CALL TO AUDITION:
THE FRONT PAGE
BY BEN HECHT AND CHARLES MACARTHUR
“A journalist is a cross between a bootlegger and a whore.”
Late at night, in the crowded press room at Chicago’s Criminal Courts, a group of reporters is waiting to cover a controversial execution the next morning.
Then an unexpected event breaks through the banter and bravura, the cynicism and ennui, and suddenly a scoop is on the cards.
This landmark comedy from 1928 introduced the now-familiar stereotype of the hard-living, hard-drinking reporter determined to get to the truth.
Though computers have replaced typewriters, and the internet has changed the way news is reported, this satire on systemic corruption, manipulation and scandal in politics, journalism and justice still hits a nerve.
The plot twists and turns as much as its the ethically elastic characters, and the laugh-a-minute, rapid-paced script will get the adrenaline rushing.
“One of the funniest and most exciting of American plays” New York Times
CREATIVE TEAM & CREW
Director Nicholas Papademetriou
Stage Manager – Rosane McNamara
Tue 23 Apr to Sat 18 May
Rehearsals will commence the week of 11 Mar and will be flexible with a combination of weekend days, week evenings and possibly weekdays – rehearsals will not be full time. Exact times and dates tbc, subject to cast availability.
It is essential to read the script BEFORE applying. There is a perusal copy of the script available for viewing here.
The initial round of auditions will be done using self-tape. Call-back auditions will be held at the theatre in person after the first round of auditions is complete. If you are unable to submit a self-tape, please email the Director at firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange an alternative means of audition.
Your filmed audition should include:
A very brief self- introduction, including your name.
o Perform direct to camera, long-shot.
o State your ability to play the banjo or ukelele (male actors only).
Your audition piece:
o EITHER one monologue of your choice, no longer than two minutes OR both excerpts below (ignore gender, on-book acceptable). Script reference: Hildy p.11/13; Earl p33.
o Previous (suitable) recordings accepted.
o Perform direct to camera, mid-shot in American accent.
o Simple phone recording accepted.
(on the phone, politely) Hello, Mr. Burns. (beat) Why Mr Burns, your language is shocking. Now, listen, you ungrateful windbag, take this down: I don’t like newspapermen! A cross between bootleggers and whores.A lot of lousy buddinskis, swelling around with holes in their pants, borrowing nickels from office boys; peeking through keyholes, running after fire trucks like a lot of coach dogs and bothering people about whether they think Hoover’s gonna win the next election. So you can go on reporting into oblivion. And for what!? So a bunch of housewives and a million hired hands’ll think they’vegot their finger on the pulse. And the next time I see you — no matter where I am or what I’m doing — I’m gonna walkright up and hammer on that monkey skull of yours ‘til it rings like a Chinese gong! And no, I ain’t gonna cover the hanging – I wouldn’t cover the last supper for you! Because I’m going to New York to get married, you crazy baboon, and if you know what’s good for you, you’ll stay west of Gary, Indiana! (hangs up.) Andboys, is what is known as telling off the Boss.
I don’t care – I ain’t afraid to die. I told that shrink…(he composes himself a bit to relate his feelings) That night, at Mollie’s, that policeman…wakin’ me in the middle of thenight…screamin’ at me about being a Bolshevik; saying things I didn’t understand. I ain’t no Bolshevik! I just believe we’re all the same; should all be treated equal. It’sthe one philosophy that guarantees every man freedom. Black, white, all of us.That’s why I was givin’ those speeches…All those poor people in the slums: slaves to a crust of bread…I can hear ‘em crying. All of us being crushed by the System…and the boys that were killed in the war…. I just want us to all to live in a decent world instead of this mass of hate that makes man do such cruel things. (beat) Does that make sense? (beat) After I lost my job I was like all those other poor souls…I…I bought the gun the day before this all happened – I don’tknow why – I never had a gun in my hand before…I didn’t know what to do with it.And he was screamin’ at me…I was outta my mind…and just in a flash I thought what’s a gun for? To shoot….So I….(breaks down) …I didn’t mean it, I was just crazyfor a second…
Once you have captured your audition, upload it as either a private and password-protected Vimeo or a YouTube video using the password ‘Page24’ and email the link with the below information to email@example.com.
In your email, please:
- Include an up-to-date headshot and cv.
- Indicate which role/roles you are most interested.
- Indicate if you are currently a New Theatre member.
- Indicate your rehearsal availability (days and/or evenings)
Self-tape submissions close Wed 14 Feb 2024 although earlier admissions are encouraged.
CALL BACK AUDITION DATES
Tue 20 Feb 24, 2pm to 8pm
Wed 21 Feb 24, 10.30pm to 5pm.
All applicants will be contacted by the Director following the submission of a self-tape with either a call-back request or audition feedback.
Mike Endicott, male reporter – age flexible
James Murphy, male reporter – age flexible
Leroy McCue, male reporter – age flexible
Edward Schwartz, male reporter – age flexible
Ernie Kruger, male reporter – age flexible
Rita Bensinger, female reporter – age flexible
Gerta Eichhorn, a German policewoman – age 30 – 45
Diamond Louie, a bejewelled gangster – age flexible
Hildy Johnson, high energy, smart talking reporter, age 28 – 35
Mollie Malloy, a sex worker – age 28 – 35
Sheriff Pete Hartman, corrupt law enforcer – age 40
Bruce Grant, engaged to Hildy – age 28 – 35
Mrs. Amelia Grant, Bruce’s mother – age 50 – 70
Mayor Hale Thompson, controlling, corrupt politician – age 40 – 65
Samuel Pincus, a nerdy lawyer – age 35- 45
Earl Williams, harmless man convicted of bolshevism – age 28- 35
Walter Burns, chief editor of the examiner – age 28-35
Deputy Carl Jacobi, a jail warden – age flexible
Please note: there will be some doubling up of roles.
We very much encourage and welcome submissions from people who identify as First Nations, PoC, CaLD, queer and/or gender diverse.
New Theatre a community theatre company and a volunteer-based organisation – there is no for payment for this production.
ABOUT THE DIRECTOR
Nicholas graduated from WAAPA in 1984. He is primarily known as an actor but has his directing work has been extensive including the following well received productions – The Importance of Being Earnest, Darlinghurst Theatre (You won’t be disappointed – Papademetriou has done an excellent job – Concrete Playground). Anna in the Tropics, Belvoir Downstairs (Papademetriou’s confident staging is atmospheric and vibrant. The ensemble is excellent – Sydney Morning Herald), Babette’s Feast, Hellenic Theatre (This is wonderful, inventive independent theatre – Sydney Arts Guide), It’s a Wonderful Life, Hellenic Theatre (You owe it to yourself to see this production. Brilliant – Sydney Scoop), Shackleton’s Carpenter, Natonal Maritime Theatrette (starring Peter FitzSimons).
Main image: © Birdlandia Art/Shttuerstock