Santa Paula Theater Center Holds Auditions for LOST IN YONKERS

Santa Paula Theater Center Holds Auditions for LOST IN YONKERS

The Santa Paula Theater Center announces auditions for Neil Simon's touching comedy-drama LOST IN YONKERS on Tuesday, September 3 from 7-9 pm, Wednesday, September 4 from 7-9 pm at Santa Paula Theater Center, 125. South 7th Street (corner of Main and 7th Street in downtown Santa Paula). Invited callbacks scheduled are for Thursday, September 5 from 7-9 pm, also at the theater. Performances for LOST IN YONKERS will be from November 8-December 15 on Friday and Saturday evenings at 8 pm and Sunday matinees at 2:30 pm. This is a non-equity production. There is no pay.

This production will be directed by Brian Robert Harris. Actors will be asked to do cold readings from the script. No appointments are necessary. Questions about the audition or audition preparation may be answered directly by the director, Brian Robert Harris, at or on the web site No conflicts for performances or for tech week ( the week preceding opening). All roles are open.

Neil Simon, one of America's most beloved comic playwrights, tells the funny and poignant story of two teenage boys in 1942, whose recently widowed father takes a traveling sales job and sends them to live with their grandmother in Yonkers. Life with Grandma is challenging and bewildering and includes a childlike aunt and a mobster uncle which result in a combination of laughter and tears in this Pulitzer Prize winning play.

Roles available include the following:

JAY KURNITZ: Male, to play 15. Smart, practical, polite when he needs to be, good in a crisis, a teenage Hamlet in times that require action. Trying desperately to evolve. Can be a bit of a wiseguy, usually at the worst possible moment. Determined to become a man as quickly as he can for the sake of his family, especially his brother.

ARTY KURNITZ: Male, to play 12. Charming, impulsive, a touch obnoxious but basically a good kid, tends to create crisis, a pre-adolescent daredevil in times that require delicate diplomacy. Stubbornly refusing to evolve. Makes an immediate enemy of Grandma, hero-worships Louie a little bit. The thing he wants most in the world is for everything to go back to how it was.

BELLA KURNITZ: Female, 35-40. Kind, lonely, eccentric, imaginative, instinctively loving, perhaps a little childlike. A lot of people think Bella is "slow" or "crazy." She's not. She's afraid and naive (though less of both of these things than anyone knows), and that combination makes her say silly things sometimes. But she has the heart of a lion and an almost superhuman self-awareness. She also has secrets within her that she ferociously guards - and when she releases them, this family will never be the same.

GRANDMA KURNITZ: Female, 70-80. Cold like steel, remote, sometimes cruel, sad, angry, a survivor who no longer knows what she survived for. Grandma has spent her life ruthlessly preparing her children for a dangerous world, and has left them somewhat defenseless as an unintentional result. And she knows it. She carries 70 years of regret on her back like a huge stone, and will never admit it. But somewhere deep inside her is a woman who remembers what it is to be loved.

LOUIE KURNITZ: Male, 35-40. Jocular and hardened, deceptive and mercurial, Louie is a gangster's gangster ... or so he'd like you to believe. With his mysterious black bag, his tough-guy patter, and his loud suits, he's stepped off the screen of a Jimmy Cagney picture and right into Grandma's living room, where he's hiding out from a pair of thugs. In a family where everyone has secrets, Louie is no different. But his greatest secret of all is that underneath the flash, he's really just a foiled, disappointed mama's boy.

EDDIE KURNITZ: Male, 40-45. Soft-hearted, warm, anxious, a good father, a nice man in a hard world that's getting harder. Grandma's eldest surviving child is a bit of a crier, and people laugh at him for that, but he has tremendous hidden strength. A refugee from his sorrowful family, Eddie has only come home to protect his boys. That is his mission statement and his compass, and he will do whatever he needs to do to keep his true north.

GERT KURNITZ: Female, 35-40. Quiet, shy, seemingly delicate, a bit mysterious, possibly the secret heart of this family. Arguably the most hurt of all of Grandma's children. Suffers from an embarrassing and comically heartbreaking speech impediment, so doesn't say much, but when she speaks, it matters. A supporting role with somewhat limited stage time, but she is vital to this family as confidant, peacemaker, and oasis of sanity when the chips are down.

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