Auditions for A Walk in the Woods and Stones in his Pockets will be June 3rd
West End Players Guild will hold open auditions for the first two plays of its 2017-2018 season on Saturday, June 3, beginning at 12 noon in the theatre at the Union Avenue Christian Church, 733 Union Blvd. There is ample free parking at the back of the church. Auditioners should use the outdoor stairs to the basement entrance (it will be marked).
The plays to be cast are:
• Lee Blessing’s A Walk in the Woods, directed by Renee Sevier-Monsey. A Walk in the Woods will be presented in seven performances September 29-October 8. A Walk in the Woods has roles for two adult males. Rehearsals will begin in August. Auditions for A Walk in the Woods will consist of cold readings from sides.
• Marie Jones’s Stones in his Pockets, directed by Ryan Foizey. Stones in his Pockets will be presented in seven performances November 10-19. Stones in his Pockets has roles for two adult males. First-round auditions for Stones in his Pockets will be monologues of the auditioners’ choosing; callbacks will be held after 2 p.m. on the same day, and will consist of cold readings from sides.
Auditioners should bring a resume and head shot for each director for whom they wish to read. Sides for both shows will be posted for download on this page no later than one week before the auditions.
West End Players Guild is a non-Equity professional company. All actors will be paid a stipend.
Plot summaries and character descriptions follow. Inquiries (including inquiries for the directors) may be submitted by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone to 314/667-5686.
Plot and Character Synopses:
A Walk in the Woods
From Dramatists Play Service:
The play is set in the late 1980s; the United States and the USSR are the world’s “superpowers” and nuclear proliferation is an ongoing threat to world peace.
The place is a “pleasant woods on the outskirts of Geneva,” where two superpower arms negotiators, a Russian and an American, meet informally after long, frustrating hours at the bargaining table. The Russian, Botvinnik, a seasoned veteran who has mastered the Soviet “hard line,” is urbane and humorous but, at the same time, profoundly cynical about what the current sessions can accomplish. His young American counterpart, Honeyman, a newcomer to the arms-control talks, is a bit stuffy and pedantic, but also fervently idealistic about what can—and must—be achieved through perseverance and honest bargaining. They continue their informal meetings as the talks drag on and the seasons change, and through their absorbing and revealing conversations we become aware both of the deepening understanding between these two wise and decent men and also of the profound frustration that they increasingly feel. In the end, when Botvinnik announces that he is leaving his post, Honeyman is genuinely regretful, not only because of the friendship that has grown between them but also because he knows that he must now confront again the deep-seated mistrust and misconceptions which a “new man” will bring with him—and that the elemental differences in their two systems of government will continue to exacerbate as long as the real power rests in the hands of those burdened by the bitterness of the past.
“An important, brilliantly executed and strikingly original play which brings deep perception and unexpected humor to its probing examination of the superpower negotiations on nuclear disarmament.” The play was a long-running Broadway success. “It is a marvelous piece of theatre as well as a great treatise on the nature of mankind, and should take its place as a classic of dramatic literature.” —Drama-Logue. “…a work of passion and power with the ring of political truth. It is not only the best of the few dramas to reach Broadway this season, it is also the funniest comedy.” —Time Magazine. “…a minor miracle…” —NY Magazine. “…a splendid evening of theatre.” —NY Daily News.
Cast of Characters:
Andrey Botvinnik – 57, a career Soviet diplomat, originally played on Broadway (1988) by Robert Prosky.
John Honeyman – 45, an American negotiator, originally played on Broadway by Sam Waterston.
Audition Sides for A Walk in the Woods:
Stones in his Pockets
Stones in his Pockets takes place in a scenic spot near a small County Kerry town that has been taken over by a Hollywood film crew.
Charlie Conlan and Jake Quinn have been employed as extras on the film and tell the story of the impact this movie set has upon the local community. Charlie claims to be escaping the aftermath of a failed business venture and has great aspirations to get his own script made into a film. Jake has recently returned from America and is enthralled by the beauty of the movie’s leading lady until it becomes clear that she only wants to use him to appropriate his accent.
The play depicts the local excitement and enthusiasm at being part of a huge movie, but the glamour quickly fades as the reality of being an extra kicks in. Charlie and Jake play thirteen other eccentric and eclectic characters between them, including Caroline, the American movie star who struggles to do a convincing Irish accent; Clem, the English director; and Mickey, a local extra in his seventies. They tell the story of local teenager, Sean Harkin, who commits suicide by drowning with stones in his pockets after being humiliated by the movie’s star and thrown out of his local pub. Following his suicide, the town must come to terms with his death and the apparent disinterest from the film crew who, initially, are unwilling to interrupt filming to let the extras go to the funeral. Jake blames himself for not helping Sean when he was in need and mocks Charlie for his continual optimism. The two men decide to rewrite Charlie’s script to tell Sean’s story but Clem informs them that it isn’t exciting or glamorous enough to ever succeed.
With just two actors playing more than a dozen parts, Stones in his Pockets is a comedic yet tragic take on the effects of the Hollywood dream in a small Irish town.
Cast of characters:
Charlie Conlan – Male, 20s.
Jake Quinn – Male, 20s
NOTE: Both characters must be able to perform in a variety of Irish and American accents.