THE STORY: In the Baptist backwoods of the Bible Belt, the beleaguered Turpin family proves that living and dying in the South are seldom tidy and always hilarious. Despite their earnest efforts to pull themselves together for their father's funeral, the Turpin's other problems keep overshadowing the solemn occasion: Firstborn Ray-Bud drinks himself silly as the funeral bills mount; Junior, the younger son, is juggling financial ruin, a pack of no-neck monster kids, and a wife who suspects him of infidelity in the family car; their spinster sister, Delightful, copes with death as she does life, by devouring junk food; and all the neighbors add more than two cents. As the situation becomes fraught with mishap, Ray-Bud says to his long-suffering wife, "When I die, don't tell nobody. Just bury me in the backyard and tell everybody I left you." Amidst the chaos, the Turpins turn for comfort to their friends and neighbors, an eccentric community of misfits who just manage to pull together and help each other through their hours of need, and finally, the funeral.
Not since STEEL MAGNOLIAS has a more colorful and dysfunctional group of Southern eccentrics gathered below the Mason-Dixon line. When the patriarch of the Turpin family keels over dead in the first scene, the struggle to get him buried involves the whole clan, including the not-so-grieving widow who wants to put "Mean and Surly" on the tombstone. "If you were amused by the kind of bucolic mayhem of…GREATER TUNA, this more ambitious trip down a rustic main street could be just your dish of cola." —NY Post. "Dearly Departed is drop dead funny." —NY Daily News
Dearly Departed cast is full of quirky, vibrant roles, male and female; ages late 20's up to 60's. Bring your best southern drawl and sardonic humor! Looking for actors who can think "outside the box"... nothing cookie-cutter or predictable about this cast or play! Some characters can be doubled, but will expand if we have the numbers!
(Minimum 10; Maximum 7 male, 8 females plus some singers)
Directed by Sally Daykin
Earlier This Year....
Auditions: September 10th & 11th 7PM
THE STORY: "Three retired men of law on a remote mountain in Switzerland amuse themselves by going through the legal ceremony of prosecuting strangers who drop in. An American traveling salesman is their guest on a snowy evening. Although their 'deadly game' seems foolish to him, he agrees to it to humor his hosts. Since he has never been guilty of a crime in his life, he is unable to propose anything they can try him for. After a little amiable social conversation, the retired prosecutor discovers a plausible case. He accuses the traveling salesman of having murdered his boss. At first, this appears to be a wild improvisation. But Mr. Yaffe, using Mr. Dürrenmatt's novel as source-book, gradually makes something real out of phantoms. By ingenious questioning, he proves his case out of the witness' own mouth."
"…a tidy, literate piece of dramatic make-believe." —Chapman, NY News. "…provides a steadily engrossing evening in the theatre." —NY Post. "…an adult delight." —NY World-Telegram & Sun.
Directed by Chris Patterson
Auditions will be by way of cold readings from the script.
Howard Trapp [M] 30-40, good looking with s genial self-assured manner.
The Judge [M] Late 60’s, cheerful, amiable almost cherubic at times.
Defense Attorney [M] Late 60’s, smallish, quiet and unassuming at first glance
Prosecutor [M] Late 60’s, tall, stiffly formal with a constant sense of emotions always
under complete control.
Old Man (Bailiff) [M] 70ish, mild, gentle, easily excited and slightly senile.
Pierre [M] 40-50’s, a mute, ungainly, strong, friendly with a suggestion of underlying violence.
Nicole [F] 20’s – 30’s, attractive, slight French accent, provocative and flirtatious but not blatantly.
Visitor [F] 30’s, smartly dressed, perfectly poised, cold as ice.
Auditions: November 5th & 6th 7PM
Three Jewish widows meet once a month for tea before going to visit their husband's graves. Ida is sweet tempered and ready to begin a new life, Lucille is a feisty embodiment of the girl who just wants to have fun, and Doris is priggish and judgmental, particularly when Sam the butcher enters the scene. He meets the widows while visiting his wife's grave. Doris and Lucille squash the budding romance between Sam and Ida. They are guilt stricken when this nearly breaks Ida's heart. Funny, touching, emotional trio will bring tears of joy!
The Broadway production starred Eileen Heckart as Lucille. It was made into a film, starring Ellen Burstyn, Dianne Ladd and Olympia Dukakis.
Directed by Shelley Ackman
Auditions will be by way of cold readings from the script.
We need strong actors with a great sense of comedic timing. Think “Jewish Golden Girls”.
All 5 of the characters below are in their early 50’s-early 60’s. Please note that you do not have to be within this age range to be cast. Theater makeup can often work wonders in aging an actor/actress.
IDA - is the gentlest and most charming of the three widowed friends and the one who faces life the most realistically. She is ready to move on past grief and to accept new challenges.
LUCILLE- is the most brazen one, always looking for a good deal, good time and always looking to “get even” with her unfaithful husband.
DORIS - is the most conservative of the three and the one who refuses to change any element in her life. She adheres to her strict principles of love and respect and expects her friends to do the same.
SAM - is the local butcher and still mourns the death of his wife. He realizes that life has much to offer and is willing to take a chance on happiness again.
MILDRED - is a show-off and a flirt (smaller role, though BIG in personality)
NOTE: If you are cast in this production, you MUST be available for EVERY PERFORMANCE!
Myrtle Mae Simmons: in her early twenties and still unmarried.
Veta Simmons: Elwood's sister, early 50’s.
Elwood P. Dowd: Veta's brother, Elwood is forty-seven years old..
Miss Johnson: The maid.
Mrs. Ethel Chauvenet: Sixty-five years old.
Ruth Kelly, R.N.: Twenty-four years old and pretty.
Duane Wilson: About twenty-eight years old, large and muscular.
Dr. Lyman Sanderson: A young doctor of psychiatry.
Dr. William R. Chumley: In his late fifties. A confident, sometimes pompous, man.
Betty Chumley: Dr. Chumley's wife, about fifty-five years old.
Judge Omar Gaffney: An elderly lawyer. Officious.
E.J. Lofgren: An ultimately wise cab driver.