GHENT PLAYHOUSE ANNOUNCES AUDITIONS FOR
The Chalk Garden
By Enid Bagnold
Directed by Cathy Lee-Visscher
MONDAY, DECEMBER 2 AND TUESDAY, DECEMBER 3
At The Ghent Playhouse
6 Town Hall Place
Ghent, NY 12075
This psychological chamber piece, set in 1955 Sussex, England, explores the secret world of childhood through the prism of a dyed-in-the-wool British dowager, Mrs. St. Maugham, and her precocious and equally eccentric teenage granddaughter, Laurel. When enigmatic Miss Madrigal his hired as household companion and manager, the two finally meet their match.
MISS MADRIGAL – Age range 40-55 – A solitary woman with a passion for gardening. She presents with no past. Seemingly reserved and cautious, she is strong-willed and gradually develops a deep concern for Mrs. St. Maugham and her granddaughter. Her arrival is the catalyst for the play, which reaches its climax when her secrets are revealed.
LAUREL – Playing age 16 – Troubled and spoiled teenage granddaughter of Mrs. St. Maugham, with a particular fondness for screaming and setting fires. She fled to her grandmother’s after her mother remarried.
MRS. ST. MAUGHAM – Playing age around 70 – Cultured but not as clever as she thinks she is. At her worst an utter snob, but underneath, genuinely (if not wisely) devoted to her granddaughter, Laurel, and determined to keep custody of her. Dominated by her aged butler from his sickbed with constant exhortations to maintain the old standards and old ways.
MAITLAND – Age range 40-60 – Manservant to Mrs. St. Maugham. Nervy and harried, but reasonably good at his job. He wallows in his status as the much put-upon servant, caring for Mrs. St. Maugham and Laurel in a blood pressure-raising frenzy. He is Laurel’s closest companion. He is still recovering from his time spent in prison for being a Conscientious Objector during the war.
OLIVIA – Age range 40-50 – Mrs. St. Maugham’s daughter, and mother to Laurel. Having been widowed at a young age, after a marriage to a rich older man that appears to have been more successful socially than personally, she has recently remarried for love and is now seeking to persuade Laurel to come back home and join her and her new husband and the child they are expecting. Very contentious relationship with her mother.
THE JUDGE – Playing age 75 – Old friend of Mrs. St. Maugham. A little pompous at times, but shrewd and genuinely concerned about justice.
NURSE – Any age – A small but important role. She acts as the mouthpiece of Pinkbell, the aged butler living at the St. Maugham home.
TWO OTHER APPLICANTS – Any age – Two other women applying for the post of governess to Laurel. Small roles. They appear in the first scene of the play only.
Little Lady – Nervous, constantly fidgeting
3rd Lady -- Described as a “decayed beauty.” She is arrogant.
Only answered the ad out of curiosity.
Looking for strong actors who will bring out the humor of the play, as well as the tension and conflict. Auditioners will be asked to read scenes from the script.
If you are younger or older than the age ranges listed, but feel that you can portray any of these characters, please do not hesitate to audition.
PERFORMANCE DATES: January 31-February 2, February 7-9, February 14-16
Friday and Saturday Evenings at 8:00 pm, Sunday Matinees at 2:00 pm
Preview Performance, Thursday, January 30 at 8:00