One of the most ambitious projects ever produced by the Bergen County Players, Ragtime: The Musical will open the 90th season of BCP in September. Open auditions will be held at the Little Firehouse Theater, 298 Kinderkamack Rd. in Oradell, NJ on Tuesday and Thursday, June 7 and 9 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, June 12 at 10 a.m. BCP seeks a diverse cast of men and women ages 16-65+. In addition, there are two main roles for children (boy and girl – stage 8 to 12). Written by the award-winning songwriting/lyric team of Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens, and acclaimed playwright Terrence McNally, Ragtime: The Musical brings together a multi-ethnic cast of characters, played by both BCP veterans and newcomers.
Under the direction of Larry Landsman, musical direction by Steve Bell and choreography by Diana Baer, this acclaimed musical tapestry is filled with pageantry, emotion and hope, bursting onto the stage like no other musical. Based on the best-selling novel by EL Doctorow, it depicts an African-American family, a Jewish immigrant family, and a wealthy suburban WASP family, who collide in pursuit of the American dream at the turn of the century. Ragtime offers a powerful portrait exploring America’s timeless contradictions between freedom and prejudice, wealth and poverty, hope and despair.
Nominated for 13 Tony Awards and winner for Best Original Score, Best Book of a Musical and Best Orchestration, Ragtime: The Musical has been called a “triumph for the stage” by TIME magazine and the International Herald. Tribune of “the best musical”. in twenty years.”
Open auditions (in order of arrival):
Small fire station theater
298 Kinderkamack Road, Oradell, NJ
Tuesday, June 7, 7:30 p.m. – General auditions (voice and dance)
Thursday June 9, 7:30 p.m. – General auditions (voice and dance)
Sunday June 12, 10 a.m. – General auditions (voice and dance)
The encores will include script readings and the singing of a song from the show.
Rehearsals: Rehearsals should begin immediately after the audition process. All rehearsals will take place at the Little Firehouse Theater in Oradell, NJ
Performances: Public performance dates are September 17 through October 15, 2022 (performances are Friday and Saturday evenings and Sunday afternoons).
General Requirements: A photo/picture is appreciated but not required. Please prepare an excerpt from a song (16-32 bars) not taken from RAGTIME that best represents your voice and bring the accompanist score in the correct key. A contemporary Broadway or pop song is preferred but not required. No a cappella auditions or recorded music please. Those auditioning should also dress comfortably and be prepared to learn a brief dance routine.
Based on BCP’s desire to ensure the safety of its members and customers, anyone involved in a live BCP production must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and be willing to provide proof of vaccination. This policy covers all members of a production, including performers, musicians, crew, artistic staff, and anyone whose work depends on in-person interaction.
DISTRIBUTION OF CHARACTERS
Coalhouse Walker, Jr.: A proud and talented, confident and stubborn pianist. Sophisticated with a romantic demeanor and a soft heart. Must be able to move. The piano is useful but not essential.
Male, 25-35 years old, African descent, African American
Vocal Range: Ab to G, with a sustained high F#
Sarah: A washerwoman, filled with a strong will to live fueled by an innocent spirit, falls deeply in love with Coalhouse after much resistance.
Female, 20-25, African descent, African American
Vocal range: lyrical soprano with a strong blend, low G# to high F# on the staff
Mother: The consummate wife and mother, a kind woman who is gentle, compassionate, optimistic and accepting of others.
Female, 35-45, Caucasian
Vocal range: lyric soprano/mezzo with a strong blend, low G to high E-flat on the staff
Dad: The mother’s husband, who is professionally successful, cautious, resistant to change, thinks of himself as an amateur explorer.
Male, 35-45, Caucasian
Vocal Range: Baritone, B to E on staff
Mother’s younger brother: A passionate anarchist, he is intense, obsessive and nervous, influenced by the teachings of Emma Goldman.
Male, 20-30, Caucasian
Vocal range: tenor/baritone with powerful highs, from B to high F#
State: A Latvian Jewish immigrant, intelligent, passionate and creative artist. Full of energy and heart. Wears the trials and tribulations of her past on her sleeve. Lives for his daughter. Eastern European dialect.
Man, 30-40, Caucasian
Vocal range: Baritone / Tenor, Db to high F#
Grandfather: Mother’s patrician father. He’s a retired professor, and easily angered by almost anything.
Male, 60-75, Caucasian
Sarah’s friend: Passionate, moving, sings the gospel number for Sarah’s funeral.
Female, any age, African descent, African American
Vocal range: Gospel Lyric Soprano or Alto, low G to stratospheric scat
Emma Goldman: Social activist. Eastern European immigrant / Jew, anarchist. Originally from Russia, she is a leader, a fearless advocate for the oppressed.
Female 35-55, Caucasian
Vocal range: Alto, low G# to Db
Harry Houdin: Hungarian immigrant, internationally renowned magician. With a remarkable physical capacity, he presents himself as a symbol of the “American dream”.
Man, 30-40, Caucasian
Vocal range: tenor, middle C to high G
Evelyne Nesbit: Beautiful vaudeville performer, the “Marylin Monroe of her time”. Famous for the murder of her high profile lover by her wealthy husband.
Female, 18-25, Caucasian
Vocal range: Soprano / Belter, middle C to Db
Willie Conklin: Irish-American fire chief who is racist and vents his anger on Coalhouse.
Male, 25-40, Caucasian
Vocal range: tenor/baritone, D4 to F5
Booker T. Washington: Bright black social activist. The dominant figure in the African-American community in the United States at the turn of the century.
Male, 45-55, of African descent, African American
Vocal range: D3 to Eb4
Henry Ford: An American industrialist and founder of the Ford Motor Company.
Male, 35-45, Caucasian
Voice range: D4 to F5
JP Morgan: The rich and famous financier. THIS ACTOR WILL BE DUBBED AS ADMIRAL PEARY.
Male, 60-65, Caucasian
Adult Chorister Roles: You’re looking to cast three different groups to portray three distinct lifestyles in turn-of-the-century New York: Harlem, Lower East Side, and New Rochelle. Parties include Admiral Peary, Matthew Henson, Stanford White, Charles S. Whitman, Harry K. Thaw, Judge, Kathleen, Brigit, attorneys, bureaucrats and attorneys, reporters, baseball fans, citizens of New Rochelle, Men and Women of Harlem, Vaudevillians and Stagehands, Child Buyer, Cops, Ford Workers, Trolley Conductor, Millworkers, Strikers, Militia, Train Conductor, Firemen, Vacationers, Immigrants To America, Baron’s Assistant, Coalhouse Gang , Spectators, Welfare Official, Hotel Staff, Bathing Beauties and Camera Crew.
Performed by actors of African, African-American descent: Coalhouse Gang, Coalhouse lawyer, men and women of Harlem, Henson.
The Little Boy “Edgar”: Son of mother and father. A serious boy who grew up in privilege. Heart open to people different from him and has the precocious innocence of youth with an inexplicable clairvoyance. Never pass judgment on others.
Male, 8-12 years old, Caucasian
Vocal Range: voice not yet modified, E4 to D5
The girl: Tateh’s daughter. His arrival in America was marked by illness and hunger. She is afraid of her new surroundings and is loyal to her father, her only living relative.
Female, 7-10, Eastern European/Jewish/Latvian-American
Vocal range: Mezzo / Soprano, C4 to D5
Young Coalhouse Walker III: Innocent and pure. Son of Coalhouse and Sarah. This role appears briefly at the end of the play and has no lines or songs.
Male, 4-6 years old, African descent, African-American
CAN BE DOUBLE OR TRIPLE CAST WITH ALTERNATE PERFORMANCES
Bergen County Players encourages and is committed to a diverse and inclusive theater experience. Unless otherwise specified, BCP will cast any actor in any role, if any, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender identity, age, physique, or disability. The cast will be character driven; therefore, actors are encouraged to audition for any roles that interest them.
Those interested in more information can contact Larry Landsman at [email protected] or go to www.bcplayers.org.
The Bergen County Players, Inc. is a non-equity, non-profit community theater company dedicated to presenting quality productions for community enrichment and is a member of the Association of Community Theaters of New Jersey.