ORDINARY PEOPLE - SHOW DATES: FEB. 17 - MAR 5
FIRST ROUND OF AUDITIONS - Sun., August 28, and Mon., August 29 at 6pm - 8pm at the Powerhouse Theatre in Waveny Park, New Canaan
CAST: This play requires three older teenage boys, two older teenage girls as well as four adults. We will be casting early to find a talented young cast.
NOTE: If you have conflicts with show dates, PLEASE audition anyway! We can make some changes if necessary for the right Conrad!
CONRAD JARRETT: The play’s protagonist – able to play age 17-18. The son of Calvin and Beth. About 18 months before the play begins, he was involved in a boating accident with his brother, Buck, an accident which left Buck dead. A year later, Conrad tried to commit suicide but failed, forcing him to spend time in hospital. At the beginning of the play, he has been out of the hospital for a month. He is trying to get his life back on track, but he feels little purpose in life and no motivation. He begins to see Dr. Berger to help him recover from the traumatic events he has experienced. Over the course of the play, he begins a steady relationship with Jeannine Pratt and rebuilds some of his old friendships. Part requires excellent actor with depth of feeling.
CAL JARRETT: Conrad’s father – age 40+ – Calvin is a natural listener. He tends to blame himself for most negative things that occur in his family. He works as a tax attorney, a prestigious position for a man who grew up in an orphanage. He believes that there is a serious lack of communication between him and his wife, which strains their relationship. He spends most of his time worrying about his son.
BETH JARRETT: Conrad’s mother – age 40+ – Beth is a complex character, often mysterious and cold though the reason why is not entirely revealed. She spends most of her time playing golf and working around the home. Although she is troubled by the horrible events she has experienced with her sons, she wants to move on without dwelling on the past at all, an attitude that brings her into conflict with Calvin, who thinks that the family needs to talk through the past. At the end of the play, she leaves Calvin and Conrad for an indefinite period, although there is no talk of an official divorce.
JOE LAZENBY: Conrad’s best friend – able to play age 17-18 – A friend and member of the swimming team. He drives Conrad to school each day. He and Conrad have a falling out during the course of the novel, but they manage to mend their relationship.
KEVIN STILLMAN: Conrad’s swim team acquaintance – able to play age 17-18 – He is a member of the swimming team. A kid who can be very cruel to Conrad.
JEANNINE PRATT: Conrad’s girlfriend – able to play age 17-18 – A new student at school, she is in the school choir with Conrad. She and Conrad become close friends and begin to date seriously, forming a deep relationship by the end of the play.
KAREN ALDRICH : Conrad’s hospital acquaintance – able to play age 16-19 – Complex character. She is an outwardly very optimistic person who gives Conrad strength. Towards the end of the play, Conrad learns that she has committed suicide, and the news sends him into shock.
Dr. BERGER: Conrad’s psychiatrist – Male age 40+ – A very relaxed psychiatrist with whom Conrad begins meeting once a week in an effort to gain more “control.” He becomes a trusted “friend” and helps both father and son come to grips with the difficult family dynamics.
COACH SALAN: The swimming coach – Male age 30+ – He is a generous man who wants to see Conrad do well, and he is disappointed when Conrad quits the team.
BASIC DESCRIPTION: This play is based on the Oscar Winning Best Picture movie starring Donald Sutherland, Mary Tyler Moore, and Timothy Hutton by first-time Director, Robert Redford. It play explores the essence of a young man, his friends and family, their relationships and ultimately survival.
PLOT: Conrad Jarrett had an older brother named Buck, and now Buck is gone due to a boating accident. What’s left of young Conrad’s family, with his successful, well-intentioned father and his beautiful, organized and remote mother, is in terrible jeopardy, as is Conrad himself. They are all “ordinary people” and each is fighting a hard battle and this powerful play goes to the root of their relationships. This play is still timely and relevant… exploring teen suicide and mental health. The story ends on a positive note… as life goes on and the fog of despair lifts.