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This program is supported in part by a grant from the Melrose Cultural Council, a local agency which is supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.
Maria Sundquist - Producer
Ronald A. Cook - Stage Director
"This extraordinary play is the story of five unmarried sisters eking out their lives in a small village in Ireland in l936. We meet them at the time of the festival of Lughnasa, which celebrates the pagan god of the harvest with drunken revelry and dancing. Their spare existence is interrupted by brief, colorful bursts of music from the radio, their only link to the romance and hope of the world at large. The action of the play is told through the memory of the illegitimate son of one of the sisters as he remembers the five women who raised him, his mother and four maiden aunts. He is only seven in 1936, the year his elderly uncle, a priest, returns after serving for twenty-five years as a missionary in a Ugandan leper colony...." - Samuel French online
Open auditions will be held Sunday and Monday, August 28 and 29, 2016, 7:00 PM in our performance space in Melrose (131 W. Emerson St., Melrose, Mass). We're Artists in Residence at Trinity Episcopal Parish, and you'll find us in their Parish Hall, straight through the door from their parking lot (entry shared with the Thrift Store housed downstairs). Auditions will consist of readings from the play itself, no prepared monologues or appointments necessary. Callbacks, as needed, will be Wednesday, August 31st.
CHARACTER LIST (5 women, 3 men; in general, ages/look relative):
Kate Mundy - Kate is the eldest of the Mundy sisters and behaves as a Mother figure as a result. As a schoolteacher, she is the only wage-earner in the house, but her reputation as 'The Gander' in the schoolroom is seen to extend into the household. She is a fiercely devout Catholic, indicated by her distaste for the pagan practices at Lughnasa and Jack's loss of faith. However, her sensitivity is evident throughout the play.
Maggie Mundy - In place of a career, Maggie acts as the chief family homemaker. Throughout the play she is revealed as serving a deeper purpose as the "joker" of the family, defusing tensions as they arise. She cheekily challenges Kate's authority by calling her "Kitty", whilst being her confidant at the same time. Maggie is seen to have dreams of her own when she learns of her best friend's success. Her sudden quiet contemplation in her monologue is deeply contrasted with her usual fun-loving way of speaking.
Christina Mundy - At 26 years old, Chris is the youngest of the Mundy sisters, and, like Maggie, has no paid job. Gerry Evans fathered her son, Michael, seven years ago and is seen as walking in and out of their lives as he chooses. As a result, Chris fluctuates between falling into a deep depression when he leaves, yet being renewed with optimism that his next visit will be a permanent stay. Her lack of income can lead Chris to be defensive on the upbringing of her son.
Rose Mundy - Rose is 32, but behaves much younger than her years, due to a developmental disability. This condition makes her particularly vulnerable to an unseen character, Danny Bradley, a married man, whom Rose believes is in love with her. However, her sisters believe that Bradley is exploiting Rose's simple nature for his own gain. She is particularly close to her older sister, Agnes, with whom she knits gloves to sell in the town.
Agnes Mundy - Agnes is quiet and contemplative, knitting gloves with Rose whilst also helping to keep the house in order, along with Maggie. She appears to be silently infatuated with Gerry and is quick to leap to his defense. However, Michael's narratives reveal Agnes' future to be bleak. Her knitting fails to support her when the knitware factory opens.
Michael Evans (narrator) - Michael does not appear onstage as a child, but his presence is indicated by the other characters, while the adult Michael speaks his lines from the side of the stage. As a child, Michael is seen as being surrounded by love, since all five of the sisters dote on him.
Gerry Evans - Gerry is initially portrayed as an intensely negative character, particularly by Kate, for having left Chris after fathering her illegitimate son, Michael. However, upon his first appearance in the play, Gerry is shown to be charming and genuinely affectionate towards Chris. His current job as a gramophone salesman (like his former job as a ballroom dancing instructor) represents his freedom, in sharp contrast to the stagnant lives of the sisters.
Father Jack - Jack is in his late fifties. He had left home as a young man to work as a missionary in a leper colony in Uganda. Beyond this, he had been a Catholic chaplain in the British Army in East Africa during World War I. He is well respected in Donegal for his missionary work in a leper colony. However, his sudden return to Ballybeg for undisclosed reasons has paved the way for great changes.
Rehearsals are held Sunday, Monday and Wednesday evenings, 7-10 PM, starting with our read-through on September 11th (following Melrose's Victorian Fair!).
Production dates are Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 PM on November 4, 5, 11 and 12, 2016; with a 2:00 PM Sunday matinée on November 13th.
Performances take place in the
Parish Hall of Trinity Episcopal Church - Melrose, MA
(As for accessibility of the locale: five steps up, single floor to navigate
with slight slope up for refreshments and restrooms.)
2016-2017 Season Announced. Now interviewing directors for the winter and spring 2017 shows.
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In addition to the support gleaned from ticket sales and fund raising, we invite you to further our work through tax-deductible donations!*
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