Elgin Theatre Company to hold auditions for Ken Ludwig's 'The Game's Afoot'

Updated 10/29/2021 11:30 PM

The Elgin Theatre Company is holding auditions for its production of Ken Ludwig's "The Game's Afoot." This production will be the third production of ETC's 2021-2022 season.

Auditions will be held from 6:30 to 9 p.m. Monday and Tuesday, Nov. 8 and 9, at the First United Methodist Church, 216 E. Highland Ave., Elgin. No appointment is needed. If callbacks are needed, you will be notified by phone for a callback to appear on Thursday, Nov. 11.


This is an open call for auditions and it will take place for all roles. No prior experience necessary!

Be prepared to stay for cold readings of the script.

Bring all scheduling conflicts, a copy of your resume, and headshot if you have one.

Read throughs will be held from 6:30 to 9 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 14.

Most rehearsals will be held on Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday evenings in November, December and January from 6:30 to 9 p.m.

Tech rehearsals will be Jan. 24-27.

Most rehearsals will be held at First United Methodist Church of Elgin, 216 Highland Ave., Elgin. Tech rehearsals will be held at the Elgin Art Showcase, 164 Division St., 8th floor.

Performances will be held on Jan. 28-30 and Feb. 4-6, 11-13 at the Elgin Art Showcase, 164 Division St., 8th floor. Friday and Saturday performances start at 8 p.m. and Sunday performances start at 2 p.m.

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In the play, it is December 1936 and Broadway star William Gillette, admired the world over for his leading role in the play Sherlock Holmes, has invited his fellow cast-members to his Connecticut castle for a weekend of revelry.

But when one of the guests is stabbed to death, the festivities in this isolated house of tricks and mirrors quickly turn dangerous. Then it's up to Gillette himself, as he assumes the persona of his beloved Holmes, to track down the killer before the next victim appears.

The danger and hilarity are non-stop in this glittering whodunit set during the Christmas holidays.

There are five female and three male parts in the play. All ages are a guideline only; this director looks at what can be to include making sure couples do match logically; not necessarily an age definition but overall chemistry. To that end, the director holds the right to "age" any actor/actress deemed formidable for a specific role they may fit; so please do not read for a part based on ages. Do read based on desire and ability to make the role happen.

• William Gillette / Sherlock (must be able to play late 30s to 50s): A dynamic and charming stage actor (based on a real person). Has made a fortune from his stage adaptation of Sherlock Holmes, whom he also plays. Recently shot in the arm in a bizarre incident, Gillette is determined to bring his Sherlockian skills to bear on solving the case. Must have great comic chops and stage combat skills required. A dashing leading man and ardent lover of all that the glorious game of life has to offer. Passionate about his interests, which include the theatrical arts, mystery, and of course Sherlock Holmes. Described by Ludwig as, "a strikingly handsome man...good humored, full of irony and life. A sort of modern-day Ulysses." Transatlantic accent preferred. Stage combat required.


• Felix Geisel / Moriarty (must be able to play 30s-45): The company's character actor, Felix is histrionic (overly dramatic), a true theatrical who has given his life to the stage. Felix is Gillette's best friend and occasional sidekick. Married to Madge. A devoted character actor who relishes his craft but is not immune to the occasional bout of jealousy. Described by Ludwig as, "histrionic and arch in a Lionel Barrymore/Sir Toby Belch sort of way." Actor must have great comic chops and be physically strong -- literally must be able to move a "dead" woman by himself. Stage combat required.

• Simon Bright/Zerlinksy (20s-30s): The "mangenue" of the company, Simon is an enthusiastic young man, eager to please and find success. A bit of a naïf, Simon can occasionally be overly sensitive. Recently married to Aggie, they make a charming and wonderful couple. Ability to play an instrument is a plus as ukulele is noted in script, but NOT required. A witty jokester who finds humor in nearly everything. Described by Ludwig as, "sweet and enthusiastic." Stage combat required.

• Inspector Harriet Goring (40-plus): English and eccentric, completely one of a kind. By turns, witty and incisive, suddenly lost and dim, she is disarming in her inability to be defined. Always off the mark, and yet never far from the truth, somehow, she always gets her man. Wonderful opportunity for a character actress; must have great comic chops and stage combat skills required. A police inspector who once dreamed of being an actress, and who is still an avid theatre fan. Described by Ludwig as, "British, eccentric, and one of a kind. One minute, she seems wry and clever; the next minute she's off into a world of her own. She gets things wrong without even knowing it; yet she also seems just the sort of person who can find out when you're lying. That makes her formidable." Wonderful opportunity for a character actress; must have great comic chops. British accent & stage combat required.

• Martha Gillette (60-plus): Gillette's dotty mother, elegant though a bit foggy, Martha never shies away from a fight. Always willing to lob a criticism when necessary, all the same, Martha is loyal to Gillette and his gang of theatrical misfits. Nouveau riche, which is to say, she lives a lavish and glamorous lifestyle; but lacks the class normally associated therewith. Described by Ludwig as, "somewhat vague and dithering." Must have great comic chops and New York or New England accent may be appropriate.

• Madge Geisel/Marian (30s-40s): Madge, like her husband Felix, is a lifelong theatrical. She is game for anything, but back her into a corner and she will come out swinging. A witty and energetic character actress. She has an edge to her, and a sharp tongue, but her affection is genuine. Described by Ludwig as, "flamboyant and wry in a Rosalind Russell smart-mouthed-gal-about-town sort of way." Must have great comic chops. Stage combat required.

• Daria Chase (30s-50s): Glamorous & gorgeous, Daria is the theatre critic we all love to hate. Biting, bitchy, and utterly charming, you can't help but like Daria, despite the terrible things she says and writes. A wonderful sense of humor goes a long way towards endearing Daria to the audience. Very self-confident and aware of her own power and charm. Described by Ludwig as, "one of those people you can't take your eyes off; and despite all her showbiz cattiness, you can't help liking her -- or at least admiring. She has a sense of humor and has invented herself from the ground up, which is no mean feat." With a quirky side, she believes in the afterlife as she performs a séance in the show. With her air of entitlement - Transatlantic, New York, or even high-class Southern accents may be appropriate. Must have wonderful comic timing and be a skilled physical comedian.

• Aggie Wheeler / Alice (20s-30s): Bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, Aggie is the ingénue of the company. Good-natured and kind, Aggie has had tragedy in her past, though she seems to have dealt with it well, and even moved on. Recently married to Simon, they make a charming and wonderful couple. A genuine and sensitive young actress who is often swept away by the goings on around her. Described by Ludwig as, "a real product of her age … beautiful, bright- eyed, and full of spunk." This character has a dark side. Stage combat required.

Note: Actors will be asked to help however they can with costumes, props, and set pieces.

For information, please contact Richard Grieger by E-mail: dgremax@gmail.com or telephone: (847) 338-0506.

Ken Ludwig's "The Game's Afoot" is produced by special arrangement with Samuel French Inc.

This production is funded in part by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency.

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