The Barn Theatre in Montville, New Jersey continues its 92nd season by holding open auditions
written by Larry Shue
directed by Joe Guardara
WHEN: Sunday, November 10, 2019, at 6 pm and Monday, November 11, at 7 pm. Call backs (if needed) will be invite-only on Tuesday, November 12, at 7 pm.
WHERE: The Barn Theatre is located at 32 Skyland Drive in Montville, NJ, just minutes off Route 287 (Exit 47).
For more information or directions, call 973-334-9320 ext. 5, or visit www.barntheatre.org
Actors are asked to arrive to sign in within the first hour of the audition start time. All roles are available. Casting is open, and newcomers are especially welcomed. Crew and other volunteers are also needed for the show. If interested, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Performance Dates: Friday, January 10-Saturday, February 1
The scene is a fishing lodge in rural Georgia often visited by "Froggy" LeSueur, a British demolition expert who occasionally runs training sessions at a nearby army base. This time "Froggy" has brought along a friend, a pathologically shy young man named Charlie who is overcome with fear at the thought of making conversation with strangers. So "Froggy," before departing, tells all assembled that Charlie is from an exotic foreign country and speaks no English. Once alone the fun really begins, as Charlie overhears more than he should—the evil plans of a sinister, two-faced minister and his redneck associate; the fact that the minister's pretty fiancée is pregnant; and many other damaging revelations made with the thought that Charlie doesn't understand a word being said. That he does fuels the nonstop hilarity of the play and sets up the wildly funny climax in which things go uproariously awry for the "bad guys," and the "good guys" emerge triumphant.
Charlie Baker - (30s-50s) Charlie is the "foreigner" of the play's title, an Englishman in his late- forties who comes to Georgia for a weekend visit with his friend, Staff Sergeant Froggy LeSueur. Initially, Charlie is extremely shy, dull, and morose as he worries about the apparently imminent death of his philandering wife. A proofreader for an English science fiction magazine, Charlie considers himself "boring" and wonders what it would be like to have a vibrant personality. At the beginning of the play, Charlie is so sad and shy that he doesn't want to speak to anyone. When Froggy introduces him as a "foreigner" who can't speak or understand English, however, Charlie gradually discovers his hidden potential. Overhearing the plot of the Reverend David and Owen Musser to buy Betty's lodge and turn it into a meeting place for the Ku Klux Klan, Charlie ultimately leads Betty, Catherine, and Ellard in a successful fight against these villains. In helping Betty thwart David and Owen's machinations, Charlie discovers leadership skills, love, and the vibrant personality he has always craved.
Reverend David Marshall Lee - (30s-50s) The Reverend David Marshall Lee is the fiance of Catherine and one of the main villains, along with Owen, in the play. Pretending to be concerned about Betty and her struggling business, David secretly attempts to gain control of her lodge so he can turn it into the Tilghman County headquarters for the Ku Klux Klan. David appears to be friendly, sincere, genuinely decent, kind, and patient, and he is quite canny in carrying out his devious plot. In Act II, however, Charlie's clever taunts subtly reveal David's basic meanness.
Staff Sergeant Froggy Lesueur - (30s-50s) Froggy is the ebullient demolition expert from the British Army who brings his friend, Charlie Baker, to Georgia for a three-day weekend. In his annual visits to the United States, Froggy has become good friends with Betty Meeks and is genuinely concerned about her welfare. When Charlie pleads for solitude during his brief stay, Froggy is caught between his loyalties to both Betty and Charlie; he hatches the plan to pass Charlie off as a "foreigner." Froggy's plan is for Betty to be charmed by the exotic visitor while Charlie gets his needed peace and quiet. In his late- forties, Froggy speaks in a Cockney dialect, is dressed in his army fatigues, and is extremely cheerful.
Betty Meeks - (50s or older) A widow, Betty Meeks is the owner and operator of the fishing lodge and resort in which the play takes place. Betty has always dreamed of traveling outside of Georgia and is quite thrilled with the prospect of having a "real, live foreigner" as her guest. Since the death of her husband, Betty has been struggling to keep her resort business alive, unaware of David and Owen's underhanded plot to gain control of it. Betty speaks with a strong Georgia accent. She talks to Charlie, "the foreigner," as if he were deaf, as if speaking louder and slower will facilitate Charlie's understanding.
Owen Musser - (30s-60s) The racist Owen Musser is a local Georgia man who serves as the henchman for the main villain, the Reverend David Lee. After being named the property inspector for Tilghman County, Georgia, Owen has the authority to condemn Betty's fishing lodge as structurally unsafe, which would force Betty to sell and enable David Lee to purchase the lodge with the money he gains from marrying Catherine. To call Owen "crude" is to indulge in understatement: he is mean-spirited, ignorant, volatile, and extremely prejudiced against anyone who doesn't fit his ideal of "Christian, white America.
Catherine Simms - (20s-40s) Catherine is staying with Betty at the lodge. She is engaged to the Reverend David Lee, unaware of his true, villainous character. A former debutante and the heiress of a huge fortune, Catherine is bored with life, restless, and unsure of what she wants. When she discovers in Charlie a man who is genuinely kind and really enjoys listening, she believes she has found her ideal romantic mate. Catherine is small in stature and pretty.
Ellard Simms - (Teens-early 30s) Ellard is Catherine's younger brother and an extremely insecure young man who is considered by others to be mentally defective. Shue describes him as "a lumpy, overgrown, backward youth, who spends much of his time kneading something tiny and invisible in front of his chest." Catherine has promised to give Ellard half of their very large inheritance if he shows any signs of mental and social competence. The villainous Reverend David Lee conspires to make Ellard appear stupid in order to maintain control over all of Catherine's money, but during the course of the play Ellard proves to have both moderate intelligence and considerable courage.