Auditions for Moss Hart’s theatrical comedy
“Light Up the Sky”
Monday, November 30 @ 7:00 PM
Tuesday, December 1 @ 7:00 PM
Callbacks (if necessary) will be advised
Directed by Ruth Anne Baumgartner
Hart’s epigram to this play, “Mad, sire? Ah, yes—mad indeed, but observe how they do light up the sky,” was an in-joke invented by Hart, no matter how “classic” it sounds.
In a suite at Boston’s Ritz-Carlton Hotel one afternoon in 1948, a play’s lead, director, author, principal backer, and assorted friends and relatives gather before a new play’s out-of-town opening. The leading lady and the director are established theatrical stars; the script is the very first work of the young playwright; the producer, a prosperous investor/gambler, has never before ventured into the Arts; all anticipate a glorious evening with a play that has been making everyone weep with emotion throughout rehearsals. Naturally, they all love each other.
When the performance meets with less than enthusiasm from the audience, they all despair, blaming one another and the script. But the reviews tell a different story: unanimous raves for the play’s significance and theatrical potential. The playwright, disgusted, disillusioned, and already boarding a plane for home, is dragged back…and the newly harmonious group resolves to put in the work to realize the potential of “the beautiful play.”
Note capitalized “types” in the character descriptions; but despite the assemblage of stock characters, the director will be seeking performances that strike a more interesting balance between extravagant passions and genuine seriousness. Similarly, playable-age ranges are guides, not definitions.
6-9 Men (4 of the roles are small and can be at least doubled); 4 Women
Irene Livingston: 35-45. The Leading Lady, she exudes “that ineffable essence of a great star of the stage.” Beautiful, charming, neurotic, and always surprising.
Carleton Fitzgerald: 40s-60s. The Director. Consciously artistic, sensitive, and successful: he “pervades” a room; “any action…is filled with drama for him.”
Sidney Black: 42-60. The Producer. A successful, fast-talking dynamo and millionaire of “savage acquisitiveness” eager to add the Arts to his investments partly because he has recently learned there is money to be made there, but more importantly because he is also eager to acquire their aura of sophistication and glamour. Hart describes him as “a short man in a dark blue suit” with a “dark-blue façade,” but the director is less interested in any potential sight gags than in a good character portrayal, so height is not necessarily a deal-breaker for this production.
Stella Livingston: 60+. Miss Livingston’s Mother and defender: “almost a perfect specimen of that redoubtable old pirate and saboteur, the mother of the star.…Her age is as uncertain as the color of her hair.” She is “a handsome old boodlum” with “the spirit and ethics of a Dead End Kid,” an old hand at the theater game and also at the game of Gin Rummy.
Frances Black: late 20s-40. Glamorous and extravagant wife to the play’s backer, Sidney Black—“her vitality something fearful.” A professional skater with an “ice show,” but not accustomed to theatre people.
Peter Sloan: 30s. The young, idealistic Playwright, naïve to the ways of professional theatre and rather shy. “He has the body and face of a good-humored longshoreman, and the brooding deep-set eyes of a poet.”
Owen Turner: 45-60. Urbane and established playwright, “quiet, soft-spoken, urbane.” Author of many of Miss Livingston’s successes, he is in Boston to cheer her on as an Old Friend.
Miss Lowell: 25-45. Secretary (and ghost writer) to Miss Livingston. “Trimly tailored,” college-educated, and a somewhat ironic observer of the “show people”—as well as a good typist.
Tyler Rayburn: 40-60. Irene’s Husband. A successful stockbroker and “Harvard man,” he is unimaginative and rather a fish out of water in this crowd.
“A Shriner”: William H. Gallagher: 50-70. He is one of a large convention of Shriners staying at the hotel. “A great big stage-struck businessman,” he owns factories in Indiana, but since playing Hamlet in high school he has always dreamed of a life in the theatre. He will become the Naïve Backer.
Sven: 25-35. The Swedish Masseur; A Shriner (appearance in Act 2: 30-40. A Plainclothes Policeman: 25-40. These three roles can all be played by the same actor, as could, conceivably, William H. Gallagher. So, three cameos, or one fun part for a versatile actor.
Auditions will be held at the theatre – for directions, please go to the tab above. If you have questions email email@example.com or call the Box Office at 203-226-1983.
Westport Community Theatre
Westport Town Hall – 110 Myrtle Avenue
Westport, CT 06880