Auditions

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


THE MINUTES by Tracy Letts

CONGRATULATIONS TO THE CAST OF THE MINUTES BY TRACY LETTS

DIRECTED BY SANDRA ZIELINSKI

 
MR. PEEL— JOSH NELSON
 
MAYOR SUPERBA— JOE STRUPEK
 
MR BLAKE—SEAN HENDERSON
 
MR BREEDING—LEN CHILDERS
 
MR HANRATTY—TODD WINEBURNER
 
MR. ASSALONE—MARIO SILVA
 
MRS. JOHNSON—GAYLE HESS
 
MS INNES—DIANE WALKER
 
MR OLDFIELD—DEAN BROWN
 
MS MATZ—TAYLOR HAMMER
 
MR. CARP—RHYS LOVELL
 

First read through Sunday, July 14, 2024

Performances: August 29, 30, 31 & September 6, 7, 8, 13, 14 – 2024


THE LION IN WINTER by James Goldman

AUDITIONS FOR THE LION IN WINTER BY JAMES GOLDMAN

DIRECTED BY JOHN D. POLING

Monday, September 16 and Tuesday, September 17 – 2024; 7-10 PM

Heartland Theatre Company, 1110 Douglas St, Normal IL 61761

Read Through: Sunday, September 22, 2024

Performances: November 7, 8, 9, 15, 16, 17, 22, 23 — 2024

Sibling rivalry, adultery, and dungeons – The Lion in Winter is a modern-day classic. Comedic in tone, yet dramatic in action, the play tells the story of the Plantagenet family, who are locked in a free-for-all of competing ambitions to inherit a kingdom. Winner of an Academy Award for Best Screenplay in 1968, the film adaptation featured Katharine Hepburn and Peter O’Toole.

➢ Drama
➢ 5M, 2W

Character Descriptions

Henry, 50 (Men – ages 45-60)

 “The Lion,” of The Lion in Winter. Henry is a powerful king ruling large tracts of England and France, but he approaches “the winter” of his life.  He has three bickering and backstabbing sons jockeying to be his successor, and an estranged wife, Eleanor, who is more than a match in a battle of wits. This “lion” still needs to prove that he rules this pride.

Eleanor, 46 (Women – ages 40-55)

One of the smartest, most dynamic queens of the Middle Ages. She loathes Henry for the house arrest he has placed her under. She understands this Christmas court may be her last chance to match wits with him. She relishes this challenge and is determined that Richard should be Henry’s successor. Henry favors his son John.

Alais, 23 (Women ages 18-30)

Alais is the mistress of Henry, and the half-sister of Philip. Her presence at the Christmas court irks Eleanor. Despite the age difference, Alais truly is quite fond of Henry.

Richard, 26 (Men ages 18-35)

Richard is Henry’s eldest son. His birth order alone should ensure, he believes, his succession to the throne. He may also secretly be in love with Philip, the king of France.

Geoffrey, 25 (Men ages 18-35)

Geoffrey is just as ambitious as Richard and John, yet neither his mother nor father seem to believe he possesses the qualities to rule.

John, 17 (Men ages 18-35)

John is the youngest child of Henry and Eleanor. Despite his tender age, he holds his own with his two older brothers. Plus, he is the son Henry wants to be his successor.

Philip II, 18 (Men ages 18-35)

Despite his young age, Philip is the king of France and has already been ruling for three years now. He realizes he’s merely a lion cub compared to Henry, but he is smart and ambitious and will ultimately have great success in conquering large territories from Henry’s Angevine dynasty.

➢Time: Christmas Eve and Christmas Day of the year 1183
➢Place: The castle of King Henry II of England, located in
Chinon, in the English-ruled region of France.

➢PREMIERED AT THE AMBASSADOR THEATER IN1966
➢THE FILM VERSION IN 1968 (WITH SCREENPLAY BY GOLDMAN), WAS A BOX OFFICE HIT THAT WON GOLDMAN AN ACADEMY AWARD

THE PLAY’S THE THING

FULL LENGTH PLAY IN DEVELOPMENT IS PRESENTED AS A PLAY READING. PLAY, PLAYWRIGHT AND CAST ARE SELECTED AND DIRECTED BY ARTISTIC DIRECTOR RHYS LOVELL.

No memorization required.

Read Through: Sunday, December 1, 2024

Performances: December 7, 8 — 2024

ALIAS GRACE by Margaret Atwood, adapted for the stage by Jennifer Blackmer

AUDITIONS FOR ALIAS GRACE BY MARGARET ATWOOD

DIRECTED BY DON LACASSE

Auditions: December 9, 10 – 2024; 7-10 PM

Read Through: Sunday, December 15, 2024

Rehearsals officially begin: January 2

Alias Grace, by Margaret Atwood, adapted for the stage by Jennifer Blackmer

Based on Margaret Atwood’s novel, this stage adaptation of Alias Grace takes a look at one of Canada’s most notorious murderers. In 1843, 16-year-old Grace Marks was accused of brutally murdering her employer and his housekeeper. Imprisoned for years, Grace still swears she has no memory of the killings.

A fascinating study of memory, culpability, and the shadowy spaces within the human mind.

➢ Drama
➢4M, 4W

Characters (4 Women and 4 Men):

GRACE Marks, 31, convicted of murdering Nancy Montgomery and Thomas Kinnear, but has amnesia of the events in question. Imprisoned for her crimes when she was just sixteen, Grace and has been incarcerated for fifteen years, following the commutation of her original sentence to death by hanging. Grace is ethereal, almost timeless, and able to move fluidly in and out of memories as her story unfolds. Speaks with a slight Irish lilt.

SIMON Jordan, 35, psychologist. Simon has spent a great deal of time researching and advocating for humane treatment of the mentally ill, and has plans to open a private asylum in his native United States. Handsome (in a bookish way) and introspective, Simon has an inquisitive nature and the assurance of a mid-career scientist on his way to national prominence.

MRS. Rachel LAVELL, 54, wife of the wayward Governor of Kingston Penitentiary. Endlessly curious but stifled by her gender, Mrs. Lavell enjoys taking on “projects” (of which Grace is the latest) and surrounding herself with learned men. Tall, almost skeletal with severe features and expensive tastes, Mrs. Lavell is desperate for companionship but hides it well.

MARY Whitney, 16, Grace’s close friend from her first service position in the Alderman Parkinson home, endlessly cheerful and outspoken.

NANCY Montgomery, 24, Thomas Kinnear’s housekeeper, charming, yet spoiled and petulant.

JEREMIAH/Jerome DUPONT, 40-ish (played by the same actor). Jeremiah is a peddler, cheerful and honest, with dark hair and features. Dr. Jerome DuPont is a clean-cut “medical” practitioner, a hypnotist of the school of James Braid, also with dark hair and features. (While the only person who knows this is Grace, Jeremiah and Dr. DuPont are actually the same man.)

Thomas KINNEAR, 40-50, gentleman and businessman, Grace’s employer. Kinnear is handsome and charismatic, a bit of a rogue. Takes what he wants when he wants it.

James MCDERMOTT, 21, stable-hand to Thomas Kinnear. Prematurely rough and brusque from years of hard living, McDermott is awkward and socially inept. Handsome in an unkempt way, McDermott likes to think he makes his own choices. Speaks with a slight Irish lilt.

➢Time: 1859
➢ Place: ONTARIO, CANADA
➢ Mature Content

➢“Brilliantly adapted for the stage . . . A reason to celebrate.” — Chicago Sun Times critic Hedy Weiss
➢“Could not have arrived at a more opportune moment.” — Hedy Weiss
➢2018 Joseph Jefferson Award for New Adaptation (Rivendell Theatre Ensemble)

Synopsis

Based on Margaret Atwood’s novel, this stage adaptation of Alias Grace takes a look at one of Canada’s most notorious murderers. In 1843, 16-year-old Grace Marks was accused of brutally murdering her employer and his housekeeper. Imprisoned for years, Grace still swears she has no memory of the killings. A doctor in the emerging field of mental health arrives to try to find out the truth of the matter. Alias Grace is a fascinating study of memory, culpability, and the shadowy spaces within the human mind.

Performances: February 6, 7, 8, 14, 15, 16, 21, 22 — 2025


VANYA and SONIA and MASHA and SPIKE by Christopher Durang

AUDITIONS FOR VANYA & SONIA & MASHA & SPIKE

DIRECTED BY LEN CHILDERS

Auditions: February 17, 18 – 2025; 7-10 PM

Read Through: Monday, February 24

In this outrageous comedy, middle-aged siblings Vanya and Sonia share a home in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, where they bicker and complain about the circumstances of their lives. When their movie-star sister swoops in with her new boy toy and announces her intention to sell the family’s estate, old resentments quickly flare up. 

“I exaggerate awful things further, and then I present it in a way that is funny, and for those of us who find it funny, it has to do with a very clear suspension of disbelief. It is a play, after all, with acted characters; it allows us a distance we couldn’t have in reality.”
~ Christopher Durang

CHARACTER DESCRIPTIONS:
 
VANYA – 40 to late 50s, White – Living in a farmhouse in Bucks County, Pennsylvania with his adopted sister, Sonia.  He has made peace with what his life is and is more resigned than Sonia.
 
SONIA – 40 to late 50s, any race – Lives with her brother, Vanya .  She is discontent, regretful, and unhappy with her life.
 
MASHA – 40 to late 50’s, White – Vanya’s sister.  She is a glamorous and famous actress who travels all over the world.  
 
SPIKE – 20s, any race – An aspiring actor, he is Masha’s new companion.  Sexy, self-absorbed, but otherwise outgoing and friendly.
 
NINA – 20s, any race – Lovely, sincere would-be actress who is visiting her aunt and uncle next door.  Star struck, earnest, and energetic.
 
CASSANDRA – Any age, any race – Cleaning lady and soothsayer, very spiritual person who often has visions she is not afraid to share with others.  

➢ Dark Comedy
➢ 2M, 4W
➢ Time: Present
➢ Place: A Lovely Farmhouse In Bucks County
➢ Mature Content

➢Premiered at McCarter Theatre in Princeton, New Jersey in 2012
➢Produced Off Broadway later the same year
➢Transferred to Broadway in 2013

Performances: April 3, 4, 5, 11, 12, 13, 18, 19 — 2025


2025 10-MINUTE PLAY FESTIVAL: THE RUMMAGE SALE

THE RUMMAGE SALE

DIRECTED BY MIA KATZ, IAN GUTHRIE, DAVE MONTAGUE, RICH TINAGLIA & JASON VALES

Auditions: April 21, 22 – 2025; 7-10 PM

Read Through: At Directors’ discretion

When Summer comes around there are two things you can count on—Heartland Theatre’s long-running annual 10-minute Play Festival and people having sales to get rid of stuff. In 2025, Heartland brings these summertime staples together on stage for “The Rummage Sale”.

If one person’s trash is another person’s treasure, what happens when those people come together? 

Performances: May 29, 30, 31, June 5, 6, 7, 8, 12, 13, 14 — 2025


The Mike Dobbins Memorial NEW PLAYS FROM THE HEARTLAND


DIRECTED BY DARLENE LLOYD, LYNDA RETTICK & NATASHA WARLOE

Three Winning One-act Plays from the Midwest in Staged Readings. No memorization required.

Auditions: June 16, 17 – 2025; 7-10 PM

Read Through: Sunday, June 22

Forum with Playwright: July 10

Performances: July 11, 12, 13 — 2025

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