by Tim Firth

Opens January, 12 2018

Buy tickets online in December

Synopsis

In the small town of Knapely, England, Annie Clarke has just lost her husband to leukemia. Wanting to provide a new sofa for the hospital’s family room in his memory, her best friend, Chris Harper, decides to raise money by selling a calendar that is slightly different from their usual fundraising projects. Now she needs only to convince 11 middle-aged women to pose nude and to find a photographer they trust to make it a work of art. Based on the true story of a group of extraordinary women whose charitable ventures become a global phenomenon and the fastest-selling play in British theatre history, Calendar Girls, is quirky, poignant and hilarious.

Directed by Kathy Murdoch and Amy Nelp

Auditions

August 19 at 1PM and August 20 at 6:30 pm (Please complete this form in advance)
Performances January 12, 13, 14, 19, 20, 21, 26, 27
There will be no on stage nudity, but is rated PG-13
Rehearsals tentatively planned for Monday, Wednesday, Thursdays at 6:30

Casting needs

CHRIS – 50s. You want Chris at your party. She will talk to people she doesn’t know, happy to say things to all silences and generate laughter. Part of this is because Chris is at home in crowds, holding court, being the center of attention. Without Chris in her life, Annie would be better behaved, her life less fun. The two of them are like naughty schoolgirls.

ANNIE – 50s. Annie will join in mischief but is at heart more conformist and less confrontational than Chris. After Chris has put a waiter’s back up in the restaurant, Annie will go in and pour calm. The mischievousness Chris elicits saves Annie from being a saint. She has enough edge to be interesting, and enough salt not to be too sweet.

CORA – around 40. Cora’s past is the most eclectic, her horizons broadened by having gone to college. She is the joker in the pack, but never plays the fool. Her wit is deadpan. It raises laughter in others, but rarely in herself. Her relationship with her daughter is more akin to that between Chris and Annie. Cora doesn’t need to sing like a diva but must be able to sing well enough to start the show with Jerusalem and sing the snatches of other songs required. The piano keyboard can be marked up to enable her to play basic chords should she not be a player.

JESSIE – late 60s/70s. Get on the right side of Jessie as a teacher and she’ll be the teacher you remember for life. Get on the wrong side and you will regret every waking hour. A lover of life, Jessie doesn’t bother with cosmetics — her elixir of life is bravery. Jessie goes on rollercoasters. Her husband has been with her a long time and is rarely surprised by her actions. Jessie bothers about grammar and will correct stallholders regarding their abuse of the apostrophe “s.”

CELIA – 35-50. The fact that Celia is in the WI is the greatest justification of its existence. A woman more at home in a department store than a church hall, she may be slightly younger than Chris or the same age, but she always feels like she’s drifted in from another world. Which she has. She is particularly enamored of Jessie, and there is a rebelliousness in Celia to which Jessie responds.

RUTH – 40s. Ruth’s journey is from the false self-confidence of the emotionally abused to the genuine self confidence of the woman happy in her own skin. Ruth is eager to please but not a rag doll, and despite being Marie’s right-hand woman she is desperate to be the cartilage in the spine of the WI and keep everyone happy. She has spine herself and the group is protective of her because they sense there is something better in Ruth than her life is letting out. They are proved right.

MARIE – 50s. Marie has gradually built the current ‘Marie’ around herself over the years as a defense mechanism. She went to her Oz, Cheshire, and found Oz didn’t want her. She came back scorched. The WI is a trophy to her, which jusi-fies her entire existence. There is a lingering part of Marie that would love to be on that calendar.

JOHN – 50s. John is a human sunflower. Not a saint. Not a hero. Just the kind of man you’d want in your car when crossing America. When he dies it feels like someone somewhere turned a light off. 

ROD – Chris’s husband, 50s. You have to be a certain kind of guy to stick with Chris and Rod loves it. He can give back what he gets, and has a deadpan humour which has always made Chris laugh. He drinks a lot but never so much as to have a problem. He would work every hour to make his shop a success. And John was his mate, even though the relationship was originally channeled through their wives.

LAWRENCE – late 20s. Hesitant without being nerdy, Lawrence is a shy young man with enough wit to make a joke and enough spirit to turn up at the WI hall in the first place. When he arranges the shots he is close to female nudity but sees only the photo.

LADY CRAVENSHIRE – 60s. Lady Cravenshire really doesn’t mean to be so patronizing. But the WI girls seem from another world. The world of her estate workers. Dress: when she makes an entrance, she must make an entrance. Largely white or cream to outplay the others, with a bigger hat than Marie. She is not a tweed-wearer. She must glide in like a galleon.

ELAINE – 20s. Elaine really doesn’t mean to be so patronizing. But Jessie seems from another world. The world of her gran. Dress: her clinical whites slice through like a knife. You feel you could cut yourself on that dress.

LIAM – late 20s. Liam would like to be directing other things than photoshoots for washing powders. He’s not so unprofessional as to let it show, but we can sense a slight weariness at having to deal with these women. There’s a re-signed patience to his actions and each smile he makes we feel is professional. For Liam, this photoshoot is a job. And not the job he wanted.