*OPEN Audition Notice*
by Kenneth Jones
Directed by Amy Love
March 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 17*, 21, 22, 23, 24*, 2024
Audition Date: Tuesday, January 16, 2024
Time: 6:00 pm
Place: Theatre Jacksonville
2032 San Marco Blvd.
Jacksonville, FL 32207
Auditions will be cold readings from the script. This is a new work.
ABOUT THE SHOW:
It’s 1959, and the Civil Rights Movement is starting to grip America. In Montgomery, Alabama, a gentle children’s book stirs the passions of a segregationist senator and a no-nonsense librarian. A contrasting story of childhood friends — an African-American man and a woman of white privilege who are reunited in Montgomery that same year — provides private counterpoint to the public events of the play. Political foes, star-crossed lovers, and one feisty children’s author inhabit the same page to conjure a Deep South of the imagination. Inspired by true events!
Lily Whitfield: (mid 30s) A Southern woman from Demopolis, Alabama. She grew up in a wealthy family that owned Demopolis Cotton. Lily and Joshua were childhood friends.
Joshua Moore: (mid 30s) An African American man from Demopolis, Alabama. His mother worked for the Whitfield family when he was a child. He currently lives in Detroit, Michigan.
Thomas Franklin: (late 20s/early 30s) A reference librarian who works as Emily’s assistant. He is a Montgomery native who lives at home with his father.
Bobby Crone: (70s+, played by the same actor who plays Garth Williams) A senior Representative of the Alabama House. He is Senator Higgins’ mentor and father figure.
Garth Williams: (plays 40s-70s) The white author and illustrator of The Rabbit’s Wedding. He was also the illustrator of classic young adult novels such as The Little House on the Prairie, Charlotte’s Web, and Stuart Little and the author and illustrator of original titles such as Baby Farm Animals and Adventures of Benjamin Pink. The actor that plays Williams also plays Bobby Crone, Herschel Webb, and others.
Emily Wheelock Reed: (50s+) The white State Librarian of Alabama from 1957 to 1959. Raised in Indiana, Reed worked in libraries across the nation before landing in Montgomery, Alabama. She stood up to calls from segregationists to remove The Rabbit’s Wedding from Alabama’s libraries. Her obituary, published in the New York Times in 2000, inspired Kenneth Jones to write Alabama Story.
Senator E.W. Higgins: (50s+) A white Alabama State Senator. This character is based on four-term Senator Edward Oswell (E.O.) Eddins of Demopolis, Alabama. He was the son of a Confederate veteran and a staunch segregationist. Eddins targeted the budget of the library system when Reed refused to take The Rabbit’s Wedding out of circulation. Playwright Kenneth Jones changed his name because, “I wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt that he indeed might have had a change of heart later in his life.”
Herschel Webb: (40s, played by the same actor who plays Garth Williams) A white newspaper reporter with the Montgomery Advertiser inspired by the real-life Herschel Cribb, who extensively covered the controversy.
In reference to our audition notices:
Most characters we encounter currently are on the binary and are written with he/him or she/her pronouns, and you will see that in the descriptions we provide. However limiting the descriptions are, our casting seeks to be as inclusive as possible, and we invite gender non-conforming, genderqueer, transgender, and non-binary actors to submit for the roles they most identify with. We will also list race/ethnicity when specific to the character but are otherwise seeking all races and ethnicities. It is the policy of Theatre Jacksonville that all auditions are open to the public. All interested people, newcomers and stage veterans alike, are welcome. We are also in need of volunteers to assist in other areas of production, including set construction, set artwork, lighting, and backstage technical activities and invite all members of the public to participate in these activities as well.
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If you are unable to attend or there are no current auditions scheduled, you can always submit a headshot and resume to Info@TheatreJax.com anytime.