AUDITIONS For “BILOXI BLUES”
By Neil Simon
“Biloxi Blues” is presented by special arrangement with SAMUEL FRENCH, INC.
Directed by Michael Burdick
Main Street Theatre
March 18 at 7:00 PM and March 19 at 7:00PM
Show Dates: May 17 thru 25
Fridays and Saturdays at 8PM , Sunday at 2PM
Charles Frohman: You know what happened, James, they changed it. J.M. Barrie: They changed what? Charles Frohman: The critics, they made it important ... hm, what's it called? What's it called? J.M. Barrie: Play. Charles Frohman: Play.
Biloxi Blues Play Summary: Follow Neil Simon’s alter-ego Eugene Morris Jerome in Part Two of the master playwright’s heartfelt yet humorous coming-of-age “BB Trilogy” entitled “Biloxi Blues.” In this play, we meet the young Brooklyn native as he prepares to roll off a train in “beautiful” Biloxi, Mississippi. There, he and five other soldiers will attempt to survive boot camp in the care of a hard-nosed, over excited drill sergeant, just sixth weeks before they are destined to be shipped off to the battlefields of World War II.Though their ordeal, our characters wrestle with love, camaraderie, morality, bigotry and, above all, the beauty and inevitable demise of youthful innocence.
Please Note: The actors playing the six soldiers should possess the ability to portray characters in their late teens/early 20s. Equal emphasis will be paid to how well the actors relate to each other as an ensemble Warning: Actors may be asked to do a few push-ups at the audition. But never fear, the director will probably do them with you. SIDES will be provided at the audition. In preparation, we recommend you please read the play. Bring headshot and resume if available.
ARNOLD EPSTEIN A Jewish guy from Queens Blvd, NYC who is intelligent, sensitive and logical in his demeanor. When it comes to physicalability … well … maybe not so much. Nevertheless, he comes to boot camp armed with the ability/philosophy/obstinance that allows him to resist opposition. He is extremely strong-willedand instinctively challenges norms, refusing to compromise what he knows to be true or to give respect to those who he considers interior to him intellectually. He objects to the army's training practices and foolishly, single-handedly tries to change them by butting heads with his drill Sargent.
EUGENE MORRIS JEROME A Jewish guy from Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, NYC (For more on his background, feel free to check out the play “Brighton Beach Memories.”) He comes to the army after NEVER being away from home (or probably even from his own neighborhoodall that much.) He dreams of one day becoming a writer, but really doesn’t know what that means for him at this point in his life. He’s a pretty good-natured guy, but he’s still a bit naïve in the ways of the world. He doesn’t handle conflict all that welland, though he means well, struggles in tense situations to do the right thing. He is not willing to take a stand, a quality that allows him to stay neutral with those around him, but ironically threatens to hurt him as a writer moving forward. NOTE: The actor playing Jerome breaks the forth wall at timesto double as the voice of the playwright.
SGT. MERWIN J TOOMEY An army drill instructor whose can be anywhere from 30 to 55years-of-age. Here’s a guy, slightly deranged, slightly eccentric, who walking around with a heavy steel plate in his head as a result of the time he served in war during the North African Campaign, “where 73 percent of his comrades are buried.” He is a strong believer in discipline and order as being the only thing that will save the lives of the some-to-be fighting soldiers in his charge. His experience has brought him distinct expertise in all the things he has been a part of, whether that be training soldiers, fighting in war or being a moral and spiritual person. It is truly his way or the latrine way.
JOSEPH WYKOWSKI A Polish-American, former furniture mover from Bridgeport, Conn. He comes to boot camp already possessing a basic understanding of what the army is going to put him through (based on what he has been told by others that have come before him), with a raw potential and natural ability to become a greatsoldier. He can be a leader of men at times, but, more times than not, he’s insensitive to those around him and is completely lacking in any culture or manners. He is physically imposing, the kind of the guy who would have been classified as the “classic jock” when he was in high school.
ROY SELRIDGE A guy from Schenectady, NY. He is uneducated with very little tact and definitely doesn’t think for himself that much. He doesn’t really fit in easily with anybody around him, but very much wants to be liked and tends to but the guy who will clown around in order to get himself noticed. Unfortunately, his humor is not quite at the high level he thinks it is. Tends to align himself with Wykowski in several of the play’s situations.
DON CARNEY An unassuming, fairly-likeable guy from Montclair, New Jersey. He is a person who will do anything for his friends and family and doesn’t push the envelope all that much. Enjoys music, loves to sing. All the same, Donny Boy tends to be both indecisive and inconsistent in his thinking, almost to a fault. He is not dumb by any stretch of the imagination, but probably hasn’t read that many books or done that well in school in general.
JAMES HENNESY An Irish/African American guy, but (for story purposes) you wouldn’t know he was black at all from looking at him. He’s got a lot going for him. He will always stand up for what’s right. Heis a generally easy-going, level-headed kind of person, easy to get along with and will definitely tell you exactly what he thinks.
ROWENA A female prostitute and seller of hard-to-get items from Gulfport, Miss. Her age is secondary to her demeaner. She is a hassler, out to get all the money she can, and is extremely street smart from the school-of-hard-knocks. She is a master-manipulator who possesses the ability make any man feel like the most special person in the world.
DAISEY HANNIGAN A simply wonderful girl in her late teens (The actor can be older if she projects the age range of the character. In other words, her age is secondary to how she matches up to Eugene.) Originally from Chicago, she now lives in Gulfport, Miss. But, this a whole different part of Gulfport than the one Rowena lives in. Daisy attends an all-girls Catholic school and has strong beliefs and rules that she will not compromise. She is everything that Eugene is searching for in his quest to fall in love, “the perfect girl,” beautiful, smart, well-read, pure and innocent. Hope to see you at auditions!