In a play easiest to describe as Bullets Over Broadway meets Weekend at Bernies, Jeff Swearingen’s STIFF takes place during the Broadway boom of the 1950’s. Producers, writers and directors all have big dreams and theatre critics/columnists have the power to make those dreams come true. None was more powerful than Mickey Blake. When Blake is found dead in the Tin Box Theater after a performance of the off-off Broadway production of The Blighted Heart, a trio of hapless but determined theater folk refuse to let their dream be deterred. Producer Saul Solomon, Writer Robert Grey and Director Stanley Miller hatch a plan to fake the review of their show and hide Blake’s death just long enough to let it hit the stands. A producer, writer and director working as a team? Is it even possible? Just when they think they have it all under control, the overly enthusiastic producer, self-deprecating writer and middleman director are hit with a surprise that sends their ruse into overdrive and binds this unlikely band of brothers together in the face of the mayhem that ensues.
In 2014, STIFF hit Fun House’s stage as a youth production with some of the most highly acclaimed young actors in the area mounting what became a critical and local phenomenon resulting in sold out and held over performances. The awards cycle for D-FW theater found STIFF as a multiple award winner with standout nods for writing, directing and acting with youth actors winning awards previously claimed by adults and the play, its writer/director and its cast topping every “Best Of” list for that season’s offerings.
This production kills not just the critic in the show but the one writing this review—with laughter.
Lately, a lot of the “bigger” theatres and production houses have been traveling shows back and forth in association with each other to expose great theatre to larger audiences. In my opinion, they need to look at this one from Fun House Theatre and Film, take it to more venues and let people see for themselves the future of great American Theatre... stemming from right here in North Texas.
I recognize that Fun House Theatre receives a substantial part of its adulation and recognition for its scaled down adaptations from the major adult canon of stage shows. I prefer Jeff Swearingen’s zany originals, like Stiff.
April 23, 2017
Producers Club Theaters and Bar
NYC auditions will be held March 27 by appointment only
Submitting actors must submit themselves directly in order to be considered via this posting. No agent or third party submissions
For consideration, email picture and resume. Mark submissions STIFF/NYC READING.
Deadline: March 20, 2017
Staged Reading (29-Hour Reading)
This will be a one night/private reading of STIFF, an award winning comedy by playwright Jeff Swearingen, previously produced in full in Dallas, TX. The private reading will take place on Sunday, April 23rd. Rehearsal will occur the evening prior, Saturday, April 22nd. Actors cast in the reading will be considered for roles in the full NYC production of the play.
Seeking Actors for 8 roles:
[THE DIRECTOR, STANLEY MILLER]
Early to Mid 30’s. A bit lumbering in stature, mild mannered and sensible.
[THE ACTRESS, VANESSA VERKAMP]
Early to Mid 30’s. 1950’s bombshell. Lacking in talent but full of ambition. Flirtatious, sexy and a favorite among men. "Involved" with the producer of and starring in The Blighted Heart.
[THE UNDERSTUDY, MAGGIE SIMONS]
Mid to Late 20’s. Pretty, sweet, soft spoken. Ingenue type. The only talented actor involved in The Blighted Heart. Eventual love interest of the director.
[THE WIFE, HILARY DOYLE-BLAKE]
Late 30’s to Early 40’s. Bitter wife of the theatre critic. Brusk. Drunk for a large part of the play.
[THE IMPRESARIO, WALTER GOLDSTEIN]
Early 30’s. Handsome, slick, fast talking, West Coast film producer.
40’s-50’s. The Tin Box Theater’s no-nonsense janitor. Blasé, non-plus unless being sarcastic.
[THE CRITIC, MICKEY BLAKE]
Character’s Age is Mid 50’s but for this reading there is flexibility. This actor will be playing a corpse. No dialogue. Physically comedic role.
Will read the stage directions and describe some of the physical bits of the play. Good sense of comedic timing required.
Executive Producer: Bren Rapp
Producer: Andy Baldwin
Playwright: Jeff Swearingen
Director: Jeff Swearingen
Casting Director: Andy Baldwin
Rehearsal: Saturday, April 22, 2017 6:00p.m. - 10:00p.m.
Rehearsal at Venue: Sunday, April 23, 2017 6:00p.m.
Private Reading/Closing: Sunday, April 23, 2017 8:00p.m. - 10:00p.m.