West End Players Guild auditions will be July 24th.
West End Players Guild will hold open auditions for its 2021-2022 season on Saturday, July 24, 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).
As a Covid 19 precaution, audition sessions for the four plays to be cast will be spread throughout the day. The plays to be cast and times for the audition sessions are:
- 10 a.m. – Noon. Shirley Lauro’s A Piece of My Heart, directed by Dani Mann. A Piece of My Heart is a powerful drama of six women who went to Vietnam: five nurses and a country & western singer booked by an unscrupulous agent to entertain the troops. A Piece of My Heart offers roles for six women and one man, each portraying themselves or others, both during the war and 20 years later. A Piece of My Heart will be performed December 10-19, 2021.
- 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. Steven Dietz’s Bloomsday, directed by Jessa Knust. Robert returns to Dublin to reunite with Cait, the woman who captured his heart during a James Joyce literary tour thirty-five years ago. Dancing backwards through time, the older couple retrace their steps to discover their younger selves. Through young Robbie and Caithleen, they relive the unlikely, inevitable events that brought them, only briefly, together. This Irish time-travel love story blends wit, humor and heartache into a buoyant, moving appeal for making the most of the present before it is past. Bloomsday was in rehearsal in the spring of 2020 when WEPG suspended its season due to the Covid-19 pandemic. This audition session will be for one role only – Caithleen, a 20-year-old Irish tour guide; the other three roles in the show were previously cast. Bloomsday will be performed September 17-26, 2021.
- 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Martin McDonagh’s The Lonesome West, directed by Robert Ashton. Valene and Coleman, two brothers living alone in their late father’s house, find it impossible to exist without the most massive and violent disputes over the most mundane and innocent of topics. Only Father Welsh, the young local priest, is prepared to try to reconcile the two before their petty squabblings spiral into vicious and bloody carnage. BTW, did we mention that this is a comedy? The Lonesome West offers roles for three men and one woman: Girleen, a lass of 17; Father Welsh, 35; and Valene and Coleman Connor, brothers in their 30’s-40’s. The Lonesome West will be performed April 29-May 8, 2022.
- 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. Lucas Hnath’s Hillary and Clinton, directed by Tim Naegelin. In an alternate universe light-years away from our own is a planet called Earth. It looks a lot like our Earth, except that it’s slightly different. And living on this other Earth is a woman named Hillary. Hillary is trying to become the president of a country called the United States of America. It’s 2008 and she’s campaigning in a state called New Hampshire. She’s not doing very well in the polls. She needs more money to keep the campaign going, so she calls her husband for help. He offers her a tough deal, but when she gets his help, she gets more than she bargained for. You may think you know where this story is going, but you don’t. After all, it’s an alternate universe, and anything can happen. Hillary and Clinton offers roles for three men, two of them younger and one a little older, and one woman of a certain age. Hillary and Clinton will be performed February 11-20, 2022.
Auditioners should bring a resume and head shot for each director for whom they wish to read. Readings will be on a first-come/first served basis; appointments are not required. Plot and character synopses along with downloadable audition sides are below.
West End Players Guild is a non-Equity professional company. All actors will be paid a stipend.
Inquiries (including inquiries for the directors) are welcome, either by email to email@example.com or by phone to 314/667-5686. But… please be sure to read the information on this page before contacting us, as many of your questions will be answered here.
PLEASE BE ADVISED that in order to protect the health of our cast and crew members as well as our ability to perform our shows, ALL CAST AND CREW MEMBERS IN OUR 2021-2022 SEASON WILL BE REQUIRED TO BE FULLY VACCINATED AGAINST COVID-19 PRIOR TO PARTICIPATION IN ANY REHEARSAL OR PRODUCTION ACTIVITIES. If you are unwilling to comply with this requirement, please do not apply to audition.
Plot and Character Synopses and Audition Sides
A Piece of My Heart, by Shirley Lauro
This is a powerful, true, drama of six women who went to Vietnam: nurses, a Red Cross volunteer and a USO performer booked to entertain the troops. “A Piece of My Heart” has been named “The most enduring play on Vietnam in the nation,” by The Vietnam Vets Association.
Casting 6 women and 1 man. Each character will portray themselves both younger/during the war, and later in life. It’s a great ensemble piece with no traditional “lead” roles.
*Auditioners can choose to read for up to 2 of the women but will be considered for any they might be appropriate for, unless interest is specified for only certain roles.
Leeann – Raised in NYC, she’s both strong/streetwise, determined and totally hip. Prior to nursing school, she was the quintessential hippie. Asian or multi-racial/20s-40s
Steele – Has a military bearing, highly pragmatic. She’s Southern, outgoing, and has a great sense of humor to help through dark times. Black or multi-racial/20s-40s
Martha – Strong, self-composed, aura of self-discipline, military bearing. A pioneer. Open race/ethnicity/20s-40s
MaryJo – Outgoing with a bubbly personality. And like so many, a comedienne with sadness often lurking below the surface brightness. Must be a singer and play guitar / strum well enough to accompany oneself convincingly. Open race/ethnicity/18-30s. *Those auditioning for MaryJo must come with an acoustic guitar and be prepared to sing/play 16 to 24 bars of a Vietnam-era folk, anti-war or country rock song. MaryJo will be called back to perform a second monologue instead of a scene, and can choose to perform their song with either monologue.
Sissy – Sweet and feminine. She’s warm, gentle and loads of fun. Open race/ethnicity/20s-40s
Whitney – A Vassar graduate. Aristocratic in demeanor. She’s both withdrawn and contained. Open race/ethnicity/20s-40s
Man – This is a demanding role requiring a very skilled, versatile actor to play multiple, distinct roles including soldiers, officers and civilians. Open race/ethnicity/20s-50s. (Male auditioners should prepare all three sides including the Man, below, and plan to be called for a minimum of two readings.)
Audition Sides (click to download)
Bloomsday, by Steven Dietz
Robert returns to Dublin to reunite with Cait, the woman who captured his heart during a James Joyce literary tour 35 years ago. Dancing backwards through time, the older couple retrace their steps to discover their younger selves. Through young Robbie and Caithleen, they relive the unlikely, inevitable events that brought them—only briefly—together. This Irish time-travel love story blends wit, humor, and heartache into a buoyant, moving appeal for making the most of the present before it is past. (from Dramatists Play Service)
What is “Bloomsday”? Bloomsday is celebrated annually in Dublin and elsewhere on June 16th, the day on which James Joyce’s pivotal novel Ulysses takes place. Bloomsday is named after the novel’s protagonist, Leopold Bloom, who spends the day of June 16th, 1904 on an extensive walking journey through Dublin. Bloomsday celebrations involve a range of cultural activities, including public readings and reenactments of selections of Ulysses, pub crawls, Dublin landmark tours, and feasts. Many Dubliners dress up as characters from the novel to celebrate.
To be cast July 24
CAITHLEEN: (pronounced “Kathleen”). 20-30. Irish. Cait’s younger self. A guide for the “James Joyce’s Dublin” walking tour. Eccentric, superstitious, thoughtful, and conflicted. Undue burdens have made her wise beyond her years. Caithleen wants nothing more than to have an ordinary life, but fears that this is out of her grasp.
Other roles (previously cast):
ROBERT: 45-65. American. A literature professor, an expert on James Joyce’s Ulysses. Pensive, nostalgic, and idealistic. Haunted by the memory of a certain pivotal day spent in Dublin during his youth, on a James Joyce walking tour. Full of regret, but possibly just because he doesn’t know the whole story…
CAIT: 45-65. Irish. Cait has a unique way of perceiving the world around her, and of perceiving time itself. This has made her both wise and cynical. She has a fiery temperament but a kind heart. She has resigned herself to her non-ordinary life, but eventually finds a sense of contentment.
ROBBIE: 20-30. American. Robert’s younger self. Playful and mischievous. Sheltered and naïve, but with a youthful confidence. Finds himself in Dublin during a period of personal upheaval, and by happenstance joins a walking tour that sets into motion the events of the rest of his life.
Audition Sides (click to download)
The Lonesome West, by Martin McDonagh
Plot and Character Synopses
The play is set in Leenane, a town in County Galway in the west of Ireland in the 1990s. The four characters speak with the local accent (we’ll work on that) but all those auditioning must demonstrate their Irish accent. As with most of playwright McDonagh’s work there is a lot of unpleasantness and violence but it is also very funny and requires strong comedic skills.
Note: strong language is used throughout.
The Two Brothers: (30s-40s): Valene and Coleman Connor who live together and persistently and often violently argue over the most trivial of items. Valene is only interested in his religious ornaments and drinking poteen (illicit alcohol made from potatoes). Coleman can be extremely violent. Neither of them cares much for anyone else.
Father Welsh (35): The local Catholic priest depressed at his failure in the parish, which has had a number of murders and suicides, has turned to drink. As his final act he tries to get the brothers to reconcile.
Girleen (17): A pretty girl who sells her uncle’s poteen and is secretly in love with Father Welsh. Her quick witted and often crude banter hides a sensitive young woman.
Audition Sides (click to download)
Hillary and Clinton, by Lucas Hnath
In an alternate universe light-years away from our own is a planet called Earth. It looks a lot like our Earth, except it’s slightly different. And living on this other Earth is a woman named Hillary. Hillary is trying to become the president of a country called the United States of America. It’s 2008 and she’s campaigning in a state called New Hampshire. She’s not doing very well in the polls. She needs more money to keep the campaign going, so she calls her husband for help. He offers her a deal, a tough deal, but when she gets his help, she gets more than she bargained for. You may think you know where this story is going, but you don’t. After all, the play takes place in an alternate universe where anything can happen.
Hillary — a woman running for president of the United States, age range late 50’s-early 60’s
Bill — a man who was once president of the United States, married to Hillary, age range late 50’s-early 60’s
Mark — a political strategist and Hillary’s campaign manager, age range 30’s-40’s
Barack — a man who also is running for president of the United States, age range mid-40’s