Audition Announcement “Leaving Iowa” – 6 to 8 Roles Open – April 1 & 3

Leaving Iowa

By Tim Clue & Spike Manton
Directed by Julie Janson

Called “a comedy with a surprisingly deep soul… simultaneously hilarious and touching,” Leaving Iowa portrays Don’s journey to return his father’s ashes to his childhood home, only to discover that Grandma’s house is now a grocery store. This father-and-son road trip shifts smoothly from the present to Don’s memories of the annual, torturous vacations of his childhood: the classic American summer vacation, which often meant being trapped in the back seat of a station wagon. Don’s memories bring to life the people of his past and present, weave a tale of reconciling idealism with reality, and ultimately show us what it means to love one’s family.

Providence Players of Fairfax is:

  • A non-profit community theater troupe. All participation is on a volunteer basis. No members of the cast or crew are compensated.
  • A membership organization. Membership is not required to audition. If cast, all actors (and in fact, all volunteers), are required to become members of Providence Players of Fairfax ($25 per individual or $60 per family – three or more) for the season (if not already a member).

Download the entire Audition Announcement and Form.

Download a copy of the Theater Access Schedule for this show.  This is not the specific rehearsal schedule (which will be supplied by the Director), but it will give you an idea for the commitment you are making – rehearsal space and performance – and how to identify conflicts.

Casting Announcement

Providence Players is casting six to eight (6-8) roles, three to four (3-4) men and three to four (3-4) women.  No roles are precast, and all roles are open.  All backgrounds, ages, ethnicities welcome and encouraged to attend!

Audition Dates

Monday, April 1st, 6:30 – 9:30 pm (In the James Lee Theater): Open Auditions.
Wednesday, April 3rd, 6:30 – 9:30 pm (In the James Lee Urbanites Room): Open Auditions.

PLEASE RSVP to with the date you plan to attend.

There will not be a separate callback. Actors who audition on Monday may be asked to come back Wednesday, if available. You are not required to be available both nights to be considered.

Audition Location

The James Lee Community Center
2855 Annandale Road
Falls Church, VA 22042

Auditions will be held in the theater on April 1st and in the Urbanites Room on April 3rd. Please come in the front of the community center and sign in at counter. Staff can point you in the right direction and signs will be posted.

Performance Dates and Times

Preview:                                May 30th, 2019; 7:00 pm Curtain
Evening Performances:  Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays; May 31 – June 15 2019; 7:30 pm Curtain
Matinees:                              Sundays; June 2 & 9; 2:00 pm Curtain

About the Director

Julie Janson is an award-winning director. Leaving Iowa will be Julie’s third time directing with PPF:  past shows include Amadeus (winner of 2016 Ruby Griffith Award for Outstanding Achievement in a Play) and Oleanna (2019). She has actively participated in more than 30 productions, on and off the stage, over the past 20 years. Her other directing credits include The Elephant Man by Bernard Pomerance (2012); Shadow Box by Michael Cristofer (2004); Black Comedy by Peter Shaffer (2004); and Reckless by Craig Lucas (2003).

From the Director, Julie Janson

This is a small, ensemble cast, so every role really is a big role!

The biggest thing I will be looking for in auditions is the actor’s ability to have fun and take risks. There are a lot of beautiful, subtle moments in this show, but there are just as many crazy, wacky scenes which will require actors to take chances and shamelessly have fun. Every role is this show will require significant transitions: Three of the four family members must be able to play a younger and older version of themselves and the 2-4 multi-role characters will be tasked with that ultimate challenge of creating multiple distinct, interesting characters.

ALL ARE WELCOME! I repeat: ALL ARE WELCOME! I have NO pre-conceived notions about age, sexuality, ethnicity, etc. Below are the ages and some of the descriptors suggested by the playwright; however, no one should disqualify themselves based on this information.

As a director, I believe first and foremost in creating an environment where both actors and crew feel inspired to challenge themselves and reach their maximum potential, all while having a collaborative, positive, fun experience which results in a theater family. As part of this family, you will work hard, but the outcome will be worth it.

I truly believe this will be a special show. I hope you will join us on this journey.

Character Breakdown:

If you are unfamiliar with this show, the most accessible point of comparison is the Griswold Family of National Lampoon’s fame.

  • DON BROWNING: Adult writer, young boy in flashbacks. Don is at the center of this story and rarely, if ever, leaves the stage. Actors considering auditioning for this role should be comfortable memorizing a large amount of dialogue and be able to convey an adult and teenage version of Don.
  • DAD: Don’s father. A man who loves his family, life, and adventure. A constant presence throughout the play. While he may not always be talking, he’s always there.
  • MOM: Don’s mother, past and present. A woman of saintly patience and strong love for her family. Must be able to play an adult and “older adult” version of her character.
  • SIS: Don’s sister, past and present. That annoying sister you know and mostly love. Must be able to play an adult and teenage version of her character.
  • MULTIPLE CHARACTER GUY (12 roles total, may be split between two actors playing 6 roles each): Plays a hog farmer, Don’s uncle, man with vegetable stand, Don’s grandfather, grocery store employee, farmer with hoe, Don’s childhood friend turned professor, Amish peddler at flea market, Civil War performer, mechanic, unhappy old man, and stoic waiter
  • MULTIPLE CHARACTER GIRL (10 roles total, may be split between two actors playing 5 roles each): hog farmer Bob’s wife, Don’s aunt, woman with fruit cart, Don’s grandmother, woman in grocery store parking lot, Amish peddler at flea market, assistant to Civil War guy, auto repair shop worker, patron in hotel, nightmare waitress

Rehearsal Schedule:

This is an ensemble show. This means that most rehearsals will require the entire cast. I will be casting this show very quickly and actors should expect the first read-through to take place on Monday, April 8th. Actors should expect 3-4 rehearsals a week (generally 2-3 weeknights and one weekend rehearsal) through April and early May with more work as needed when we enter tech weeks.

Actors will be expected to learn lines as they go. My general format is to take one chunk at a time, using one night for table work, familiarization, and blocking, then one night to really run the scene, preferably off-book. Actors generally tend to like this format as they get to the real work faster and there isn’t a looming “off-book deadline.”

A copy of the preliminary stage rehearsal schedule is included with this announcement and will be available online and at auditions. The schedule will be finalized the week after casting and will be based on crew and actor conflicts. Unless indicated otherwise, all rehearsals will happen at the James Lee Community Center. Weeknight rehearsals will start at 7pm and will generally go until 9:45pm. Weekend rehearsals will be based on availability.

Additional Audition Information/Instructions:

  • HOW WE WORK: You are welcome to come to audition on more than one of the open audition evenings. This is not a requirement. Most PPF auditions have actors up and down to read multiple times in multiple combinations and scenes. Most actors find this fun. As space allows, you will be able to watch the auditions. You may be asked to go into the hallway with audition partners and work a bit on a scene. We will do our best to get you up multiple times reading for parts you are interested in. You will also be asked to read for other parts you may not be auditioning for. 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.
  • AUDITION PROCESS & SIDES: Auditions will consist of readings from the script. No monologue required although one of the sides may be a monologue from the play. Sides for the audition process will be supplied at auditions.
  • AUDITION FORM: Resumes and headshots will be accepted, but are not required. Please ALSO COMPLETE the attached PPF Audition Form and bring it with you to the audition. We may ask to take a picture of you, but this is for internal use only and will not be shared.