Auditions Notice for
The Community Players
Arsenic and Old Lace
July 15th and 16th 7PM
The Playhouse 1880 N. Oracle Rd. Tucson
Opens Friday Sept. 6th and runs Thursday – Sunday final performance Sunday Sept. 23rd
Rehearsals begin immediately
Be Prepared to read from script
A short description of the play and character descriptions of available roles follow:
The play is a clever combination of the farcical and the macabre and centers on two elderly sisters who are famous in their Brooklyn neighborhood for their numerous acts of charity. Unfortunately, however, their charity includes poisoning lonely old men who come to their home looking for lodging. The two women are assisted in their crimes by their mentally challenged nephew who believes he is Teddy Roosevelt and who frequently blasts a bugle and yells "charge" as he bounds up the stairs. Matters get complicated when a second nephew, a theater critic, discovers the murders and a third nephew appears after having just escaped from a mental institution. In his adroit mixture of comedy and mayhem, The playwright satirizes the charitable impulse as he pokes fun at the conventions of the theater.
Mortimer Brewster 25 -40 years old, Leading Man type Mortimer is teasing and flirtatious with his fiancée Elaine and exhibits genuine affection for her, his aunts, and for Teddy. As soon as he discovers the dead body in the window seat, his immediate goal is to protect his aunts. He bravely stands up to his brother Jonathan at the risk of his own safety. His bravery, however, is tempered by his arrogance, which sometimes blinds him to what is happening around him. He insists that he is much more intelligent than the plays he must review and refuses to agree to Elaine's claim that they often have a humanizing effect on him. His pride gets him in trouble when he does not take the proper precautions with Jonathan, and as a result, he almost loses his life. He also proves himself to be quite excitable and does not handle the stressful situation in the Brewster household very rationally. All ends well less through Mortimer's actions and more through coincidence and the fact that the police cannot fathom the sweet Brewster sisters could ever have twelve bodies buried in their basement.
Teddy Brewster 30 -60 years old Teddy has lost all contact with reality, completely immersed in the delusion that he is Teddy Roosevelt. This static character is used primarily as a plot device. He covers up the aunts' murderous activities as he buries the dead bodies in the basement, which he insists contains the locks of the Panama Canal.
Officer Brophy 20-55 years old Like the Brewster sisters, Officers Brophy and Klein are interchangeable with no distinct personalities. They help the plot develop by providing background information on the Brewster family and rescuing Mortimer from Jonathan's clutches. Brophy also provides some foreshadowing as he notes in the beginning of the play that Teddy has been disrupting the neighbors' sleep with his midnight bugle calls.
Dr. Einstein character actor 20 & up Dr. Einstein, Jonathan's evil sidekick, is little more that a stock figure. He adds to the comedy through his alcoholic tendencies, which cause him to remake Jonathan into the image of Boris Karloff. He also stirs up the action when he chides Jonathan about the fact that the aunts have murdered exactly as many men as he has. As a result, Jonathan decides to kill Mortimer so that he will tip the balance in his favor.
Elaine Harper young ingenue 20 – 40 years old Elaine exhibits a modern sensibility for a woman during this period. She is self confident, quick witted, and "surprisingly smart for a minister's daughter." She engages in witty, flirty banter with Mortimer and shows a great deal of patience with him.
Reverend Dr. Harper 50 - & up Like the Brewster sisters, the Reverend Harper maintains old-fashioned values, appreciating the "gentle virtues" that have gone out of style in the twentieth century. His disapproval of the theater makes him initially wary of the union between his daughter Elaine and Mortimer.
Officer Klein 20 & up Klein, like his partner Brophy, appreciates the sisters' charity and believes them to be among the kindest inhabitants of the neighborhood. He also serves as a plot device, especially when he suggests that Jonathan looks like Boris Karloff, which sends the latter into a murderous rage.
Officer O'Hara 30 – 50 years old Officer O'Hara distinguishes himself from his fellow officers by the fact that he has written a play. He adds to the farcical action when he leaves Mortimer tied up all evening in order to ensure that the theater critic will listen to the entire summary of his play.
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