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Looking, by Canadian playwright Norm Foster, takes us into the lives of four middle-aged singles. Matt and Andy have shared a friendship for years. Unfortunately, they have also shared the same relationship status for years (single), and so now they reluctantly share their emotional baggage and problems whenever they get together. Val and Nina are also long-time friends; they are similarly questioning their lives, both with vehemence in their opinion on each other’s affairs – or lack of them.
All four are “looking” for more in life, looking for someone to fill the void that was left after their failed marriages. So Andy, in desperation, puts an ad in the personals column, Val in desperation reads the ad and sees some potential. With the help of their friends as buffers, they agree to a double date, meeting at a downtown pub named The Private Dick. Classic situational comedy ensues as male-female agendas meet amid first-date insecurities. As the play and relationships develop, the comedy escalates and all the characters are forced to re-evaluate themselves and their desires.
It’s a fabulously funny script full of lightning-quick dialogue and loaded with original sexual innuendos that are so clever you wish you’d thought of them first. For all of its adult frivolity, there are some tender and serious moments in this play that make for poignant and emotionally wrought acting. The characters discover that what they thought they were looking for in a relationship and what their heart was looking for may be two different things.
General: These characters are an actor’s dream as there is so much substance to each of them. They are vividly written and allow you to have poignant dramatic moments amid a fast-moving comedy. This should be a play that is remembered by its cast and crew as one of the most fun shows they have worked on as it is essential that the stage is abuzz with the energy of a cohesive ensemble cast. I am looking for actors who are able to work collaboratively in rehearsals and enjoy the creative process of finding the comedy. The characters need to be real but quirky people who have experienced it all but have to relearn themselves again. I am setting the play in London, so accents will be required. As it is an international city, though, there may be some variations in the accents. Ages: All characters are aged between late 30s and early 50s. They have children who have left home.
Val: a nurse who is looking for a nice guy who will make her feel good. She’s afraid of disappointment, afraid of being hurt and doesn’t want to be anyone’s one-night stand. She has a heart of gold and wears it on her sleeve. I see the potential for a lot of neurosis in this character.
Nina: a cop who isn’t quite so picky. She’s looking for someone who will take her to bed. Nina can sleep with a guy and not care whether he stays for breakfast. She’s too afraid of her feelings to tap into something that gets too personal. Nina can be blunt – both witty and brutal. Would need to be at least average height.
Andy: sells storage space and on first glance is a bit of a sad sack. Fighting the battle of the bulge. He has many quirky character traits that both endear him to you and infuriate you. He’s occasionally a tad brash, but underneath he’s as lovable as the Cowardly Lion. If we don’t love him, the play would fail. This actor needs comic timing.
Matt: a DJ (he prefers to be called “a broadcaster”) on a jazz radio station and is more affable and quick-witted than Andy. He’s prone to fears and insecurities that have grown with him over the years. He should definitely have the gift of the gab and be able to scrub up nicely – in his own way. A slight self-serving quality but all the characters must be likeable.
Download audition pieces.
The Director: Julian Harrison
Since graduating from drama school, I have been working fulltime in theatre for 14 years as an actor, director and teacher of performing arts. I have been involved in over 60 shows as an actor or director. I have appeared in numerous shows at HLT recently, including Some Girl(s), As You Like It and Peninsula, as well as directing The Birthday Boy here in 2011. Feel free to email me with any questions: firstname.lastname@example.org
Scripts: available from the HLT office. Contact Anna on1 : 534-1406 or email: email@example.com
Rehearses: July 28 to Sept 4. Tuesdays & Thursdays, 7.30-9:45pm, Sundays 2-5pm. Season: September 5-28.
Have you got what it takes? If so, we want to take what you’ve got!
Kiwifruits is a play that culminates in a drag revue with the whole cast. None of the musical numbers referred to are sung live. Kiwifruits is the name of a drag nightclub, and the cast lip-synch to recordings. Fay and Tatania will need to remove hair from their legs etc as necessary for the costuming. Accent: New Zealand variations. Setting: a drag nightclub that started as a typical Kiwi pub. Period: late 20th and early 21st century.
1. FAY GAY: Drag performer in his late 40s. He has star quality. He has to dance or at least move very well, as he performs in a dozen musical numbers during the show. He also has to apply make-up for another actor on stage. In many ways, he is the narrator of the show and is concerned with the well-being of the rest of the cast. A good actor with good comedy timing required. An Australian accent would be successful.
2. TATANIA: A drag performer and friend of Fay’s, Tatania is younger and according to the script “more beautiful than Fay”. Also has a dozen or so musical numbers to perform, so needs to be a dancer or good mover. Good acting and strong comedy timing required.
These two characters are the equivalent of the ugly sisters in this re-imagined Cinderella story, but they are not ugly in spirit, and not especially ugly as drag queens. There is also a touch of Fairy about them, as it were.
3. BEN CORONA: In his mid-20s, Ben is outgoing, confident and handsome. He sets himself the task of finding why the old pub failed, and in doing so has to perform/dance as a drag queen, so no facial hair. And no chest hair! He also impersonates a 70’s pop singer (male).
4. REX CORONA: A widower and owner of the Castle Road Tavern. Ben’s father, he is a typical “Kiwi joker”, who loves being the landlord of the tavern. He is in his 50s. He also doubles the offstage voice of Lez, the odd-job man. Minimal dance.
5. ALLISON: 19, shy and plain. Desperately in love with Ben. She is the equivalent of Cinderella, with the help of a Fairy Godmother or two. She has a more exuberant side at the end and is transformed from frump to glamorous during the show. Some dancing.
6. ERICA BLACK: In her 40s. She is the business manager of the Castle Road Tavern. Allison’s mother, she distrusts men following an earlier disappointment. She has a show-business background, and although she has given all that away, she can still strut her stuff and joins the dancing at the end with the glamour costumes to match the drag queens.
7. SERENA SELLERS: The lawyer working for The Castle. In her mid-20s, she has her eye on Ben, even when she is seeing other guys. She is definitely an assertive character. At the end of the play, she let’s her hair down with everyone else.
For a perusal script, contact the theatre, 534-1406, or firstname.lastname@example.org. NB: high heels are not necessary for the audition. Please wear clothing and shoes suitable for dancing, ie, no running shoes that will stick on the floor. Download audition pieces.
Dance rehearsals will start August by arrangement between cast members, the director and the choreographer. This particularly applies to Fay & Tatania, but will include others in the cast as well.
Season: Saturday, November 9 – Saturday, November 30; 16 performances.
THE DIRECTOR: John Fausett
A stalwart of Auckland Music Theatre, John has extensive experience in directing musical theatre around the country. His production of La Cage Aux Folles won Best Direction, Best Musical (Also best costume design, best choreography, best performed choreography) at the 2009 NAPTA awards.
For further information, John can be contacted on 846 6776 or via email: email@example.com.