The Bad Seed
by. Maxwell Anderson
Directed by: Steven Thompson
Stage Manager: Courtney Fox
October 21-30, 2022
(Friday and Saturdays 8:00 PM, Sundays at 6:00 PM)
August 6 2-4 PM
August 7 & 8 6-8 PM
Audition and Performances: 810 Caroline Street Top Floor
The scene is a small Southern town where Colonel and Christine Penmark live with their daughter, Rhoda. Little Rhoda Penmark is the evil queen of the story. On the surface she is sweet, charming, full of old-fashioned graces, loved by her parents, admired by all her elders. But Rhoda’s mother has an uneasy feeling about her. When one of Rhoda’s schoolmates is mysteriously drowned at a picnic, Mrs. Penmark is alarmed. For the boy who was drowned was the one who won the penmanship medal that Rhoda felt she deserved.
Those auditioning are asked to prepare a one-minute dialogue that demonstrates an ability to use nuance and tonal inflection to display an emotional state. Readings from the script will be conducted. Bonus points for incorporating realistic southern decorum.
Rhoda Penmark: while only 8 years of age, Rhoda is perfect in every way. Polite, intelligent, pretty, and a ruthless murderer. While it is tempting to simply say she is evil, in truth Rhoda is simply selfish and highly driven by a sense of entitlement that excludes any empathy for others. All her social graces are tools to be used to an end; they are quickly discarded when they no longer serve. To successfully portray this character, the actor must have command of facial expressions and body deportment, and a mastery of tonal inflection.
**ROLE ALREADY CAST** Christine Penmark : a young mother (late 20’s), Christine is living an ideal life until a series of discoveries drives her to an epic act of despair and anguish. When faced with unimaginable tragedy, can she make the brutal decisions necessary to protect others? This is a great role for an actor, it requires deft handling of a roiling emotional state stirred by confusion, doubt, and ultimately horror. We are looking for an actor who is willing to do the long, difficult work making the inner dialogue come alive.
Col. Kenneth Penmark : a handsome officer in the Army, Kenneth (mid 30’s) is the perfect husband and father. His frequent absence leads to his developing a blind spot for the danger so obviously in front of him.
Monica Breedlove : the brash, chummy widow (mid 40’s to 60’s) who lives upstairs of the Penmarks. She has a great fondness for the Penmarks, especially Rhoda. Her aggressive friendship blinds her to Rhoda’s machinations and manipulation.
Emery Wages : Monica’s younger brother (40’s to 50’s). While friendly, he is not as emotional or approachable. He may be a have a secret lifestyle, something that wouldn’t be understood in the South of the 1950’s.
Leroy : the apartment building custodian. Leroy believes he is smarter and more capable of the tenants he serves, a trait that causes him to confront Rhonda with his suspicions. But in true tragic form, his hubris may just be the cause of his destruction.
Miss Fern: the spinster head mistress of Rhonda’s private school. She is the queen of passivity and manners, but she does have suspicions about Rhonda’s behavior.
Reginald Tasker : a friend of Monica. He is an amateur detective who has strong opinions, which he is not afraid to share.
Mrs. Daigle : the bereaved mother of one of Rhoda’s victims. She wants information from Rhoda and she will not stop pressing her and Christine for answers, even if she is often inebriated.
Mr Daigle : the long-suffering husband of Mrs. Daigle. Not only has he lost a son, but he has to be the handler of a very drunk, very aggressive, spouse.
Richard Bravo : Christines stern father, who hides a dark secret about Christine’s mother that sheds a terrifying light on Rhoda’s behavior.
Telegram Messenger : delivers telegrams.