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Two Planks Theater Company Auditions!

LOST IN YONKERS by Neil Simon
WINNER – 1991 Pulitzer Prize for Drama
WINNER – 1991 Tony Award, Best Play

Directed by Susan Halliwell

Saturday, March 4, 2017 – 1-3:30 PM (by appointment – please see below)
Sunday, March 5, 2017 – 10 AM – 2 PM (by appointment – please see below)

Auditions held at Monroe Dance Academy, 838 Main Street, Monroe, CT
Callbacks (if needed) are scheduled for Monday, March 6th at 7 PM at
Two Planks Theater Company, 515 Cutlers Farm Road, Monroe, CT

All roles are open. We are seeking a cast of two men, three women and two boys (age range 13-16).
Please prepare a short monologue (one to two minutes in length) in the style of the production. Those auditioning may also be asked to read from the script.

Rehearsals will be held Monday – Thursday evenings from 7-9:30 PM and Sunday afternoons from 2-5 PM beginning March 11.

PERFORMANCE DATES:
May 5, 6, 7, 12, 13, 14
Curtain times are 8 PM on Fridays and Saturdays and 5 PM on Sundays

Audition appointment requests may be made by emailing Executive Director, Brooke Burling at bburling@twoplankstheater.org
Audition appointments made online should state a specific date and include a head shot and resume.
Email is preferred, but if you do not have access to e-mail, please call us at 203-246-5991.

Two Planks Theater Company is a regional professional theater company; however, we do not offer compensation or housing for performers.

Cast of characters:
ARTY – Jay’s younger brother, he is 13 years old. More of an observer than the rest of his family, he often goes with the flow of things, but also can be a little childish.

EDDIE – Jay’s middle-aged father. After the death of his wife, he is forced to send his two sons to live with their grandmother, while he repays his large financial debts. He is shown to be, much like his sisters, a nervous wreck around Grandma

BELLA – Jay’s thirty-five-year-old aunt. She is sometimes a bit off-center and is mentally challenged, but despite this she is also loving and protective of her nephews. Much of the second half of the play focuses on her attempts at independence from her stern mother.

GRANDMA KURNITZ – Eddie and Bella’s mother, a big woman, buxom, with a strong and erect body, 70 odd years of age.  Jay’s grandmother. A very old and stern woman. Owing to her harsh childhood, she has always been very intolerant of what in others she calls “weaknesses”. She is blunt, sometimes even in a funny way, and always knows what is going on with the people around her

LOUIE – Jay’s flamboyant, jovial uncle, in his late 30s, who comes to live with the family when he is hiding from the local mob. He is considered by Grandma Kurnitz to be the “survivor” of the family. He has a strong, mercurial nature, and a certain underlying dark side, which the kids uncover in the second act of the play. He works as a “bag-man” for the mob.

AUNT GERT – Jay’s aunt, and Grandma’s daughter. She is a very interesting addition to the family. Her most noticeable issue is that when she breathes she has a tendency to suck in while still speaking, as a result of trauma instilled in her by Grandma from a young age.

Lost in Yonkers is written by Neil Simon, one of America’s greatest comic playwrights. This memory play is set in a Yonkers in 1942. Bella is 35-years-old, mentally challenged and living at home with her mother, stern Grandma Kurnitz. As the play opens, ne’r do-well son Eddie deposits his two young sons on the old lady’s doorstep. He is financially strapped and taking to the road as a salesman. The boys are left to contend with Grandma, with Bella and her secret romance, and with Louie, her brother, a small-time hoodlum in a strange new world called Yonkers.
Evelyn Kurnitz has just died following a lengthy illness. Her husband, Eddie Kurnitz, needs to take a job as a traveling salesman to pay off the medical bills incurred and decides to ask his stern and straight talking mother, from whom he is slightly estranged, if his two early-teen sons, Jay and Arty (who their Grandma calls by their full given names, Jakob and Arthur), can live with her and their Aunt Bella Kurnitz in Yonkers. She agrees after a threat from Bella. Despite their Grandma owning and operating a candy store, Jay and Arty don’t like their new living situation as they’re afraid of their Grandma and find it difficult to relate to their crazy Aunt Bella whose slow mental state is manifested by perpetual excitability and a short attention span. Outwardly this comes across as childlike demeanor. Into their collective lives returns one of Eddie and Bella’s other siblings, Louie Kurnitz, a henchman for some gangsters. He is hiding out from Hollywood Harry who wants what Louie stole and is hiding in a small black bag. Jay and Arty’s challenge becomes how to make money fast so that they can help their father and move back together as a family. This may entail stealing the $15,000 their Grandma has hidden somewhere in the house. Bella’s mission is to find a way to tell the family that she wants to get married to Johnny, her equally challenged movie theater usher boyfriend. Bella and Johnny could also use $5,000 of Grandma’s hidden money to open their dream restaurant. Louie’s just needs to survive the next couple of days.

Critics rave:
“THE BEST PLAY SIMON EVER WROTE.” – New York Post

“Broadway desperately needs a comedy, a drama, and a hit. With Lost in Yonkers, Mr. Simon has given us all three.”
– Wall Street Journal

“One of Simon’s most impressive and funniest plays.”
– New York Daily News

“Laughter and tears have come together in a new emotional truth. There are moments in this play when you experience a new kind of laughter for Simon, a silent laughter that doesn’t explode into a yuk but implodes straight into your heart.”
– Newsweek

For further information, please visit us online at www.twoplankstheater.org

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