Bus Stop

Audition Packet for Bus Stop by William Inge. 

Directed by Jeffrey Taylor
Performances: March 21-April 6,
7pm Performances on Thursday through Saturday
2pm matinee on Saturdays

Rehearsals: Mon-Thur 6:30-9:30 Starting Tuesday, Jan 16. It may go later during tech week. There are only 8 actors total in the cast, so with rare exceptions, most or all will be called for all rehearsals.

Wednesday, March 2, 1995 from 1am to soon after sunrise.
The entire play takes place inside a bus stop diner in Williamstown, Kansas, halfway between Kansas City MO and Topeka KS. Normally the bus stops for 20 minutes so that passengers can grab a bite and use the restroom, however a winter storm has closed the roads, forcing everyone to spend the whole night and make the best of the situation.
Note that when it comes to character descriptions, these are merely guidelines as explained in the script. Many have room for different ages, specific descriptions including skin color, and in limited cases, gender. I would prefer to cast the ideal actor for a role rather than rigidly adhere to the scripted descriptions. It will be ideal if most actors are able to sing. Most actors will have something of a hillbilly accent. Only CHERIE is specifically southern.

GRACE (F – late 30’s/early 40’s). Grace is the diner owner and a divorcee who has had bad luck with men. She has a good reputation with the few locals living in town. She is a mother-like figure to Elma and has a crush on Carl the bus driver, although she has only ever seen him for 20 minutes at a time while the bus was stopped there.

ELMA DUCKWORTH (F – 17) Elma is a high school student who works at the diner weekday evenings. She is pretty, but a boy has never told her so. She is excited to see more of the world, but naïve about the intentions of men. Her bubbliness and joy are infectious and when she sees anyone hurting, her immediate reaction is to try to solve it.

WILL MASTERS (M – Age not described. At least 30’s) Will is the local Sheriff and likely the only police officer for this small community. He has a strong sense of right and wrong, and a need to help anyone in trouble.

CHERIE (F – 19, but described as looking 20’s) Cherie is a lounge singer who has been around the block a few times. She was essentially kidnapped by BO DECKER with whom she was intimate. She wants to find the fastest way home.

DR. GERALD LYMAN (M – About 40’s-50). Dr. Lyman is a complicated character with an inappropriate interest in teenage Elma, which stems from a series of personal mistakes and tragedies, but his redemption comes from never acting on it and thinking better of his own future. He likes to talk up his accomplishments and abilities, but then performs poorly, which leads to comedic moments.

CARL (M – Similar Age to Grace) Carl is the bus driver who is boisterous but wary of the passengers, and he has a crush on Grace, even though he has barely spoken to her before this night. I will consider cross-casting this role with a woman, which alters certain dynamics, but can still work.

VIRGIL BLESSING (M – 40s+) MUST BE ABLE TO PLAY GUITAR. I might consider cross-casting the gender on this role. Virgil is wise due to age and experience and often remains quiet to allow the younger folk to learn from mistakes until it’s time to jump in because things have gone too far.

BO DECKER (M – 20s) Bo is a bully who refuses to be told what to do. He has worked hard and owns a small ranch in Montana where he intends to take Cherie to get married and raise a family. He speaks way too highly of himself in off-putting ways and wants everyone to know his accomplishments. However he is naïve to the navigation of personal relationships.