THE COLOR PURPLE
Written by Marsha Norman
Music & Lyrics by Brenda Russell, Allee Willis, Stephen Bray
Directed by Kyrus Keenan Westcott
Auditions: Monday, November 21st @ 7:00pm
Callbacks: Wednesday, November 23rd @ 7:00pm
Rehearsals: Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday evenings.
Performance Dates: February 10, 11, 12, 15, 17, 18, 19, 22, 24, 25, 26
**PLEASE NOTE: IN AN EFFORT TO KEEP OUR ACTORS, CREW, AND STAFF SAFE, THE RITZ WILL ONLY BE ACCEPTING SUBMISSIONS FROM ACTORS WHO HAVE BEEN FULLY VACCINATED AND BOOSTED AGAINST COVID-19.**
The Ritz Theatre Company is currently seeking a diverse cast of black actors for our upcoming production of THE COLOR PURPLE. For the audition, actors should prepare a 16-32 bar cut of a song in the style of the show.
THE COLOR PURPLE is an inspiring family saga that tells the unforgettable story of a woman who, through love, finds the strength to triumph over adversity and discover her unique voice in the world. This musical adaptation of Alice Walker’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel (and the popular 1985 Steven Spielberg film) spotlights Celie, a downtrodden young woman whose personal awakening over the course of 40 years forms the arc of this epic story. With a joyous score featuring jazz, ragtime, gospel, African music and blues, THE COLOR PURPLE is a story of hope, a testament to the healing power of love and a celebration of life.
CELIE (African-American, 20s-early 30s): Drives the story. Vulnerable, spirited, introverted, mischievous, seemingly passive but really not, has a deep, hard soul, believes that she is ugly, has a sense of humor which is sometimes wicked. She is an observer. Needs a great belt singing voice with lots of soul.
SHUG (African-American, 30s-40s): A popular singer, we meet her at death’s door. Attractive, confident, dynamic, powerful, irresistible, but has a frailty, like a wounded animal. Her vulnerability is shocking later on. She is loved by both Celie and Mister. Needs a knockout, Bessie Smith-style, bluesy singing voice.
MISTER (African-American, 30s-40s. Also known as ALBERT): Like Celie, a deep well. Handsome, big, masculine, strong presence, dominating, capable of brutal behavior but also a victim in his own way. Gets his power for free. Married to Celie, he abuses her. He is in love with Shug. He transforms to a kind man by the end of the story. Needs a great singing voice.
SOFIA (African-American, 30s): Powerful warrior woman. Physically bigger but beautiful. Comfortable being large, great sense of humor, touching, vulnerable. Married to Harpo, she does not let anyone mistreat her. Needs comic chops. Needs a great belt singing voice.
HARPO (African-American, 20s): Mister’s vulnerable, confused, good-hearted son. Represents the new generation. He marries the independent Sofia. He spends much time trying to get Sofia to obey him the way Celie obeys his father, but he is unsuccessful, as Sofia is considerably stronger than he is. Harpo eventually establishes a juke joint in his first house and becomes Squeak’s lover. Later, he and Sofia reconcile. Through his love of Sofia, he learns how to love a woman. Needs a great tenor singing voice.
NETTIE (African-American, 20s): Celie’s younger sister. Attractive, adventuresome, feisty spirit, maternal, more educated and knowledgeable than Celie. She has a powerful bond with Celie. Forced by Mister to leave Celie, she starts a new life in Africa. Needs a great belt singing voice with African influence.
SQUEAK ( African-American, 20s): Harpo’s lover after Sofia leaves him. Although she is mistreated, she eventually undergoes a transformation, demanding to be called by her actual name, Mary Agnes, and starting a new life. She is of mixed ancestry. Attractive, sassy, fiery, strong-willed, unafraid to take anybody on, has a caring heart. Needs comic chops. Needs a great singing voice with belt and soprano capability.
ADULT SINGERS: Males and females, 20s – 50s, African-American. All types and singing ranges. Need fantastic singing voices and dynamic personalities. To play various roles in the ensemble The ensemble includes a trio known as Church Ladies, busybody types who are featured throughout the show.
ENSEMBLE ROLES: MISTER’S DAUGHTER, HENRIETTA – CHURCH SOLOIST/CHURCH LADY, DORIS – CHURCH LADY, DARLENE – CHURCH LADY, JARENE, DAISY, PREACHER, PRISON GUARD, PA, SQUEAK, OL’ MISTER, BUSTER, CHIEF, GRADY, BOBBY, OLIVIA, ADAM
Anyone interested in auditioning should send an email containing their headshot, resume, and proof of vaccination/booster to [email protected] with the subject line “THE COLOR PURPLE” by Friday, November 18th @ 5:00pm.