Sutter Street Theatre
Audition for The Best Man by Gore Vidal
Director: Allen Schmeltz
When: March 29, 7:00pm
Where: Sutter Street Theatre Annex, 710 Figueroa Street, Folsom ( See Map )
The show runs June 5 through June 28 on Friday & Saturday at 8:00pm and Sunday at 4:00pm
Rehearsals start May 4 and are usually Monday through Thursday evenings.
At the party’s Presidential convention, an ethical man running for the Presidential nomination runs against an “unscrupulous” man. Populist senator Joseph Cantwell is a “bigot and a charlatan”, while William Russell, who prides himself on his honesty, is the liberal candidate, “likable, forceful and humorous.” It’s a race to the finish, but an indecisive run to the finish line results in a brokered convention. Both candidates try to get the endorsement of the popular outgoing president, who enjoys not telling them which one he’ll endorse. The dirt comes out and mud gets thrown, but there is one last hope for someone to come out clean and secure the nomination. Will the “best man” win?
Secretary William Russell – Strong youthful man around age 50. Vigorous patrician man from Rhode Island. Has a brilliant mind and wit, and the still-youthful good looks and wandering eye of a Kennedy.
Alice Russell: Mid 30s-50’s. Still beautiful, if a not a bit weary after raising two children and enduring a marriage that grew cold with her husband, Secretary Russell. For the most part, very businesslike and concentrated, but underneath an apparent shyness lies a painful outcry for attention and affection from the man she once loved.
Dick Jensen: Late 40’s. Campaign manager for Secretary Russell. Intense, devoted, apprehensive by nature. More gifted than one might think for politics. Tries — often aggressively — to keep his candidate on the beam.
Senator Joseph Cantwell: Early – late 40s. Very attractive, telegenic self-made man who has risen up from humble beginnings. Seems to have a warm manner, and handles pressure with confidence and ease. A unique combination of the young Nixon’s intensity, JFK’s sexuality, and Romney’s well-polished image of the all American male with some Trump like aggression.
Mabel Cantwell: 30s – mid 40s. The pretty, consciously well-styled, entertaining wife of Senator Cantwell. Loves the political game, and is determined to help her man win, no matter what.
Don Blades: 30s – 40s. Aggressive and ambitious political operator of the new order, where there are no rules, only winners and losers.
Catherine: Age 25 or older. Attractive, dutiful first assistant to Dick Jensen. Has also sought and received the attention of Secretary Russell. Actress also plays an Additional Reporter and Hotel Staff.
Sheldon Marcus: Mid 40s-50’s . Nervous character man-type. Resembles an unmade couch. Suburban guy who has left the comfort of his home and wife to share a shocking revelation about one of the candidates.
Senator Clyde Carlin: 40’s-60’s. Experienced politician
Dr. Artinian: Male, 50s-60s. Highly regarded — and now bewildered — psychiatrist for Secretary Russell. His esteemed reputation and career are placed at risk once his patient’s medical records are stolen by Blades and leveraged to knock Russell out of the race.
Mrs. Sue-Ellen Gamadge: 50s-70’s. Chairman of the Party’s Women’s Division. A resolute figure of a woman, whose entire being is devoted to the political arena, in which she operates as one of its most venerable players.
Ensemble roles: News Commentator / Reporters, Aides, Secret Service, Delegates, Photographers, and hotel staff.
The role of Ex-President Arthur Hockstader is precast.