Hi. I am Dennis McCool and I have the fun task of directing the next show for Harnett Regional Theatre. It is entitled Twas the Night Before Christmas and was written by one of my favorite stage authors, Ken Ludwig. This will be the fourth show of Ken Ludwig’s that HRT has put on (The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Lend Me a Tenor and The Fox on the Fairway). I have been involved in all of them so far, acting in one and now directing one of his scripts for the third time. As previously listed in another post, auditions for this show will take place this coming Monday and Tuesday evening at 7:30 PM at the Stewart Theater in Dunn, NC located at 114 N. Wilson Avenue. There is nothing for you to prepare ahead of time. Readings will be from selected parts of the play itself. What follows is a short synopsis of the play and then character sketches of the roles available.
Twas the Night Before Christmas is a story we all know and have all probably read growing up, only this version is a bit more exciting. The play begins with Uncle Brierly attempting to read the traditional version only to be interrupted by a mouse that is in fact stirring. But, the real fun begins when it is revealed that Santa left both Emily and her mouse friend, Amos off the ‘Naughty’ and ‘Nice’ lists thus skipping their house all together. At this point, an elf named Calliope comes to investigate and whisks Emily and a reluctant Amos Mouse off to the North Pole to save Christmas. The ensuing adventure is a hilarious and chaotic mix that includes rogue elves, airplane rides, a case of mistaken identify, a confused Santa, an elf cheer, sword fighting, characters rapping out songs and the quest for Santa’s ‘Naughty’ and ‘Nice’ lists. There is no shortage of enthusiasm, exhilaration and elation during this Ludwig written adventure. Designed to appeal to children of all ages (yes, even adults) hopefully it will stir all of you who are young at heart during this time of year to be laughing and singing along with the chronologically youngest in the audience.
The play is written for 3 males and 2 females. Though depending on the number of people auditioning it could be 3 females and 2 men. This will be explained as you read on. Three of the roles play two parts and one role plays three. Again depending on the number of willing participants auditioning, the actual number of people given a role to play may increase.
Uncle Brierly who doubles as Sir Guy of Gisbourne: Age can be anywhere from 35 to 60. He is a jolly man who you would want to be around at Christmas while his counter role is just the opposite. A dastardly spoilsport who has it out to ruin Christmas for everyone.
Emily: She is Uncle Brierly’s niece. Mid-teenager. Could be younger if mature enough, could be older if can play younger convincingly. She is a young girl who has a zest for life.
Amos the Mouse who doubles as his twin brother, Amos of Kansas. He is cool and calm on the surface but the embodiment of a nervous mouse underneath. Mid-teens. Would possibly consider a young adult for the role. It would be questionable as to whether a younger person would be considered because of the comedic timing required of this character. But no decision is set in stone at this point. This is also the role that might be played by a female who would be trousered and would take on the role of the male mice.
Calliope who also doubles as Britannia Sneed: An elf who is loving, sweet and nuturing and is the embodiment of Christmas magic. Female, 20’s to 30’s (even though she is 518 years old).
Mulch, the side kick to Sir Guy of Gisbourne, also plays Wendall Sneed and Santa Claus (though it would nice to find a separate actor to portray Santa). As Mulch, he is clueless and dorky which leads to some madcapped adventures. Male 20’s to 40’s.
The Doubled Characters:
Sir Guy of Gisbourne: An ex-elf who is too wicked for the North Pole to handle, the “Fallen Angel”.
Wendall and Britannia Snead: Married to each other and are the wacky friends of Uncle Brierly. This is a chance for both actors to use different dialets throughout their portrayal of these characters.
Amos of Kansas: The western twin of Amos the Mouse. Philosophical and relaxed. A good guy to have in a tight spot.