Auditions for OUR TOWN

Elmwood Playhouse in Nyack NY will be holding auditions for its upcoming production of “OUR TOWN”, written by Thornton Wilder and directed by Lisa Spielman. “OUR TOWN” is a fresh take on this classic about love, family, and community that asks how we connect with each other and find our place in the world.

AUDITIONS: Wednesday Sept. 4th at 7pm and Thursday Sept. 5th at 7pm

CALLBACKS: Sunday Sept. 8th at 7pm (by invitation only)

PERFORMANCES: Friday November 15th thru Saturday December 7th (Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays with possible Wednesday and Thursdays)

This production is meant to reflect our community today – we are looking for actors who embody the diverse beauty of our neighborhood. We seek a cast of all ethnicities, genders, and ages. We will not be using New England accents.

CAST REQUIREMENTS: (4 Male, 4 Female, 1 may be Male or Female, plus 4-6 Ensemble/Multiple Roles)
Please bring your calendar to the audition to list all conflicts. In addition to public performances, actors will be asked to perform benefits during the run; exact dates will be provided at the audition.

Please note that the role of the Stage Manager may be cast as either male or female.

Any questions or concerns, or if you can’t make the scheduled dates, please contact Lisa Spielman at

Character Breakdown
STAGE MANAGER (identifies as male or female, any ethnicity, any age): The bridge between the audience and the action of the play. Warm, philosophical, conveys a sense of humor and a touch of magic. Must be comfortable breaking the fourth wall and performing long monologues.

EMILY WEBB (identifies as female, any ethnicity, 18-30): Ages from 16 to 28 during the play. Very smart, kind, conscientious; even as a girl she understands the importance of taking a moment to admire the moon. Willing to risk her friendship with George to tell him some hard truths. Loves her life so deeply she isn’t ready to let it go, even after death. Articulates the most important theme of the play, the heartbreaking beauty and blindness of being human.

MR. WEBB (identifies as male, any ethnicity, 50+): Emily’s father and editor of the town newspaper. Funny, loving, sensible, with genuine empathy and a relatively progressive outlook.

MRS. WEBB (identifies as female, any ethnicity, 50+): Emily’s mother. Capable and straightforward, loves her children but won’t indulge them. Just this side of stern, which is why it is a surprise when she shows her sentimental side at the wedding.

GEORGE GIBBS (identifies as male, any ethnicity, 18-30): Ages from 16 to 28 during the play. At first, a rambunctious teen that is crazy about baseball, teases his sister, gets behind on his chores. Admires Emily’s intelligence and knows that’s not his strength, is self-aware about the kind of life he wants. At several points he is criticized but doesn’t become defensive and he takes the advice to heart. Genuinely wants to be a good person, especially for Emily.

DR. GIBBS (identifies as male, any ethnicity, 50+): George’s father and the town physician. Every inch the country doctor, has probably delivered, treated, and buried someone from every family in town. Loves his wife and mainly steps in with the children when they are doing something that negatively affects her. Disciplines George in a way that is kind and impactful without being punitive.

MRS. GIBBS (identifies as female, any ethnicity, 50+): George’s mother. Loves her husband and is devoted to him and the children. Perhaps a bit of a romantic, she dreams of going to Paris. Visibly emotional about the wedding, but it becomes a tender moment with her husband.

SIMON STIMSON (identifies as male, any ethnicity, 30+): The choirmaster, he is an alcoholic and is described as having “a peck of trouble, one thing after another.” Commits suicide, and his graveyard speech is the antithesis of Emily’s. Ideally the actor can play simple hymns on a keyboard or guitar.

MRS. SOAMES (identifies as female, any ethnicity, 30+): Sings in the choir with Mrs. Gibbs and Mrs. Webb. A bit of a gossip, she revels in the wedding and describes it with great enthusiasm. Even after death she retains more of her living personality than some of the others. Must have great comic energy.

Additional actors of all genders, ethnicities, and ages to play multiple roles including:

REBECCA GIBBS: George’s younger sister. Has the famous envelope speech.
WALLY WEBB: Emily’s younger brother.
JOE/SI CROWELL: Brothers, first Joe and then Si are the town paperboys
HOWIE NEWSOME : The town milkman
PROFESSOR WILLARD: Expert on the history of Grover’s Corners
CONSTABLE WARREN: The town Police Officer
SAM CRAIG: Mrs. Gibbs’ nephew, returns to town for Emily’s funeral
JOE STODDARD: The town undertaker

Sides from the script will be made available at the audition. All roles available. Casting is open to all. Ethnicities, races, and newcomers are especially welcomed. Crew and other volunteers are also needed for the event. For more information or directions, call 845-353-1313 or visit

You may also wish to read our Twelve Commandants of Auditioning post.

Elmwood Casting Policy

Elmwood Community Playhouse is a Non-Equity theater and cannot cast members of Actors Equity. Casting of actors in roles is done on the basis of acting skill and ability demonstrated during the audition process, as well as on the actor’s appropriateness and suitability (physical, vocal, mental, emotional) for available roles. We are committed to providing equal opportunity and nondiscrimination in all aspects of our organization. Except in plays where race, gender, or age is an issue, casting is decided on the basis of ability. Any member of the community or any invited guest artist regardless of race, ethnic origin, sexual orientation, age, or special need is invited to participate. Non-traditional and equal-opportunity casting is encouraged. If, in the opinion of the director, a suitable cast cannot be selected from those who have auditioned, auditions may be extended beyond the original schedule, or else specific individuals may be invited to fill the need(s). Elmwood has an open door casting policy, meaning you do not need previous experience with us to be cast. We often cast performers the first time they audition for us. Elmwood maintains a “no pre-casting” policy, meaning all roles are available during the time a show is auditioning. If you have a part that you are interested in, make note of it on your audition form or speak to the director. Anyone cast in a show must become a member of the Elmwood Playhouse. Elmwood Playhouse maintains an “open auditions” policy. All are welcome to “try out” for a show or a particular part in a show. Dates for upcoming auditions are listed on the web site, and announced in the members’ newsletter. Some casting processes may involve two dates for primary auditions, and one date for callbacks. You will be asked to fill out an audition form, and if you have a head shot &/or resume, definitely bring it along, but it is not necessary for our audition process. Come prepared to list all your schedule conflicts from the day of auditions through the closing performance of the show.

Acting Opportunities

Elmwood Playhouse produces: Six “main stage” shows a year. Involvement in these generally requires an average of 2-3 nights a week rehearsal for approx 8 weeks, and 12 to 20 performances over a period of 4 to 6 weeks. Actual schedules will vary by show. A variety of “one performance” workshops for the monthly membership meetings, generally the first Monday of the month and open to the public. Special event performances throughout the year. This gives a broad range of opportunities for actors of varied skills and backgrounds to get on stage, whether you’re looking for a leading role or a small part to “get your feet wet”. Our shows run four to five weekends, occasionally with benefit performances during the week.

If you are cast…

All cast and crew personnel are required to become members of Elmwood Community Playhouse and are required to attend strike, which is held the Sunday after the final performance. By taking part in a production, you also allow that images of yourself captured by Elmwood Community Playhouse during their activities (including but not limited to rehearsals, productions and special events) through video, photo and/or digital camera, to be used solely for the purposes of Elmwood Community Playhouse promotional materials/publications and web site, and waive any right of compensation or ownership thereto. As is true in the professional world of theatre and dance, if the director or choreographer believes that a cast member’s participation in a production is unsatisfactory, it is his/her right to replace the person. A professional attitude and commitment to productions are expected at all times.