Auditions for the Providence Players production of the classic American comedy The Front Page by Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur will be held at the James Lee Community Center on Tuesday Nov. 28, Wednesday Nov. 29, and Monday Dec. 4, 2017 from 6:30 PM to 9:30 PM each evening. Please select one of these audition dates, RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org and download the complete audition package and instructions at the link below. The Front Page is being directed for the Providence Players by Michael Donahue.
All auditions will be held at the James Lee Community Center located at 2855 Annandale Rd in Falls Church in the room locations noted below.
Tuesday, November 28, 2017 6:30PM to 9:30PM [James Lee Urbanites Room]
Wednesday, November 29, 2017 6:30PM to 9:30PM [James Lee Urbanites Room]
Monday, December 4, 2017 6:30PM to 9:30PM [James Lee Multipurpose Room]
23 Roles – 17 Men, 6 Women – All Open
- The Providence Players is a twenty-year-old, award-winning, all volunteer, non-profit community theater troupe. The Front Page is the 3rd production of the Providence Players 20th Anniversary season.
- 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 (if they are not already).
Availability of the Play for Review
The Providence Players does not provide review copies of plays. The script for The Front Page may be obtained from Samuel French, the play’s publisher and rights holder (http://www.samuelfrench.com/p/2473/front-page-the) and other places.
Performance Dates and Times
Preview: April 5, 2018 7:00 pm Curtain
Evening Performances: Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays; 7:30 pm Curtain
April 6 – 21
Matinees: Sundays 2:00 pm curtain
April 8 & 15
Mon Nov 28 – 6:30 – 9:30 pm (In the James Lee Urbanites Room)
Tues Nov 29 – 6:30 – 9:30 pm (In the James Lee Urbanites Room)
Mon Dec 4 – 6:30 – 9:30 pm (In the James Lee Multipurpose Room)
The James Lee Community Center
2855 Annandale Road
Falls Church, VA 22042
Auditions will be held in the Urbanites and Multipurpose Rooms – NOT IN THE THEATER. The Urbanites Room is located to the left of the main desk at the front entrance of the community center. The Multipurpose room is located to the right of the main desk and down the first hall on the left. Signs will be posted.
- PLEASE RSVP to email@example.com with the date you plan on auditioning.
- HOW WE WORK: Auditionees should plan on attending only (1) scheduled session and stay the entire evening. Auditions will consist of cold readings form the Samuel French script.
- AUDITION PROCESS: Auditions will consist of readings from the script – No monologue required although one of the sides may be a monologue from the play.
- AUDITION SIDES: Some sides for the audition are included in this announcements and others will be supplied at auditions.
- AUDITION FORM: Resumes and head shots will be accepted, but are not required. Please ALSO COMPLETE the attached PPF The Front Page Audition Form (included in the audition package download) and bring it with you to the audition.
- 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 (if they are not already).
A copy of the preliminary stage rehearsal schedule is included with this announcement and will be available at auditions. Stage rehearsals begin in March 2018. In addition to the stage rehearsal schedule, additional full cast readings of the play and some selected scene study and character work may be scheduled based on actor availability in January and February prior to the stage schedule. The schedule for these will be finalized shortly after casting. Unless indicated otherwise, all rehearsals will happen at the James Lee Community Center. Rehearsals will be held in the evenings roughly from 6:45 to 9:45 pm and on Saturdays and Sundays as indicated.
Please come to auditions prepared to list any availability conflicts over this time period. Space is provided on the audition form for this purpose.
Director’s Vision Statement
The world itself is the Press Room in the Criminal Courts building that has not been painted since the late 1800s when it was built. Box set with 7 phones for the 7 papers, 2 tables for poker and other activities, a black walnut roll top desk, a Gents bathroom, water cooler spittoon and large double doors to hall way and two large windows overlooking Cook County Jail. The space should have the look of where a bunch of frat boys hang out and do not clean up.
The authors wrote an epilogue in which they came to realize that the play they had written was a celebration of their time as crime reporters, not a glorification but a capturing of the camaraderie, competition, drudgery and thrill of the hunt.
The press room is basically like a sports locker room where the reporters choose to spend their time away from their families, where they all have stories to share, rag on each other, poke fun of each other, play jokes on each other and even fight with each other.
The reporters do not get paid much and are a wrinkly, dirty bunch in contrast to Besinger, Burns, and the Mayor. Hildy has been gussied up by Peggy.
The relationships in the play are the reporters with each other, the reporters with the politicians, the gangsters, the police, the street walkers. Highlighting the thrill of a rough and tumble relationship is Burns and Hildy, mirrored by the Mayor and the Sherriff, and contrasted by the relationship of Mollie and Earl.
The play ends with a deception, and deception amongst all characters and the world of Chicago is the core of this world in 1920s Chicago. In which reporters, politicians and criminals blur together in terms of truth, loyalty and morals.
Pincus and Mollie truly seem to be the only ones with a moral compass.
No matter how lousy and low brow the newspaper business is once you are in you cannot get out.
The Front Page Character Summaries
(in order of appearance)
Wilson (American): Wants to write a play one day.
Endicott (Post): This character is a police reporter for the Post. Recently married and inclined to complain about the job.
Murphy (Journal): Hardest of the hardboiled.
McCue “Mac” (City Press): Fairly new to the press room, and has been put on fielding the local precincts for news to chase for all the reporters. He is good on the phone, charming and seems to have the connections.
Schwartz (Daily News): Has chronically sick wife and two kids who live with his sister.
Kruger (Journal of Commerce): Singer who fiddles with a banjo, but does have talent to play & sing.
Roy Bensinger (Chicago Tribune): Fuss budget type A, who is a neat freak, and especially protective of his desk area. He is the owner of the big, ornate desk; later in the play, Williams hides inside of it. Bensinger is a neat freak, a quality that the other reporters constantly violate by leaving garbage all over his desk.
Mrs. Schlosser: TBD
Woodenshoes Eichhorn: More engaged with the reporters than most of the local police; he is regarded as inept and slow, and often dismissed by the reporters despite his study of psychology.
Diamond Louie: This character is a local thug who works as a circulation manager at the paper. ex-gangster in Burns’ employ
Hildebrand “Hildy” Johnson (Herald Examiner): Cocky star reporter and favorite to Walter Burns despite their love/hate relationship. He is extremely confident and a little bit of a show boater in areas of life. He’s ready to quit the newspaper business and settle down until he stumbles upon a great break in the Earl Williams story, allowing him an exclusive.
Jennie: Cleaning lady for the municipal building who is sweet, hardworking, woman; she thinks the reporters aren’t very nice people.
Mollie Malloy: Lady of the night who has befriended the convicted Earl Williams. She’s led a hard life and finds comfort in her relationship with Williams. She is a tough cookie who does not respect the reporters, newspapers or authority much since the system always let’s her down.
Sheriff Hartman: Bumbling and inefficient statesman type character. He’s eager to can popularity from the hanging of Williams; an overall blundering fool.
Peggy Grant: The strong and popular fiancé to Hildy. She is ready to settle down and tries to maintain control over her beau in direct conflict with Mr. Burns’ plans for Hildy.
Mrs. Grant: This character is skeptical of the main character’s commitment to the upcoming marriage, and reveals key information about the murder suspect after being in a car accident.
The Mayor: corrupt as usual.
Mr. Pincus: hapless messenger.
Earl Williams: condemned anarchist looking for an actor who would be comfortable being confined in a small space.
Walter Burns: He’s Hildy’s boss at the paper. This character is the cold, calculating boss of the paper to include breaking the law. Walter Burns is Desperate to keep his star reporter; he will go to any lengths to entice Hildy to stay. Burns is able to talk himself out of trouble.
Carl, a Deputy: Chorus on the Sheriff’s staff.
Frank, a Deputy: Chorus on the Sheriff’s staff.
Policemen (at least 2): Chorus on the Sheriff’s staff.