AUDITIONS – THE PRICE – 9/19 & 9/20 at 7pm
By Arthur Miller
Directed by James Steinmeyer
Auditions: Sunday September 19 (7pm) & Monday September 20 (7pm)
A play about the price of furniture. In the attic of a Manhattan brownstone, filled with sheet-draped furniture, piles of books, rolled up carpets, and an old Victrola, the lives of four people converge on one late afternoon and all are changed by the encounter. One of the most personal plays by the consummate voice of the American everyman, Arthur Miller’s The Priceis a riveting story about the struggle to make peace with the past and create hope for the future.
This is very much “a Miller” piece. It is long. It is wordy. It challenges the audience’s attention and belief system. It ends 3 or 4 times, but then goes on. However, it is also profound, timeless, gripping, painfully funny and personal. So, this is an actor’s piece. It will test your acting chops, your concentration, your love of work, and your belief in the value of great plays and playwrights.
It will most certainly challenge your memory! Our rehearsal period is approximately 5 weeks plus production week. There are 93 pages and numerous long and emotional speeches. You are going to have to devote your own time to extensive memorization and character work. As David Mamet once said, “You do your homework at home, and come to rehearsal to act.”
Cast yourself in a role (or two). Prepare one of the sides for the entire cast.
Also, prepare 2 sides in which your character appears from the list provided.
Finally, prepare one of the speeches listed for your character. There is no expectation of memorization.
All sides are from the Dramatist Play Service acting script which will be provided at auditions.
Victor Franz – Age: 50 – 55; Playable range: 45 – 60
Esther Franz – Age 50; Playable range: 45 – 55
Gregory Solomon – Age: 85 – 90; Playable range: 60 – infinity
Walter Franz – Age 55 – 60; Playable range: 50 – 60
Sergeant Victor Franz: A 50 year old, 28 year veteran of the NYPD, nearing and considering retirement is a life-long resident of NYC, married to Esther. They have raised successfully one son Richard, who is attending MIT. As a teenager Victor was a good student, particularly adept at the sciences while in high school.
Dr. Walter Franz: A surgeon, 55 to 60 years old, Walter had a highly successful medical practice and marriage and family life. He was financially secure, in fact, well-to-do, and quite the entrepreneur, owning 3 nursing homes. He had chosen to enter society’s competitive game and played well. So well, that he drove his wife to divorce, alienated his daughter, and confined himself to a hospital for almost two years during which time he asked himself who he had been and who he wanted to be.
Esther Franz: Esther is Victor’s wife of 25 years. She is something of Victor’s opposite; that is, while Victor is reserved, solitary, and protective of his emotions and personal business, she is outgoing, more interested in the variety that life offers, and a bit of a spend thrift. She takes pride in her wardrobe and has cared for her appearance making her seem a “young” 50. Though not an obvious alcoholic, she is a drinker. In fact, there is an allusion to her having stopped to have a drink with a doctor “friend”, an event that may have occurred more than once.
Gregory Solomon: Solomon is a 90 year old registered furniture appraiser who seems to have written the book on estate buying and selling but whose time has come and gone. However, just as his Biblical namesake, Solomon has accumulated a great deal of wisdom in the course of his lifetime.
Entire Cast: p. 53 Walter, “Well, that was a good deed Mister Solomon –“ to p. 55 Walter, “Well? What do you say?”
Entire Cast: p. 55 Solomon, “What can I say? It’s ridiculous.” to p. 58. Walter, “You all right?”
Victor: Bottom of p. 8 “That was mine.” to Esther: p. 12. She lights a cigarette
Esther: middle of 12, “I have an idea.” to Esther: bottom of 14, “Well for one thing it might help…”
Esther: p. 65. “Why can’t you take him…” to p. 67 Esther: “If you’re stuck it doesn’t mean I have to be.”
Walter: p. 67. “We don’t understand each other do we?” to Victor: p. 69. “I had no idea.”
Victor: p. 88 “You mean if I had a few dollars left that…? to Esther: p.89 “We are dying. “That’s what’s true!”
Solomon: p. 24 “I like her, she’s suspicious.” to Victor: p. 28 bottom “I said I’d get you a statement.”
Victor: p. 35. Top “Well, all right” to Solomon – Victor: bottom of 38, “You’re a hell of a guy”
Esther: p. 62 “Would it be costing you anything?” (and Victor) to Walter: p. 63 top, “Victor? If it started to rain….”
Walter: p. 75 bottom. “You’re not serious?” to Victor: p. 78 “What truth? What are you…? Solomon’s entrance
Walter: p. 80 “No, no, I …I could have?” to Victor: p. 83 “We don’t need to be saved.”
Walter: p.93 “Because it’s unreal, Vic” to Esther: p. 94 “Leave him, Walter, please. Don’t say any more.”
Solomon: p. 41, “It was …1915-“to “You see, you can’t imagine it.
Victor: p.41 Bottom. “Oh, ya, shed’s a terrific woman – “ to p. 42. “And things like that are eating her out…”
Victor: p. 42. “That’s not really the problem –“ to “there was an idea we had that…”
Victor: p. 42 bottom. “Nothing, I’m all for it –“to p. 43 “Why not?”
Victor: p. 90. “He laughed. to “How could he be holding out on me when he loved me?”
Victor: p. 90 “What does that change – “ to p. 91 “if he could see that somebody was still on his side.”
Walter: p. 69. “Vic I wish we could talk” to p. 70 “getting ready to kill my wife.”
Walter: p.71. “You wanted a real life-“ to my ambition – for thirty years.”
Walter: P. 92. “Vic, I’ve been in this box.” to p. 93 “Do you ever feel that, Vic?”
Esther: p. 95 “No, it’s wonderful” to p.96 “…so foolish.”