Balm of Gilead Audition

25 Sep Balm of Gilead Audition

Balm in Gilead

by Lanford Wilson
Directed by Jenna Worsham

Lanford Wilson’s first full-length play, Balm in Gilead is a kaleidoscopic work that centers on an Upper West Side cafe in 1966, frequented by heroin addicts, prostitutes and thieves. The plot loosely centers on Joe, a cynical drug dealer, and Darlene, a naive new arrival to the big city, over the course of three days. Joe seduces Darlene hours after they meet, but Joe’s relative inexperience in the dangerous world he does business in hangs over his head. Darlene, meanwhile, finds herself completely ill-equipped to handle life in a New York slum. Joe sees in Darlene a chance for a fresh start, but he is killed by another dealer’s thug before he can choose to give up his lifestyle for her. In the midst of this, the café is constantly peopled by a makeshift community of dealers, junkies, hustlers, prostitutes, dreamers and runaways, all living out their own small tragedies. The plot draws a parallel between Joe and Darlene’s story and the earnest, yet amoral activity that the café’s denizens engage in to find temporary relief and escape from their suffering.

Open to LSTFI Students


Joe, a small-time drug dealer looking to go into business with Chuckles, the local kingpin. A New Yorker, around 24. Good-looking, well-spoken, guarded
Darlene, a naïve young woman newly arrived to New York, from the Midwest. 20-23 years old. Attractive, candid, romantic to a fault, genuinely not bright
Dopey, a hustler/addict
Fick, a heroin addict, often in the background
Ann, a prostitute
John, the café’s grill man/waiter
Frank, fry cook at the café
Kay, waitress at the cafe
Franny, an almost transvestite boy. Very beautiful and feminine. A prostitute who caters to many of the café’s hustlers
Tig and Bob, two junkies who prey on new arrivals (both male and female) at the café. Hustlers.
Xavier, Joe’s friend and fellow drug dealer, whose exploitation of a particularly wretched junkie moves Joe to consider quitting
Rake, A hustler, “on the Corner” (male or female)
Bonnie, a prostitute
Stranger, Chuckles’ hitman
Ernesto, a hustler, Colombian
Rust, a female, butch lesbian prostitute
Babe, a really “far gone” junkie
Al, alcoholic bum, older
Martin, a junkie
David, a boy hussler, feminine in nature
Terry, and Judy, a couple, prostitutes (both women)
Carlo, hustler, Colombian
Tim, hustler

Sign up for auditions on the production board. If plans change and you cannot make your scheduled time, please remove your name. Sides are available at the front desk. You do not need to memorize the text but do be familiar with the sides and roles. Please also prepare a song (16 bars) to sing a cappella for the audition. Headshots and resumes are required. If you do not have a headshot, please bring along a hard copy photo of yourself. Please list any instruments you play on your resume

Rehearsals: Beginning October 5, 2015. Monday-Friday 6-10pm. Saturdays, 4-8pm.
Show Dates: NOVEMBER 12-14, 2015

Jenna Worsham is a freelance stage director based in New York City, with a focus on new work and re-imagined American classics. Broadway: The Heidi Chronicles (Associate Director); Picnic (SDCF Observership). Recent Directing: Kids by Daniel Talbott (IRT); The Vagina Monologues for Taconic Correctional Facility (also performed at Cherry Lane Theatre); Graduation Day by Emily Daly (WorkShop Theater); Spring Awakening (Lime Kiln Theater). As founding Artistic Director of The Middle Voice, the apprentice company of Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, she directed Bus Stop (The Producer’s Club), Waiting for Lefty (Access Theater), and Room For One (Paradise Factory). She has been an assistant director on and off-Broadway to such directors as Pam MacKinnon, Sam Gold, Kate Whoriskey, as well as PublicWorks director Lear deBessonet. Jenna has directed readings and workshops for Yale Repertory, the Lark Play Development Center, Labyrinth Theater, Playmakers Rep, Primary Stages, Cherry Lane, Rattlestick, The Flea, among others. Throughout her time in New York Jenna has been awarded a Jonathan Alper Directing Fellowship, and two SDC Foundation Observerships. She is a proud member of Rising Phoenix Rep, The Actors Studio Playwrights/Directors Unit, the Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab, and an Affiliated Artist of New Georges. She also serves as Lead Curator of the Creative Solutions Symposium, a residency program at SPACE on Ryder Farm that houses artists who integrate creativity with social action initiatives. Associate member, SDC.