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WHAT: Please prepare an up tempo song and a ballad from classic musical theatre repertoire. Hint: Marc Blitzstein was heavily influenced by Kurt Weill. The Cradle Will Rock premiered in 1937. Let your choices of audition material reflect those facts. (It does not have to be Kurt Weill). Focus on the storytelling. Bring sheet music in the correct key, along with headshot and resume. An accompanist will be provided.
The Cradle Will Rock is an ensemble piece. You may be called upon to play multiple roles.
Recordings are available on iTunes and Spotify. Please familiarize yourself with the style of the show.
REHEARSALS: Begin around February 10 PERFORMANCES: March 9-18 The Cox Playhouse, 1509 H Avenue, Plano, TX 75074
AVAILABLE ROLES (seeking an ethnically diverse cast of actors who sing)
MOLL (20’s-Early 30’s) A good-hearted amateur prostitute, tender, streetwise. She’s downtrodden but optimistic. She’s arrested for refusing her services to a policeman who helps her out of a fight with a stingy client. Mezzo-Soprano GENT (Age flexible) A man who propositions Moll. Tenor. DICK (Age flexible) A police officer. Tenor. *THE LIBERTY COMMITTEE (Age and vocal ranges flexible) *REVEREND SALVATION An evangelist, but leaves God behind when politics comes into conflict with religion. A pliable church minister who’ll preach peace or war depending on the industrialist’s financial needs. *EDITOR DAILY Editor of the local newspaper. *YASHA Sycophantic violinist. Pompous, proud, educated. Enjoys luxury. Lewd and rude. Character singer. *DAUBER Sycophantic painter, Sister Mister's art instructor. He dotes on Mrs. Mister for her patronage. Smarmy, rude, hypocritical. Likes to perform the artiste. Character singer. *PRESIDENT PREXY Timid, thin-lipped. *PROFESSOR MAMIE Seedy and pompous. *PROFESSOR TRIXIE Tough, unacademic, football coach. *DR. SPECIALIST Steeltown’s physician. HARRY DRUGGIST (Mid 40’s-Mid 50’s) A former drugstore owner who is now continually arrested for vagrancy. A drunk, old shadow of a man. He is sweet but melancholy, hardened by his rough life and the death of his son. Baritone. STEVE (Teens-20’s) Harry’s agreeable adolescent son. Much smarter than his father, and a little amused by him. MR. MISTER (50’s) The Big Boss. A corrupt, greedy steel tycoon who owns the town’s factories. He controls the press and the church. A hypochondriac. He is of a nervous and hostile disposition. A nemesis to the average worker, dominating magnate and bully. Bass/Baritone. MRS. MISTER (40’s-50’s) Mr. Mister's haughty, artist-sponsoring wife. A society woman who has manipulative charm, knows how to get what she wants. Convincing, shrewd, and forthright. Mezzo-soprano. JUNIOR MISTER (Early- Mid 20’s) Son of Mr. Mister. Never done a days work in his life. A privileged and frivolous idiot who enjoys women and cars. Fancies himself a bit of a playboy. Self-obsessed. Baritone. SISTER MISTER (Early- Mid 20’s-30) Daughter of Mr. Mister. A privileged wild child. Dresses like the sex symbol Jean Harlow, the famous blonde bombshell. Determined to be cool and make unconventional (and highly intentional) choices. Mezzo-Soprano. SADIE POLOCK (20’s-30) Just married to Gus. Terribly in love. GUS POLOCK (20’s-30) Just married to Sadie. Terribly in love. LARRY FOREMAN (30’s- Early 40’s) Labor union organizer, a voice of the people, idealistic young union organizer out to slay dragons, charismatic, fearless and outspoken. Has a confident and engaging manner. Baritone. ELLA HAMMER (30’s-40’s) Sister of an injured factory worker. Strong and straightforward. Alto.
Additional roles: Professor Scoot, Court Clerk, Cop, Attendant, Bugs, First and Second Reporters.
The June 1937 premiere of Marc Blitzstein's musical The Cradle Will Rock in New York City offers one of the great stories in American theatre history. After the Maxine Elliott Theatre was locked on opening night when the Works Progress Administration ruled that no new Federal Theatre Project productions were to open before July 1 (partly due to the project's growing politicization and the play's arguably pro-socialist stance) and after the actors' and musicians' unions ruled that their members could not perform in the work, Blitzstein, director Orson Welles, producer John Houseman, and the actors moved to an empty house and performed the show to much acclaim with just a piano. It's a remarkable story of art triumphing over adversity.
The Cradle Will Rock is a satire set in "Steeltown, U.S.A," a town under the thumb of corrupt steel boss Mr. Mister. It examines the ways in which every facet of society prostitutes itself to moneyed interests, and it ends with an inspiring paean to the power of people working together, through unions, to change the world for the better.