by Thornton Wilder
directed by Sonia Perez
Audition dates: Saturday December 18 10am – 5pm
Performance dates: March 24, 26, April 1, 7 and 9 at 8:00pm and April 3 at 2:30pm at the Toledo Repertoire Theatre
This production is meant to reflect our community today – we are looking for actors who embody the diverse beauty of our neighborhood. We seek a cast of all ethnicities, genders, and ages. We will not be using New England accents.
Audition appointments required. Please submit your request at https://form.jotform.com/
Act I: (Daily Life) The Stage Manager introduces the audience to the small town of Grover’s Corners, New Hampshire, and the people living there as a morning begins in the year 1901. Professor Willard speaks to the audience about the history of the town. Joe Crowell delivers the paper to Doc Gibbs, Howie Newsome delivers the milk, and the Webb and Gibbs households send their children(Emily and George, respectively) off to school on this beautifully simple morning.
Act II: (Love and Marriage) Three years have passed, and George and Emily prepare to wed. The day is filled with stress. Howie Newsome is delivering milk in the pouring rain while Si Crowell, younger brother of Joe, laments how George’s baseball talents will be squandered. George pays an awkward visit to his soon-to-be in-laws. Here, the Stage Manager interrupts the scene and takes the audience back a year, to the end of Emily and George’s junior year. Emily confronts George about his pride, and over a nice cream soda, they discuss the future and their love for each other. George resolves not to go to college, as he had planned, but to work and eventually take over his uncle’s farm. In the present, George and Emily say that they are not ready to marry—George to his mother, Emily to her father—but they both calm down and happily go through with the wedding.
Act III: (Death and Eternity) Nine years have passed. The Stage Manager opens the act with a lengthy monologue emphasizing eternity, bringing the audience’s attention to the cemetery outside of town and the characters who have died since the wedding, including Mrs. Gibbs (pneumonia, while traveling),Wally Webb (burst appendix, while camping), Mrs. Soames, and Simon Stimson (suicide by hanging).Town undertaker Joe Stoddard is introduced, as is a young man named Sam Craig who has returned to Grover’s Corners for his cousin’s funeral. That cousin is Emily, who died giving birth to her and George’s second child. Once the funeral ends, Emily emerges to join the dead; Mrs. Gibbs urges her to forget her life, but she refuses. Ignoring the warnings of Simon, Mrs. Soames, and Mrs. Gibbs, Emily returns to Earth to relive one day, her 12th birthday. The memory proves too painful for her, and she realizes that every moment of life should be treasured. When she asks the Stage Manager if anyone truly understands the value of life while they live it, he responds, “No. The saints and poets, maybe—they do some.” Emily returns to her grave next to Mrs. Gibbs and watches impassively as George kneels weeping over her. The Stage Manager concludes the play and wishes the audience a good night.
STAGE MANAGER (male or female, any ethnicity, any age): The bridge between the audience and the action of the play. Warm, philosophical, conveys a sense of humor and a touch of magic. Must be comfortable breaking the fourth wall and performing long monologues.
EMILY WEBB (identifies as female, any ethnicity, 16-20): Ages from 16 to 28 during the play. Very smart, kind, conscientious; even as a girl she understands the importance of taking a moment to admire the moon. Willing to risk her friendship with George to tell him some hard truths. Loves her life so deeply she isn’t ready to let it go, even after death. Articulates the most important theme of the play, the heartbreaking beauty and blindness of being human.
MR. WEBB (identifies as male, any ethnicity, 40+): Emily’s father and editor of the town newspaper. Funny, loving, sensible, with genuine empathy and a relatively progressive outlook.
MRS. WEBB (identifies as female, any ethnicity, 40+): Emily’s mother. Capable and straight forward ,loves her children but won’t indulge them. Just this side of stern, which is why it is a surprise when she shows her sentimental side at the wedding.
GEORGE GIBBS (identifies as male, any ethnicity, 16-20): Ages from 16 to 28 during the play. At first, a rambunctious teen that is crazy about baseball, teases his sister, gets behind on his chores. Admires Emily’s intelligence and knows that’s not his strength, is self-aware about the kind of life he wants. At several points he is criticized but doesn’t become defensive and he takes the advice to heart. Genuinely wants to be a good person, especially for Emily.
DR. GIBBS (identifies as male, any ethnicity, 40+): George’s father and the town physician. Every inch the country doctor, has probably delivered, treated, and buried someone from every family in town. Loves his wife and mainly steps in with the children when they are doing something that negatively affects her. Disciplines George in a way that is kind and impactful without being punitive.
MRS. GIBBS (identifies as female, any ethnicity, 40+): George’s mother. Loves her husband and is devoted to him and the children. Perhaps a bit of a romantic, she dreams of going to Paris. Visibly emotional about the wedding, but it becomes a tender moment with her husband.
SIMON STIMSON (either male or female, any ethnicity, 30+): The choirmaster, he/she is an alcoholic and is described as having “a peck of trouble, one thing after another.” Commits suicide, and his graveyard speech is the antithesis of Emily’s.
MRS. SOAMES (identifies as female, any ethnicity, 30+): Sings in the choir with Mrs. Gibbs and Mrs. Webb. A bit of a gossip, she revels in the wedding and describes it with great enthusiasm. Even after death she retains more of her living personality than some of the others. Must have great comic energy.
REBECCA GIBBS: (identifies as female, any ethnicity 11-14) George’s younger sister.
WALLY WEBB: (identifies as male, any ethnicity 11-14) Emily’s younger brother.
JOE/SI CROWELL: (identifies as male, any ethnicity 14-16) Brothers, first Joe and then Si are the town paperboys
HOWIE NEWSOME: (identifies as male, any ethnicity, any age) The town milkman
PROFESSOR WILLARD: (identifies as male, any ethnicity, 30+) Expert on the history of Grover’s Corners
CONSTABLE WARREN: (identifies as male, any ethnicity, 40+) The town Police Officer
SAM CRAIG: (male or female, any ethnicity, 30+) Mrs. Gibbs’ niece/nephew, returns to town for Emily’s funeral
JOE STODDARD: (identifies as male, any ethnicity, 40+) The town undertaker
Please contact the Rep Office Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions or for more information.