Flowers for Algernon
Writer: David Rogers
Inspired by the book by Daniel Keyes
Director: Matthew McCray
Producers: DJ Kurs and Laura Hill
Dates: Sept 28–Nov 2
Audition start: 6/27
TO INFO@DEAFWEST.ORG - ASAP!
This play will be performed in American Sign Language and Spoken English. Accessible to both deaf and hearing audiences. The deaf characters of the play use ASL and are ''voiced'' or ''voice acted'' by a member of the Company. UNLESS MENTIONED, THE ROLES DO NOT REQUIRE PRIOR KNOWLEDGE OF SIGN LANGUAGE.
Deaf West Theatre is the foremost deaf theater company in the United States, winning numerous awards in its twenty-year history including a special Tony Award for its acclaimed and groundbreaking ASL/Hearing version of the musical BIG RIVER on Broadway.
Storyline: This is the compelling story of Charlie, an intellectually disabled man, and the strange interweaving of his life with that of Algernon, a mouse. Experimental surgery has been performed on Algernon increasing his intelligence fourfold. The operation is tried on Charlie, who rapidly changes from a moron to a genius, far more intelligent than his teacher, Alice Kinnian, or the doctors who created the operating technique. As Charlie approaches the peak of his brilliance, Algernon shows frightening symptoms of regression. The play becomes a race against time in which Charlie tries to keep his new intelligence long enough to save himself and thus continue what he and Alice have found. This is a different kind of play: poignant, romantic, funny and tragic, but with hope of man's indomitable spirit.
CHARLIE GORDON 25-45. Must be a Deaf male fluent in ASL. Sweet natured, childlike and with an intense passion to learn. Born intellectually disabled, Charlie undergoes an experimental brain surgery to increase his intelligence. Requires a wide emotional range and an ability to portray Charlie’s transformation from intellectually disabled to highly advanced. Theatre background, a must.
ALICE KINNIAN 30s-40s. Female fluent in ASL, can be Hard of Hearing or Hearing. Charlie’s teacher at the Beekman College Center for Retarded Adults. Attractive, caring, strong and intuitive. She volunteers her adult student Charlie for an experimental brain surgery aimed at enhancing intelligence and potentially curing his intellectual disability. Theatre background, a must.
TEEN-CHARLIE 15 years or so. Hearing male. A ghost-like embodiment of Charlie as a child when he was intellectually disabled. He also voices for Charlie Gordon throughout most of the play, and therefore requires an equally wide emotional range as Charlie. Theatre background, a must. Experience with ASL, a plus.
ADULT-CHARLIE 25-45. Hearing male. A ghost-like embodiment of Charlie as a functional and non-intellectually disabled person. Confident and charismatic. He also voices for Charlie Gordon throughout most of Act 2, and therefore requires an equally wide emotional range as Charlie. Theatre background, a must. Experience with ASL, a plus.
PROFESSOR HAROLD NEMUR / FATHER 40s-60s. Hearing male. Professor Nemur is a professor of neuroscience and one of the two doctors in charge of Charlie’s operation. Career-obsessed and driven. Charlie’s Father is a loving man who is first seen in his 40s in a flashback and then again in his 60s when he is divorced and working as a barber, his life-long dream. Theatre background, a must. Some experience with ASL, a plus.
BURT SELDON / JOE 30s-40s. Hearing male. Must be fluent in ASL. Burt is the senior lab technician at the hospital and he becomes a friend to Charlie throughout his development. Joe is a baker at the bakery where Charlie works and makes jokes at Charlie’s expense. Theatre background, a must.