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East Lynne Theater Company To Hold Auditions For Its 40th Season

originally published: 01/23/2020

East Lynne Theater Company To Hold Auditions For Its 40th Season

(CAPE MAY, NJ) -- East Lynne Theater Company (ELTC) will have two Equity open-call audition days for its 2020 Season: the company’s 40th year.  Non-union actors will be seen, as long as no members of Actors' Equity are kept waiting. The theater is located in Cape May, NJ where all shows will be rehearsed. The company operates under an Equity SPT 3 Contract.

On Friday, February 14, from 9:30am to 5:30pm the call will be at the Actors' Equity Audition Center, 165 West 46th St., NYC. Sign-up for auditions begins at 8:30am, and continues through 5:00pm. Lunch break is from 1:00pm-2:00pm.  Equity members may access online EPA sign‐up through the member portal.     

On Saturday, March 7 from 11:00am to 7:00pm, the call will be at The First Presbyterian Church, 500 Hughes St., Cape May, NJ, where the company is in residence. Sign-up for auditions begins at 10:00 AM and continues through 6:55 PM. Lunch break is from 2:30pm to 3:30pm. Equity actors may contact the theater for a definite time-slot by e-mailing the company at

Artistic director of ELTC, Gayle Stahlhuth, director Mark Edward Lang, and technical director Lee O'Connor, will be at the New York audition; Stahlhuth and O’Connor will definitely be at the Cape May audition and Lang might be, depending on his schedule. Stahlhuth is directing "Born Yesterday" and "Why Marry?"  Lang is directing "Possessing Harriet." O'Connor and others will be reading with those who wish to audition with sides.           

Actors may read a side from any of the plays, or do a monologue, preferably humorous. Total audition time in NYC is two minutes. ELTC is committed to nontraditional casting and equal employment opportunities. Pursuant to the terms of a concession made to ELTC, ELTC has agreed that any Equity member who attends these calls will have an opportunity to be seen.

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The season opener is "Possessing Harriet," a four-character play by Kyle Bass, and a New Jersey premiere. In 1839, a runaway slave is hiding in an attic. With her are suffragist Elizabeth Cady and abolitionist Gerrit Smith. Based on a true story it premiered in 2018, at Syracuse Stage. Mr. Bass received a commission from the Onondaga Historical Association to write "Possessing Harriet."  Rehearsals begin on Monday, June 1, and the show runs from June 17 - July 25, Wednesdays through Saturdays at 8:30pm, except there is no show on July 4, but there is show on Sunday, July 5 at 8:30pm.  Seeking actors for the following: GERRIT SMITH - wealthy abolitionist living in upstate New York, Caucasian, age range 45-55; THOMAS LEONARD - a freed slave who "conducts" on the Underground Railroad, African-American, age range 35-45; ELIZABETH CADY - future icon of the Women's Suffrage movement, young and eager to learn, Caucasian, age 24; and HARRIET POWELL - escaped slave. Will she leave her mother and sister to risk a free life in Canada? Mixed race African-American and Caucasian, age 24.

Next is "Born Yesterday," by Garson Kanin. While in Washington D.C., Harry Brock hires a journalist to tutor his girlfriend, Billie Dawn. Learning about politics leads her to question Brock's intentions in the country's capital. This comedy debuted on Broadway in 1946. Rehearsals begin on Monday, July 13, and the show runs from July 29 – September 5, Wednesdays through Saturdays at 8:00pm.  Seeking actors for the following: BILLIE DAWN - a quick learner, she made a living singing and dancing in musicals before she met Harry Brock, age range 25-35; HARRY BROCK - a wealthy, self-made businessman who does anything to get what he wants, age range 40-55; PAUL VERRALL - a journalist, always seeking the truth, age mid-30s; ED DEVERY - a lawyer with Harry as his only client, although at one time he had a promising career, drinks too much, age range 45-60; SENATOR NORVAL HEDGES - sometimes thinks more of personal gain than what's good for the country, age range 45-65; MRS. HEDGES - enjoys being married to a senator, age range 45-65; EDDIE BROCK - Harry's cousin and personal servant, age range 35-55; ASSISTANT MANAGER - takes his job at the hotel seriously and likes a good "tipper," age range 40-55; HELEN - maid, efficient, age range 30-60; BELLHOP and BARBER - played by the same actor, age range 20-50; and MANICURIST and WAITER - played by the same actor, age range 20-50.  

"Why Marry?" by Jesse Lynch Williams, is in the fall. This comedy was the first play to win a Pulitzer Prize. It opened on Broadway in 1917 - a time when more women were entering the workforce, struggling to obtain the vote, and reexamining the need to marry.  Rehearsals begin on Monday, September 7, and the show runs from from September 23 - October 17, Wednesdays through Saturdays at 8:00pm, except there is no show on October 7, but there is a show on Sunday, October 11 at 7:30pm. Seeking actors for the following: JEAN - lives with her brother John and his wife Lucy, brought up to be married, but nothing else, age mid-20s; REX - a nearby neighbor, brought up to be rich, and nothing else, thinks he wants to marry Jean, age mid-20s; LUCY - married to John, she has tried to be “an old-fashioned wife,” but realizes that the world is rapidly changing, age range 25-35; HELEN - Jean and John's sister, a brilliant scientist who's in love with Ernest, but doesn’t believe in marriage, age range 25-35; JOHN - Lucy’s husband, and Jean and Helen’s brother, well-to-do businessman who believes that a woman’s place is “in the home,” age range 30-40; UNCLE EVERET - a judge by profession, who understands why people marry, and why they divorce, age range 55-65; THEODORE - cousin to John, Helen, and Jean, a kind clergyman who practices what he preaches, age range 30-45; and ERNEST- a brilliant scientist who is in love with Helen, age range 30-40. 

Actors wishing to mail pictures and resumes should mail them to East Lynne Theater Company, PO Box 121, Cape May, NJ 08204 – and not to the church. To learn more about the company, go to Specific information about these auditions is also on this web site under the heading of NEWS.

Photo is from ELTC's "Why Marry?" production in 2006, with Mark Edward Lang and Alison J. Murphy. Photo credit: Gayle Stahlhuth

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