BRIGHTON BEACH MEMOIRS AUDITIONS
Announcing OPEN AUDITIONS for Tech Theatre’s production of Brighton Beach Memoirs, by America’s preeminent Broadway playwright, Neil Simon. The play is a comedy chronicling the life of Eugene Jerome, a 15-year-old aspiring playwright and baseball pitcher. While Brighton Beach Memoirs takes place in Brooklyn, NY, during the Great Depression, the play is timeless in its depiction of lovable characters struggling to maneuver through life’s challenges. The cast calls for 3 men and 4 women with parts for a girl (12 or 13 years) and a young man (15-16 years). Auditions will be held in the McArdle Theatre, Walker 208, on the Michigan Tech campus, Wednesday, September 4, and Thursday, September 5, at 7:00 p.m. The audition will be comprised of informal theatre games and reading from the script. Please arrive at 7:00 p.m. The production will be performed October 17-19, and October 24-26. Rehearsals begin September 8. Directed by Patricia Helsel.
HOW TO PREPARE FOR AUDITIONS: Read the play and familiarize yourself with the scenes. Scripts are available in the VPA office (Walker 209) and may be checked out for 24 hours. All scripts must be returned to the VPA office by Thursday, September 5, 4:00 p.m. Study the scenes provided here (“sides”). Read for the part you feel most suited. While not required, memorize and work with a partner. Being familiar with the scene gives you an obvious advantage.
Show up before 7 pm on Wednesday, September 4 OR Thursday, September 5. We will engage in some informal theatre games then move on to reading from the script! You will be given copies of the audition scenes at the audition and will be expected to read from the sides.
The character descriptions provided here are intended as a starting place for determining what role(s) you should consider. Ages are relative to how the character should appear to the audience, NOT the expected age of the actorJ
Eugene Jerome: 15 years old. Smart. Sensible. Sarcastic. Adolescent, and fixated on girls. Naïve. Sees himself as a writer, hence the ongoing commentary of his family. Is not above writing notes and letters for others to put himself in a positive light or in a position of power. Looks up to his brother Stanley. He has a love-hate relationship with Stanley, as brothers can sometimes be cruel. Gets blamed for everything that goes wrong in the house. Errand boy for mom. Introvert. Wants to be a pitcher for the Yankees. A baseball fanatic. (What boy wasn’t n 1937?) Hates liver and cabbage. Complains with regularity, pointing out the obvious double standard of behavior for himself and his female cousins.
Kate Jerome: @ 40 years old. Stoic. Caregiver for all. Superstitious to a fault. Distrusts outsiders. Set in the ways established by her Russian immigrant parents. She is a fatalist in one moment but believes you can always find the good in something. Controlling. Doesn’t like confrontation. Rarely gets out of the house. She is a “work horse.”
Stan Jerome: 18 years old. Eugene’s older brother. Has been working in the garment district as a stock boy for the past 2 years, since he graduated from high school. Torn by what he feels is right and what is essential for the good of his family. Can never seem to win. Gambles, lives dangerously. Acts as a father figure to Eugene when his father is ill. Athletic. Believes his father is perfect. Well intentioned. Contributes his salary to the family.
Jack Jerome: 40-45 years old. Eugene’s father. Works as a cutter in the garment district, while working evenings as a salesman to make ends meet. He is the provider for his immediate and extended family. Religious. Takes working hard to the extreme. Deals with high blood pressure and eventually suffers a heart attack. Strong role model for his sons. He is wise.
Blanche Morton: 38 years old. She is Eugene’s aunt, Kate’s sister. Widowed six years ago, she depends on her sister’s family to care for her and her two daughters. Carries a great deal of guilt, the burden of living off others. Naïve about the world as she has always been protected by her sister and husband. She is described as “good looking,” “the pretty one.” Sleeps with a picture of her dead husband. Has poor eyesight which she attributes to strain while doing seamstress work to contribute to the family. She suffers from asthma which acts up under stress.
Nora Morton: 16 years old. Eugene’s cousin. Blanche’s eldest daughter. She studies dance and aspires to dance on Broadway. Is desperate to escape the confines of the household to experience the adventures of the Great White Way. Often frustrated that her mother is unable to make decisions. She misses her father dearly. Resents the attention given to her sister Laurie. Has a propensity toward being “snotty,” though no more than average teenage angst.
Laurie: 13 years old. Eugene’s cousin. Blanche’s youngest daughter. Frail. Has a supposed heart condition that requires her to rest and avoid exercise or stress. Coddled by her mother and aunt Kate. Has learned to manipulate her mother to get out of work. Her interests are mostly academic though she likes movies. She tries to act in Nora’s best interest.
Auditions being held for “Brighton Beach Memoirs”
Auditions will include informal theatre games as well as reading from the script.
Read more at the Michigan Tech Lode, by Jane Kirby.