OPEN AUDITIONS: The Majestic Readers' Theatre Company presents: Tru
By Jay Presson Allen
Directed by John Elliott
Auditions: Monday February 6th from 7:00pm - 9:30pm
Rehearsals: February 9th or 10th through Thursday March 30th
Performances: Friday March 31st at 7:30pm & Sunday April 2nd at 2:30pm
The Majestic Theatre (a division of the City of Corvallis Parks and Recreation department) is committed to equity, diversity, and inclusion and to creating a safe place for actors of all backgrounds to explore their craft. We are particularly eager to work with artists of color and other artists from marginalized communities. All auditions are free and open to the public. This audition is for an amateur, volunteer production. The Majestic Theatre staff and volunteers do not discriminate on the basis of age, national origin, race, gender, ethnic background, ability, religious beliefs, sexual orientation, or any protected class.
Auditions will be held in person at the Majestic Theatre.
A headshot will be requested to be posted with the cast list.
Please contact director John Elliott at firstname.lastname@example.org or 541 619-5013
Truman Capote’s brilliant, crisp writing, his colorful personality, and his craving for attention peaked in his drive to associate with the heights and riches of the social elite. He was allowed to gaze behind their masks. They gave him what he craved—if not love, at least a surrogate: their fascinated draw to his charisma. All the while, he was gathering material for his long-promised and self-proclaimed masterpiece, Answered Prayers. In TRU, Capote grapples with the self-inflicted loss of some of his super rich friends that he’d gutted through a published excerpt from Answered Prayers. And, it has the mirror effect of baring himself in much the same way as he had revealed them.
Winner of the1990 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding One-Person Show! Adapted from the words and works of Truman Capote, Tru takes place in the writer's New York City apartment during the week before Christmas 1975. An excerpt from Capote's infamous novel Answered Prayers has recently been published in Esquire and the author's friends, recognizing the characters as thinly veiled versions of themselves, have turned their back on the man they once considered a close confidant.
“More tears are shed over answered prayers than unanswered ones.”
—St. Theresa of Avila
The performances will take place in-person onstage.
Can be cast with anyone who is male presenting. 51, short, a little paunchy, somewhat refined, unapologetic for being himself.
The ability to create a believable Truman Capote (not a caricature) is the aim. Please see “Capote Study Materials,” below. The videos will be very helpful. Plus, we will have at least 6 weeks to rehearse
Other Voices, Other Roles:
These four roles can be cast with anyone who is female presenting.
Note: The roles below are voices only. I am planning to make use of these actors throughout to also create sound effects and make things possible that might not otherwise be achievable in a standard reading.
Betty, Secretary to Mrs. Irene White (p. 14). This “Mrs. White” appears to be an agent or someone who handles bookings for Truman. Betty is trying to be helpful and find out that if Truman accepts a gig with a “ladies’ literary society in Louisville” they have offered to double his usual fee. Accent might be New York/Eastern.
Judy Kornbleu, a telephone operator (pp. 22-23) and a fan of Truman Capote, straightforward as well as flattering when she realizes she might be talking to the writer himself. Accent could be from anywhere.
Mrs. Ferguson (pp. 25-26) is a memory voice from Truman’s past, a “fancy laundress, probably the only white laundress in New Orleans.” Strong Louisiana/Southern accent, judgmental tone as she looks down on and makes fun of the child Truman.
Jan (p.26), a partygoing hanger-on of Capote’s. Accent is probably from the New York/Eastern area.
CAPOTE STUDY MATERIALS:
1924, September 30: Truman Capote born.
1932: At the age of eight, Capote begins writing.
1943 - 1946: “…Capote wrote a continual flow of short fiction, including "Miriam", "My Side of the Matter", and "Shut a Final Door" (for which he won the O. Henry Award in 1948, at the age of 24).” -- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Truman_Capote
1948: His first novel, Other Voices, Other Rooms, is published, followed by a collection of short stories the next year.
1951: His novel, The Grass Harp, is published.
1953: With director John Huston, Capote writes the screenplay to Beat the Devil.
1958: Capote’s novella, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, is published. Capote also begins planning his personal masterpiece, Answered Prayers. He bankrolls his emotions and his judgement in this planned tour de force. As Capote describes it in TRU, “Answered Prayers is the book that I’ve been in training for my whole life. It’s going to be my Vanity Fair, my Remembrance of Things Past. You know how they say everybody has one book in them? Well, I’ve written a lot of books, but basically, I’ve always had this one book to justify…everything. What’s it about? … The Super Rich. As seen through the eyes of an outsider who for various reasons has privileged access. … It’s about sexual license and ethical squalor.”
1965: His “non-fiction novel,” In Cold Blood, is published. This book, more than any previous, brought him his biggest writing triumph—he became highly attached to the people who knew the murdered family as well as the killers themselves—but the process of researching and writing the book damaged him irreparably.
1966, November 28: Capote hosts his Black and White Ball to honor publisher Katherine Graham. It immediately rose to legendary status and overshadowed other such social events for years to come. He was in with the rich crowd, shallow fools who fawned on him and let them see behind their everyday masks.
1968: Truman Capote interviewed by F. Lee Bailey.
By this time, Truman hasn’t written a single novel since 1965. His more recent publications haven’t done as well, and he’s had a screenplay rejected. He’s also refused to write a promised article about The Rolling Stones for Rolling Stone. He has been floating his masterpiece, always just at the horizon, for many years but has yet to deliver. He has hit the talk show circuit to recoup financial losses.
1972, October 9: Capote on the Dick Cavett Show
More a monologue than an interview. With the hindsight of the few published sections of Answered Prayers that still had a few years before they would be published, I find incredible the statement Capote makes as regards an article a man wrote saying unattractive women should not portray attractive women on stage. Capote says, “…that was one of the cruelest pieces I’ve ever read,” and “What’s the point of it? It’s just really for your own aggrandizement, just to make a kind of sensation for yourself. I think cruelty for cruelty’s sake is the only unforgiveable thing.”
1972, November 27: Capote on the Johnny Carson Show, Part 1 of 3
(Also, in an appearance on the Johnny Carson Show (for which I don’t yet have a date), Capote makes this extremely revealing statement: “I can see something extremely clearly in another person—all their motivations and what’s making the whole thing turn around—and do it with great objectivity. And, I hope, compassion. Sometimes not so compassionate. But if I were to reverse the whole thing around on myself, I can’t do it.”) Finally, Capote agrees to let Esquire publish a few chapters of Answered Prayers to further tantalize and draw interest back to him.
1975, November: Esquire publishes “La Côte Basque 1965,” from the still unpublished Answered Prayers. Capote’s hardly hidden exposés of his close rich friends devastates them, and they close off from him.
As Capote in TRU describes, “Answered Prayers is the book that I’ve been in training for my whole life. It’s going to be my Vanity Fair, my Remembrance of Things Past. You know how they say everybody has one book in them? Well, I’ve written a lot of books, but basically, I’ve always had this one book to justify…everything. What’s it about? … The Super Rich. As seen through the eyes of an outsider who for various reasons has privileged access. … It’s about sexual license and ethical squalor.”
1975, Christmas: THE EVENTS OF THE PLAY, TRU.
1978: Capote on the Dick Cavett Show https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rim9IMWBILs (28:09)
…in which Capote talks about the fallout from the publication of “La Côte Basque 1965.” Cavett asks some very pointed and tough questions.
1980: Music for Chameleons is published: a collection of fiction and non-fictions short stories.
1984 August 25: “Capote died in Bel Air, Los Angeles, on August 25, 1984. According to the coroner's report, the cause of death was ‘liver disease complicated by phlebitis and multiple drug intoxication’. He died at the home of his old friend Joanne Carson, ex-wife of late-night TV host Johnny Carson, on whose program Capote had been a frequent guest. Gore Vidal” who, let’s just say was estranged from Capote, “responded to news of Capote's death by calling it ‘a wise career move’.” -- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Truman_Capote
1986. Answered Prayers: The Unfinished Novel, is published posthumously.
Films and Stage Productions:
TRU (1992), starring Robert Morse. Tru (1992) 1/9 - YouTube
Capote (2005), starring Philip Seymour Hoffman. (Watch on Amazon Prime, other places.)
Infamous (2006), starring Toby Jones. (Watch on YouTube.)
The Capote Tapes (2019), a documentary. (Available on Hulu.)
The Majestic Theatre (a division of the City of Corvallis Parks and Recreation department) is committed to equity, diversity, and inclusion and to creating a safe place for actors of all backgrounds to explore their craft. We are particularly eager to work with artists of color and other artists from marginalized communities. All auditions are free and open to the public. This audition is for an amateur, volunteer production. The Majestic Theatre staff and volunteers do not discriminate on the basis of age, national origin, race, gender, ethnic background, ability,
religious beliefs, sexual orientation, or any protected class.