November 17 - 30, and December 1 - 3, 2023
Comedy | Beardsley Theater
Based on the film and the true story of eleven WI members who posed nude for a calendar to raise money for the Leukemia Research Fund. When Annie's husband John dies of leukemia, she and her best friend, Chris, resolve to raise money for a new settee in the local hospital waiting room. They manage to persuade four fellow Women's Institute members to pose nude with them for an "alternative" calendar, with a little help from hospital porter and amateur photographer Lawrence. The news of the women's charitable venture spreads like wildfire, and hordes of press soon descend on the small village of Knapeley in the Yorkshire Dales. The calendar is a success, but Chris and Annie's friendship is put to the test under the strain of their newfound fame.
Please sign up for a 30-minute audition slot and arrive 15 minutes early to complete the paperwork. Thank you!
AUDITIONS: Mon. and Tues. September 25 and 26, 2023 at 7 pm
CALLBACKS: Wed., September 27, 2023 at 7 pm (If needed)
LOCATION: 3rd floor Hilt Building, Frauenthal Center, 427 W. Western Ave. Muskegon
SHOW RUN: November 17 – December 3, 2023
CURTAIN TIMES: Thurs, Fri, Sat at 7:30 PM; Sun at 3 PM
REHEARSALS: Mon.—Thurs, 7-10: pm beginning October 9, 2023
*Muskegon Civic Theatre is committed to creating an inclusive environment and is actively seeking actors and volunteers of all races, lifestyles, and backgrounds. We encourage anyone who is interested to volunteer and/or audition. Every auditioner will be considered for any role unless the race, age, or gender of a character is integral to the story, or has been explicitly specified by the playwright and itemized in the production contract.
The Director, Penny Notter, will have everyone read from the script in groups of ten in thirty minute blocks.
By Tim Firth (2021 revised)
When Annie's husband John dies of leukemia, she and best friend Chris resolve to raise money for a new settee in the local hospital waiting room. They manage to persuade four fellow Women's Institute members to pose nude with them for an "alternative" calendar, with a little help from hospital porter and amateur photographer Lawrence. The news of the women's charitable venture spreads like wildfire, and hordes of press soon descend on the small village of Knapeley in the Yorkshire Dales. The calendar is a success, but Chris and Annie's friendship is put to the test under the strain of their newfound fame.
ACCENTS: The women of the real calendar in truth came from many parts of the country. Actors should resist the pressure to perform any kind of Yorkshire pyrotechnics. Accents from Glasgow to Texas may make the same part their own.
NUDITY: This production requires the impression of nudity rather than nudity itself - an Intimacy Director has been hired to work with the cast to establish and protect boundaries. As in the best traditions of vaudevillian fan dances, the art of the play's nudity lies in what is withheld. The choreography of this sequence is best described as "fabulous concealment".
*Ages are playable age.
CHRIS – (45 – 65) You want Chris at your party. She will talk to people she doesn't know, find things to say to fill silences and generate laughter. Part of this is because Chris is at home in crowds, holding court, being the center of attention. Without Chris in her life, Annie would be better behaved, her life less fun. The two of them are like naughty schoolgirls.
ANNIE- (45 – 65) Annie will join in mischief but is at heart more conformist and less confrontational than Chris. The mischievousness Chris elicits saves Annie from being a saint. She has enough edge to be interesting, and enough salt not to be too sweet. Together these two are greater than the sum of their parts. They would be lesser humans had they not met each other. Each is spiritual mustard to the other's meat.
CORA – (40s) Cora's past is the most eclectic, her horizons broadened by having gone to college. This caused a tectonic shift with her more parochial parents. She came back to them pregnant and tail-between-legs, but Cora has too much native resilience to be downtrodden. She is the joker in the pack.
JESSIE – (60-80) Get on the right side of Jessie as a teacher and she'll be the teacher you remember for life. Get on the wrong side and you will regret every waking hour. A lover of life, Jessie doesn't bother with cosmetics - her elixir of life is bravery.
CELIA- (30 – 60) The fact that Celia is in the WI is the greatest justification of its existence. A woman more at home in a department store than a church hall, she may be slightly younger than Chris or the same age, but she always feels like she's drifted in from another world.
RUTH – (40 – 50), Ruth's journey is from the false self-confidence of the emotionally abused to the genuine self-confidence of the woman happy in her own skin. Ruth is eager to please but not a rag doll, and despite being Marie's right-hand woman she is desperate to be the cartilage in the spine of the WI and keep everyone happy.
MARIE – (50 – 60) Marie has gradually built the current 'Marie' around herself over the years as a defense mechanism. She went to her Oz, Cheshire, and found Oz didn't want her. She came back scorched. The WI is a trophy to her, which justifies her entire existence.
JOHN - Annie's husband, (45 – 65) John is a human sunflower. Not a saint. Not a hero. Just the kind of man you'd want in your car when crossing America. When he dies it feels like someone somewhere turned a light off.
ROD - Chris's husband, (45 – 65) You have to be a certain kind of guy to stick with Chris and Rod loves it. He can give back what he gets, and has a deadpan humor which has always made Chris laugh. He drinks a lot but never so much as to have a problem.
LAWRENCE – (25 – 35) Hesitant without being nerdy, Lawrence is a shy young man with enough wit to make a joke and enough spirit to turn up at the WI hall in the first place.
LADY CRAVENSHIRE – (60 – 75) Lady Cravenshire really doesn't mean to be so patronizing. But the WI girls seem from another world. The world of her estate workers.
ELAINE – (20 – 30) Elaine really doesn't mean to be so patronizing. But Jessie seems from another world. The world of her grandma.
LIAM – (25 – 35) Liam would like to be directing other things than photoshoots. He's not so unprofessional as to let it show, but we can sense a slight weariness at having to deal with these women. There's a resigned patience to his actions and each smile he makes we feel is professional. For Liam, this photoshoot is a job. And not the job he wanted.
Questions? Please call the MCT office at (231) 722-3852. Office hours are Mon—Fri, 9:00 am—5:00pm.
Meet The Cast
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Based on the film and the true story of eleven WI members who posed nude for a calendar to raise money for the Leukemia Research Fund. When Annie's husband John dies of leukemia, she and best friend Chris resolve to raise money for a new settee in the local hospital waiting room. They manage to persuade four fellow Women's Institute members to pose nude with them for an "alternative" calendar, with a little help from hospital porter and amateur photographer Lawrence. The news of the women's charitable venture spreads like wildfire, and hordes of press soon descend on the small village of Knapeley in the Yorkshire Dales. The calendar is a success, but Chris and Annie's friendship is put to the test under the strain of their newfound fame.
The Glorious World of Crowns, Kinks & Curls
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One of the longest running shows in Off Broadway history, this delightful evening gives new meaning to the phrase "And now for something completely different" Audience members are the guests at the nuptial celebration of Tony Nunzio and Valentina Vitale in all its tacky and hilarious glory. Following the church service is a reception where the audience joins the wedding party and their bickering families for a pasta dinner, champagne toasts, and wedding cake. Tony ‘n’ Tina’s Wedding is presented in partnership with the Frauenthal Center.
Group orders for 20 or more tickets are available through the Muskegon Civic Theatre office for a 10% discount on the ticket price.
Box Office Hours
T-F 11:00am - 5:00pm
2 Hours prior to curtain; 30 minutes past curtain on show nights and weekends.
Thursday, Friday, Saturday Performances are at 7:30 PM, Sunday Matinee times are at 3:00 PM.