THE NIGHT THOREAU SPENT IN JAIL - Holmdel Theatre Company Non Equity Auditions

Posted: January 2, 2020
Audition Location: Holmdel, NJ

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NOW CASTING for our upcoming production of The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail

 

By: Robert E. Lee, Jerome Lawrence

Director: Tom Frascatore

 

Audition Dates: Feb. 2 from 1-4 PM, Feb. 4 from 7-9 PM

Callbacks: Feb. 5 from 7-9 PM

Production Dates: Mar. 27, 28, 29 & Apr. 3, 4, 5, 10, 11

 

HTC and Director Tom Frascatore are seeking a talented ensemble of 5 multifaceted actors for an in-the-round, audience immersive production of The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail, running from March 27 - April 11, 2020.

This timely production examines the core concepts of civil disobedience through the lens of one of the most influential thinkers of the 19th century. The play will be performed in modern dress with actors playing multiple roles, stepping seamlessly in and out of both character and the physical audience.  

Monologues are not necessary, but  welcome IF they demonstrate facility with character.  

Sides will be provided.

AEA SPECIAL APPEARANCE CONTRACT AVAILABLE FOR ROLE OF THOREAU

To schedule an audition, email auditionhtc@gmail.com with the subject "Thoreau Audition" or click the button below.

All auditions will take place at The Duncan Smith Theater, 36 Crawfords Corner Road, Holmdel, NJ 07733. Parking can be found in the Holmdel High School parking lot.

SCHEDULE AN AUDITION

FULL CASTING CALL

 

CASTING BREAKDOWN

HENRY DAVID THOREAU (Male, 25-35)

A defiant, young, ethically inflexible Harvard educated protagonist in this play’s imaginative interpretation of the historical Henry David Thoreau. A leading thinker in the Transcendentalist tradition who wrote the book "Walden", Henry is deeply passionate about resisting both the United States government’s war in Mexico and its segregationist policies in the North. He is imprisoned for refusing to pay his taxes because he does not want to contribute funds that will end up furthering what he sees as the slaughter in Mexico. The play explores key moments is Henry's life as he spends a night of introspection in jail. 

 

RALPH WALDO EMERSON / DEACON BALL / ENSEMBLE (Male, 50+)

One versatile Actor plays both of these roles, representing the polar ends of the authority in Henry's life. 

  • Emerson - Henry's mentor, a deeply respected, famous scholar, lecturer and founder of the Transcendentalist movement. Henry argues that Waldo is too concerned about public opinion to speak out, as Henry does, against segregation and the war. Waldo is modeled on the real historical figure Ralph Waldo Emerson, whom the real Henry David Thoreau knew well and was a leading thinker in the Transcendentalist movement  
  • Ball - The authoritarian, highly traditional head of the school board that eventually fired Henry for his resistance to their strict curriculum and corporal punishment policies.

 

JOHN THOREAU / BAILEY /ENSEMBLE (Male 25-40)

One versatile Actor plays both of these roles. 

  • John - Henry’s beloved brother. Henry's intellectual equal and one of the few people Henry ever let close to him. He is thoughtful and passionate, and the only person Henry seems to love with unbridled affection. John dies from an infection caused by a rusty razor blade, a death that Henry sees as pointless and meaningless, and which he connects to the deaths of soldiers in war
  • Bailey - Henry’s cellmate in jail, an uneducated man who is accused of arson and awaiting a trial. He is deeply impressed by Henry’s intelligence. Henry eventually persuades Sam, the constable, to give Bailey a speedy trial.

 

MRS. THOREAU / LYDIAN EMERSON / ELLEN SEWELL / EDWARD EMERSON / ENSEMBLE (Female 20-35)

One versatile Actress (she will need to play characters from 18-45) will play all three of these formative female influences on Henry.  

  • Mrs. Thoreau - Henry’s mother, who worries about her son getting into trouble more than anything else, and doesn’t seem to have a moral compass. She fears shame more than she fears wrongdoing.
  • Lydian - Emerson's wife. Lydian and Henry have a deep mutual affection for one another that approaches attraction, but they are both too loyal to Waldo to ever act on it.
  • Ellen - A beautiful young woman to whom both Henry and John are attracted. Curious and intelligent, she was as close as Thoreau ever came to a traditional relationship.

 

Edward Emerson (Voice Only) - Waldo" and Lydian's young son. Henry's pupil.

 

SAM STAPLES / HENRY WILLIAMS / ENSEMBLE (AA Male 25-45) 

One versatile Actor plays both of these roles. 

  • Sam - The constable who reluctantly takes Henry to jail. He follows orders even when he does not wish to. Though he is not a bad man, he is a deeply compliant one.
  • Henry - The freed slave whom Henry meets at Walden.
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