by Don Nigro
Performance dates: March 2 – 24, 2018
Director: Victoria Shepherd
AUDITIONS (and all rehearsals) will be held at the Village Playhouse, 2190E Bloor St. West (around the corner from Runnymede subway station) at the following dates and times:
- SATURDAY Nov 25 10 am to 4 pm
- MONDAY Nov 27 7 to 10 pm
- Callbacks (if necessary) WEDNESDAY Nov 29 , 7 to 9 pm
Setting for the play: 1914; Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia and elsewhere in the late 19th and early 20th century.
About the play:
Drawn from facts surrounding a real murder mystery on Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, Tainted Justice is a compelling drama by the author of Ravenscroft .
Pearl, a troubled young woman, is haunted by doubts about who actually murdered her father in the dark woods by the cranberry bogs at twilight one August evening in 1913. Her cousin, an eccentric attorney obsessed with seeing Buster Keaton movies, defended the accused murderer. Her uncle, who loves mine shafts, was the accused man’s friend. Her mother is a beautiful and enigmatic woman from whom she has become painfully estranged. The accused murderer is a charming liar who is fascinated by antique doorknobs and insists that he once nearly married Emily Bronte in Moose Jaw.
As Pearl confronts these people, she is pulled deeper and deeper into a dark labyrinth of desire, lies and ambiguous betrayals. By turns funny, haunting, and frightening, this intricately plotted investigation into what can truly be known about other people and their motives weaves memory, testimony, and scenes of twisted confrontation into a compelling tapestry of darkness and light.
CHARACTERS (5 men; 3 women):
- Ben Atkinson (late 40s+; noticeably older than Tena) Hotel owner, obsessed with work. Murder victim. Determined, smart and patient. Knows his marriage is troubled but has no idea how to fix it.
- Tena Atkinson – (late 30s; close in age to Jim) Ben’s wife. Estranged from daughter. Described as “beautiful” and “sick of” her husband. Rumoured that there was “something funny” going on with Frank. Good head for business, which makes her an object of suspicion. Charges dismissed against her in Ben’s murder. The kind of woman people whisper about. Desperate to clear her name.
- Pearl Atkinson (early 20s) Ben and Tena’s daughter. Described as “beautiful”. Estranged from her mother. Plays piano. Believes that there was “something funny” going on between her mother and Frank. Spent very little time with her father as a child and blames her mother.
- Bill Madden – Tena’s brother. May have loaned Frank money. Charges dismissed against him in Ben’s murder.
- Jim Madden (late 30s; close in age to Tena) Bill’s son. An attorney. Represents Frank Haynes. Devoted to his wife. Believes in Frank’s innocence. Used to winning.
- Maudie Madden (mid-late 30s) Jim’s wife. Sings and plays piano. Shy. Afraid of the dark. Described as “fine looking”. Sweet and smart, with a gentleness of spirit. Beloved by Jim.
- Frank Haynes (mid-late 30s) arrested for murder of Ben Atkison. Described as “good looking”. Women like him. Reads, plays a bit of piano. Likeable and talkative. Rumoured that there was “something funny” going on with Tena. Described as a “con man” but “not very good at it”.
- Hearn (male, indeterminate age, but minimum late 30s +.) a prosecutor.
*Although a number of characters play piano; the music may be canned and not performed live by actors.
PREPARATION: Please prepare a 2-minute contemporary monologue and also be familiar with the play since there will be readings from the script. A hardcopy of the script will be available at the desk of the 5th floor of The Toronto Reference Library. A script is available upon request from the audition coordinator.
TO BOOK AN AUDITION: Please email a copy of your headshot and resume to email@example.com with your preferred date, time, interested role(s), and contact information.
“If you get a chance to act in a room that somebody else has paid rent for, then you’re given a free chance to practice your craft.”
~ Philip Seymour Hoffman on auditioning
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