Auditions for the TFMS production of “Happy Birthday, Wanda June,” by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., directed by Mark A. Rhoda, will take place on Wednesday, September 12, from 8:00-10:30 p.m. in the Bruce Davis Theater, MH. An audition sign-up sheet is posted on the TFMS bulletin board in the MH Theater lobby. Callbacks will be held on Thursday, September 13, beginning at 7:00 p.m.
For your audition, please prepare a maximum 1-2-minute monologue of your choice, preferably from a comedy; ideally, you should have this piece memorized. “Happy Birthday, Wanda June” contains mature themes and will perform November 14-18.
Copies of the play are on reserve at the circulation desk of the College library, if you are interested in reading the play before auditioning. Simply ask personnel at circulation for the Theater Production Binder; they will be happy to assist you.
About the play: “This is a simple-minded play about men who enjoy killing, and those who don’t.” So opens Kurt Vonnegut’s prescient riff on toxic masculinity, as seen through the lens of late-1960s America. Big-game hunter and war hero Harold Ryan, presumed dead for many years, returns home like Odysseus to an America he no longer recognizes and a wife, Penelope, who’s started a new life. During the war, Harold killed over 200 men and women, including the notorious Beast of Yugoslavia, and countless more animals, for sport. He was later “lost” in the Amazon rainforest while hunting for diamonds with Colonel Looseleaf Harper, a slow-witted aviation hero who had the unhappy task of dropping the atomic bomb on Nagasaki, an act he comes to regret. Confronted on his unexpected return by two suitors for his wife, a nerdy Electrolux vacuum cleaner salesman named Shuttle, and a hippie, peace-loving M.D. called Woodley who later becomes his foe, Harold is aggrieved that his country has become weak. He even finds his son, Paul, who had worshipped his father from afar as a real American hero, has been pampered and grown unmanly, afraid even to walk the park at night. Harold Ryan, the prolific killing machine, believes all heroes have been replaced by intolerable pacifists, and that in postwar 1960s America, it’s his job to Make America Great Again. This is the story of his tragic attempt to do so.
Please direct any questions about audition procedures or the production to director Mark A. Rhoda (email@example.com), or to stage manager Maia Rubinoff (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Please note: Mark will be unavailable August 14 through September 9. He will be available to take questions beginning Monday, September 10. If you have questions during that time, please direct them to Maia, the stage manager.