Character Gender/Age Range Description
Rhoda Penmark -
Girl, 10-12 (or child actor who can appear in this range): Rhoda appears
on the outside to be the perfect little girl. Bright, courteous, and
inquisitive. Despite flashes of anger, she is able to fool her
parents and others. Inside she is a liar, manipulator, and
Penmark - Female, 30s: Christine is
Rhoda’s mother. She is loving and refined yet anxious about vague
memories from her past. She is emotionally sensitive with
concerns about aspects of her daughter’s behavior.
Breedlove - Female, 40-50+: Monica is the
landlady and upstairs neighbor of the Penmarks. She is nosy
about their business, but genuinely good-hearted. She fancies
herself an expert on many topics and is completely blind to Rhoda’s
Miss Fern -
Female, 40-50+: Miss Fern is
Rhoda’s principal at a private school. She is suspicious of Rhoda
and senses that the little girl is not what she
seems. Prioritizes her school’s reputation and her own social
Mrs. Daigle -
Female, 40s: Mrs. Daigle is
the grieving mother of a student from Rhoda’s school who dies in an
accident. She is working class and earthy, who is jealous of
Christine’s “perfect” life. Despite her heartbroken, drunken
demeanor she sees through Rhoda’s veneer.
Penmark - Male, 30-40: Christine’s
husband and Rhoda’s father. He’s an ambitious Army officer
whose frequent absences disturb Christine. He is a doting father
and Rhoda has him completely wrapped around her little finger.
Emery Wages -
Male, 40-50: Monica’s
younger brother. Friendly but more taciturn than his
sister. Never married for which he is teased. Likes to
prick holes in his sister’s assumed expertise.
Leroy - Male,
janitor/handyman in the apartment building. He is lazy and
slovenly and resentful of the affluent people he works for. Considers
himself smarter than they are despite his station in life. He is
the one person who sees through Rhoda goody-two-shoes facade.
Tasker - Male, 40-50: A friend of
Monica and Emory. He writes detective stories and has made
himself an expert in the history of crime. He is especially
fascinated by a serial killer named Bessie Danker, who was beautiful
and ruthless and never caught.
Daigle/Messenger - Male, 40-50: Father of
Rhoda’s classmate believed to have drowned in a tragic
accident. Embarrassed by his wife’s drunken
outbursts. Doubles in walk on as messenger.
Richard Bravo -
Male, 60+: Christine’s
father. An esteemed news reporter renowned for his reporting during
WWII and his coverage of the Bessie Denker case. He loves
Christine dearly but lives under the strain of keeping a secret from