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Some Women Who Loved Poe - Readthrough

SOME WOMEN WHO LOVED POE 

By IZO MILANO aka ISSAC BEDONNA

 

Other plays: BABY JESUS, RUDE RESTAURANT, THE ZOMBIE WORE ZEBRA, FRIENDS IN A BACHELOR GROUP, GHOST IN THE GARDEN (An indie full-length film) 


Table Read: Saturday, August 3 at 1:30pm

Approximate run time: 3 hours

Location: Majestic Theatre Studio


CONTENT WARNINGS: Rated R - Adult language, graphic discussions and depictions of domestic violence, brandishment of firearms, graphic discussions of war, general spookiness


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.

 

SHOW SYNOPSIS 

The time is 1874, Baltimore, twenty-five years after Edgar Allan Poe’s death. Women gather at Birdie Toynbee’s manor to honor Poe and also give voice to feminist/suffragette concerns. Most of the women are spiritualists or mediums, except for one who is skeptical and NOT a Poe fan. Not only does an unplanned séance occur but the women become involved in a grave political dilemma to save the life of one of their own. 

 

FROM THE WRITER/DIRECTOR

SOME WOMEN WHO LOVED POE began as a challenge. Because of entertainment complaints that there were not enough good roles for actresses, especially those middle-age or older. I thought, “Hey, let me give that kind of story a shot.” The play now boasts 7 females characters ranging in age from late teens through the 70’s. 

 

As a writer influenced by Poe at an early age, I focused on an American ghost story which strongly refers to the celebrated writer of horror. The greatest challenge was introducing humorous elements into SOME WOMEN WHO LOVED POE. My writing is always edgy and I love pushing the audience’s buttons as much as possible. SOME WOMEN WHO LOVED POE is a dramedy, punctuated by horror. 

  

NOTE

This is a table read to expose actors and the community to a new work, not an audition. No prior experience or prep is required. Anyone, regardless of age, gender, or ethnicity may read for any part.

 

CHARACTER DESCRIPTIONS 

This is an all-female play. White Southern ladies, middle to upper class.

 

BIRDIE TOYNBEE

Age: 60 — 70’s 

Race: White 

Ethnicity: White Southern 

Gender: Female

Ability/ movement:  good melodic voice that PROJECTS. A little scatter-brained. 

Character: owner of Midloch Manor. Upper class spiritualist, secretly practices some witchcraft. She leads women’s groups in her manor. A tricky person. She must YELL at times. 

 

LORIANNE BILLUPS 

Age: 30’s 

Race. White 

Ethnicity: White Southern 

Gender: Female 

Ability/ movement: good melodic voice that PROJECTS, slight Southern accent.  

Character: Upper class with a bit of attitude. Rich background. Composed but gets hysterical, must YELL at times. She’s NOT a fan of Poe or Spiritualism. A little quirky, sometimes a mischief-maker. 

 

WILLADEAN  WITFIELD 

Age: 40 — 50’s 

Race: White 

Ethnicity: White background, strong Irish roots 

Gender: Female 

Ability/ movement: heavier melodic voice that PROJECTS. Helpful, jovial but can get gruff fast, YELLING at times. 

Character: Birdie’s neighbor. Country girl background who married rich, though she doesn’t flaunt it. Secretly practices Wicca but only to cure and heal those around her. Kind of an Earth Mother who can kick ass if need be. 

 

MADAME VANHAZEL 

Age: 40 —50’s  

Race: White 

Ethnicity: Birdie’s younger cousin; the bohemian of the family. Masculine. 

Gender: female

Ability/ movement: Exotic. An affected, la-di-da manner. Humorous.  

Character: From family money and quite the traveler. A free spirit. Psychic but more when it’s to her advantage. A lesbian who actually dressed as a man to assist the Civil War wounded. An alcoholic. Similar to Madame Blavatsky (look up on the internet) 

 

EARLENE VAN DER BEEK 

Age: 30’s 

Race: White  

Ethnicity: European background, classy but humble, very educated 

Gender: Female 

Ability/ movement: good melodic voice that PROJECTS, eloquent.  

Character: Proper, polite. Broad minded. A powerful medium and feminist/ suffragette. Experiences deep trances. Active in political movements, especially concerning women.  A bright character.  

 

LOVELYN ENGLEHART 

Age: late teens  

Race: White 

Ethnicity: Birdie’s neighbor down the road, vivacious tough young lady 

Gender: Female  

Ability/ movement: good melodic voice that PROJECTS, excitable  

Character: Motherless, raised in a well-to-do all-male family so eager for female company. Energetic, playful, a budding strong psychic though unknown to her, adventurous like an Alice in Wonderland. 

 

FAY WOODWARD

Age: 40’s 

Race: White 

Ethnicity: Birdie’s neighbor down the road, somewhat dowdy, a survivor 

Gender: Female 

Ability/ movement: less melodic voice that PROJECTS, reflect a painful past and present, must SCREAM, will also read some stage directions like a story teller 

Character: a resilient decent woman with a very difficult past, now abused by an overbearing, drunk husband 


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