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Pennington Players Hosts Auditions for RAGTIME 2/13-2/14

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Upcoming auditions for the Pennington Players' production of RAGTIME at Kelsey Theatre, West Windsor, NJ have been scheduled for February 13th-14th.

Based on the 1975 novel by E. L. Doctorow, RAGTIME tells the story of three groups in America in the beginning of the1900's, represented by Coalhouse Walker Jr., a Harlem musician; Mother, the matriarch of a WASP family in New Rochelle, NY; and Tateh, a Latvian Jewish immigrant. Historical figures such as Harry Houdini, Evelyn Nesbit, Booker T. Washington, J. P. Morgan, Henry Ford, Admiral Peary, Matthew Henson, and Emma Goldman also appear. The music includes marches, cakewalks, gospel and ragtime.

Auditions will take place Saturday, February 13 and Sunday, February 14, from 10:30 AM to 5PM. Callbacks are tentatively scheduled for Monday, February 15-Wednesday, February 17 from 6:30PM to 10:00PM each night. In most cases, any given actor will only be asked to attend one night of callbacks.

The auditions will be held in the CM Building at Mercer County Community College in West Windsor, NJ. West Windsor is near Princeton, NJ. All rehearsals and performances will be held at the college. Directions to Mercer County Community College can be found at:

Audition appointments are strongly recommended. Please e-mail or call us using the contact information above to make an appointment. Please prepare one complete song (contemporary musical theatre preferred), and bring sheet music; an accompanist will be provided. Please come prepared to dance.

Performance dates are scheduled for Friday, June 4 and 11 at 7:30 PM, Saturday, June 5 and 12 at 7:30PM, and Sunday, June 6 and 13 at 2:00 PM.

The production staff includes producer Jenn Gregg, director Frank Ferrara, musical director Shannon Ferrara, choreographer Nicole Farina-Machin, stage manager Judi Parrish, set design Bryan Schendlinger, lighting designer Judi Parrish and Dottie Farina on props.

For more information visit us online at www.penningtonplayers.org.

All roles are open. A breakdown of the specific roles may be found immediately below. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to write or call!

About the Cast
We are seeking a total of 37 actors, including 35 adults (18 male, 17 female) and two children (1 male, 1 female). The cast will include actors of all types and ethnic backgrounds; actors must be at least 13 years of age to be considered for one of the adult roles in this production.


COALHOUSE WALKER, JR. (male, baritone [G-A], plays 25-35 years old)
African-American musician, charismatic and charming, with a powerful intellect frequently over-ruled by an even more powerful sense of idealism. Must be an outstanding singer and musician with considerable stage presence.

MOTHER (female, mezzo-soprano [G-F#], plays 22-36 years old)
Practical, intelligent, and utterly devoted to her family, Mother is nonetheless a romantic and possessed of a strong independent streak. Unlike her husband, she has not seen the world - but she would very much like to. Need an excellent singer with a very strong high belt.

TATEH (male, tenor [A-F#], plays 30-40 years old)
A determined immigrant whose principal strength and weakness are the same: he sees the world as it ought to be, not as it is. Warm, fatherly, with a dry sense of humor and nearly inexhaustible energy and enthusiasm. Need an excellent singer with a light voice.

SARAH (female, mezzo-soprano [G-F#], plays 18-30 years old)
Coalhouse's romantic interest and the mother of his child. She is inexperienced, emotional, and impulsive. Must be an outstanding singer with a strong very high mix and good medium belt.

FATHER (male, baritone [A-F], plays 25-45 years old)
Well-off from birth, Father is not a bad man, but he is complacent and emotionally removed from his own life. He goes on adventures but is not adventurous, and as the play begins he has never experienced a single significant challenge to his worldview or perspective. Need a strong singer with a commanding presence.

MOTHER'S YOUNGER BROTHER (male, baritone [A-F#], plays 17-25 years old)
Incredibly awkward and uncomfortable in social situations that do not involve things that explode, Mother's Younger Brother is desperately in search of something with which he can identify. He is profoundly alienated and lonely, but essentially decent.

Supporting Roles

THE LITTLE BOY (male, unchanged voice [E-D], plays 10-12 years old)
Mother and Father's son, socially awkward, preternaturally intelligent and dangerously curious; may be slightly psychic, or else just tremendously perceptive.

THE LITTLE GIRL (female, child voice [E-B], plays 6-9 years old)
Tateh's daughter, a child made quiet and contemplative by a life of tragedy, who nonetheless shares her father's essential optimism.

EMMA GOLDMAN (female, alto [E-D], plays 37-45 years old)
Radical anarchist and agitator, constantly motivated by an intense inner fire - she inspires; she does not nag. Fiercely loyal to friends and allies. Need a very powerful singer with a good low range.

EVELYN NESBIT (female, mezzo soprano [Bb-D], plays 22-28 years old)
The most beautiful woman in America, turned Vaudeville sensation. Breezy and joyful public persona hides considerable emotional damage. Must be an excellent dancer with a light medium belt.

Harry Houdini (male, tenor [C#-G], plays 32-40 years old)
Escape artist and among the greatest showmen who ever lived, constantly plagued by uncertainty regarding his own relevance. Should be a capable singer and move well.

BOOKER T. WASHINGTON (male, bass-baritone [Ab-Eb], plays 50-60 years old)
Among the greatest forces for racial equality in American history, in the prime of a distinguished career. Believes in the ability of reason, education, and strong but measured response to adversity to conquer all obstacles.

HENRY FORD (male, baritone/tenor [D-G# (alt Bb)], plays 43-50 years old)
Captain of industry, uses folksy charm to mask considerable - and possibly malignant - intellect.

J.P MORGAN (male, baritone [D-E], plays 69-74 years old)
The wealthiest man in America, which makes him the wealthiest man on Earth - very nearly a god in his own mind. Very comfortable with and invested in the status quo, and fearful of the forces of change that have begun to move in what he regards as his country.

WILLIE CONKLIN (male, baritone [D-F], plays 35-45 years old)
The Chief of New Rochelle's Emerald Island Fire Company, he is everyone's best buddy, and also an insecure, violently racist bully.

GRANDFATHER (male, no solo singing, plays 55-80 years old)
A former professor of Greek and Latin. "Now retired and living with his daughter and her family, he is thoroughly irritated by everything." No solo singing, but a good musician able to hold harmony parts in severAl Small ensemble sections is preferred.


Need a large ensemble to play dozens of roles, including immigrants, the people of New Rochelle, the people of Harlem, police officers, lawyers, revolutionaries, firemen, showgirls, reporters, explorers Admiral Peary and Matthew Henson, US District Attorney Charles S. Whitman, and others. Multiple opportunities for solo singing and dialogue throughout the show.

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