Named Best Musical of the 20th Century by Time magazine, Carousel was also Rodgers & Hammerstein’s favorite among their many works. The simple, tragic love story, based on the Hungarian play Liliom, is set in a coastal New England village around the turn of the last century and boasts some of American musical theater’s most enduring songs: “If I Loved You,” “You’ll Never Walk Alone,” and “June is Bustin’ Out All Over,” to name a few. Although the main story is poignant, there are many light moments and colorful characters.
Two lost souls — brash carousel barker Billy and shy mill worker Julie — fall in love and elope, with disastrous consequences. When Julie tells Billy she’s pregnant, he decides to participate in a robbery which ends with his suicide. From heaven, Billy watches his now teenage daughter Louise’s social ostracism. Given the chance to go back to Earth as a spirit, he eventually redeems himself, leaving behind a more hopeful Julie and Louise.
We will be holding individual auditions for the 5 leads (Billy, Julie, Carrie, Enoch, Nettie) on May 19-20 (6-9pm) and 22 (2-5pm) with callbacks as needed on May 23. These parts are being cast early so that those cast members will have early access to rehearsal tracks and the director can plan some extra time to work with them over the summer; the remaining roles will be cast in August. These auditions will be held individually to maximize the safety of actors and production staff.
To register for an audition time, send an email to FTGCarousel2021@gmail.com by Monday May 17. In the email, please list any and all time frames available within the following dates: Wednesday-Thursday, May 19-20 (6-9pm), Sat May 22 (2-5pm). You will receive a reply with your appointment for an individual audition slot.
Safety of the cast, crew and production team is key- we will monitor and follow evolving federal and state guidelines as well as best practices developing within the theater community. We have the benefit of learning from our friends at College Light Opera Co. who will be running shows in the Highfield Theater through the summer before we start our FTG season in September.
Please note that it will be Falmouth Theatre Guild’s policy that all members of our shows’ production teams (cast, musicians, stage crew) be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 prior to participation in a show for the ’21-’22 season.
We will not require that actors auditioning in May be vaccinated before those audition dates, but please be aware that it will be a requirement for participation in the show this fall
Further details on May auditions will be posted soon, as the FTG production team develops the safest, most practical audition protocols. We look forward to seeing you on the Highfield Theater Stage soon!
Many people love the 1950s film version of this show, so I need to say up front that it’s very different from my vision. I’m looking for singer/actors who are willing to delve into the material and make it as natural, intimate, and believable as possible. I want the audience to feel that they’re seeing real people in real situations.
Some people see this show as promoting domestic violence because of a short dialogue exchange between Julie and her daughter. I have found a way to stage that scene without changing any dialog that I think resolves that issue. -Laura Garner
All leading characters need to be strong singers with great acting chops. Some leads will be included in the ensemble. The ages are what the actor can “play” as opposed to how old they are in real life.
Dialog to review before auditions:
BILLY BIGELOW (high baritone/tenor; 20s-30s) is a much better person than he believes or allows himself to be. Deeply damaged by life, he swaggers to cover “cowardly” feelings like fear, hurt, and love. He is blindsided by his feelings for Julie and (later) for his unborn child. Julie is the first person to see past his machismo, which terrifies him. (music for auditions can be found here)
JULIE JORDAN (soprano; 20s) hasn’t had an easy life either: orphaned, sensitive, smarter than a girl of those times is supposed to be. But she’s not a doormat; she’s strong-willed and determined, a bit of a rebel. Carrie is her only friend; otherwise she’s the oddball outsider, sneered at and shunned by the community. (music for auditions can be found here)
CARRIE PIPPERIDGE (soprano with belt range; 20s) is a genuinely kind person whom everyone loves, and Julie’s only friend. She can be a bit ditzy but she’s not a flake. She’s a simple, innocent girl who grows into a down-to-earth woman with a good sense of humor. (music for auditions can be found here)
ENOCH SNOW (tenor; 20s-30s) knows what he wants and goes for it. He’s often portrayed as a bit of an ass; I don’t see him that way. He has strong principles and can be a blowhard at times, but he has a good heart and truly loves Carrie. (music for auditions can be found here)
NETTIE FOWLER (mezzo; 40s-?) is a lusty widow, as generous with her affections as she is with her food and drink. Solid and big-hearted, she is the emotional center of the little village. (music for auditions can be found here)
JIGGER CRAIGIN (bass; 40s-?) is a greedy, self-serving con man who acts as a (bad) father figure to Billy. He has a sense of humor but it’s usually at someone else’s expense. Unquestionably the villain of the piece; few if any redeeming qualities.
MRS. MULLINS (30s-40s), an attractive but lower-class business woman, has been hardened by life but she has a soft spot for Billy that won’t quit. She doesn’t have any solos but will sing with the ensemble.
LOUISE BIGELOW (dancer; 15) inherited her rebellious spirit from both her parents. Although she’d love to fit in and be accepted, her stubbornness and outsider status keep her alone… and lonely. She needs acting chops along with excellent dancing skills.
ENSEMBLE (all ages) is busy, lively, and diverse, with lots of individual singing and acting “bits.” Strong singers/actors/dancers are needed; section leaders will be assigned to keep the ensemble together. The size of the ensemble will be determined as show time draws closer.