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Auditions: The Angle of Mercy

Posted by GreenMan Theatre Troupe ; Posted on 
Call for Artists: Performing Artists - DEADLINE :  
Auditions: The Angle of Mercy


GreenMan Theatre Troupe announces auditions for a world premiere comedy, “The Angle of Mercy” by Carl Howlett. Auditions are by appointment only on March 8 and 9 at

GreenMan Theatre Troupe
First United Methodist Church
232 S. York Street
Elmhurst, IL  60126


ERIC:  Your brother Mickey kissed Bugsy Siegel.
MARY:  Oh, yeah.  Bugsy said something that made Mickey so mad, he wanted to hit him.  But you can’t go around hitting Bugsy Siegel, so…
MARY AND ERIC:  … he kissed him.
ERIC:  And Bugsy Siegel let your brother live.
MARY:  Yeah.  But he didn’t leave Mickey a tip.
ERIC:  Well, he was just a cheapskate.
MARY:  He certainly was.


Craig Gustafson is directing the show, assisted by Cheryl Turek.  Gustafson recently won the Broadway World – Chicago award as best director (non-Equity) of 2019 for his production of “August: Osage County.”  Other shows include “Noises Off,” “The Producers,” “Lend Me a Tenor,” “Rumors,” “Waiting for Godot” and “Silent Laughter.”

We’re looking for eight funny people who are completely fearless.  If you love bawdy, fast paced comedy, there’s not a better time to be had for you than this show.  Just be honest on the audition form when answering questions about your comfort zone.  Some people have bawdier things to do than others.  The show will run about an hour forty-five, including intermission.


RUTH:  They call him Chinese Charlie after Grauman’s Chinese Theater, because he’s star-struck.
ERIC:  But he’s a tough bird.
MARY:  Then why don’t they call him “The Owl”?  Owls are tough birds.  My sister Becky had an owl.  He used to punch her in the nose and then look all innocent.  “Hoooo?”  I knew who.  He’d have to get up pretty early in the morning to fool me.
ERIC:  He wouldn’t be up in the morning.  Owls are nocturnal.
MARY:  Oh, you’re silly.  Owls don’t even go to church.
RUTH:  Anyway…


The show takes place at a swanky Hollywood party in the summer of 1947.  Slightly dizzy radio star Mary Ryan is trying to help her screenwriter husband Eric to become a producer; save her best friend’s marriage to a shy, diffident movie star who plays murderous psychos; and defeat the bullying machinations of blustering studio head Frank Staerkel.  Logic is rearranged and doors slam throughout this hilarious, fast-moving comedy.


RUTH:  That gangster was insulting me, and Clark Gable here did nothing.  Nothing!
CLIFF:  What could I do?  You can’t hit somebody for talking to your wife about music.
RUTH:  Cliff, a rusty trombone has nothing to do with music.
CLIFF:  If you clean it off…


FRANK:  Whatever she told you, it’s a lie!  You can believe me!  (on his feet, draws back a fist)  I don’t want to do this, but… !
IILA:  You’re going to hit this face?  At the price you’re paying for it?
FRANK:  This isn’t fair!  You’re a bully!
IILA:  I’m a bully?!  You son of a…
(SHE gets up on the love seat to take a flying leap.  FRANK runs and locks himself in the bathroom.  His exit line is:)
FRANK:  Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!


Character descriptions
MARY RYAN – Female – 30s-50s.  Hollywood radio star.  Charming, delightful and 100% logical.  It’s just that her train of logic runs on a completely different track than everybody else’s.  Think Gracie Allen.
ERIC RYAN – Male – 30s-50s.  Screenwriter.  Enjoys being a straight man for Mary.  A dry wit.  Think George Burns.  BAWDINESS FACTOR: Must be comfortable with bawdy physical comedy.

CLIFF LERNER – Male – Late 20s-40s.  Rather small, with glasses.  Self-effacing and shy, he plays psychotic gangsters on the screen, standing on a box opposite his leading ladies.  BAWDINESS FACTOR: takes off his pants at one point.  1940s boxers.
RUTH LERNER – Female – Late 20s-40s.  Studio fashion designer, married to Cliff.  She is witty, caustic and favors martinis.  Loves Cliff but is disappointed in him.  BAWDINESS FACTOR: takes off her dress at one point.  She’s in 1940s style underwear.
FRANK STAERKEL – Male – 40s-50s.  Head of Regency Hammacher Pictures.  A big guy.  Bombastic, bullying tyrant.  Gets his own way in everything.  (Pronounced “STAR-kel”)
IILA WOLVERTON – Female – Late 20s-30s.  A college valedictorian, Iila is cursed with sexy red hair, big blue eyes, kewpie doll face and a body that makes Rita Hayworth look like a boy.  People think she’s dumb.  This is a huge mistake.  (Pronounced “EYE-la”)
CHINESE CHARLIE LEONI – Male – 30s-40s.  Toughest gangster in Hollywood, on loan from Brooklyn.  A HUGE movie fan.  Tough, but star-struck.  His dialogue is Runyonesque.
MARILYN UZITIS – Female – Late 20s-40s.  Charlie’s girlfriend.  Brassy, uninhibited.  Loves a good party.  And booze.  And sex.  (Pronounced “You-ZY-tis”).  BAWDINESS FACTOR: Drops her dress at one point.  Must be VERY comfortable with bawdy physical comedy.

If you want to audition for a character but don’t fit within the age frame, come anyway.  Convince us.  We’re also not married to Cliff being short.  And Iila can wear a wig.  The process is as follows:

We will start taking appointments at 9:00 a.m. on Sunday, February 9.  To schedule an appointment, please e-mail  (And yes, it’s “Angle,” not “Angel,” so be careful.)  Please state your name and which day (Sunday, March 8 or Monday, March 9) you would like to audition.  Attaching a headshot and resume is acceptable but not required. Audition sides will be sent to you when your appointment is scheduled.

1. Actors will be assigned a call time in half hour intervals, beginning at 2:00 p.m. Sunday or 7:00 p.m. Monday.
2. You will spend up to half an hour reading both scenes with other actors.
3. Then you go home.  Your total time expenditure at the audition will be a little over half an hour.  Get there about ten minutes early to fill out forms and such.
4. Those cast or called back will be called by noon on Tuesday. Actors who are not cast or called back will be contacted by e-mail. Callbacks (or further auditions, if needed) will be on Tuesday, March 10.  Hopefully, we’ll be able to cast the show without callbacks, which are just grueling for everyone.

For the first four weeks, we will rehearse three days per week.  If actor conflicts allow us to have double rehearsals on Sundays, it’ll be two days per week.  Easy peasy.

Performances of “The Angle of Mercy” are April 24 –  May 10, 2020. Shows are Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 p.m.

If you have any questions, please contact Craig at

Please check out GreenMan Theatre Troupe at

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