Auditions

PURLIE VICTORIOUS

Aldersgate Church Community Theater (ACCT) is holding auditions for Purlie Victorious by Ossie Davis, directed by Eleanore Tapscott. The production will run for nine live performances at ACCT in Alexandria, VA, September 30-October 16, 2022.

Audition Dates and Times

July 16, 2022, 12:00pm – 3:00pm. In-person auditions at ACCT, 1301 Collingwood Rd, Alexandria, VA 22308.

July 17, 2022, 6:30-9:30 pm. In-person auditions at ACCT, 1301 Collingwood Rd, Alexandria, VA 22308.

July 19, 2022, 7:00 – 9:30pm: callbacks by appointment (if needed) at ACCT, 1301 Collingwood Rd, Alexandria, VA 22308.

***COVID-19 POLICY: A mask is required covering your mouth and nose at all times while in the Aldersgate United Methodist Church (UMC) building. Seating will be socially distanced. This is the ACCT policy at this time. Please check the ACCT website for policy updates.

For the Audition Auditions are by appointment. Please sign up for an audition time. The audition will consist of cold reads from the play. Singers interested in being in the choir should be prepared to sing, a capella, This Little Light of Mine or Won’t Let Nobody Turn Me Around. Please bring a headshot and resumé to the audition. Please provide all known or possible schedule conflicts between August 7, 2022 and October 16, 2022. (A conflict calendar will be distributed at the audition.)

For questions or further information, please contact the Director, Eleanore Tapscott, at etapscdirector@outlook.com.

Play Summary

Purlie Victorious, a self-proclaimed man of the cloth, has come back to his family’s cabin to reacquire the local church, which used to belong to the African-American sharecroppers, and ring the freedom bell. An inheritance due to a cousin would supply the needed cash, but unfortunately it is controlled by the plantation’s owner, Colonel Cotchipee. When Purlie sends an imposter to the colonel to claim the inheritance, she is unmasked and the colonel makes a pass at her. Eventually the church is saved, services are held, and the freedom bell rings.

In this comic tour-de-force, playwright Davis stresses African roots, the harmony of all people, and American values, but with big, broadly-drawn characters. This production is the nonmusical version; this is not the musical, Purlie.

Casting

Purlie Victorious has a multiracial cast. Casting 6 men (ages 20s-50s+), 3 women (ages 20s-50s+). Characters speak with a southern accent. Actors do not have to be the chronological age of the character but need to be able to convincingly play the character’s age. Would also like to have a small choir (3-4 singers).

Character Descriptions

Purlie Victorious Judson: restless and commanding. A man consumed with that divine impatience, without which nothing truly good, truly bad, or even truly ridiculous is ever accomplished, and he has the rhetorical flourish to match. African American man (30’s-40s).

Lutiebelle Gussie Mae Jenkins: eager, desirous – even anxious – keenly in search for life and for love, trembling on the brink of self-confident and vigorous womanhood. African American woman (20’s-30’s)

Missy Judson: Purlie’s sister-in-law – strong, cheerful, shrewd, yet full of the desire to believe. African American woman (40’s-50’s).

Gitlow Judson: Purlie’s brother, hard-working, whose survival skills have enabled him to take ‘shuckin and jivin’ accommodation to meteoric heights. African American man (40’s-50’s).

Ol’ Cap’n Cotchipee: plantation owner, aged and withered but by no means infirmed. Longs for the good old days. Caucasian American man (50+).

Charlie Cotchipee: gawky and naïve, the plantation owner’s son who is idealistic and does not believe in his father’s values. Caucasian American man (20’s-30’s).

Idella Landy: cook and woman of all work since time immemorial for the Cotchipees and mother figure to Charlie. African American woman (50+).

The Sheriff: typical old school southern sheriff. Caucasian American man (40’s-50’s).

The Deputy: sheriff’s not-too-swift sidekick. Caucasian American man (40’-50’s).