AUDITIONS FOR SPRING SHOW
THE DINING ROOM by A. R. Gurney, directed by Denise M. E. Bouton
February 16 and 17 plus March 1 and 2 at 7PM at the Hall.
The Dining Room
, written by A.R Gurney, is set in the dining room of a typical well-to-do
household, the place where the family assembled daily for breakfast and dinner and for any and all special occasions.
The action of the play is a collection of interrelated scenes throughout the 20th century—some funny, some touching, some rueful—which,
taken together, create an in-depth portrait of a vanishing species: the upper-middle-class WASP (White Anglo-Saxon Protestant).
The actors change roles, personalities, and ages with virtuoso skill as they portray a wide variety of characters,
from little boys to stern grandfathers, and from giggling teenage girls to Irish housemaids. Each vignette introduces a new set
of people and events; a father lectures his son on grammar and polilics; a boy returns from boarding school to discover his
mother's infidelity; a senile grandmother doesn't recognize her own sons at Thanksgiving dinner; a daughter, her marriage a shambles,
pleads futilely to return home; etc. The varied scenes coalesce, into a theatrical experience of exceptional range, compassionate humor, and abundant humanity.
The Cast is an Ensemble of 6, 3 male and 3 female. Each actor will be portraying 9 to 11 characters in the play. Since each
actor is playing so many different roles, I am looking for actors who exhibit vocal and physical versatility, have the ability to
interpret character, and are excited for an acting challenge. Age range is more important than actual age.
Preparation for Auditions—Please prepare a monologue, or story, that affords you the opportunity to show your acting versatility.
It can even be a story that has actually happened to you; it doesn’t have to be from a published work. There will also be cold readings from the script.
Additional Details on Characters:
(adapted from a descriptive piece about the play by Rosalind Flynn; see link to full article, citation at end)
- Agent, Client – The Client is in the market for temporary housing due to a new job placement.
The client falls in love with the dining room but does not feel the house is affordable.
- Arthur, Sally – These siblings have recently moved their mother out of her large house to a new smaller house in Florida.
They are now tasked with dividing up the leftover possessions between themselves.
- Annie, Father, Mother, Girl, Boy – This family and their maid, Annie, discuss politics and their daily life over breakfest during the Great Depression.
- Ellie, Howard – Ellie moves her typewriter onto the dining room table so she can finish work on her master's degree. Howard is
concerned about the damage she might cause the old family table.
- Carolyn, Grace – This mother and daughter pair argue over the direction the daughter, Carolyn, wants to take her life.
Grace wants her daughter to follow in her footsteps with the Junior Assembly and Carolyn prefers the theater.
- Michael, Aggie – Michael is a little boy who loves his maid, Aggie. He tries to convince Aggie not to
leave his family for other better-paying work.
- Buyer/Psychiatrist, Architect – The Architect wants to bust down the walls of the Buyer's new house for his Psychiatrist office. The
Architect believes dining rooms are outdated.
- Peggy, Ted, and children: Brewster, Billy, Sandra, Winkie – Peggy and Ted discuss their feelings for each other and what an affair
might do to both their marriages. The scene takes place during Peggy's daughter's birthday party.
- Nick, Grandfather, Dora – Nick has come to ask his grandfather for tuition money.
- Paul, Margery – Paul has come to fix Margery’s table.
- Nancy, Stuart, Old Lady, Bea, Beth, Fred – Three sons try to share Thanksgiving with their old mother who has severe Alzheimer's disease.
- Helen, Sarah – The two girls hunt for liquor and discuss how their families eat dinner.
- Kate, Gordon, Chris – Kate and Gordon are having an affair. They are caught by Kate's son, Chris.
- Tony, Aunt Harriet – Tony is writing a paper about the eating habits of vanishing cultures. He has chosen the WASPS of the
Northeastern United States as his subject.
- Meg, Jim – Meg has left her husband, had two affairs, and now wants to move herself and her children into her father's house
until she can get back on her feet. Her father, Jim, does not approve.
- Emily, David, Claire, Bertha, Standish – Standish's brother has just been called a homosexual at their country club. Standish
explains to his wife, children, and their maid that he is going to skip dinner, go down to the club, and stand up to the men who harassed his brother.
He knows that he is likely to be beaten up, but he believes that it is important to support family.
- Harvey, Dick – Harvey discusses his own funeral plans with his son.
- Annie, Ruth, Host, Guests – The ultimate dinner party.
Link to full article describing TDR characters, (includes a number of Youtube videos of scenes
from the play in various productions)
Citation:- Flynn, Rosalind. "About the "The Dining Room". ThoughtCo, Mar. 24, 2019, thoughtco.com/the-dining-room-4081192.
Also of Possible Interest to Auditioners: Youtube Interview with A.R. Gurney about The Dining Room