Born Yesterday

AUDITIONS: November 19 & 20, 2017 (7:00 - 9:00pm)
Village Playbox
First Presbyterian Church
Green Street at 7th Avenue
Haddon Heights, NJ 08035

DIRECTOR: Anita Rowland
PERFORMANCE DATES: February 2, 3, 4 (3:00 matinee), 9, 10, 11 (matinee), 16 and 17

This is an open call for all characters. Age ranges and ethnicities are flexible. Those auditioning will be asked to read selected scenes from the play. Bring a resume or a list of productions in which you have been involved. No previous stage experience is expected. Please familiarize yourself with the plot and the characters prior to auditions. Rehearsals will be held Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday evenings at the First Presbyterian Church of Haddon Heights; actors are required to be present for all tech week rehearsals.

If you would like to read the script before the audition, cut and paste this link into your browser:

teacherweb.com/FL/ sarasotamiddleschool/ BoyleMarta/ Born-Yesterday-Script.pdf

If you have any questions, please email Anita Rowland (nitalouise@aol.com).

Plot Synopsis
A Broadway triumph and 1950 Academy Award-nominated film, this deliciously witty comedy is also a biting commentary on politics and the power of women. World War II has just ended, and crude, shady scrap metal king Harry Brock heads to Washington, D.C., determined to take the town by storm and buy his way to a business-friendly Amendment. With bitter, corrupt lawyer Ed Devery and meek Senator Hedges by his side, he is confident in his ability to prevail. Harry’s only liability is the socially inappropriate behavior and outrageously ignorant remarks of his showgirl lady friend, Billie Dawn, a beautiful woman with a deceptively simple facade. Charmed by Paul Verrall, the investigative reporter who is sent to interview him, Harry hires the upright, idealistic newspaper man to educate Billie, hoping that she will acquire enough class and social polish to prevent embarrassment. But little does Harry realize that underneath the ignorance and apathy, Billie is an intelligent woman with a vigorous sense of right and wrong. In Paul she finds the kind and sympathetic teacher she needs to blossom into an empowered and informed person. As Billie and Paul grow closer, Billie absorbs Paul’s knowledge and ideals. She begins to question the ways Harry has been using her -- especially her position as a silent partner, who owns 160 of her own junkyards and has signed off on hundreds of documents, completely unread. Billie Dawn ultimately stands up to Harry Brock’s violent intimidation and shuts down his shady bid for governmental cooperation.

CHARACTERS:

BILLIE DAWN
FEMALE, 30-45: An attractive, utterly honest, poorly educated and whip-smart ex-chorus girl, Billie Dawn is lacking in social graces but not in charm. Her natural honesty and desire to improve herself, however, transform her into a strong, self-confident woman. She is tough, funny and kind. Strong comic timing is a must. While Billie initially comes across as the stereotypical “dumb blonde,” she is not merely a caricature. Actor must use a New York City accent and wear a wig, if necessary, to create the showgirl illusion.

HARRY BROCK
MALE, 50s Roughneck junk dealer Harry Brock comes to post-World War II Washington, convinced that with money and a desire for power, he can “run the men who run the country.” He is vulgar and egotistical, commanding the stage with his loud voice and verbal abuse of those around him. He expects things to happen as soon as he orders them. He may love Billie in his own way, but he treats her like a possession. Actor must use a New York/North Jersey tough guy accent.

PAUL VERRALL
MALE, 30s-50s: Personable, idealistic, inquisitive, intelligent and insightful, Paul is a Washington-based reporter for The New Republic. He has a journalist’s innate curiosity and nose for the truth, and he knows there’s more to Harry than meets the eye. He has no problem standing up for what he believes in, among which is included democracy and the rights of the voting public.

ED DEVERY
MALE, 50-60: A once-promising young lawyer who lost sight of the promise, Devery is now an alcoholic with one client, Harry. He is bitter, smart, ironic, sad and mostly broken. With a salary of $100,000 a year and plenty of fine Scotch, Devery is past caring.

SENATOR NORVAL HEDGES
MALE, 45-60: A member of the Senate for some time now, Hedges has never made a name for himself there. Now, near the end of his term and rather worn out, he allows himself to be “bought” by Harry with the expectation that he will push for legislation favorable to Harry’s business interests.

EDDIE BROCK
MALE, 30’s: Harry’s cousin and right-hand yes-man and toady, Brock does everything for Harry, from bartending to tipping the bell boy to packing bags and anything unpleasant. He knows his limits and has a healthy respect for them. He may understand what’s really going on, but he knows enough to keep his mouth shut. Actor must use a New York/North Jersey accent.

MRS. HEDGES
FEMALE, 45-60: Mrs. Hedges is a socially graceful woman who is the perfect Congressional wife. She is poised, well-dressed, charming and completely incurious about her husband’s actual work.

HELEN:
FEMALE, 20-50: The hotel maid who takes no nonsense and is Billie’s ally.

HOTEL STAFF: Includes an assistant manager, waiter, bellhop, barber, manicurist, and bootblack.

Download an audition form