CALENDAR GIRLS by Tim Firth
Directed by Charley Shafor
- SUNDAY, JUNE 4th 6pm – 8pm
- MONDAY, JUNE 5th 7pm – 8:30pm
- Cold Readings from the script
- Please fill out our audition form PRIOR to your audition
- Rehearsals will start Early August
- Please be conflict free for the week of August 28th leading up to the opening on September 8th
When Annie’s husband John dies of leukemia, she and best friend Chris resolve to raise money for a new settee in the local hospital waiting room. They manage to persuade four fellow Women’s Institute members to pose nude with them for an “alternative” calendar. The calendar is a success, but Chris and Annie’s friendship is put to the test under the strain of their newfound fame. Based on the true story of eleven WI members who posed nude for a calendar to raise money for the Leukemia Research Fund,
10 Females / 4 Males
Character Descriptions – *Age ranges for characters will be treated as a guide only and not strictly enforced
- Chris – Female 40– 60: Chris is the life of the party. She will talk to people she doesn’t know, fill any awkward silences and generate laughter. Chris is at home in a crowd because she loves holding court and being the center of attention. Without Chris in her life, Annie would be better behaved, but she wouldn’t have as much fun. When they are together they are like naughty schoolgirls.
- Annie- Female – 40– 60: Annie will join in mischief, but is at heart, more conformist and less confrontational than Chris. After Chris has put a waiter’s back up in the restaurant, Annie will go in and make things right. The mischievousness Chris elicits saves Annie from being a saint. She has enough edge to be interesting, and enough salt not to be too sweet.
- Cora – Female – Around 40: Cora’s past is the most eclectic. Her horizons broadened when she went to college. This caused a tectonic shift with her more parochial parents. She came back to them pregnant and tail-between-the-legs, but Cora has too much native resilience to be downtrodden. She is the joker in the pack, but never plays the fool. Her wit is deadpan. It raises laughter in others, but rarely in herself. Her relationship with her daughter is more akin to that between Chris and Annie. Cora doesn’t need to sing like a diva, but must be able to sing well enough to start the show with Jerusalem and sing the snatches of other songs required.
- Jessie – Female – 60– 70: Get on the right side of Jessie as a teacher and she’ll be the teacher you remember for life. Get on the wrong side and you will regret every waking hour. A lover of life, Jessie doesn’t bother with cosmetics– her elixir of life is bravery. Jessie goes on rollercoasters. Her husband has been with her a long time and is rarely surprised by her actions. Jessie bothers about grammar and will correct stallholders regarding their abuse of the apostrophe.
- Celia – Female – 35– 50: The fact that Celia is in the WI is the greatest justification of its existence. A woman more at home in a department store than a church hall, she may be slightly younger than Chris or the same age, but she always feels like she’s drifted in from another world. She is particularly enamored of Jessie, and despite the fact Jessie has very little time for most Celias of this world, there is a rebelliousness in Celia to which Jessie responds. It is what sets Celia apart from the vapid materialism of her peer group and what makes her defect to the WI.
- Ruth – Female – Around 40: Ruth’s journey is from the false self-confidence of the emotionally abused to the genuine self-confidence of the woman, happy in her own skin. Ruth is eager to please, but not a rag doll, and despite being Marie’s right hand woman, she is desperate to be one of the cartilage in the spine of the WI and keep everyone happy. She has spine herself. If she was too wet, no one would wantheraround, but they do, and they feel protective of her because they sense there is something better in Ruth than her life is letting out.They are proved right. The Rabbit costume should be a cocktail of good intentions and not enough time.
- Marie Female – Around 50: Marie has gradually built the current “Marie” around herself over the years as a defence mechanism. She went to her Oz, Cheshire, and found Oz didn’t want her. She came back scorched. The WI is a trophy to her, which justifies her entire existence. There is a lingering part of Marie that would love to be on that calendar.
- John – Male – 50s: John is a human sunflower, not a saint, not a hero, just the kind of man you’d want in your car when crossing America. When he dies, it feels like someone, somewhere, turned out the lights.
- Rod – Male – 50s You have to be a certain kind of guy to stick with Chris, and Rod loves being that guy. He can give back what he gets and has a deadpan humour, which has always made Chris laugh. Hedrinks a lot but never so much as to have a problem. He would work every hour to make his shop a success and John was his mate, even though the relationship was originally channelled through the wives.
- Lawrence – Male – Late 20s, Hesitant without being nerdy, Lawrence is a shy young man with enough wit to make a joke and enough spirit to turn up at the WI hall in the first place. When he arranges the shots, he is close to female nudity, but sees only the photo.
- Lady Cravenshire – Female 60s– 70s, Lady Cravenshire really doesn’t mean to be so patronizing, but the WI girls seem from another world, the world of her estate workers. Dress: when she makes an entrance, she must make an entrance. She wears largely white or cream to outplay the others, with a bigger hat than Marie. She is not a tweed wearer. She must glide in like a galleon.
- Elaine – Female – 20s, Elaine really doesn’t mean to be so patronizing, but Jessie seems from another world, the world of her gran. She wears clinical whites. You feel as if you could cut yourself on that dress.
- Liam – Male – Late 20s–30s,Liam would like to be directing other things than photo shoots for washing powders. He’s not so unprofessional as to let it show, but we can sense a slight weariness at having to deal with these women. There’s a resigned patience to his actions and each smile he makes wefeel is professional. For Liam, this photo shoot is a job, and not the job he wanted.
- Brenda Hulse – Female – 40– 60 Brenda is a woman committed to tedious subjects. In the previous year she spoke to the group on “The History of the Tea Towel”. This year it is “The Fascinating World of Broccoli”. She soldiers on seriously while her audience dissolves sniggering. Brenda is a bore.
Production dates: Sept. 8-16