“I cannot wait to start work on this wonderful comedy, based on a true story, of eleven Women’s Institute members who, in an effort to raise money for the Leukemia Research Fund, posed nude for a calendar. Calendar Girls is a gem of a story!
When Annie’s husband John dies of leukemia, she and her best friend Chris resolve to raise money for a new settee in the local hospital waiting room. With a little help from an amateur photographer, Lawrence, they manage to persuade other WI (Women’s Institute) members to pose nude with them for an “alternative” calendar. The news of the women’s charitable venture spreads like wildfire, and the press soon descends on the small village of Knapeley. The calendar is a success, but Chris and Annie’s friendship is put to the test under the strain of their new-found fame.
These fun-loving women are inspiring and joyful as they try and make a difference in their middle years. All in the memory of the Man who wrote of them:
The flowers of Yorkshire are like the women of Yorkshire.
Every stage of their growth has its own beauty.
But the last phase is always the most Glorious.”
I will be casting 9 women and 4 men. Most roles are older; 40s-70s a few roles are 20s-30s. The 6 ladies who pose for the Women’s Institute calendar will be required to undress on stage, but with a little theatre magic the audience will only see as much as a little tasteful “side boob.” There will be no full nudity, but some suggestive poses will make for a rip roaring good time! Again, not every role will require this so don’t let this stop you from auditioning!
*All ages listed here are fluid and flexible.
CHRIS – 50s.
- You want Chris at your party. Part of this is because Chris is at home in crowds, holding court, being the center of attention. Without Chris in her life, Annie would be better behaved, her life less fun. The two of them are like naughty schoolgirls. (Partial nudity required)
ANNIE – 50s.
- Annie will join in mischief but is at heart more conformist and less confrontational than Chris. She has enough edge to be interesting, and enough salt not to be too sweet. (Partial Nudity required)
CORA – around 40.
- Cora’s past is the most eclectic, her horizons broadened by having gone to college. She came back pregnant and tail between-legs, but Cora has too much native resilience to be downtrodden. She is the joker in the pack, but never plays the fool. Her wit is deadpan. It raises laughter in others, but rarely in herself. Cora doesn’t need to sing like a diva but must be able to sing well enough to start the show with Jerusalem, a hymn and sing other songs required. She plays piano in the show. (Partial nudity required)
JESSIE – late 60s/70s.
- Get on the right side of Jessie as a teacher and she’ll be the teacher you remember for life. Get on the wrong side and you will regret every waking hour. A lover of life, Jessie doesn’t bother with cosmetics — her elixir of life is bravery. Jessie goes on roller coasters. (Partial nudity required)
CELIA – age anything 35-50.
- The fact that Celia is in the WI is the greatest justification of its existence. A woman more at home in a department store than a church hall, she always feels like she’s drifted in from another world, which she has. There is rebelliousness in Celia. It’s what sets Celia apart from the vapid materialism of her country club peer group and made her defect. (Partial nudity required)
RUTH – 40s.
- Ruth’s journey is from the false self-confidence of the emotionally abused, to the genuine self-confidence of the woman happy in her own skin. Ruth is eager to please but not a rag doll, and despite being Marie’s right-hand woman she is desperate to be the cartilage in the spine of the WI and keep everyone happy. She has spine herself — if she was too wet, no-one would want her around. But they do, and they feel protective of her because they sense there is something better in Ruth than her life is letting out. They are proved right. (Partial nudity required)
MARIE – 50s.
- Marie has gradually built the current ‘Marie’ around herself over the years as a defense mechanism. The WI is a trophy to her, which justifies her entire existence. There is a lingering part of Marie that would love to be in the calendar. (No Nudity)
JOHN – 50s.
- Annie’s Husband, John is a human sunflower. Not a saint. Not a hero. Just the kind of man you’d want in your car when crossing America. When he dies from Cancer it feels like someone somewhere turned a light off. (No Nudity, bald a plus)
ROD – Chris’s husband, 50s.
- You have to be a certain kind of guy to stick with Chris and Rod loves it. He can give back what he gets and has a deadpan humor, which has always made Chris laugh. He drinks a lot but never so much as to have a problem. He would work every hour to make his shop a success. And John was his mate, even though the relationship was originally channeled through their wives. (No Nudity)
LAWRENCE – late 20s.
- Hesitant without being nerdy, the photographer, Lawrence is a shy young man with enough wit to make a joke and enough spirit to turn up at the WI hall in the first place. When he arranges the shots he is close to female nudity but sees only the photo. (No Nudity)
LADY CRAVENSHIRE – 60s.
- Lady Cravenshire really doesn’t mean to be so patronizing. But the WI girls seem from another world; the world of her estate workers. When she makes an entrance, she must make an entrance. She must glide in like a galleon. (No Nudity)
ELAINE – 20s.
- A younger beautician. Very patronizing to the other women. (No Nudity)
LIAM – late 20s.
- Liam would like to be directing other things than photo shoots for washing powders. He’s not so unprofessional as to let it show, but we can sense a slight weariness at having to deal with these women. (No Nudity)
AUDITIONS ARE SEPTEMBER 16 & 17
- General Auditions: Saturday, September 16
- Time: Noon-3:00pm
- Callbacks: Sunday, September 17
- Callback Time: TBA
- Audition Requirements: Please prepare one of the two monologues attached below and be familiar with the play. Memorization of the Monologue is preferred but not required. Callbacks will consist of readings from the script.
- Rehearsal Dates: Begin December 4, and typically run Monday-Friday from 6:00pm-10:00pm.
- Performance Dates: January 18-27, 218 (Thursday-Saturday @ 7:30pm) in The Underground Theatre
- DOWNLOAD THE AUDITION PACKET