Audition Notice for “Bus Stop”

Play by William Inge
Directed by Eleanore Tapscott
Stage Managed by Eli Alexander
Produced by Marzanne Claiborne and Charles Dragonette

Performance Dates: March 29 – April 14, 2019
Performance Times: Fridays and Saturdays at 8 pm; Sundays at 2 pm

Audition Dates
Saturday, January 26, 1:00 pm-4:00 pm.
Sunday, January 27, 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm.
Callbacks:  Tuesday, January 29 by invitation only. Candidates will be given a call time.

Rehearsals will start immediately after casting and are planned for weeknights (7-10 pm), except Wednesdays and Saturday afternoons (1-4 pm). The schedule will be finalized after the show is cast and actors’ conflicts have been accounted for. Tech rehearsals start Saturday, March 23, 2019. Double-tech is Sunday, March 24, and attendance is mandatory.

Play Summary
In the middle of a howling snowstorm, a bus out of Kansas City pulls up at a roadside diner. All roads are blocked, and four or five weary travelers are going to have to hole up until morning. Cherie, a nightclub chanteuse in a sparkling gown and a seedy fur-trimmed jacket, is the passenger with most to worry about. She’s been pursued, made love to, and finally kidnapped by a 21-year-old cowboy with a ranch of his own and the romantic methods of a headstrong bull. The belligerent cowhand is right behind her, ready to sling her over his shoulder and carry her, alive and kicking, all the way to Montana. Even as she’s ducking out from under his clumsy but confident embraces, and screeching at him fiercely to shut him up, she pauses to furrow her forehead and muse, “Somehow deep inside of me I got a funny feeling I’m gonna end up in Montana …” As a counterpoint to the main romance, the proprietor of the cafe and the bus driver, at last, find time to develop a friendship of their own; a middle-age scholar comes to terms with himself, and a young girl who works in the cafe also gets her first taste of romance.

This 1955 dramedy was nominated for four Tony Awards and was adapted for film in 1956, starring Marilyn Monroe as Cherie.

Note: There is physical contact (kissing) between the characters Bo and Cherie.

BUS STOP Audition Form

For the Audition
Actors should prepare a 1-2-minute contemporary dramatic or comic monologue. Please provide an accurate list of all tentative and known conflicts between January 31 and April 14. A conflict will not necessarily preclude you from being cast, as the director will work around actors’ conflicts to the best of her ability. Since there will be no double casting, conflicts during the last two weeks of rehearsal or during performances may affect casting decisions.

Actors auditioning for Cherie should be prepared to sing (a 1950s- era song); please do not sing Old Black Magic.  Actors auditioning for Virgil should sing and play guitar.

Role Summary
Casting 5 men (ages 20s-50s), 3 women (late teens to 50s). All ethnicities are welcome.

Character Descriptions

Elma (F, late teens-20): An intelligent, but naive and impressionable high school girl. She is Grace’s waitress.

Grace (F, 40s-50s): Owner of the diner, a self-defined “grass widow”. She is pretty in a fading, hard-bitten way. She has a passionate side to her nature, loving a good fight and the attentions of a good man.

Cherie (F, early 20s): A pretty, young woman who comes from a difficult “hill folk” background and has left her innocence far behind and is hopeful for the opportunity of true romantic love. She is an aspiring nightclub singer, but has never worked in any establishment above the level of “cheap dive.” She must sing.

Will (M, 40s-50s): The local sheriff. Tough as nails and brusque in manner, but goodhearted and humble. A staunch Christian, described as a “deacon of his church.” A highly “moral” man in the general sense of the word, who understands human frailty.

Dr. Lyman (M, 40s): A college professor. He is often, and currently, unemployed, due to his alcoholism and penchant for young girls. Quotes Shakespeare often.

Carl (M, 40s-50s): Bus driver on the Kansas City to Topeka run. He is loud, hearty, and very natty in his uniform. Has an ongoing “just passing through” relationship with Grace.

Bo Decker (M, early 20s): A brash young cowboy with boorish manners that hide a naivete almost as profound as Elma’s. He has convinced himself that Cherie will be his bride, though Cherie wants nothing to do with him.

Virgil Blessing (M, 30s-40s): An older, wiser cowboy who has become a father figure to Bo (who was orphaned at the age of ten) as well as Bo’s head ranch hand.  Must play the guitar and sing.