OPEN AUDITIONS: Majesticpiece Theatre presents Seven Keys to Baldpate
MAJESTICPIECE THEATRE PRESENTS: Seven Keys to Baldpate
By George M Cohan
Directed by Jeannette Miller Mickenham
Adapted by Jeannette Miller Mickenham for the digital stage
To be performed Saturday, July 11 at 7:30pm PDT on Facebook Live
Call for Performance 7.00 pm PDT
Dress rehearsal Friday, July 10th at 7:00pm PDT
Rehearsal Wednesday, July 8th at 7:00pm PDT
Readthrough on Thursday, July 2nd at 7:00pm PDT
From the director:
Seven Keys to Baldpate is a fun, fast-paced farce (much like Clue)! I’ve had the best time acting in these digital plays so I am super excited to direct my first one for Majesticpiece Theatre! I hope you join me for a super fun time!
**This adaptation is 60 pages and should run about a touch over an hour if everyone has their melodrama hat on :) and will be performed as a period farce. (1920’s)
**I am open to casting nonmale actors for the male-identifying roles of Bland, Max, Peters the hermit, and the two cops providing they play the characters as men. I have no gender preference for the Narrator.
Magee is a novelist who has accepted a bet to write a 10,000 story within 24 hours at the Baldpate Inn which has been closed for the winter. What follows is a night of crooks, a beautiful reporter, politicians, a hermit, the cops, some shooting, some stealing, and a murder!
Please choose ONE of the following sides. Record a video on your phone or computer of you reading the side, and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org by 5PM on June 29, 2020. Feel free to include what role you’re interested in within the body of the email. Some guidelines:
- Perform while seated, trying to frame yourself from the shoulders up. This is what you’ll look like in the video chat during the performance, so we’ll want to see how well you can emote in this limited space.
- Props and costume pieces are encouraged! Whatever you have lying around. Just keep in mind that we can only see your torso and head!
- Actors of any gender, age, race, or ability are invited to audition for any role. We will be casting 16 performers and 2 Emergency Backup Actors, an understudy for all roles who can hop into the digital performance at any time to cover for another actor who might be experiencing technical difficulties.
- In order to participate in the performance, you’ll need a stable internet connection; a smartphone, computer, or tablet that can run Zoom; and a pair of headphones.
- If you have any questions, feel free to email and ask!
(In order of appearance)
Quimby (the caretaker)
Mrs. Quimby (the caretaker’s wife)
Magee (the author)
Bland (the politician’s right hand man)
Mary Norton (the reporter)
Mrs. Rhodes (the widow friend/Cargan’s fiance)
Peters (the hermit)
Myra Thornhill (Max’s partner)
Max (Myra’s partner, in cahoots with Bland and Cargan)
Cargan (the Mayor)
Hayden (President of the Railway)
Kennedy (Chief of Police)
Mr. Bentley (Owner of Baldpate Inn)
How am I getting on? Great heavens, man! To what sort of place did you send me? Nothing but crooks, murderers, ghosts, pistol shots, policemen, and dead people walking around. Hundreds of thousands of dollars, and keys and keys and more keys! You win. Twenty four hours! Why, I couldn't write a book in twenty four hours in a place like this! My God, what a night this has been!
I can only tell you the wager was made at the 44th Street Club this afternoon and a certain someone dispatched the news to me at once. Believing I had the only key to Baldpate, I hurried here to let you in, and lo and behold--I find you already here and at work. Now that you know my story, I'd like to throw myself at your mercy and ask that you allow me to stay here and get the beat. I promise we'll not disturb you in the least.
My name is--- Listen, my husband is the president of the Asquewan-Reuton Suburban Railway Company. He has agreed to play a vast amount of money for a certain city franchise; a franchise the political crowd has no power to grant. They're going to cheat him out of this money and use it for the campaign to fight the opposition party at the next election. If he sues for his money back, they'll expose him for entering into an agreement nothing short of bribery. The present mayor is at the bottom of it all. I went to my husband earlier tonight and begged him not to enter this deal. I warned him he was being cheated. He won't believe me; but I know it's true. I must have been followed here tonight because I was shot at as I reached the top of Baldpate. I don't know who you are; but maybe you can help me. You will help me, won't you?
Well, if you want to know...yes. I was going to rob you; but you were trying to rob the city, weren't you? You're just as much a thief as I am. If I'm a crook, it's your kind that made me so--you, with your rotten money, tempting men to lie and steal! Big corporations such as yours are the cause of corrupt politics in this country, and you're just the kind of a sneak that helps build prisons filled with the poor devils who do your dirty work. You're worse than a crook--you're a maker of crooks. I promise you Hayden, if I go down for this, you'll go with me.
I told you to stay out of the deal--that it was wrong. If this thing ever comes to light, we'll all be lucky we don't spend five or six years in the stone yard! I'll tell you right now, if it comes to a show down, I don't care who I send away, as long as I can save my own skin.
Why shouldn't I? You're going around crossing everybody, ain't you? It's your fault I'm mixed up in this affair, and the best thing you can do, is to get me away clean, you understand? Hayden, you didn't think you were going to get that franchise for two hundred thousand? Why, this man would have bled you for a half a million before the bill went through, and then held you up for hush money besides. He was going to rob you Hayden, and I dare him to call me a liar!
What do you mean, raising your hand to me? I can whip a whole army of cowards like you! Now get away from me before I know you down! As for you, Miss Thornhill, what do you mean by claiming to be my wife? I demand an explanation.
Come on, hand over the key...Somebody called the police about two hours ago but by the time I got on the line, no one was there. We called the number back and some woman said it was a mistake. We got to thinking at headquarters that something wasn't right. I made up my mind to come up and check it out. When I started up the mountain, we saw the lights were on full blast and then we heard a pistol shot. Now, what's this all about?!
Yes, I did steal the money...but I did it for you, Jim Cargan. I knew if the story was ever made public, you would be a ruined man. The package of money was the evidence that would convict you. I intended to return the money to Mr. Hayden to try and kill the bribe and save you from disgrace. I did all this because I thought you cared, and what is my reward? You stand there ready to turn against me? Very well! Officer, these men have bargained to cheat the city of Reuton. I demand their arrest on the charge of conspiracy!
It means, old boy, I wanted to prove to you how improbable and terrible those awful stories you write would seem if such things really happened. I left New York an hour ahead of you and went directly to the Empire Theatre. I explained the nature of our bet to the theatre manager, framed the whole plan, employed the entire theatre company, hired a half dozen cars for transport, and arrived at the top of the mountain at exactly twelve o'clock midnight. I've been watching the proceedings from outside, and if it were not for the fact I'm nearly frozen stiff, I'd call it a wonderful night.