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Saturday, November 9th

   Sign-in at 1:00pm, auditions at 1:30pm

Sunday, November 10th

   Sign-in at 6:30pm, auditions at 7:00pm

Call backs:

Auditionees attending the Saturday afternoon session should hold the time on Sunday free as they may be asked to come back for call backs at that time

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All auditions and callbacks to be held
at Highfield Theater

58 Highfield Drive, Falmouth, MA

Auditionees will be asked to read selections from the play.

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For questions, concerns, or additional information please contact Lisa Rudy at lisa@lisajorudy.com

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Character Breakdown 

While this play is very similar to the wonderful Frank Capra movie, it is not identical; there are two ADDITIONAL (small) female roles in the play and several FEWER male roles. There are no scenes outside the Vanderhof home.

Please Note: We will be rehearsing around (though not on!) Thanksgiving and Christmas and intensively right after Christmas to opening — so if you’re planning to be out of town for extended holiday visits, this may not be the right play for you!

 

Penelope “Penny” Sycamore (F): The matriarch of the household, Penelope is described as being “a round little woman in her fifties.” The playwrights go on to describe her as appearing “comfortable looking, gentle, homey. One would not suspect that under that placid exterior there surges the Divine Urge— but it does.” Penelope’s greatest vehicle for self-expression takes form in her alternating work writing various plays. Penelope is a simple woman who displays a genuinely good-nature and a willingness to approach life with a frankness that is a bit off-putting to others at times. Upon meeting Penelope most anyone would recognize her genuine kindness, vivid zest, and love of life.

Essie Carmichael (F): The eldest daughter of Paul & Penelope, Essie is described as “A girl of about twenty nine, very slight, a curious air of the pixie about her.” Essie’s a free-spirit who gains pleasure taking lessons in ballet and candy making. Most seem to enjoy her talents for crafting sweets, but she seems significantly less accomplished in her second arena of interest. As her dance instructor comments, “She stinks.” She wears dance slippers throughout the play. She loves to dance through life. She flows freely with energy at all times, and evokes a sense of exuberance

Rheba (F): Maid to the Sycamore clan, Rheba feels more like just another member of the family. She goes about her daily tasks with a casual manner, chit-chatting with the family nonstop. She offers some wonderful insights about the family, and hesitates not at all to share them, following the lead displayed by her employers. Although not married, Rheba does have a long-time boyfriend by the name of Donald, who is also warmly welcomed by and frequently visiting with the Sycamore household.

Paul Sycamore (M): Paul is in his mid-fifties. He is described as having a “youthful air.” The playwrights go on to say his “quiet charm and mild manner are distinctly engaging.” He is an inventive worker who crafts fireworks to earn a bit of income. However, as with everyone else residing in the home, he is not driven to surrender his life to his work. One has the sense that, although good-natured and intelligent, Paul was probably a bit impressionable in his youth. Rather than determining a path for himself and leading his family, Paul is willing to instead align himself with the ideals practiced by his wife’s family patriarch.

Mr. De Pinna (M): The ice man turned practitioner of crafting colorful fire, Mr. De Pinna is one of many addons to the Sycamore household. While visiting the home eight years earlier to deliver ice, Mr. De Pinna struck up a conversation with Paul and never left. “A baldheaded little man with a serious nature,” Mr. De Pinna exists as another satellite entity that has been drawn in by the gravitational force that attracts so many to the Sycamore residence.

Ed Carmichael (M): Essie’s husband and son-in-law to Paul & Penny, Ed is a bit of a quirky figure. He plays the xylophone, enjoys crafting masks, and is an amateur printer. Ed embodies an innocent who freely expresses larger ideas than he can fully appreciate.

Donald (M): Rheba’s longtime boyfriend, Donald is one of many visitors who frequents the Sycamore residence. He seems to offer handyman services to the family and often lends a hand to Paul & Mr. De Pinna with the minor sideline business of selling fireworks during the peak season. He is energetic, friendly, and often insightful.

Martin Vanderhof (M): Arguably an eccentric in the minds of most, he is a man who boldly chooses to break his own path through life. Still, things didn’t start out that way. He was once a man of business, much like Mr. Kirby. But… he wasn’t happy. He stopped. He reflected. He chose a new course of direction. He chose to do as he wished. He chose happiness. He is a powerful but quirky patriarch who often steers the story along.

Alice Sycamore (F): “A lovely, fresh young girl of about twenty-two, she is plainly grandpa’s granddaughter, but there is something that sets her apart from the rest of the family. For one thing, she is in daily contact with the world; in addition, she seems to have escaped the tinge of mild insanity that pervades the rest of them. But she is a Sycamore for all that, and her devotion and love for them are plainly apparent.”

Wilbur C. Henderson (M): An investigator with the IRS, Mr. Henderson is an absolute alien to the world of the Sycamores. He is a man of black and white. His understanding of the world is sound and based on logic and reason.

Tony Kirby (M): Tony is genuinely a good guy. He’s a product of his environment, as we all tend to be. He’s actually a pretty modest guy, as revealed by a few casual statements. And, of course, he’s highly attracted to Alice. She represents something far removed from the ordinary and supremely close to a comfortable truth. He may not be able to exactly articulate just why he is so utterly attracted to Alice, but he realizes he will find a way to be with her no matter what

Boris Kolenkhov (M): Boris escaped his homeland of Russia just prior to the Russian Revolution. He’s big, loud, and very physical, and has an over-the-top Russian accent. Essie’s dance instructor, Boris is a consummate deep thinker who is utterly consumed by his interest of world affairs and the deteriorating realities playing out in his homeland. Such preoccupations might, at first glance, place him at odds with Martin’s ideals. However, he shares a common life philosophy; he does as he pleases in pursuit of happiness

Gay Wellington (F): She is a professional actress, although we clearly are led to question just how much professional experience she has in theatre. A friend of Penny’s, Gay’s occasional visits serve as opportunities to offer “professional” feedback on Penny’s plays–though Gay is, essentially, always drunk.

Mr. Kirby (M): He’s a pretty prototypical business man. He’s a hamster in a wheel, and he’s been conditioned to believe that if he only runs a bit faster all of life’s rewards will be gained. Mr. Kirby struggles against accepting the reality that Martin Vanderhof proposes because it runs in utterly stark contrast to the understanding of the world that has been the basis of his life. Still, he slowly begins to open his mind to a new understanding. By the end of the play, we are lead to believe Mr. Kirby’s years forward will be happier and more fulfilling.

Mrs. Kirby (F): Wife of the business savvy Mr. Kirby, Mrs. Kirby is a woman who exemplifies refinement and the physical embodiment of the upper crust of society. She is respectful of the Sycamores but is clearly more than uncomfortable with their unique approach to life.

The Grand Duchess Olga Katrina (F): (Russian accent!) Prior to the revolution back home, Olga was once a Grand Duchess in Russia. However, nowadays, she spends her time waiting tables at a local restaurant. One might presume that such a transition in life would be a recipe for misery, self-pity, and anger. Not so. Despite her recent challenges, Olga retains a buoyant sense of well-being and happiness. She takes lumps with strides and continues to love life.

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NOTE: Tony, Alice, Essie, and Ed are all of a “younger generation” than the other characters in the family – but the ages of the actors will be based on who auditions!

NOTE: There are several G-Men in the script with very small roles; we may double cast a bit, or, if anyone is looking for a walk-on opportunity, please let us know!