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St. Dunstan’s Theatre Guild of Cranbrook

Audition Notice

Brighton Beach Memoirs by Neil Simon

Sunday, October 15, 2023

Registration 5:30 pm, Auditions 6:00 pm

Callbacks (if needed): Mon. October 16 at 7:00 pm

Click HERE for Audition Sides

Production Team:

Tony Targan ‐ Director

Mitchell Hart ‐ Assistant Director      

Eric Franz ‐ Stage Manager

Molly Dorset ‐ Producer


Rehearsals 3 nights a week (likely M/W/F with occasional Sundays), beginning October 30.  (Final schedule TBD but we will avoid major holidays.)

Performance Dates:  January 12, 13, 14, 19, 20, 21, 26, 27, 2024 

More Mandatory Dates: Tech Rehearsal ‐ January 7;  Dress Rehearsals ‐ January 8, 9, 10

Strike/Tear Down – January 28



Brighton Beach Memoirs is the first in a trilogy of Neil Simon’s semi‐autobiographical plays.  15-year-old Eugene Jerome dreams of baseball and girls, but in his everyday life, he must cope with the mundane existence of family life in 1937 Brooklyn: a formidable mother, an overworked father, and his worldly older brother Stanley. Throw into the mix his widowed Aunt Blanche and her two young daughters, and you have a recipe for hilarity, served up Neil Simon style. This bittersweet memoir evocatively captures the life of a struggling Jewish household where, as Eugene's father states, "If you didn't have a problem, you wouldn't be living here."


Ages:   Character descriptions include the specific ages provided in the script, but auditioners may be younger or older if they reasonably “appear as” that age.  Based on this show’s “PG-13” content, we would recommend actors being at least age 12, preferably older.   Final casting decisions will also consider the relative ages of characters (siblings, spouses) to one another.


Accents:  Brooklyn accents will be used in performances if everyone can do them credibly.  Accents are optional for auditions, but please try if you are able.


Characters (Listed by gender/age from youngest to oldest):


Laurie Morton (female/13):  Nora’s sister.  Blanche’s daughter.  Eugene’s cousin.   Laurie is the youngest in the house and the “flutters in her heart” cause both Kate and Blanche to pamper her.  Studious, a bit lazy, yet quietly mischievous, Laurie appears innocent, but really has a grasp on what others around her are up to.


Eugene Jerome (male/15):  The story revolves around his memoirs which are loosely based on the life of the young Neil Simon.  Eugene wants to be a baseball player and if that doesn’t work out, he’ll settle for being a writer. He has recently discovered girls and is obsessed with the female anatomy (which he’s never seen).  He idolizes his brother Stanley.  He has a crush on his cousin Nora.  He complains about his family’s demands but is very concerned about them.  Frequently breaks the 4th wall.


Nora Morton (female/16):  Laurie’s sister.  Blanche’s daughter.  Eugene’s cousin.  Nora is a well-endowed, beautiful and ambitious girl. She dreams of dancing on Broadway and has more than her share of teenage angst.  She clashes with Blanche and is jealous of Laurie who is pampered.


Stanley Jerome (male/18):  Eugene’s older brother.  To help the family, he works in a factory instead of attending college. Stanley does this without complaint, but he feels the weight of his obligations, and struggles between listening to his own heart and convictions and doing what the family needs him to do. 


Blanche Morton (female/early 40’s):  Nora and Laurie’s mother.  Kate’s younger sister.  Eugene and Stanley’s aunt.  Recently widowed, Blanche is indecisive and dependent. With her poor eyesight, there’s a self‐pitying frailty about her. She wants to build a life for herself and her daughters but doesn’t know how or where to begin. She eventually finds herself and her own strength by the end of the play.


Kate Jerome (female/mid 40’s):  Eugene and Stanley’s mother.  Blanche’s sister.   Jack’s wife.  Nora and Laurie’s aunt.  Kate is the strong one who attempts to hold her family together and solve their problems. She has worked hard her entire life and probably grew up too fast because of it. She puts the family's needs before her own, and though she often sounds annoyed by it, her greatest pleasure is being needed.


Jack Jerome (male/late 40’s):  Eugene and Stanley’s father.  Blanche’s husband.   Nora and Laurie’s Uncle.  Jack feels the pressure of supporting an extended family by working two jobs. In addition, all family members come to him for advice and answers. He is patient but weary and warmly empathetic. He is the moral backbone of the family.


Auditions will consist of readings from the script, including both monologues and short scenes with two characters.  Audition sides will be available soon.


Director’s Notes:   It is difficult to embody a fully developed character during a short audition.  Instead, focus on being your authentic self:  draw upon your own emotions and experiences to be a slightly bigger, bolder version of yourself and you’ll be more believable as the character.   A Brooklyn Jewish persona is more about attitude than accent;  it’s about finding the balance between questioning everything while still respecting traditions and family hierarchies. 

Feel free to email me with any questions:    -- Tony Targan []


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