Bloomington Theatre Announces Auditions for THE PRISONER OF SECOND AVENUE, 12/7 - 12/9

Bloomington Theatre and Art Center has announced auditions for The Prisoner of Second Avenue,
directed by Zach Curtis, Artistic Director, Paul Bunyan Playhouse, on Monday December 7 and Tuesday November 8 at 6:30 p.m.  Callbacks will be held at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday December 9.

Rehearsals for the production are tentatively scheduled to begin Monday, Mar. 29, 2010 with run dates of May 7-June 6, 2010. Rehearsals are Mon.-Fri., 6:30-10:00 p.m., then switch to 6:30-11:00 p.m. beginning Friday, April 30. There will be a weekend rehearsal on the weekend of May 1 - May 2.

Appointments may be scheduled by calling Megan Fae Dougherty, Production Coordinator, 952-563-8574 or emailing Exceptional non-Equity actors needed. Compensation is a $200 stipend.

It will not be necessary to prepare a monologue. Sides may be requested at the time the appointment is made.

Audition location is the Black Box Theater in the Center for the Arts in the Bloomington Civic Plaza, located on the southeast corner of 98th St. and Logan Ave. in Bloomington, west of the 35W & 98th St. exit.

CHARACTER DESCRIPTION (All characters are over 40 years of age):

Mel Edison has adopted the traditional role of head of the household, so his ego takes a major blow when he loses his job and can no longer support himself and his wife. At that point, the tensions that he has lived with for six years become overwhelming and cause him to harbor paranoid notions that he is the victim of a conspiracy to undermine the working class in the United States. He tries to maintain his sanity by venting his emotions and lashing out to those closest to him, including his wife and his neighbors. His inability to cope with the pressures he faces causes a mental breakdown. The playwright glosses over the details behind his recovery but suggests that his departure from corporate America helps to restore his self esteem and his sanity. He reveals the magnanimous side of his nature when he is ready to forgive his neighbor for her slanderous assault on Edna, but when he is humiliated a second time by her, his need for revenge overtakes his humanity, and he plots her destruction.

Edna Edison is a loving, supportive wife whose main concern is her husband's welfare. She has adopted a traditional role in marriage, taking care of the household while her husband works outside of the home. When he becomes agitated about their living conditions, she tries to offer alternatives that she thinks will benefit both of them and continually tries to revitalize his confidence in himself. She is not a dishrag, however. When Mel gets verbally abusive, she stands her ground, insisting that he treat her with respect. When Edna is forced to switch roles with Mel, she tries to devote herself to her job while maintaining her steadfast support of her husband. She rushes home to prepare his lunch and check up on his emotional state, running herself ragged in the process. As a result, she experiences the same level of frustration as Mel has endured and so ends up collaborating with his plans for vengeance by the end of the play.

Harry Edison, Mel's older brother, generously offers to pay for Mel's therapy, even amid the protests of his sisters who are worried about how long it will take to cure him. Harry is confident of his own judgment that Mel has no business sense and so initially refuses to give him money for a summer camp. Yet his loyalty to his brother eventually supersedes his concerns, and he decides to give the money unconditionally. The playwright suggests that Harry could be motivated by his desire to be the favorite in the family, a position, he claims, he never achieved.

Jessie Edison criticizes her brother Mel But insists that, since he is the baby of the family, his behavior must be excused. She does not want to think about the implications of his present behavior and tries to comfort Mel when he arrives at the apartment. Her tears betray her concerns about him, yet she would rather go shopping than face the reality of his situation.

Pauline Edison defends her brother Mel against her sisters' attacks. She has always found excuses for his behavior. She also seems more grounded in reality than her two sisters, consistently correcting their memories about him.

Pearl Edison is the most practical sister and tries to control all of her siblings, insisting to Edna, "We just want to do the right thing."

BCT was founded in 1955 by a group of volunteers who believed a theater group would be a desirable addition to the culture for the new city of Bloomington. One of their earliest dreams was to have a space for rehearsals, set construction and a functional stage for performances. The City of Bloomington has made that dream a reality with the opening of Bloomington Center for the Arts in August 2003. Before then, BCT performed on school and college stages when available. Sets and costumes were built and sewn in homes, garages, empty storefronts and barns. The Bloomington Recreation Department advanced the fledgling group $30 to begin their creative endeavor. We performed The Curious Savage at the old Bloomington High School on 98th Street and Penn Avenue South on June 24th and 25th, 1955. For the first four years, we produced straight dramas only and in 1960 we presented our first musical, Guys and Dolls which critics labeled, "a miracle in Bloomington." For almost 50 years, performers and technicians have come from all over the metro area to audition and volunteer for our productions. Bloomington Civic Theatre currently produces four main stage musicals and four Black Box Theater Productions a season - providing an amazing venue for amateur performers and entertaining, high quality, and reasonably priced shows for the theater-going public.

BCT is incorporated as a non-profit, 501(c) (3) corporation. We are governed by a volunteer Board of Directors which is elected annually by the theater membership. The Board meets monthly to develop policy and procedures for the organization and monitors our participation in other councils. BCT employs full and part-time staff for administrative, creative and production purposes. In addition, hundreds of volunteers contribute their time and talents to ensure the success of our organization. We are a member of the Bloomington Fine Arts Council, the Minnesota Association of Community Theatres (MACT) and Minnesota Citizens for the Arts.

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