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Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Auditions: 'The Shadow Box' at Strollers of Maplewood

The Shadow Box
by Michael Cristofer     directed by Cynthia S. Ross

Three tales unfold in three cottages on the grounds of a large hospital in Michael Cristofer’s The Shadow Box. Each tale features a person who is dying. Each person is surrounded by loved ones. All are trying to face and make sense of death. Joe is a working class husband and father, his wife, Maggie, is in denial of Joe’s impending death, and their teenage son, Stephen, has not yet been told of his father’s terminal condition. The second family consists of Brian, who is brutally forthright about his demise, Mark, his doting lover, and Beverly, Brian’s wild ex-wife who comes to visit them. The third family is a feisty, blind, and wheelchair-bound mother, Felicity, and her dutiful daughter, Agnes. An off-stage character, "the interviewer," serves as a sort of psychiatrist and pops in and out of the scenes, offering insight into the various characters through questioning.

We are looking to cast actors/roles from any races and ethnicities.

Auditions - Day 1 - Tuesday, September 8th - 7:30pm
Auditions - Day 2 - Wednesday, September 9th - 7:30pm
Callbacks - (1 Night Only) - Thursday, September 10th - 7:30pm

Sides are available online at under the Auditions tab for the Season.

Performances are:
Friday, November 6th - 8pm
Saturday, November 7th - 8pm
Sunday, November 8th - 2pm
Friday, November 13th - 8pm
Saturday, November 14th - 8pm

Character Breakdowns are as follows:
Joe (age 40-50), Joe is a working man from the Northeast.  Strong, but gentle family man, very close to his son, Steve. Joe is relatively inarticulate about his own feelings toward his illness.  All of his emotion is focused on his family.  He is very worried about his wife’s acceptance of his terminal illness and how they will share this news with their son.  Joe has no visible signs of illness or infirmity.
Steve (can act, look 14 to 16 yrs).  Actor should be able to play the guitar, but doesn’t need to play well, just chords and strumming as he is practicing a song during the play.  Steve has a mix of emotions, he is excited to be visiting his father, is perplexed by his mother’s erratic behavior and this role involves interacting with his parents during this visit to his father’s cottage.
Maggie (age 40-50).  Maggie is a complex character, primarily a loving wife and mother, funny and warm, but wraps it up in a no nonsense, bossy demeanor as she comes for a visit to the cottage.  But Maggie is very conflicted and has not accepted the terminal nature of her husband’s illness.  She would like everything to be back to normal.  She also bears the burden of not having told their son about the severity of his father’s illness.  Also from the Northeast.
Brian (age 40-50)  Brian is a cerebral, literate man who is trying to reason his way through acceptance of his terminal illness.  He generally keeps his tone light, but erudite, and his emotions in check.  He is surprised and moved by a visit from his ex-wife who has always been more emotional, spontaneous, physical.  He has to manage the hostility between his partner Mark and his ex-wife, Beverly.  Brian has no obvious signs of illness except for tremors until the end of the play when he faints; the character also has a dancing sequence with Beverly
Mark (age 25-40) Mark is very good looking.  He is Brian’s caretaker and lover.  Mark is dealing with his emotions about Brian’s illness by pretending that he doesn’t have any.  He has a great deal of conflict with Beverly who tries to make him confront his fears and, as a result, be a better, more loving caretaker to Brian.
Beverly (age 40-50) Beverly is Brian’s ex-wife, she is funny, full of life and fun, profane, sarcastic, prone to dancing and discussing her love life.  Her brittle humor masks her love and concern for Brian.  She is also someone who goads Mark and her scenes involve conflict with Mark and quick witted humorous interactions with Brian.  Beverly is a life force, with an edge.  Beverly is responsible for a lot of humor in the play.
Felicity (ages 50-70) Felicity is the character most obviously impacted by her illness.  She is in a wheelchair. She is an earthy, feisty, take no prisoner old lady who morphs from quick witted, no nonsense acceptance and lucidity to confused rambling due to her pain and illness.  She often challenges her daughter and caretaker, Agnes.
Agnes (ages 40-50) Agnes is a repressed, restrained woman who is devoted to her mother but often frustrated by her behavior.  She has been under a lot of tension as her mother’s illness has been protracted. She is also concealing a secret that is revealed during the play.  Agnes is a character who surprises with her passion and representation of the challenges of being a caretaker for a parent.
Interviewer Usually played off stage by a male, in this play the interviewer will likely be both off and on stage and acting as a counselor. Can be male or female, age range undetermined, but likely best to be 30’s or older.  The Interviewer interacts primarily with the patients, Joe, Brian, and Felicity, but has some scenes with the caretakers as well.  Interviewer is generally empathetic but can seem detached and clinical at times as well.  Interviewer is present throughout the play.

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Maplewood, NJ 07040

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