Schenectady Civic Players Auditions for “The Madwoman of Chaillot”


Tues and Thurs, June 5th & 7th for


by Jean Giraudoux, adapted by Maurice Valency

Directed by Chris Howard

At Schenectady Civic Playhouse 12 South Church Street, Schenectady NY 12305

7:30PM, Sign-ups beginning 7:00PM


(Performance dates: October 12 through 21, 2018)

(Exact rehearsal dates determined at auditions)

The story takes place in Paris*, “a little before noon in the Spring of next year”. Act 1 is set in a sidewalk cafe where the waitress, assorted customers, a ragman, a street musician, a juggler, a deaf child and peddlers mingle with a Corporation President, a Baron, a prospector and a broker. The business people are intent on bombing the office of the City Planner and drilling for oil throughout Paris.  Act 2 takes place in the ancient cellar of Countess Aurelia-the Madwoman. She gathers her friends together for tea and a mock trial to save Paris from destruction. Her first step is to ask the sewer man for the secret of the moving stone..

Director’s Note: Giraudoux’s themes- Love conquers all. Money isn’t everything. Stand up to bullies. Art and beauty forever!- are crystal
clear. An open stage, minimal props, costumes from at least 5 different eras, pantomime, whimsical lighting and music will be used to capture the imagination of the audience. We’ll play with movement, color and visual effects. The goal is to create a world where fantasy and reality blend beautifully. The underdog will triumph with grace and wit. We need to keep it simple. Our quest is to comfort our “tribe” in these troubled times just as Giraudoux did for theater lovers right after World War II.

CAST will be racially and ethnically diverse-5 women, 1 little girl or boy, and 8 men.


Irma, the waitress will absorb the roles of the Waiter and the Doorman. Age range is 20-mid 30s. Friend to Countess Aurelia. Attractive.
Trustworthy. Falls in love with Pierre.

Countess Aurelia- The Madwoman of Chaillot. Age 50-70. The Countess is eccentric NOT crazy. She is confident-not haughty. ?Being alive and savouring the beauty of each moment is all the wealth she wants.- Quote from the Stratford Festival program.

Deaf child, previously “Deaf-Mute”  Age 6-8. This child will communicate only with sign language. Gypsy children have always been a part of Paris street life. We have chosen to give them, and all children, a “voice” in this production.


The President, Age 40-70. Crooked, greedy, wealthy, powerful, untrusting, self-centered, bigoted.

The Ragpicker, Age 40-70. Observant, kind, eloquent, well-read.

The Broker, Age 30-40. Wall-street, financial wizard. Overly confident. Minimal social skills. Smartly dressed. Constantly looking at his

The Prospector, Age 40-70. Weathered, meticulous, cuts to the chase. Engineer, explorer and entrepreneur. Connoisseur of “mineral water” as it were!

Pierre, Age 20-30. He has been hired to plant a bomb. Instead, he attempts to commit suicide by jumping into the Seine. This character must enter the fantasy world of Countess Aurelia and stay connected to real life. Attractive. Gentlemanly. He falls in love with Irma.


Therese the Blonde, Countess Gabrielle, 1st Lady, Age 30-50. Therese is a cafe customer. Countess Gabrielle is a mature woman pretending to be sweet and innocent. She must use pantomime during the tea party scene. 1st Lady is a self-absorbed trend-setter-or as we say nowadays- an influencer.

Flower-seller, Dr. Jadin, Countess Constance, 2nd Lady, Age 50-70. The Flower-Seller peddles on the sidewalk and to cafe customers, Dr. Jadin is a cafe customer who believes she is a physician. Her “office” is the table in back corner.  Countess Constance has an imaginary dog-Dickie. She uses pantomime as she interacts with the dog and at the tea party. 2nd Lady is a self-absorbed trend setter.

Shoelace-seller, Countess Josephine, 3rd Lady, Age 50-70. The Shoelace Peddler sells to passersby and cafe customers, Countess Josephine plays the part of The Judge in a mock trial after the tea party, 3rd Lady, is a self-absorbed trend-setter.


Baron, Sewer-man 2nd President, Press Agent #1, Adolphe Bertaut (bearTOE) #1: Age 50-70. The Baron  has squandered the family fortune. Thanks to his title and some influence, he is a willing pawn in the President’s latest get-rich scheme. 2nd President is one of The President’s cronies. Press Agent #1- member of ?the media?. Adolphe Bertaut #1 is Countess Aurelia’s would-be fiance from her youth. He represents well-meaning, baffled suitors past and present.

Juggler, Singer, 3rd President, Press Agent # 2, Adolphe Bertaut #2* Age 20 and up. Ideally, we’d like to cast someone able to juggle three flashlights or bowling pins. The Street Singer role can be a musician strolling with a violin, concertina or guitar or NO instrument if need be. If we cast a woman as a juggler and singer, she will be a female President and Press Agent and cross dress for Adolphe Bertaut. PLEASE REFER TO THE DESCRIPTIONS ABOVE OF THE PRESIDENTS, PRESS AGENTS AND ADOLPHE BERTAUTS.

Little Man/Investor, Policeman, Press Agent #3, Adolphe Bertaut #3* Age 30 and up. The Little Man/Investor is a cafe customer who overhears the conversation with the Broker, gets excited about making a killing in the stock market and hands over his life savings. The Policeman goes back and forth between professional and clueless. Nice guy.


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