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Calendar Girls

Audition Dates: November 12th @ 7PM
Callbacks November 19th @ 7PM
SHOW RUN: January 26 through February 11, 2024
(Fri/Sat 6PM Call, Sun 1 PM Call)

Please download Audition Form


Written By: Tim Firth, Juliette Towhidi Produced in arrangement with Concord Theatricals

Produced by: Dustin Lavine Directed by: Laney Lavine-Clark

A note about accents from the authors

“The women of the real Calendar in truth, came for many parts of the country. Actors should resist the pressure to perform any kind of Yorkshire pyrotechnics. Nothing compromises the truth of comedy, like a Slavish attention to vowel-sounds, and diphthongs. It will become a pebble in the shoe. If you can flatten the “a” so that the giraffe no longer rhymes with scarf, then that will be more than sufficient; but even that should not be championed over the intrinsic rhythm of the line. People travel people communities are now gloriously multi – instrumental. We’ve had accents from Glasgow to Texas, make the same part their own.”

A note about accents and nudity from the Director:

We will not “Americanize” our version. In truth, the way the script is written, it uses British slang, so we will stay as true to a “British” dialect as possible.

The nudity (though very real) is as much about illusion as it is being stark naked on stage. The actresses will be” bare”, but strategically placed props will reduce the discomfort of both the performers and the audience. We will call it “reveal and conceal.” The nudity in the play is vital to the plot of the show but the play is more about bonding than it is about exhibitionism. The play is about friendship and how friends respond when tested. (Those roles with * are the “Calendar Girls” and will require disrobing onstage)

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. They manage to persuade four fellow Women’s Institute members, Cora, Celia, Ruth and Jessie, to pose nude with them for an ‘alternative” calendar. The news of the women’s charitable venture spreads like wildfire, and hordes of press soon descend on the small village of Knapeley in the Yorkshire Dales. The calendar is a success, but Chris and Annie’s friendship is put to the test under the strain of their new found fame.

ROLES: (all role age ranges are must appear)

Role: Chris* Age Range: 50 – 60 Description: You want Chris at your party. She will talk to people she doesn’t know, and find things to say to all silences and generate laughter. 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.

Role: Annie* Age Range: 50 - 60 Description: Annie will join in mischief but is at heart more conformist and less confrontational than Chris. After Chris has put a waiter’s back up in the restaurant, Annie will go in and pour calm. The mischievousness Chris elicits saves Annie from being a saint. She has enough edge to be interesting, and enough salt not to be too sweet.

Role: Cora* Age Range: 40ish Description: Cora’s past is the most eclectic, her horizons broadened by having gone to college. This caused a tectonic shift with her more parochial parents. She came back to them 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. Her relationship with her daughter is more akin to that between Chris and Annie. Cora doesn’t need to sing like a diva but must be able to sing well enough to start the show with Jerusalem and sing the snatches of other songs required.

Role: Jessie* Age Range: 60 – 70s Description: 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 rollercoasters. Her husband has been with her a long time and is rarely surprised by her actions. Jessie bothers about grammar and will correct stallholders regarding their abuse of the apostrophe “s”.

Role: Celia* Age Range: 35 - 50 Description: 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 may be slightly younger than Chris or the same age, but she always feels like she’s drifted in from another world. Which she has. She is particularly enamored of Jessie, and despite the fact Jessie has very little time for most Celias of this world, there is a rebelliousness in Celia to which Jessie responds. It’s what sets Celia apart from the vapid materialism of her peer group and made her defect. .

Role: Ruth* Age Range: 40 - 60 Description: 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. Ideal car — at the start, whatever Eddie wants; at the end, whatever she wants. Ideal holiday — at the start wherever Eddie is, at the end wherever he isn’t. The Rabbit Costume: Ruth made this last night. It should be a cocktail of good intention and not enough time.

Supporting Roles:

Role: Marie Age Range: 40 – 60 Description: Marie has gradually built the current ‘Marie’ around herself over the years as a defense mechanism. She went to her Oz, Cheshire, and found Oz didn’t want her. She came back scorched. The WI is a trophy to her, which justifies her entire existence. There is a lingering part of Marie that would love to be on that calendar.

Role: John Age Range: 50 – 60s Description: 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 it feels like someone somewhere turned a light off.

Role: Rod Age Range: 50 – 60s Description: You must 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.

Role: Lawrence Age Range: 20s Description: LAWRENCE=Hesitant without being nerdy, 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.

Role: Liam Age Range: late 20s-35 Liam would like to be directing other things than photoshoots 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. There’s a resigned patience to his actions and each smile he makes we feel is professional. For Liam, this photoshoot is a job. And not the job he wanted.

Role: Brenda/Lady Cravenshire Age Range: open Description: Marie’s favorite speaker. This person may also play Lady Cravenshire, local dignitary who judges Women’s Institute events.

Role: Elaine Age Range: 20 - 30 Description: Elaine really doesn’t mean to be so patronizing. But Jessie seems from another world. The world of her grandma.

Melon Patch Theatre
311 N. 13th Street
Leesburg, FL 34748