.  It’s as if Clark doesn’t know how to just be himself until he falls in love with Meg and FINALLY drops his defenses and is able to engage in some lovely softer moments with her.

Kevin Goshorn’s Jack Gable is a worthy sidekick to Leo Clark.  Goshorn marvelously plays the loyal friend who gets caught up in Clark’s machinations.  Forced to impersonate Stephanie, the deaf and dumb niece, Goshorn has stupendous facial expressions and body language as he invents his own sign language to communicate with others and is especially amusing when he uses that sign language to tell “Maxine” he’d like to throttle “her”.  But he’s no shrinking violet.  As decent a person as Gable is, he isn’t above worming hugs out of the lady he likes or standing up to Clark by manipulating him to become “Maxine” just to screw with him.  Goshorn also gets the play’s funniest moment when he tries to bait Wooley into seducing him in order to help Clark get Meg.

The Snider estate, designed by Steve Wheeldon, is absolutely gorgeous with its soft blue walls and fancy double doors.  John Gibilisco’s sounds almost become extra characters with Clark’s idea moments and Meg’s entrance theme.  Amanda Fehlner’s costumes are extremely elegant, especially the gowns worn by Ms Luther, Judah, and Goshorn.  Darin Kuehler’s properties, especially the furniture, really liven up the stage.

This is the type of show that’s sure to take you out of yourself for a little while.  It’s not only laugh out loud funny, but it’s also got just the right touch of warmth and heart.

Leading Ladies runs at the Playhouse through May 7.  Showtimes are Wed-Sat at 7:30pm and Sundays at 2pm.  Tickets are $36 for adults and $22 for students Thurs-Sun.  Wednesday show tickets are $28 for adults and $18 for students.  For tickets, contact the box office at 402-553-0800 or visit www.omahaplayhouse.com or www.ticketomaha.com.  The Omaha Community Playhouse is located at 6915 Cass St in Omaha, NE.

‘To Kill a Mockingbird’Opens OCP Season

OCP_Mockingbird_group

To Kill a Mockingbird

Opens Aug. 19, 2016 at the Omaha Community Playhouse

Omaha, Neb. – To Kill a Mockingbird will open the 2016-17 Omaha Community Playhouse season with an August 19 – September 18, 2016 run in the Howard Drew Theatre. Based on Harper Lee’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, To Kill a Mockingbird is one of the most beloved stories of all time. In this moving and heartfelt tale, a quiet Southern town is rocked by a crisis of morality. Despite threats to himself and his family, lawyer Atticus Finch defends a black man wrongly accused of a grave crime. Contains language and situations related to racial tension and mob violence.

Production:        To Kill a Mockingbird

Credits:                By Christopher Sergel

Director:              Ablan Roblin

Cast

Thomas Becker as Atticus Finch

Chloe Irwin as Scout Finch

Daniel Denenberg as Jem Finch

Kian Roblin as Dill Harris

Rusheaa Smith-Turner as Calpurnia

Julie Fitzgerald Ryan as Maudie Atkinson

Connie Lee as Stephanie Crawford

Ruth Rath as Mrs. Dubose

Tony Schick as Boo Radley

Raydell Cordell III as Tom Robinson

Alyson Malone as Mayella Ewell

John Hatcher as Bob Ewell

Rob Baker as Heck Tate

Kevin Barratt as Horace Gilmer

Don Keelan-White as Judge John Taylor

Christopher Scott as Walter Cunningham

Jude Glaser and Mackenzie Reidy as Youth Ensemble

L. James Wright as Reverend Sykes 

Show Dates:       Aug. 19-Sept. 18, 2016 (Thursday – Sat at 7:30pm.  Sun at 2pm)

Tickets:   At the OCP Box Office, by calling (402) 553-0800 or online at www.OmahaPlayhouse.org or www.TicketOmaha.com. Single tickets are $40 for adults and $22 for students. Tickets for groups of 12 or more are $24 for adults and $16 for students.

Discounts:  Twilight Tickets – A limited number of tickets are available at half price after noon the day of the performance at the Box Office. Cash or check only. Subject to availability.

Sponsored by:   Heider Family Foundation, Valmont and KETV (media sponsor)

Location:  Howard Drew Theatre | Omaha Community Playhouse (6915 Cass Street) Omaha, NE

 

 

 

You’ll Wish this Show Would ‘Not Fade Away’

In the fall of 2002, a phenomenon was born.  The Omaha Playhouse presented Buddy:  The Buddy Holly Story starring Billy McGuigan.  Fueled by his dynamic performance as the iconic singer, the musical proceeded to smash Playhouse box office records and set Billy on a course as a full time professional performer.  Since that fateful fall, Billy McGuigan has taken his interpretation of Buddy Holly from coast to coast with nearly 2,000 performances and setting new box office records at 6 theatres.  Now he returns to where it all began with Rave On:  The Buddy Holly Experience currently playing at the Omaha Community Playhouse.

The show’s title sums up the show perfectly.  It is an experience and must be experienced in order to understand its grandeur.  Describing this show taxes my wordsmithing to the limit.  To say it is impressive seems a severe understatement.  Explosively awesome is the best description I can come up with and even that seems to fall just a little short.  To give you an idea of the might of this show, it received a standing ovation. . .after the first act.

McGuigan shows himself to be a true auteur with this show as he wrote, produced, directed, and starred in it.  It is neither a play nor a jukebox musical.  It is a character concert.

McGuigan does not play Buddy Holly.  No, no, no.  He BECOMES Buddy Holly.  I was blown away by his performance as Holly when I saw Buddy’s original run nearly 14 years ago, but what Billy does with the character now nearly defies belief.  He has every tic and nuance of Holly down to a science:  voice, posture, mannerisms, singing style, you name it.  But he still imbues the performance with an energy that is distinctly his own which makes the character of Holly and the music he plays just that much better.

And let’s understand something.  McGuigan is one polished musician.  His execution of Holly’s songs was deadly accurate and he ran through the classics such as True Love Ways, Rave On, Oh, Boy, and That’ll Be the Day.  But, with ease, he also sailed through many obscure Holly numbers such as Lonesome Tears, Modern Don Juan, and Handsome Brown-Eyed Man.  And he does it all with a lively and infectious energy as he bantered with the audience and got everybody clapping and singing along.

A front man is only as strong as his backup band and the Raybandits brought it all and more with a night of surefire musicianship and their own shining moments.

The flawless rhythm of Rich Miller’s drumming will have you thinking he is the second coming of Ringo Starr.  Miller especially amazes with a solo number where he turns a simple cardboard box into a masterful piece of percussion work.  Jay Hanson’s lead guitar sizzled all night long.  Tara Vaughan’s fingers danced along the piano keys and her sultry alto kept the audience rapt during a performance of Willie Nelson’s Crazy.  The acoustic guitar and bass work of Ryan and Matthew McGuigan were second to none.  Ryan McGuigan awed the audience as his John Lennonesque voice soared in Ritchie Valens’ La Bamba and Matthew McGuigan revved up the crowd with Chuck Berry’s Johnny B Goode.

The title of this review may be a little more prophetic than you think.  Pictures of Billy McGuigan’s history as Buddy Holly were set all over the theatre and one telling photo was listed simply as “The End 16/17”, suggesting that Billy may be retiring the role of Buddy Holly once and for all.  If this be the case, I urge you in the strongest possible terms to get a ticket to catch the greatest interpreter of Buddy Holly before it’s too late.  As the opening night performance was nearly sold out, odds are high that this run is going to run out of tickets mighty quick.  Do not delay and prepare yourself for a night of colossal fun.

Rave On:  The Buddy Holly Experience plays at the Omaha Playhouse through June 26.  Showtimes are Wed-Sat at 7:30pm and Sundays at 2pm.  Tickets cost $40 and can be obtained through the Playhouse’s web site at www.omahaplayhouse.com or call the Box Office at 402-553-0800.  The Omaha Playhouse is located at 6915 Cass St in Omaha, NE.

Billy McGuigan Returns to the Playhouse as Buddy Holly

Since 2002, Billy McGuigan has taken his interpretation of Buddy Holly from coast to coast achieving critical acclaim and setting box office records around the nation.  Now Billy returns to where it all began when he and his Rave On band bring Rave On:  The Buddy Holly Experience back to the Omaha Community Playhouse.

Prepare yourself for a high energy character concert as Billy McGuigan entertains you as the legendary lead man for the Crickets with hits such as That’ll Be the Day, Not Fade Away, True Love Ways, Peggy Sue, and more!!  Billy’s Buddy will also pay tribute to his fellow luminaries:  Ritchie Valens, Big Bopper, Jerry Lee Lewis, Elvis Presley, and Chuck Berry.

Rave On:  The Buddy Holly Experience runs at the Omaha Playhouse from June 10-26.  Showtimes are Wed-Sat at 7:30pm and Sundays at 2pm.  Tickets cost $40.  For tickets contact the box office at 402-553-0800 or visit the website at http://www.omahaplyahouse.com.  The Omaha Community Playhouse is located at 6915 Cass St in Omaha, NE.

OCP Holding Auditions for 16-17 Season Openers

Both auditions at Omaha Community Playhouse (6915 Cass St, Omaha, NE)

TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD

Production Dates: August 19-September 18, 2016
Performs in: Howard Drew Theatre
Director: Ablan Roblin

Synopsis: Based on Harper Lee’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, To Kill a Mockingbird is one of the most beloved stories of all time. In this moving and heartfelt tale, a quiet Southern town is rocked by a crisis of morality. Despite threats to himself and his family, lawyer Atticus Finch defends a black man wrongly accused of a grave crime. With the recent release of Harper Lee’s Go Set a Watchman, the newly discovered sequel, this is a wonderful opportunity to revisit To Kill a Mockingbird.Winner of 12 Tony Awards. Contains language and situations related to racial tension and mob violence.

Audition Dates: Sunday, June 5 at 7:00 PM and Monday, June 6 at 7:00 PM

Character Descriptions:

Atticus Finch: Quietly impressive, reserved and civilized. Atticus is courageous and just without the heroics or fanfare. Atticus understands people and their needs without judgment or blame. He is a loving father who cares very deeply for his children.
Age Range 40-55

Scout Finch: Courageous, forthright, and curious. If she has a question she will ask, She is a young girl about to experience the events that will shape the rest of her life.
Age range 9-12

Jem Finch: Scout’s older brother, is a thoughtful protective young boy who will also be facing events that shape his life. Jem is reaching out trying to communicate and understand his father and how he relates to the events that effect his family and their town.
Age Range 11-14

Dill (Charles Baker Harris): Friend to Scout and Jem, who is wise beyond his years. Dill possesses a sense of sophistication, curiosity and adventure. His home life lacks and he develops a connection with the Finches.
Age Range 11-13

Calpurnia: Mother figure to Scout and Jem. She is an African American woman who takes care of the children and the Finch household. She is a self educated, proud, disciplined woman who cares very deeply for the Finches, although she may not show it all the time.
Age Range: 30-45

Maudie Atkinson: Neighbor to the Finches. She is a loving, sensitive woman, who possesses wisdom, and a sharp sense of humor. Mrs. Maudie also shares the same sense of moral conviction as Atticus. She exemplifies a sense of the south, and southern women.
Age Range: 40-55

Stephanie Crawford: Neighbor to the Finches. The neighborhood gossip, who takes an enormous amount of pleasure and enthusiasm in stirring things up in a simple humorous way.
Age Range:30-50

Mrs. Dubose: Neighbor to the Finches. She is older and ill and has great difficulty and pain walking. She is bitter and biting and is struggling with an addiction which is revealed later in the play.
Age range: 55-70

Boo Radley (Arthur Radley): Neighbor to the Finches. He has not been out of his house in 15 years and has become the mystery of the town. He has been emotionally damaged by his cruel father but develops a fondness for Jem, Scout and Dill.
Age Range:
30-40

Tom Robinson: A handsome vital African American farm hand who has been accused of raping Mayella Ewell. He is thoughtful and sensitive and maintains a sense of quiet dignity. Although he has a disabled arm he is a strong and able worker.
Age Range: 25-35

Mayella Ewell: The oldest daughter of Bob Ewell. She is the oldest daughter and takes care of her seven younger siblings. Mayella is overworked, lonely and uneducated. She is very poor and desperate for connection and companionship.
Age Range: 19-25

Bob Ewell: The father of Mayella Ewell and seven other children. He is extremely poor, uneducated, bitter and has a drinking problem. He spends his relief checks on alcohol and cares very little about the well being of his eight children.
Age Range 40-50

Heck Tate: The town sheriff, who does his duty as he sees it, but struggles with the events of the play. He believes in protecting the innocent but is reluctant to show it.
Age Range: 35-55

Horace Gilmer: He is the public prosecutor. He can be hurtful and cruel in his cross examination of Tom Robinson, using racial tension as a tactic.
Age Range: 40-50

Judge John Taylor: He is the Judge presiding over the Tom Robinson case. Judge Taylor has done his best in offering a fair trial to Tom by appointing Atticus as his legal counsel. He is evenhanded and objective.
Age Range: 45-60

Reverend Sykes: African American minister of the First Purchase Church. He is a proud concerned preacher who cares deeply about his congregation and the upcoming trial.
Age Range: 30-55

Walter Cunningham: An honest hard-up farmer who has fallen on hard times. He shares the prejudices of this time and place, but can be reached and reasoned with.
Age Range: 35-50

SISTER ACT
Production Dates: September 16-October 16, 2016
Performs in: Hawks Mainstage Theatre
Director: Kimberly Faith Hickman

Synopsis: Broadway’s smash musical comedy Sister Act will make you jump for joy! Based on the 1992 blockbuster movie and featuring original music by eight-time Oscar winner Alan Menken (Beauty and The Beast, The Little Mermaid, Newsies), this uplifting musical is filled with toe-tapping songs, show-stopping dance numbers and a truly touching story. After witnessing her mafia boyfriend commit a crime, night club singer Deloris Van Cartier seeks help from the local police. She is placed in the witness protection program in the last spot her boyfriend would think to find her—a convent! Struggling to fit in with a group of nuns, Deloris finds her calling working with the convent choir. As she helps her fellow sisters find their voices, she unexpectedly rediscovers her own. Nominated for five Tony Awards, Sister Act is a reason to rejoice!

Audition Dates: Monday, June 13 at 7:00 PM and Tuesday, June 14 at 7:00 PM

Character Descriptions:

Seeking an ethnically diverse cast of men and women high school age and up!

Deloris Van Cartier -­ Philadelphia showgirl hiding as a nun after witnessing a murder. Confident, sexy, fantastic singer. Determined, doesn’t take no for an answer, likes to make mischief and have a good time. She’s got the personality of Diana Ross, Tina Turner and Beyonce all rolled into one. (African­American)

Eddie -­ A good guy and cop (who doesn’t carry a gun) in charge of putting Deloris in witness protection. Has had a crush on Deloris since they were in high school which made him sweat a lot. As a result, she nicknamed him “Sweaty Eddie”. Tries really hard to be smooth and macho. He usually fails ­ but there is a knight in shining armor hiding inside.

Curtis -­ Deloris’s criminal boyfriend, also a club owner. Violent, slimy, sleazy and controlling but with a sense of humor. The kind of guy that gives his girlfriend his wife’s coat as a gift.

Joey -­ one of Curtis’s henchmen. Loves his boss. Thinks he’s a ladies man.

TJ -­ one of Curtis’s henchmen and his nephew. “Smart”. Really thinks he’s a ladies man.

Pablo -­ one of Curtis’s henchmen. Speaks Spanish. Is the best at being a ladies man.

Ernie -­ one of Curtis’s henchmen. He’s also an informant to the cops.

Monsignor O’Hara ­- Older, mature, traditional but finds secular music appealing. Is doing his best to keep his church from closing.

Mother Superior ­– Head nun. Older, mature, loves tradition, solid as a rock. Unwavering in her beliefs but has a huge heart. Is doing her best to keep her church from closing.

Sister Mary Robert -­ The youngest of the nuns. Sweet, innocent, not used to standing up for herself. Buried within a mountain of shyness and insecurities is a confident young woman.

Sister Mary Patrick -­ Also one of the youngest. She’s very cheerful! All of the time! A little adventurous, loves music.

Sister Mary Lazarus -­ The current choir director. Queen of sarcasm. Has hidden rap skills.

Sister Mary Martin­-Of­-Tours -­ Older, mature, doesn’t always know what’s going on. Off in her own little world. Has a secret skill of being able to interpret Spanish.

Sister Mary Theresa ­ The oldest nun, but always knows what’s going on and has excellent
hearing.

Michelle -­ Deloris’s back up singer and close friend. Confident, sassy, great singer and dancer. If Deloris is Diana Ross, Michelle is one of the Supremes.

Tina -­ Deloris’s back up singer and close friend. Confident, sassy, follows the rules, great singer and dancer. If Deloris is Diana Ross, Tina is one of the Supremes.

Ensemble: Nuns, Cops, Hookers, Bar Patrons, Waitresses, Pool Player, Drag Queen, Homeless People, Cab Driver, Newscaster, Fantasy Dancers, etc.

What to Bring for Sister Act:

• Please come prepared with 16 bars of music prepared to sing. An accompanist will be provided.

• There will be a dance audition, pleased come dressed ready to move or bring a change of clothes with you. Boots, sandals, flip-flips, slick shoes, etc. should not be worn during the dance audition.

What to Bring for Both Shows:

• You will be asked to fill out an audition form, please have all necessary contact information and personal schedules handy in order to complete the form.

• A recent photo if you have one available. Please note, photos will not be returned.