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TCAN Players Announce Auditions for Lost in Yonkers

AUDITION DATES
Wednesday, December 4, 2013, 7-9 PM
Sunday, December 8, 2013, 6-8 PM
Callbacks: Sunday, December 8, 2013, 8:30-9:30 PM

Auditions will be held at:
The Center for Arts in Natick (TCAN)
14 Summer Street
Natick, MA

AUDITION REQUIREMENTS
Auditioners will be asked to read from the script. Please also bring a resume and headshot. Please read story and character synopsis below.

A perusal copy of the script will be available at the TCAN Box Office Tuesday – Saturday 12:00 to 6:00 pm or it can be ordered from Samuel French. Also check your local library.

REHEARSAL SCHEDULE
The tentative rehearsal schedule is Sunday, Tuesday, and Wednesday evenings, plus two Monday evenings (Feb. 3 and 17) starting on January 9, 2014.

Rehearsals will be held at Christ Lutheran Chruch, 113 Union Ave, Natick, MA

PERFORMANCE DATES
Friday & Saturday February 28, March 1, 7, 8, 2014 - 8:00 PM
Sunday March 2, 9, 2014 - 2:00 PM

If cast, you must be available for all tech rehearsals the week of February 23.

STORY SYNOPSIS

Lost in Yonkers is considered to be Neil Simon’s masterpiece and the pinnacle of his career, for which he won the Pulitzer Prize and the Tony Award for Best Play. The play is a hybrid, combining Simon’s well-known quick and sharp humorous dialogue with deep levels of pain not seen as fully in his other work. Lost in Yonkers brings us a clash of generations, a battle of wills, and an adolescent coming of age story. Simon addresses and challenges notions of duty, devotion, trust and love.

The play is set in 1942. After their mother’s death from cancer, brothers Jay and Arty Kurnitz are left in the care of stern, severe Grandma Kurnitz and their loopy but sweet Aunt Bella for a “10 month sentence” in Yonkers, New York while their father, Eddie, works as a traveling salesman to earn money to pay off debts he incurred for his wife’s medical care. The apartment is over the candy store Grandma owns, and the boys are put to work. Grandma never misses a thing; she even knows when “salt is missing from a pretzel.” Bella also works in the store and remains at her mother’s beck and call, escaping to the movies for a bit of joy and freedom, only to return to the oppressiveness of the dysfunctional relationship with her mother. She loves her nephews and is thrilled to have them living there; Grandma is not so thrilled. In the middle of everything, Uncle Louie, a small-time, tough-talking hoodlum, shows up in the night unannounced, to hide from the mob. Bella meets an usher at the local movie house and wants to marry him – but how can she ask (or tell?) Grandma? Bella convenes a family dinner, including Louie and also her sister Gert who suffers from an odd breathing problem which is the result of a trauma inflicted by Grandma. Jay encourages Bella to stand up to Grandma When she does, she runs away leaving Jay and Arty in the house to put up with Grandma's abuse alone. Emotionally drained, Jay must come to terms with his life in Yonkers. Bella returns after a couple of days, prepared to face her mother as an equal. In a climactic confrontation, their relationship is changed irrevocably. Finally, their father Eddie comes home and he takes the boys home to New York City, leaving behind a very different Yonkers (and family) than the one they found when they arrived 10 months earlier.

CHARACTER SYNOPSIS (Note that actual age is less important than suitability for the role)

Jay: Age 15-16
He is an independent, self-serving jokester, who sometimes gets carried away with the situations going on around him. Part of the play tells his coming-of-age story.

Arty: Age 13-14
Jay's younger brother. More of an observer than the rest of his family, he often goes with the flow of things, but also can be a little childish - and sometimes wise.

Bella: Age 35
Jay and Arty’s aunt and Grandma’s daughter. Bella is mentally challenged, day-dreamy and a bit off-center – slow, loopy but lovable – and also highly excitable. Despite all else, she is protective of her nephews. She and her mother have a co-dependent, oppressive relationship that undergoes a major shift after some “sturm und drang” and a climactic confrontation when she finally asserts herself as a woman.

Louie: Late 30’s
Jay and Arty’s uncle and Grandma’s son. Flamboyant, jovial; a small-time, tough-talking hoodlum who comes to the family’s home to hide from the local mobsters. Grandma Kurnitz considers him to be the "survivor" of the family. He has a strong, mercurial nature, and a certain underlying dark side. He works as a "bag-man" for the mob.

Grandma Kurnitz: Old - 70’s?
Jay and Arty’s grandmother. A German Jewish immigrant, a very stern woman, closed off and cold. Owing to her harsh childhood, she has always been very intolerant of what in others she calls "weaknesses". She is blunt, sometimes even in a funny way, and always knows what is going on with the people around her. She has a German accent, walks with a slight a limp, and uses a cane.

Eddie: Late 30’s/early 40’s
Jay and Arty’s middle-aged father and a widower. He is forced to go on the road as a salesman to make enough money to repays large financial debts incurred by his wife’s illness, and out of desperation he sends his two sons to live with their grandmother while he is away. Like his sisters, Eddie is a nervous wreck around Grandma.

Gert: Mid-to-late 30’s
Jay and Arty’s aunt and Grandma's daughter. She is a very interesting addition to the family. Her most noticeable issue is that when she breathes she has a tendency to suck in while still speaking, as a result of trauma instilled in her by Grandma from a young age.

For more information, visit the TCAN website.

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