Casting "Calendar Girls"
By Tim Firth
Produced by The Little Egg Theatre Company (LETCO)
Directed by Tara Dixon
AUDITIONS: Open readings Friday 12/16 at 5pm- 8pm AND Saturday 12/17 from noon to 3pm at the Edward Thornton / Little Egg Harbor Community Center at 319 West Calabreeze Little Egg Harbor, NJ. If you read Friday, you may be asked to come back Saturday for a call back.
Auditions will be open readings from scripts/sides provided. Final call back TBA if needed.
LETCO is a community theater group, welcoming and friendly. All levels of experience are welcome.
If you plan to audition, please text your information including name, email and if you have a role(s) preference to read to Tara at 609-290-0386. You can text any time, include any questions you may have or if you have a conflict with audition dates but would like to read.
REHEARSALS: Begin Monday January 9, 2023.
Rehearsals are scheduled for Mondays and Tuesdays at 6pm at the Community Center.
Dates will be added as needed throughout the week, depending on space availability and cast schedules. The CC has some availability Fridays.
So far, please plan on:
Friday 1/20, and Friday 2/24 at the CC.
Please note: Monday 1/16/23- rehearsal location TBA and Monday 2/20- rehearsal location TBA
Load in, Tech, and final dress starts Friday March 10- all cast must be available within that window leading up to the show.
PERFORMANCE DATES: Runs Thursday March 16 through Sunday March 19.
Call times Thursday - Saturday 5:30pm, doors at 6pm, curtain at 7pm.
Call time Sunday
CALENDAR GIRLS: Synopsis and Character Breakdown
When Annie's husband John dies of leukemia, she and her best friend Chris resolve to raise money for a new settee in the local hospital waiting room. They manage to persuade four fellow WI (Women’s Institute) members to pose nude with them for an "alternative" calendar, with a little help from hospital porter and amateur photographer Lawrence. The news of the women's charitable venture spreads like wildfire, and hordes of press soon descend on the small village of Knapeley in the Yorkshire Dales. The calendar is a success, but Chris and Annie's friendship is put to the test under the strain of their new-found fame. Based on the true story of eleven WI members who, in an effort to raise money for the Leukemia Research Fund, posed nude for a calendar.
Calendar Girls was made into a major motion picture starring Helen Mirren, https://youtu.be/zmpYu4-Gk94 as well as a musical for the stage.
CHARACTER BREAKDOWN: *All ages listed here are fluid and flexible. ‘Nudity’ requirements will follow each character description. Please note that the ‘nude’ calendar shoot scene is choreographed to give the impression of nudity, but actors will not be fully nude. Props and set pieces are used skillfully to hide everything you would usually hide at the beach in addition to body suits and cover ups. But actors accepting roles that require partial ‘nudity’ need to be comfortable enough in their own skin to show arms, and legs, and upper chest/decolletage, and possibly back when positioned upstage.
For reference, take a look at the movie scene, which is more risque due to the ability of shooting with a camera. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N1_QH57InDo
However, there are many variations of this scene in live performances on YouTube which demonstrate countless ways on how to execute comfortably.
CHRIS - 50s. You want Chris at your party. She will talk to people she doesn’t know, and things to say to all silences and generate laughter. Part of this is because Chris is at home in crowds, holding court, being the center of attention. Without Chris in her life, Annie would be better behaved, her life less fun. The two of them are like naughty schoolgirls. Ideal car — who cares? As long as it’s a cabriolet. Ideal holiday — Algarve. (Partial nudity required)
ANNIE - 50s. Annie will join in mischief but is at heart more conformist and less confrontational than Chris. After Chris has put a waiter’s back up in the restaurant, Annie will go in and pour calm. The mischievousness Chris elicits saves Annie from being a saint. She has enough edge to be interesting, and enough salt not to be too sweet. Ideal car — who cares, as long as it’s reliable. Ideal holiday — walking in English countryside. (Partial Nudity required)
CORA - around 40. Cora’s past is the most eclectic, her horizons broadened by having gone to college. This caused a tectonic shift with her more parochial parents. She came back to them pregnant and tail between-legs, but Cora has too much native resilience to be downtrodden. She is the joker in the pack, but never plays the fool. Her wit is deadpan. It raises laughter in others, but rarely in herself. Her relationship with her daughter is more akin to that between Chris and Annie. Cora doesn’t need to sing like a diva but must be able to sing well enough to start the show with Jerusalem and sing the snatches of other songs required. She plays piano in the show. Ideal car — who cares, as long as the sound system is loud. Ideal holiday — New York. (Partial nudity required)
JESSIE - late 60s/70s. Get on the right side of Jessie as a teacher and she’ll be the teacher you remember for life. Get on the wrong side and you will regret every waking hour. A lover of life, Jessie doesn’t bother with cosmetics — her elixir of life is bravery. Jessie goes on rollercoasters. Her husband has been with her a long time and is rarely surprised by her actions. Jessie bothers about grammar and will correct stallholders regarding their abuse of the apostrophe “s”. . Ideal car — strange-looking European thing which is no longer manufactured. Ideal holiday — walking in Switzerland or Angkor Wat. (Partial nudity required)
CELIA - age anything 35-50. The fact that Celia is in the WI is the greatest justification of its existence. A woman more at home in a department store than a church hall, she may be slightly younger than Chris or the same age, but she always feels like she’s drifted in from another world, which she has. She is particularly enamored of Jessie, and despite the fact Jessie has very little time for most of the Celias of this world, there is rebelliousness in Celia to which Jessie responds. It’s what sets Celia apart from the vapid materialism of her country club peer group and made her defect. Ideal car — Porsche, which she has. Ideal holiday — Maldives, where she often goes. (Partial nudity required)
RUTH - 40s. Ruth’s journey is from the false self-confidence of the emotionally abused to the genuine self confidence of the woman happy in her own skin. Ruth is eager to please but not a rag doll, and despite being Marie’s right-hand woman she is desperate to be the cartilage in the spine of the WI and keep everyone happy. She has spine herself — if she was too wet, no-one would want her around. But they do, and they feel protective of her because they sense there is something better in Ruth than her life is letting out. They are proved right. Ideal car — at the start, whatever Eddie wants; at the end, whatever she wants. Ideal holiday — at the start wherever Eddie is, at the end wherever he isn’t. The Rabbit Costume: Ruth made this last night. It should be a cocktail of good intention and not enough time. (Partial nudity required)
MARIE - 50s. Marie has gradually built the current ‘Marie’ around herself over the years as a defense mechanism. She went to her Oz, Cheshire, and found Oz didn’t want her. She came back scorched. The WI is a trophy to her, which justifies her entire existence. There is a lingering part of Marie that would love to be on that calendar. Ideal car — something German and well-valeted. Ideal holiday — a quasi academic tour of somewhere in Persia advertised in a Sunday Supplement which she could then interminably bang on about. (No Nudity)
JOHN - 50s. Annie’s Husband, John is a human sunflower. Not a saint. Not a hero. Just the kind of man you’d want in your car when crossing America. When he dies from Cancer it feels like someone somewhere turned a light off. (No Nudity)
ROD - Chris's husband, 50s. You have to be a certain kind of guy to stick with Chris and Rod loves it. He can give back what he gets, and has a deadpan humor which has always made Chris laugh. He drinks a lot but never so much as to have a problem. He would work every hour to make his shop a success. And John was his mate, even though the relationship was originally channeled through their wives. (No Nudity)
LAWRENCE (photographer for calendar shoot scene) late 20s- or shy middle aged. Hesitant without being nerdy, the photographer, Lawrence is a shy young man with enough wit to make a joke and enough spirit to turn up at the WI hall in the first place. When he arranges the shots, he is close to female ‘nudity’ but sees only the photo. (No Nudity)
LADY CRAVENSHIRE - 60s. Lady Cravenshire really doesn’t mean to be so patronizing. But the WI girls seem from another world. The world of her estate workers. When she makes an entrance, she must make an entrance. She must glide in like a galleon. (No Nudity)
ELAINE - 20s. Elaine really doesn’t mean to be so patronizing. But Jessie seems from another world, the world of her gran. (No Nudity)
LIAM - late 20s or weary middle aged. Liam would like to be directing other things than photoshoots for washing powders. He’s not so unprofessional as to let it show, but we can sense a slight weariness at having to deal with these women. There’s a resigned patience to his actions and each smile he makes we feel is professional. For Liam, this photoshoot is a job. And not the job he wanted. (No Nudity)
Sides to Follow via text and available on site.
We look forward to seeing you!
*LETCO is a non-profit community theatre troupe. All participation is on a volunteer basis. No members of the cast or crew are compensated.