“Side Man” Audition Announcement

Five Men – Two Women – All Roles Open

The Providence Players of Fairfax is a non-profit community theater troupe. All participation is on a volunteer, non-compensated basis.

Printable Audition Announcement

                          (Audition Form, Sides and Production Calendar Must Be Printed Seperately – See Below)

Side Man

By Warren Leight

Side Man Logo

Winner of the 1999 Tony Award for Best Play and a Pulitzer Prize nominee. After writing Side Man, Warren Leight garnered the Oppenheimer Award for Best New American Playwright. Side Man captures the pulse and climate of theNew York jazz scene: a world of sounds, smoke-filled clubs and cramped apartments. Clifford tells the story of his father Gene, a brilliant musician whose career fades with the decline of jazz and birth of a new musical era. With Gene unwilling and unable to get a full time job, Clifford and his mother Terry struggle to support each other. Through sharp dialogue and  dime-store philosophy, often provided by the musicians in Gene’s band, Side Man depicts redemption and recovery as Clifford struggles with the burden of caring for the adults upon whom he depends.

Directed by Jimmy Gertzog

Side man is not for young audiences. It contains mature themes & graphic language.

Performance Dates and Times

Preview:                              March 22, 2012, 7:00pm Curtain

Evening Performances: Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays; 7:30pm Curtain

                                                March 23, 24, 29, 39, 31, April 5, 6 & 7

Matinees:                             Sundays; 2:00pm curtain

                                                March 25 & April 1

Audition Dates

Monday October 31, 7-9:30pm

Wednesday November 2, 7-9:30pm

Call-Backs: November 4, 7-9:30pm


The James Lee Community Center Theater

2855 Annandale Road

Falls Church, VA 22042

Director’s Instructions

Auditions will consist of readings composed of selections from the script; no external monologue preparation is necessary. Resumes will be gratefully accepted but are hardly required. Forms will be provided that you might indicate your character preferences, availability during the rehearsal period, and other valuable information.

My goal will be to provide you with a comfortable, low-stress atmosphere so that we might all enjoy our time together sampling sections of this wonderful play. There are not a very large number of roles in the play, but a number of intricate relationships between the characters.  Be prepared to read several times and for a couple different characters – the more interactions that I see, the better. You are welcome and encouraged to attend both primary audition dates (10/31 and 11/2) if you are able. I will try and use your time as wisely as possible. Please note that we allow all auditioners to watch the full process. Auditioners may be asked to do a little preparation with their scene partners prior to taking the stage. You may be asked to read for roles that you are not auditioning for.

When noting your availability, keep in mind that I will want to have several read-throughs and informal workshops with the script of Side Man. There’s a lot to chew on in this play, and I plan to make the most of the time between now and March 2012.

Other Information:

  • PRINT: This Side Man Audition Announcement (Sides, Audition Sides and Audition Form must be printed separately.
  • AUDITION SIDES: A character summary appears below. Audition Sides can be printed here and will be supplied at auditions. It will be advantageous to review the sides for the character(s) you are interested in, especially for the role of Clifford, where sides include several long speeches. It is not expected that these be committed to memory.
  • AUDITION FORM: Resumes and headshots will be accepted, but are not required. Please complete the Side Man Audition Form and bring it with you to the audition.
  • PRODUCTION CALENDAR: A Preliminary Production Calendar is available here. This calendar is subject to substantial revision.
  • The Providence Players strives to make our productions open to interested and engaged actors & actresses, regardless of their level of experience. We try and make our auditions as relaxing and fun as possible.
  • MEMBERSHIP:  The Providence Players of Fairfax is a membership organization. Membership is not required to audition. If cast, actors in addition to production team members will be asked to become members of the Providence Players ($10) for the season.
  • RSVP: Please send us an RSVP if you plan to attend to providenceplayers@cox.net (or email us any questions you may have).

Rehearsal Schedule:

A copy of the preliminary rehearsal schedule is available here: Side Man Preliminary Rehearsal Schedule. During December and January, there will be a series of read-throughs, scene studies, and character study sessions. These will be finalized in the week or two following auditions. On-stage rehearsals begin in early February. Unless indicated otherwise, all rehearsals will happen at theJamesLeeCommunity Center. Rehearsals will be held in the evenings roughly from 7:00 to 9:45pm. The first few weeks will have only 2-3 rehearsal per week. Weekend rehearsals will commence 5 weeks prior to opening.

Please come to auditions prepared to list any availability conflicts over this time period.

Side Man – Character Summary (5 men, 2 women)

A Note: this play takes place over the course of 30+ years, from the ‘present time’ where Clifford narrates his story from, all the way back to the 1950s, when Gene and Terry first meet. As such, all characters play a range of ages.

Clifford Glimmer – 29 years old, but plays as young as age 10 in the show. Son to Terry and Gene, glue that holds their marriage together, and narrator of this play. Leight notes that he is “overly responsible, sensitive, and wry.” I would supplement this with Patsy’s line at one point in the play: that when he was 6 years old he looked 30, and he hasn’t changed a bit. Deep respect for the jazz scene and his father’s craft, deeply conflicted over his upbringing.

Gene Glimmer – Late 20s through his late 50s, early 60s. Gene Glimmer is Clifford’s father; nickname is “turtle”. He is a jazz trumpet player, works as a side man his whole life. He tends to be spacey, detached, out-of-sync with the world, except when playing his trumpet.

Al – Late 20s through late 50s/early 60s. Al or “Romeo.” A macho guy, as far as jazz musicians come. Lead trumpet player with big bands, a scoundrel with women, and spends a lot of time with Ziggy on stage trading jabs, jokes, and wives (Patsy).

Ziggy – Late 20s through late 50s/early 60s. Trumpet player, side man with the other guys (excluding Clifford). He is the guy in your group of friends who is always making wisecracks in an effort to be everyone’s buddy and universally liked, for better or for worse. Pronounced speech impediment written into the dialogue, a bilateral lisp.

Jonesy – Late 20s through late 50s/early 60s. Side man, trombone player, one-eyed, oddly prophetic, and a junkie (or ex-junkie by the end of the play). For all of his escapism via the drugs, he seems to be strangely more aware of reality than the other guys.

Terry Glimmer – Mid 20s through mid 50s. Clifford’s mother. Over the course of her life she transforms from a tough yet hopelessly naïve Italian girl fromEast Boston into a hard-drinking, cigarette-smoking, more-than-a-little manic survivor of an unhappy marriage. For all of her bitterness, she still deeply cares for her husband/his music, and especially for her son.

Patsy – Mid 20s through mid 50s. Waitress at the recurring Melody Lounge, has a thing for jazz musicians, is lover or wife to each of the guys, sans Gene, at one point or another. A confidante to Terry, and maybe a bit more in-tune with the realities of the world than she is. She has taken the passage of time more gracefully than any of the others. Has motherly tendencies towards Clifford.

Side Man Audition Sides:

Audition sides are available in PDF: Side Man Audition Sides.  Auditioners will be well-served if they take the opportunity to review the sides prior to auditioning, however committing dialogue to memory is NOT required. Auditioners for the role of Clifford should have a decent working familiarity with his monologue sides.  Actors may be asked to read for roles that are not auditioning for. Additional audition sides may be added later.

#0 – pp 13-14: Clifford and Terry;  Start at Clifford’s line “ And even though there are no clean breaks,” and ends on Clifford’s “I know ma.”

#1 – pp15-16 Patsy, Clifford and Terry ; Start at Patsy’s Line “Clifford is that you?” and ends on Terry’s “…when they sign for their unemployment Check.

#2  pp 16-19: Clifford (primary), Gene, Al, Jonesy (primary),  Ziggy (primary); Starts on Clifford’s line “She can be a little…dark.” Ends on Gene’s line: “The eyes have it.”

#2A  p19 Short bridge sequence (5 lines) if Jimmy decides to connect 2 and 3 during auditions; Clifford, Jonesy, Gene, Ziggy, Al.

#3 pp 20-21: Gene (primary), Clifford (primary), Patsy, Al, Ziggy, Jonesy  Gene’s line “He’s still my boy. Managed to get twenty weeks on the books…” to Patsy “keep em in your pants boys”.

#4 pp 21-22 Clifford’s jazz musicians as ball players monologue.

#5 pp 22-24 Gene & Terry; (Clifford has two line) starts on Gene’s entrance & line “Name that tune”; ends at Gene’s line “It’ll be at the door kid”.

#6 pp 25-27:  All  Starts at Jonesy’s “Nice blowing Genie”  ends at Jonesy’s line “dating Florence Nightingale”

#7  pp 31-33: Al, Terry, Gene (primaries), Ziggy, Jonesy; no Clifford/Patsy; Starts on 31 with Al “Hey Terry, Nice crib.” Ends on Ziggy “we oughtta have a wake: Requiem for a Mother%#CK@#.”

#7A pp33-35 Bridge segment if Jimmy decides to connect 7 and 8 during auditions ALL (total of 36 lines).

#8 pp 35-36: Gene,Terry & Patsy. Starts Terry’s line “Patsy says these doo-wop groups” to Patsy’s line “He’ll get used to it…”

#9 pp 39-40: Patsy (primary) and Clifford; Patsy’s line “Here you go, Clifford”; ends on Patsy’s line “just get the hell out of here.”

#10 pp 43-45 + 46-47: Terry & Gene (primaries), Ziggy. Terry’s line “How come they keep arresting Jonesy?”; ends on top of 45 Ziggy “He probably needsh a fix, poor bashtard”; resumes 46 halfway through Terry’s line “you lied to me” and ends Terry “You have until midnight. If that phone doesn’t ring and you stay in the business, I’ll fucking kill you. And I’ll kill the baby”

#11 pp 60-61: Clifford and Gene; Starts on Clifford’s line “ Couldn’t you tell that she was losing it.” And ends on Clifford’s line “You don’t have a f*&%$ing clue [second time]…”

#12  pp 65. Clifford’s final monologue