by Theresa Rebeck
WHEN: Monday, August 19, and Wednesday, August 21, from 7:30 – 9:30 with callbacks by invitation on Thursday, August 22.
WHERE: Circle Players, 416 Victoria Ave., Piscataway
Show dates are November 22 – December 8. There is no performance on Friday, November 29.
Four aspiring young novelists sign up for private writing classes with Leonard, an international literary figure. Under his recklessly brilliant and unorthodox instruction, some thrive and others flounder, alliances are made and broken, sex is used as a weapon, and hearts are unmoored.
Director Matt Lafargue seeks the following actors:
- 2 women, 20’s
- 2 men, 20’s
- 1 man, 40 – 60
Ages are approximate and describe the age an actor appears to be onstage. Actors must be over 18 years old.
Questions about the play or the roles can be directed to the producer, Faith Dowgin, by email via firstname.lastname@example.org
Please note: The role of Izzy requires a moment of brief partial nudity (lifting her shirt). The role of Kate requires part of a scene be performed while scantily clad (in a shirt and panties; a la Annette Bening in "The American President.”
KATE – (F, 20s) The child of affluent “old money” New Yorkers, Kate is defensive and neurotic. Self-aware and self-conscious of her privilege, she’s constantly worried that people won’t take her seriously as a writer because she’s an entitled rich girl. She’s been working on the same short story for years, ever since she received (faint) praise for it at college. Absolutely devastated by Leonard’s criticism, she has to decide whether to completely reinvent herself or give up writing altogether. She has resilience born of her intelligence, not her privilege. Secretly has a thing for Martin, but will never admit it.
MARTIN – (M, 20s) Middle-class, definitely not privileged, and has a chip on his shoulder because of that. So emotionally invested in and protective of his own writing that he’s terrified to show it to anyone. Uses his acerbic wit as his defense and, not surprisingly, is very sensitive. Thus far, he’s failing both professionally and financially, but he’s (rightly) convinced that he’s a talented writer who deserves to make it in the world. Martin is tortured by the accomplishments of his colleagues, especially Douglas. Sometimes lets his emotions get in the way of his own best interests. Totally oblivious to Kate’s interest in him, but his infatuation with Izzy seems to be the only thing that can distract him from his passion for writing.
LEONARD – (M, 40s-60s) Charismatic, fierce, brilliant, complicated, celebrity writer, editor, and teacher. Brutally honest to the point of borderline verbal abuse. He genuinely wants to help his students improve as writers, but does not care about their feelings in the slightest. Bitter and detached due to not being as respected in the writing community as he (rightly) believes he should be, he’s contemptuous of almost everything around him, yet he can’t help but get excited about real, honest writing. Travels the world and has as much meaningless sex as he can get in a desperate attempt to feel something, but the only thing that truly makes him feel alive is bringing good writing into the world, whether as a writer or a teacher. Sees much more of himself in Martin than he initially lets on.
DOUGLAS – (M, 20s) The most successful of the four students and, not coincidentally, best connected. He can actually write, but is constantly accused of “name dropping.” Frequently goes on writers’ retreats to top notch writing colonies, which he mostly gets into because of his last name. He comes off as insufferably pretentious at times, but he doesn’t mean to be that way – it’s just all he’s ever known. He tries not to show it, but deep down he’s as vulnerable and desperate for validation as all of the other characters. Like all of the men in this play, he’s attracted to Izzy.
§ IZZY – (F, 20s) Strong, sexy, opportunistic, and confident. Simultaneously the least book smart and the most savvy of the four students. Deemed a good writer from the beginning, she freely admits to not being as emotionally attached to her writing as any of the other characters. She views it as a pragmatic means to achieve her desired ends, namely money, fame, and respect. Not afraid to use her sexuality to her advantage. Sees opportunity to capitalize on the connections of Douglas and Leonard. Takes genuine pity on Martin.
Audition sides are available at http://circleplayers.org/participate/auditions/