Auditions Announced for THE FOREIGNER at Beechmont Players

BPI_logoAuditions for Beechmont Players’ production of THE FOREIGNER

Director: Richard Zenk
Assistant Director: Doug Decauter
Producer: Barbara Alenduff

Auditions are May 21 noon to 2pm, May 22 7-9pm and May 24 7-9pm at the Anderson Center in the large conference room.

Auditionees must contact the director, Richard Zenk, (richardjoseph@gmail.com) to set an appointment for the audition rather than show up without an appointment at the time of the auditions.

Rehearsals run from late August or early September until the first performance.

Performance dates are October 20-28, 2017

Email the director (richardjoseph@gmail.com) to receive the audition form and further instructions. The director will send you information on how to sign up for an audition time and date.The director has designed the audition process for a positive experience by the auditionees.

The in-person audition will consist of readings from the script and improv activities.  The script readings for each character and the improv activity will be provided to auditionees ahead of the audition. At auditions, the director asks that you embody the character as you see him/her so he can see your interpretations of the voice, emotions and body movement you believe are appropriate for the character.  You will be asked to perform other roles during the audition so he recommends you read all script excerpts and read the entire play prior to auditions.  Improv will be part of the audition as well as it is an important element for some of the characters in the show.

Character Breakdown

  • Charlie Baker – Stage Age 40-55 – Background: A science-fiction copy editor for a book publishing house, Charlie is British and a shy man who has an unfaithful wife, no personality that he can think of, and a need for peace and quiet. He has accompanied his friend, Froggy to a Georgia fishing lodge much against his own better judgment.  Charlie is a painfully shy man so he and Froggy agree to pretend that Charlie doesn’t speak English so that he won’t have to make small talk with the other characters in the play. Personality: At the start of the play the script states, he is “standing in his forlorn trenchcoat, seems quietly, somehow permanently, lost.” He is sweet, intelligent, and the idea of contact with strangers throws him into a debilitating panic. He has an innocent face and is capable of expert physical comedy and has exceptional vocal versatility. He is forced to adopt a different persona out of fear and desperation and does so on the spot. He is always improvising a step ahead of disaster. His natural accent is middle-class English, but he adopts an accent that can be vaguely middle to eastern European….plus various other “creepy ogre-alien” voices.NOTE: Those auditioning for Charlie will be expected to audition in a British accent and speak in the various dialects as described in the script.
  • Froggy Lesueur:  Stage Age 40 – 60 – Background: A British military demolitions expert who occasionally conducts field operations in rural Georgia. Froggy is Charlie’s caring friend and devises the scheme that protects Charlie from having to interact with the other guests at the lodge. His army buddies probably gave him the nickname “Froggy” because of his French last name. He speaks with a working-class English accent. Personality: He is open, hearty, cheerful and well traveled. He is a natural storyteller and all-around good fellow. To quote the script, he “seems well-fed, flushed with the spirit of adventure, and right at home”.NOTE: Those auditioning for Froggy will be expected to audition in a British (ideally Cockney) accent. The director may have a British dialect coach for these two characters, but ask that audtionees use their best accent at the audition.

NOTE: Those auditioning for the remaining characters will be expected to audition in a Georgian accent.  Resource: http://www.dialectsarchive.com/georgia

  • Catherine Simms: Stage Age 25-35 – Background: Catherine is a debutante and comes from a wealthy Southern family. She is the heiress to her father’s estate and is engaged to Reverend David Lee. She is the direct opposite of her brother, Ellard. She is a fading “deb” and a graduate of the University of Georgia. Personality: She has a ready wit, is smart and has a sharp tongue.  She can be a formidable force and is occasionally almost too much for the good Reverend to handle. She has a bit of a temper, but she also has a sense of humor. She badly needs someone to talk to, and, since Charlie doesn’t bother giving advice, he suits her needs perfectly.
  • Ellard Simms: Stage Age 20-30 – Background: He is Catherine’s younger brother.  Ellard is Catherine’s younger brother. He will inherit a portion of the family money, unless Catherine decides that he is mentally unfit to handle it. Personality: The playwright describes him as “…a lumpy, overgrown, backward youth…”. Backward does not mean mentally damaged. He is actually quite bright and gentle, but is emotionally stunted. He has been overlooked, ignored, and untended, without ever getting a chance to grow and prosper as a person. He is naturally quiet and shy. He speaks cautiously for fear of making a blunder. His family has expected him to get things wrong, and he usually lives up to their expectations.
  • Reverend David Marshall Lee: Stage Age 30-45 – Background: He is engaged to Catherine and he is a guest staying at Betty’s lodge. He is not what he seems, however, and he is clearly the brains behind the plot he engages in with Owen to get control of Betty’s fishing lodge and Catherine’s fortune. Personality: A friendly, open-faced man, and as the playwright says: “neither the stereotypically pallid, remote, divinity student, nor the hearty, backslapping evangelist. He seems rather like ‘a regular fella,’ humorous and open, and good man to have on our side.” He is patient, polite, intelligent, and friends with everyone, but we soon discover that David is hiding something.
  • Owen Musser: Stage Age 40-60 – Background: Owen and the Reverend Lee are cooking up a plot to condemn Betty’s lodge so that it can be bought for their own nefarious purposes. He is a man with the instincts of a playground bully, and is using his position as Tilghman County Property Inspector to confiscate Betty’s lakeside lodge. Owen is definitely the villain of the play. Personality: Owen is the absolute stereotype of an ill-bred southern Klansman. He is not stupid; but, like all racists, he is profoundly ignorant. Owen takes advantage of anyone that is weaker than he is, but like most bullies he is easily intimidated by a show of strength.
  • Betty Meeks: Stage age 55-70 – Background: A widow who owns the lakeside lodge that is the setting for the play. Betty and her late husband have owned and operated this ‘bed and breakfast” for as long as anyone can remember. When her husband died, Betty just kept right on welcoming the summer tourists. She is a motherly woman who has probably never left her home state of Georgia. She is naively excited to learn about anything “foreign”. She is a long-time friend of Froggy. Personality: She is pleasant, wise in some ways, naïve in others. She is a good-hearted, generous, “down-home” Southerner who speaks the hardy local dialect.
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