Reader’s Theater Auditions

September 15-17, 2019 · 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Below are the productions that will be featured in the 2019-2020 Reader’s Theater Series. Please note that Downing-Gross Cultural Arts Center does not discriminate on the basis of gender, race, age, religion, abilities, or sexual orientation. All actors selected for these productions are chosen based on their talent as presented in the audition. All are welcome to audition. To schedule your audition, please call 757-247-8950.

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Skeleton Crew

Written by Dominique Morisseau · Performance: October 21, 2019

At the start of the Great Recession, one of the last auto stamping plants in Detroit is on shaky ground. Each of the workers have to make choices on how to move forward if their plant goes under. Shanita has to decide how she’ll support herself and her unboarn child, Faye has to decide how and where she’ll live, and Dez has to figure out how to make his ambitious dreams a reality. Power dynamics shift as their manager Reggie is torn between doing right by his work family, and by the red tape in his office. Powerful and tense, Skeleton Crew is the third of Dominique Morisseau’s Detroit cycle trilogy.

Drama. 2m, 2f. Duration: 120 minutes.

 

Faye

Black woman, mid-late 50’s, Working class woman. Tough and a lifetime of dirt beneath her nails. Somewhere, deep compassion.

Dez

Black man, mid-late 20’s, Working class man. Young hustler, playful, street-savy, and flirtatious. Somewhere, deeply sensitive.

Reggie

Black man, Late 30s. White collar man. Studious. Dedicated. Compassionate. The Foreman. Somewhere, a fire brims.

Shanita

Black woman, mid-late 20’s, Working class young woman. Pretty but not ruled by it. Hard-working. By-the-books. Believes in the work she does. Also, pregnant. Somewhere, a beautiful dreamer.

 

“Skeleton Crew” is presented in special arrangement with Samuel French, Inc. For more information on this production, click here.

Gem of the Ocean

Written by August Wilson · Performance: January 13, 2020

Set in 1904, August Wilson’s Gem of the Ocean begins on the eve of Auth Esther’s 287th birthday. When Citizen Barlow comes to her Pittsburgh’s Hill District home seeking asylum, she sets him off on a spiritual journey to find a city in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. Gem of the Ocean is the ninth work of Wilson’s ten-play cycle that has recorded the American Black experience and helped to define generations.

Drama, 5m, 2f. Duration: 120 minutes.

 

Eli

Aunt Esther’s gatekeeper and longtime friend of Solly.

Black Mary

Aunt Esther’s protege and housekeeper. Late twenties.

Citizen Barlow

A young man from Alabama who is in spiritual turmoil. Late twenties/early thirties.

Aunt Esther Tyler

A very old, yet vital spiritual advisor for the community.

Solly Two Kings

Suitor to Aunt Esther, former Underground Railroad conductor. Sixty-seven.

Rutherford Selig

A traveling peddler who is a frequent visitor of the house.

Caesar Wilks

Black Mary’s brother and local constable. About fifty-two.

 

“August Wilson’s Gem of the Ocean” is presented in special arrangement with Samuel French, Inc. For more information on this production, please click here.

The Odd Couple (Female Version)

Written by Neil Simon · Performance: April 20, 2020

Unger and Madison are at it again! Florence Unger and Olive Madison, that is, in Neil Simon’s hilarious contemporary comic classic: the female version of The Odd Couple. Instead of the poker party that begins the original version, Ms. Madison has invited the girls over for an evening of Trivial Pursuit. The Pidgeon sisters have been replaced by the two Constanzuela brothers but the hilarity remains the same.

Comedy. 2m, 6f. Duration: N/A

 

Olive Madison

Female; A successful television producer. Intelligent, attractive, and wisecracking with a good sense of humor. Complete slob. Encyclopedic understanding of sports.

Florence (Flo) Unger

Female; Attractive, very well-groomed, and neat; has just broken up with her husband. Takes herself very seriously, likes to clean, decorate, and cook. Intelligent and warm-hearted. No sense of humor (at least about herself)

Sylvie

Female; Desperately trying to stop smoking. Sucks on lollipops or chews gum. Can get irritated with her friends but has a good sense of humor, especially about her husband; Pregnant in the last scene.

Renee

Female; Sylvie’s best friend, can be very plain-spoken, especially when she points out Olive’s failings as a hostess. Single and dating a doctor.

Vera

Female; Very sweet, very nice, somewhat spacey, and although quite smart, is often a step or two behind her friends; very funny but doesn’t realize it.

Mickey

Female; A police officer, who is down-to-earth, plain-talking, and has a good understanding of people; she tries very hard to be in control of all situations.

Manolo Costazuela

Male; Handsome, well-groomed, and spanish with a Castilian accent; every woman’s dream date and showers both Olive and Flo with attention; must have good comic timing, very emotional; sensitive and appreciate’s Florence’s sensitivity

Jesus Costazuela

Manolo’s younger brother; very handsome, well-groomed, excellent posture, very romantic; very emotional.

 

“The Odd Couple (Female Version)” is presented in special arrangement with Samuel French, Inc. For more information on this production, click here.

A Raisin In The Sun

Written by Lorraine Hansberry · Performance: July 20, 2020

Set in Chicago’s south side, the plot revolves around the divergent dreams and conflicts within three generations of the Younger family: son Walter Lee, his wife Ruth, his sister Beneatha, his son Travis, and matriarch Lena. When her deceased husband’s insurance money comes through, Mama Lena dreams of moving to a new home and a better neighborhood in Chicago. Walter Lee, a chauffeur, has other plans: buying a liquor store and being his own man. Beneatha dreams of medical school. The tensions and prejudice they face form this seminal American drama. The Younger family’s heroic struggle to retain dignity in a harsh and changing world is a searing and timeless document of hope and inspiration.

Drama. 6m, 4f. Duration: 120 minutes

 

Ruth Younger

Walter’s wife & Travis’s mother. Cares for the Youngers’ apartment. Marriage has problems but she hopes to rekindle their love. In her thirties, but her weariness makes her seem older. Constantly fighting poverty. Emotionally strong. Mildly pessimistic pragmatism helps her to survive.

Travis Younger

Sheltered young son of Walter and Ruth. Carries groceries to earn money. Likes to play outside. Has no bedroom and sleeps on the living-room sofa.

Walter Lee Younger

A Dreamer; wants to be rich and devises plans to acquire wealth with is friends. endlessly preoccupied with discovering a quick solution to his family’s various problems.

Beneatha “Bennie” Younger

An intellectual; Twenty years old. Better educated than the rest of the Younger Family. Personal beliefs and views distance her from her conservative Mama. Dreams of being a doctor and struggles to determine her identity as a well-educated black woman.

Lena Younger

Mama. Walter & Beneatha’s mother. Religious, moral and maternal. Dreams of buying a home with a backyard to move her family up in the world.

Joseph Asagai

A Nigerian student in love with Beneatha. Proud of his African heritage. Wants to marry Beneatha and bring her with him to Nigeria.

George Murchison

Wealthy African-American man who courts Beneatha. Liked by the family but Beneatha dislikes his willingness to submit to white culture and forget his African heritage. Challenges the thoughts and feelings of others through his arrogance and flair for intellectual competition.

Bobo

One of Walter’s partners in the liquor store plan. Appears to be mentally delayed as his name indicates.

Karl Linder

White man from the Clybourne Park Improvement Association. Offers the Youngers a deal to reconsider moving into his (all-white) neighborhood.

Mrs. Johnson

Neighbor. Takes advantage of the Youngers’ hospitality and warns them about moving into a predominantly white neighborhood.

 

“A Raisin In The Sun” is presented in special arrangement with Samuel French, Inc. For more information on this production, please click here.