Please look at the following bullet points to see how the process has changed:
- Always apply the 6ft distancing rule when attending auditions. We will consider this as part of our onstage audition guidelines as well.
- You will be asked to attend only one night of auditions.
Our season schedule contains the audition and performance dates for our six mainstage shows. We will post more details at least two weeks in advance of each audition.
Unless otherwise specified, auditions are as follows:
- Auditions are on a Sunday and Monday at 7:00pm. The doors will open at 6:30.
- Auditioners only need to attend one audition. Wear comfortable clothing and shoes. No prior experience or resume is required.
- A prepared piece is not required.
- Every auditioner will be notified by phone of their result, before the full cast list is announced publicly.
- Surfside does not precast roles....ever.
Auditions will consist of:
Musicals & Non-Musicals
Cold readings from the script
Each auditioneer will be taught a 30 second selection of music from the show.
Each auditioneer will be taught a15 second dance / staged movement routine.
Auditions Sunday & Monday (November 7 & 8) at 7:00pm
Note: The ages listed are approximations only. There is a lot of doubling in this show which will be pinned down after casting. There may be gender bending with some of the roles.
Rachel Brown- (Playing 20s) The daughter of Reverend Brown. Twenty-two year old Rachel teaches the second grade at the school where Cates also taught. Rachel is close friend of Cates, and their relationship has a romantic element. Rachel fears her father’s disapproval and becomes upset when Brady calls on her to testify about her personal conversations with Cates. A transition in the character occurs when she must decide between unquestioning loyalty to her father and his teachings and the open speculation and questioning for truth of and her love for Bertram Cates.
Bertram Cates- (Playing 20s) A science teacher and the defendant in the trial. A soft spoken and humble man, Cates has been arrested for teaching his students the theory of evolution from a biology textbook. His outlook on human knowledge is skeptical, and he wonders about the nature of the universe..
Rev. Jeremiah Brown- (Playing 40+)The figure of religious authority in Hillsboro. Reverend Brown preaches a creed based on fear of God and the punishment of sinners.
E.K. Hornbeck – (Adult) A cynical, wisecracking journalist and critic who speaks in colorful phrases. Hornbeck travels to Hillsboro to cover the trial for the Baltimore Herald. He despises the townspeople’s simple-minded acceptance of Brady’s views.
Matthew Harrison Brady- (Playing 60+) A national political figure and three time loser in presidential campaigns who arrives in Hillsboro to lead the prosecution in Cates’s trial. A Christian fundamentalist and Nebraska native, Brady defends the literal truth of the Bible against what he labels Cates big city agnosticism. Drummond, however, exposes the obvious contradictions of this viewpoint, much to Brady’s embarrassment.
Henry Drummond- (Playing 50+) A famous lawyer from Chicago whom the Baltimore Herald sends to defend Cates. Drummond, a believer in human progress, argues for freedom of thought.
Meeker- (Adult) Bailiff at the at the Hillsboro courthouse. Meeker lets Cates in and out of his jail cell and jokes that Cates is a threat to the community.
Judge- (Playing 55+) The presiding judge. The judge conducts the trial impartially, although his views on Biblical interpretation are in line with the townspeople of Hillsboro. At the Mayor’s prompting , and in line with state politics, the judge gives Cates a lenient sentence after the jury’s guilty verdict.
Mrs. Brady- (Playing 55+) Matthew Harrison Brady’s wife. Mrs. Brady monitors her husband and nags him not to overeat. Brady calls her “Mother”.
Melinda Loomis- (Playing 12-15) Melinda believes in the Bible and fears the idea of evolution.
Howard Blair- (Playing Mid Teen) A student in Cates’s science class. Howard grasps the idea of evolution in only a rudimentary way, as we see when he asks a worm in the play’s opening scene what it wants to be when it grows up. At the trial, Howard gives testimony that is used against Cates.
Mr. Bannister- (Adult) A member of the jury. Bannister has read neither Darwin nor the Bible because he is illiterate.
Elijah- (Adult) A mountain man. The illiterate Elijah sells Bibles to the townspeople and preaches his beliefs to the crowd.
Mayor- (Playing 35+) The mayor of Hillsboro. The mayor supports Brady and welcomes him to town by naming him an honorary colonel in the state militia. Under pressure from the state capitol, he instructs the judge to pass a lenient sentence at the trial’s conclusion.
Tom Davenport- (Playing 40+)The local district attorney. Davenport assists Brady during the trial. He attempts to stop Drummond’s humiliation of at the end of the trial, but by the time he objects, Brady has already made a fool of himself
Harry Y. Esterbrook- (Adult) A radio host from WGN in Chicago. Esterbrook broadcasts the announcement of the verdict and Cates’s sentencing and cuts off Brady in the middle of his victory speech.
Jesse H. Dunlap- (Adult) A farmer and cabinetmaker. Dunlap stands as a potential juror, but Drummond dismisses him because of his enthusiastic support of Brady.
Sillers- (Adult) An employee at the local feed store and a member of the jury. Drummond accepts him as a juror after Sillers tells him that he focuses on making a living while his wife takes care of religious matters for both of them.
Mrs. Krebs- (Adult) An outspoken Hillsboro woman. On behalf of the Hillsboro Ladies’ Aid, Mrs. Krebs serves lunch to Brady on his arrival in town.
Mrs. Loomis- (Playing 35 - 45)Mother of 12-15 year old Melinda, helps her with lemonade stand.
Mrs. Blair- (Playing 35 - 45) Mother of 12-15 year old Howard.
Store keeper- (Adult) The owner of a store across the square from the courthouse. The storekeeper professes not to have convictions about creation because they are not good for business.
Cooper/ Reuter’s man (English reporter, must be able to handle a British accent) – (Adult) Doubling as a townsperson in the beginning of the play and as a reporter with a British accent throughout the rest of the show.
Bollinger- (Adult) Must be able to play a coronet or trumpet/musical pieces; towns person, at beginning and middle of the play.
Mr. Goodfellow- (Adult) The haberdasher who has a shop in the town square.
Hot dog man, Eskimo Pie man, drummer (towns person).(Adult) Play drum along with musical number on stage.
Mrs. McClain-lady who provides promotional fans from the local funeral parlor for Brady and several spectators.
Jimmy- Young man who heralds Brady’s arrival by train.
Phil (young town’s person)/ court reporter- Another double part.
3 scientists who stand and react during courtroom scenes;
Dr. Amos Keller- Head of Department of Zoology at the University of Chicago.
Dr. Allen Page- Deacon of the Congregational Church-Professor of geology and archeology at Oberlin College..
Walter Aaronson- Philosopher, anthropologist author “one of the most brilliant minds in the world today.”
3 more reporters present at a separate table during courtroom scenes.
The show is based loosely on the 1925 Scopes Monkey Trial in Dayton, Tennessee, which gained international attention during the courtroom battle between William Jennings Bryan, a 3 time failed presidential candidate/Senator/federal Secretary of State who argued in favor of creation as a Fundamentalist Christian and fought against those who would struggle to reconcile Christianity and evolution and Clarence Darrow, a famous defense attorney, firebrand, agnostic and social reformer who believed that religion was a sanctifier of bigotry, of narrowness, of ignorance and of the status quo. This battle was precipitated when the ACLU was looking for a test case to fight the national movement against the prohibition of teaching Darwinism in schools at that time. In Tennessee, the Butler law was the cause and the city fathers of Dayton, Tennessee persuaded John Scopes, a local teacher and sports coach, to stand trial, thinking it would bring notoriety and money to their town. And hence, the trial was the result.
But all of the above is a pretext for the larger message of the freedom of an individual to pursue independent thought and expression without being punished, or fined and/or jailed or otherwise persecuted for it. This play shows how ignorance and fear coupled with a mob mentality leads to suppression of the individual’s right to pursue and express truth as they see it, without fear of reprisal. It speaks of the denial of justice that mob rule, greed and politics can cause. The play was written in the 1950’s, during McCarthyism, where many lives and livelihoods were destroyed through innuendo and slander. Really, during this play, truth, justice and the right of a single individual to think for himself is on trial.
Watch this space for upcoming auditions, or let us notify you of all our auditions and events by:
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