“Heartland Theatre Company is committed to promoting diversity and inclusion in our casting and production assignments. We encourage an openness to diverse and non-traditional choices.”


Auditions: Monday – July 11 & Tuesday – July 12 – 2022 (7-10 pm at Heartland Theatre, 1110 Douglas St, Normal IL)

Read Through July 24


Performances: September 1,2,3 | 8,9,10,11 |15,16,17 – 2022

Suddenly Last Summer by Tennessee Williams

The poet Sebastian Venable has been killed in a mysterious incident overseas. His cousin Catharine witnessed his death. His controlling mother, Violet, wants to silence Catharine’s report of his demise by putting her in a sanitarium. Catharine’s mother and brother hope to receive a generous financial support from Mrs. Venable. Tennessee Williams’s 1958 play, Suddenly Last Summer was written in response to his own experience in psychotherapy and is compactly dramatic. 


Mrs. Violet Venable is the mother of the deceased poet, Sebastian Venable. She controlled his life and art for years. Now she has lost much of her power due to a stroke; is dependent on a cane and a wheelchair. At some points she is breathless and dizzy to the point that she gasps like a fish and “at other times she sails like a pirate in her wheelchair and appears momentarily young.” 

Dr. Cukowicz (called Dr. Sugar) works for the Lion’s View State Mental Hospital as a psychologist, and according to the text, is good looking, though glacial and icy.

Catharine Holly is niece to Mrs. Venable and has been a mental patient after witnessing her cousin Sebastian’s murder. She is referred to both as a “little bird” and also as a “coyote.” She has experienced sexual assault.

Mrs. Holly is the mother of Catharine and George and the sister of Mrs. Venable’s deceased husband. She is described as a fatuous Southern lady with a handkerchief. 

George Holly is the son of Mrs Holly and younger brother of Catharine. He goes to Tulane University, is a member of Phi Delts, dresses elegantly in his cousin Sebastian’s hand me down flannel pants and jacket, and has a “cold kiss.”

Sister Felicity accompanies Catharine from St. Mary’s Sanitarium in a white nun’s habit that is “starched to the point of cracking.”

Miss Foxhill serves the needs of Mrs. Venable and sometimes moves and talks secretively.


Side 1: Catharine, Mrs. Venable & Dr. Cukowicz p. 73-77

Side 2: Dr. Cukowicz & Catharine p. 62-65

Side 3: Dr. Cukowicz & Catharine p. 90-92

Side 4: Mrs. Holly, George Holly & Catharine p. 44-47

Side 5: Mrs. Holly, George Holly, Catharine, Mrs. Venable, Miss Foxhill p. 50-53

Side 6: Mrs. Venable p. 15-17

Side 7: Mrs. Venable & Dr. Cukowicz p. 28-30

Side 8: Sister Felicity & Catharine p. 37-39 

Safety Protocols at Heartland: We’ll be very happy to see you at auditions. Please arrive masked. You will be given an audition form to complete. Bring your calendar with you so you can provide your availability. You will be given scenes/sides to review and practice. When you are called to the private audition inside the theater, you will be given a clear mask to wear.

Watch this page for announcements of (or changes to) upcoming auditions!


If you are interested in becoming involved with Heartland on stage or behind the scenes, please submit our volunteer form, email [email protected] or call the Heartland Box Office at 309-452-8709.

Audition location: Heartland Theatre Company

Location: 1110 Douglas St, Normal IL 61761

Mailing Address:  PO Box 1833, Bloomington IL 61702

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