Thrill of the theater: Auditions set for ‘Baskerville’

Staff reports

Jackson County Community Theatre will conduct auditions for the first mainstage show of its 2017-18 season, “Baskerville,” at 7 p.m. July 16 and 17 at Royal-Off-the-Square Theatre in Brownstown.

“Baskerville” is Ken Ludwig’s adaptation of the Sherlock Holmes mystery “The Hound of the Baskervilles.”

Ludwig, who wrote “Lend Me a Tenor” and “Moon Over Buffalo” (which was presented by JCCT last summer), transforms Arthur Conan Doyle’s classic murder mystery into a murderously funny adventure. The male heirs of the Baskerville line are being dispatched one by one.

To find their ingenious killer, Holmes and Watson must brave the desolate moors before a family curse dooms its newest heir. The intrepid investigators try to escape a dizzying web of clues, silly accents, disguises and deceit. Does a wild hellhound prowl the moors of Devonshire? Can our heroes discover the truth in time?

The two principal characters to be cast are Sherlock Holmes, male, age 30 to 50, highly intelligent, confident, quick-witted and obsessive who lives to solve mysteries and discover the truth; and Doctor Watson, male, age 30 to 50, smart, grounded and full of heart.

In addition, three actors (one woman and two men) play many characters and must show versatility both physically and vocally because they play a wide range of parts during the show. The female can be age 20 to 35. The first male actor should be 30 to 60, and the second male actor should be 20 to 35 and be able to speak with a Texas and a cockney British accent for two of the parts. Ages are approximate.

In addition to the acting roles, the production team will need a producer, light and sound technicians, a property master, a stage manager and a costumer.

Also, a number of dressers will be needed backstage to help with the challenging rapid character changes required. This will be an excellent opportunity for those who have an interest in being involved in a JCCT production but are not sure if they want to be onstage.

The show will be directed by John Hardaway, who requests that all people coming to auditions be prepared with a list of dates that might conflict with rehearsals and also bring a photo (a snapshot is acceptable) for matching faces with names after auditions. No other preparation is necessary.

Cold readings from the script will be assigned. Show dates for “Baskerville” are October 13, 14, 15, 20 and 21. Anyone trying out should make sure of availability on those dates.

The JCCT season is sponsored in part by a grant from the Indiana Arts Commission.

If you go

What: Auditions for Jackson County Community Theatre’s first mainstage show of its 2017-18 season, “Baskerville”

When: 7 p.m. July 16 and 17

Where: Royal-Off-the-Square Theatre, 121 W. Walnut St., Brownstown