Audition information for A Murder is Announced

Show description: An announcement in the local paper states the time and place when a murder is to occur in Miss Blacklock’s Victorian house. The victim is not one of the house’s several occupants, but an unexpected and unknown visitor. What follows is a classic Agatha Christie puzzle of mixed motives, concealed identities, a second death, a determined Inspector grimly following the twists and turns, and Miss Marple on hand to provide the final solution at some risk to herself in a dramatic confrontation just before the final curtain.

Audition Date: Monday, September 9 at 3 PM in the South Milwaukee Performing Arts Center

Audition information: Please prepare one audition selection. Women, choose either the Miss Blacklock or Julia audition selection. Men, choose either the Inspector Craddock or Patrick audition selection. Audition materials are available here.

Auditions are not required to be memorized, but memorization can only help you with your audition preparation, and will help you make a better impression on the audition panel. Please note that select individuals may be asked to stay for a quick “callback” to perform auditions for Mitzi and a scene with Inspector Craddock and Miss Marple. Not being called back for any of these scenes does not mean you are not cast in the show.

Casting: We are casting 12 roles for this show with 11 total actors. There are seven female roles and five male roles, with the two small male roles being played by one actor. They are as follows.

  • LETITIA BLACKLOCK – The esteemed lady of Little Paddocks and would-be target of the announced murder. Miss Blacklock is elegant and sophisticated, a lady of means and quite intelligent. Late middle age.
  • MISS MARPLE – Cunning, witty and a bit too nosy for her own good, Miss Marple is an amateur detective who features in numerous Christie murder mysteries and often finds herself matching wits (or even besting) actual detectives. Middle aged.
  • INSPECTOR CRADDOCK – A good detective who, though easily frustrated himself, frustrates the residents of Little Paddocks by carefully considering all of their potential motives for the murder. Middle aged.
  • JULIA SIMMONS – A spoiled young rich girl and distant relative to Miss Blacklock, Julia and her brother Patrick stand to be heirs to the Little Paddocks estate. However, Julia may not be all she seems to be. 20s.
  • PATRICK SIMMONS – Spoiled and arrogant, Patrick is Julia’s brother and another distant relative and heir to Miss Blacklock. He is helping Julia keep a dangerous secret. 20s.
  • DORA “BUNNY” BUNNER – Absent-minded, fond of alcohol and without a filter, “Bunny” is quick to conflict but also quick with wit. She’s a childhood friend of Letitia’s. Late middle age.
  • PHILLIPA HAYMES – A young widow who is a guest at Liddle Paddocks and also hiding a secret of her own. 20s.
  • MITZI – Fiery, overdramatic housekeeper. Extremely nervous about the murder announcement, and terrified she’s the target. Great comedic role, must use Eastern European accent and occasionally speak Hungarian. 20s-30s.
  • MRS. SWETTENHAM – Busybody neighbor who forces herself into the action of the show after seeing the announcement in the paper. Late middle age.
  • EDMUND SWETTENHAM – Edmund is serious and cynical, and tired of dealing with his overbearing mother. 20s.
  • SERGEANT MELLORS – The deputy who works alongside Inspector Craddock. Small role, doubles as Rudi Scherz.
  • RUDI SCHERZ – A sinister intruder at Little Paddocks whose actions prompt everything that follows. Small role, doubles as Sgt. Mellors.

Student crew and staff: As with all SMHS theater company shows, we are seeking plenty of people to help out with the stage crew, lighting and sound. There are also leadership positions available.

For this show, we will be specifically looking for:

  • Assistant director/Stage manager
  • Deck chief
  • Head of lights and sound
  • Head of construction
  • Head of props
  • Head of costumes
  • Head of hair and makeup
  • Publicity captain(s)

These positions are available by application, with interviews to occur the day after auditions. Applications for crew, crew leadership and cast are available at the audition materials link above and will be posted on the SMHS Thespians bulletin board, across from the PDC on the second floor of the high school.

Rehearsals: There will be an initial show meeting the day after auditions to pass out scripts and discuss the show. This first meeting will also include the SMPAC safety seminar, which is required for all students to participate in the show in any capacity, regardless of whether or not you have gone through the seminar before.

A full rehearsal schedule will be distributed at the first meeting, but expect to rehearse every Monday through Thursday, and occasional Fridays. There is a required all-day Saturday rehearsal on Saturday, November 2 that will feature a cue-to-cue for tech purposes and a run of the show in the afternoon.

Performances: Performances will be November 8 and 9 at 7:30 and November 10 at 2:00 p.m. in the South Milwaukee Performing Arts Center.

Questions?: Email smhstheatrecompany@gmail.com for more information.