Balm in Gilead
written by Lanford Wilson
directed by F. Reed Wilson
"There's got to be some place that's better than this
This life I'm leading's driving me insane."
- Tom Waits (Virginia Avenue)
Mon, Dec 7th at 6 p.m.
Tue, Dec 8th at 6 p.m.
Tue, Dec 8th at 7 p.m.
in the Burnight CENTER Theatre
Please prepare a one-minute monologue.
Auditions will last up to two hours. You should arrive early to select a 4-minute slot of time as it will be first-come, first-serve. Once you have auditioned, you will be released.
Please have your estimated Spring schedule ready and indicate any schedule conflicts you might have.
a callback list will be posted by NOON, Tuesday, Dec 8th
A cast list will be posted on the Theatre web and on the Burnight Studio glass case, outside the studio theatre by Friday, Dec 11th. All students cast in the show will be enrolled in the required classes, and will need to pay necessary tuition fees within 5 business days.
Balm in Gilead takes place in Frank’s café, an all-night coffee shop on Manhattan’s Upper West Side peopled by a makeshift community of dealers, junkies, hustlers, prostitutes, dreamers and runaways. The plot loosely centers on Joe, a cynical drug dealer, and Darlene, a naive new arrival to the big city, over the course of three days. Joe seduces Darlene hours after they meet, but Joe’s relative inexperience in the dangerous world he does business in and his debt to a local kingpin named Chuckles hangs over his head, provoking him to push her away. Darlene, meanwhile, finds herself completely ill-equipped to handle life in a New York slum, and she becomes increasingly vulnerable to the attentions of the various low-rent men who hang around the café looking for an easy target. Joe, seeing in Darlene a chance for a fresh start, briefly considers giving up dealing, but just as he is about to return Chuckles’ money, he is killed by one of the dealer’s thugs. The play ends with all the principal characters droning their lines from the first scene over and over again in a circle, suggesting that their lives are stuck in a demoralizing rut.
Joe (M, 24): a middle class guy tries to become a small-time drug dealer looking to go into business with Chuckles, the local kingpin.
Darlene (F, 20-23): a naïve, dense young girl newly arrived to New York, speaks with a midwestern accent.
Dopey (M, 23-30): an older junkie
Fick (M, 23-30): a pathetic, childlike junkie
Ann (F, 23-30): a prostitute
John (M, age): the café’s manager
Frank (M, ~55): fry cook at the café
Kay (F, 23-30): waitress at the café
Franny (F, 23-30): a transvestite prostitute who caters to many of the café’s other hustlers
David (M, 23-30): a hussler, much like Franny, not so lovely.
Tig & Bob (M, 23-30): two sociopathic junkies who prey on attractive new arrivals (both male & female) to the café, hustlers, male prostitutes.
Xavier (M, 23-30) Joe’s friend and fellow drug dealer, whose exploitation of a particularly wretched junkie moves Joe to consider quitting.
Rake (M, 23-30): A hustler, one of the “Fellows on the Corner”.
Bonnie (F, 23-30): a prostitute
Stranger (F/M, ~35): Chuckles’ hitman
Ernesto (M, 23-30): a Colombian hustler
Rusty (M, 23-30): a prostitute
Babe (F, 23-30): a really “far gone” junkie
Al (M, ~50): alcoholic bum
Martin (M, 23-30): a junkie
Terry & Judy (M & F, 23-30): a couple, prostitutes
Carlo & Tim (M, 23-30): hustlers (Carlo is Colombian)