(BLOOMFIELD, NJ) 4th Wall Theatre, a non-union theatre company, will hold open auditions for all roles for the opening production of its 2017-18 season, RAGTIME In Concert, with music by Stephen Flaherty, lyrics by Lynn Ahrens, and book by Terrence McNally. 4th Wall’s production will be directed by Kate Swan with music direction by Markus Grae-Hauck. The show will be presented at Westminster Arts Center on the campus of Bloomfield College, where the company is in residence. Rehearsals will begin at the end of July, and three performances are scheduled for September 22, 23, and 24.
ABOUT THE SHOW
Based on E.L. Doctorow's distinguished novel, Ragtime won Tony Awards for Best Score, Book, and Orchestrations and both the Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards for Best Musical and Best Score. Set in the volatile melting pot of turn-of-the-century New York, three distinctly American tales are woven together – that of a stifled upper-class wife, a determined Jewish immigrant, and a daring young Harlem musician – united by their courage, compassion and belief in the promise of the future. Together, they confront history's timeless contradictions of wealth and poverty, freedom and prejudice, hope and despair, and what it means to live in America. 4th Wall’s “Off The Wall” Concert production will not be fully produced with sets and costumes, and the performers will carry scripts. The characters will be fully drawn, and the music and character arcs will be the focus of the production. There will be some staging and some choreography involved.
ABOUT THE AUDITIONS
Auditions are scheduled for Monday and Tuesday, July 17 and 18, from 7:00-10:00 pm; auditioners only need to attend one of those days. Sign-up begins at 1/2 hour prior to the audition start time, and anyone auditioning must arrive no later than 8:00 pm each night. Auditions will be held at Westminster Arts Center, located at 449 Franklin Street in Bloomfield, New Jersey, easily accessible by train or bus from Manhattan. Callbacks will be Thursday, July 20, also at the theatre, beginning at 7:00 pm.
4th Wall is seeking an ethnically diverse adult cast of 20-30 terrific actor-singers and three featured children; see character breakdown for details. Prepare two contrasting 32-bar selections from classic musical theatre songs that show off your voice and acting ability; singing from the show is perfectly acceptable. Bring sheet music in your key. An accompanist will be provided. Also bring a headshot and resume stapled together, and be prepared to provide all potential conflicts for weekday evening and weekend daytime rehearsals beginning July 23rd. Non-union; no pay.
NOTE: Because this is a Concert version, the creative team has a very open mind about age and physical type.
Coalhouse Walker, Jr: African-American male. 25-35 (baritone G2-A4). A ragtime pianist; proud, confident, stubborn, and a strong believer in justice.
Father: Anglo-American male. 40+ (baritone A2-F4). An Arctic explorer who returns to a changed world he can’t seem to understand.
Mother's Younger Brother: Anglo-American male. 20-25+ (bari-tenor B2-F#4). A passionate lover and anarchist; intense and high-strung.
Tateh: Eastern European/Jewish Immigrant male. 30+, slight accent (tenor Bb2-F#4). Optimistic, intelligent, passionate, creative, charismatic.
Grandfather: Anglo-American male. 55+ (baritone). Mother’s father. Gruff & outspoken.
Booker T. Washington: African-American male. 45+ (baritone D3-Eb4). Distinguished, polished, and articulate.
Henry Ford: Anglo-American male. 30-45 (some "speak sung" lyrics, baritone). Folksy, arrogant innovator and industrialist.
JP Morgan: Anglo-American male. 45+ (some "speak sung" lyrics, baritone). A pompous, wealthy banking mogul
Harry Houdini: Hungarian Immigrant male. 30s (tenor E3-G4). Magician/bodybuilder who embodies immigrant success.
Sarah: African-American female. Early 20's (lyric soprano G#3-F#5). Young, passionate, naïve, strong-willed.
Mother: Anglo-American female. 30s (alto G#3-F#5). Gentle, elegant, compassionate, optimistic, and open to change.
Emma Goldman: Eastern European/Jewish Immigrant female. 40s, slight accent. (alto B3-D5). A passionate leader who crusades for the underprivileged masses.
Evelyn Nesbit: Anglo-American female. 20s (belter/soprano B3-D5). Vaudevillian performer, sexy and incredibly smart.
Sarah's Friend: African-American female. Late teens - 30. (Gospel soprano G3 to stratosphere)
Young Boy: Anglo-American male. 8-12 (juvenile voice E4-D5). Mother and Father’s son. Precocious, articulate, and curious.
Young Girl: Eastern European/Jewish Immigrant female. 8-12 (juvenile voice C4-Bb4). Tateh's daughter. Quiet, stoic, and cautious.
Little Coalhouse: African-American male (will consider females as well). Age 3-4 (no spoken lines or singing). This is a cameo walk-on at end of show.
Ensemble members will play a number of smaller parts with lines and some solos. Supporting roles with final casting decisions (possibly made during rehearsals) include Admiral Perry, Stanford White, Harry K. Thaw, Willie Conklin (the racist firefighter), Judge, train conductor, people of New Rochelle/Harlem/Union Square, Jewish immigrants, factory workers, demonstrators, newsboys, reporters, bureaucrats, Coalhouse's Men, and numerous other ensemble roles. The RAGTIME chorus is one of the major stars of the show.