Be Part of an ACT Production

We want you! The Argenta Community Theater exists to provide dramatic storytelling that illuminates our collective human journey. We are a community theater that welcomes people of all ages and backgrounds.

All auditions will take place at:

Argenta Community Theater
405 Main St
North Little Rock, AR 72114

Memphis the Musical

Memphis is a musical with music by David Bryan, lyrics by Bryan and Joe DiPietro, and a book by DiPietro.

The show is loosely based on the story of Memphis Disc Jockey Dewey Phillips, one of the first white DJ’s to play black music in the 1950s.

There’s a party at Delray’s, an underground black Rock and Roll bar in 1950s Memphis. Huey Calhoun, a white man, arrives on the scene. The regulars begin to leave, but Huey convinces them to stay, claiming he is there for the music and begins flirting with Felicia, Delray’s talented sister, and promises to get her on the. Huey then proceeds to apply for DJ jobs at various local white radio stations. What ensues is Huey and Felicia’s rocket to the stars. From radio stations across the country to every television set in the Memphis area and the potential to go nation-wide, Huey and Felicia not only brace the tides of the music but also the racial division they experience in a racially divided country. In a time of segregation, Huey optimistically believes that music can transcend race, and with him on his journey is aspiring singer Felicia Farrell. The two fall in love, but must contend with social barriers, a prejudiced mother, and an overprotective brother.

“The name is Huey Calhoun. Goodnight and HOCKADOO!” and he proceeds to encourage audiences to Steal Your Rock and Roll.

Stellar ROCK and ROLL music and a POWERFUL message. It ran on Broadway from October 19, 2009 to August 5, 2012, winning four Tony Awards, including Best Musical.

Production Department Heads

Director: Brandon Box-Higdem

Choreographer: Christen Pitts

Music Director: Ron Hall

Technical Director: Sara Cooke

Costume Designer: Shelly Hall

Stage Manager: Trystan Benson

Lighting Designer: Dena Kimberling

Photography and Social Media: Warren McCullough

Prop Master: Lauren Nicholas

Set Construction: Jimi Brewi

ACT’s Executive Director: Laura Grimes

Producer: Vincent Insalaco

Audition Information

Auditions: Saturday, March 21st, 2020 from 1 PM- 6 PM

Callbacks : Sunday, March 22nd, from 1pm-4pm

All Auditions will be held at the Argenta Community Theater, 405 Main Street, NLR

Performances: July 15th – 25th, 2020

Rehearsals will begin in mid-June. A complete schedule will be sent out via email before rehearsals begin.

All persons interested should email casting@argentacommunitytheater.org for an audition appointment.

Audition Notes

*Auditions are open to all genders, races and ethnicities; see descriptions below. Note that age is only a range

  and actors are often cast that are younger or older depending on their audition.

*All ethnicities are encouraged to audition.

*All roles require singing, dancing, and acting on varying levels and degrees. There are spots for every level of theater development.

*Sides for cold readings will be available at auditions.

*Please be ready to perform 16 bars of a song that showcases your vocal range. Music should not be performed from the actual show, but in the style of Rock n’Roll or Southern Gospel. It should have the same feel as music from the production.

*There will also be a dance call at the audition. Come prepared to move by wearing comfortable clothing…dressing up for audition not a major requirement. Dance audition will be facilitated by our choreographer, Christen Pitts.

Please note that costume measurements will be taken at auditions regardless of if you are cast. If you have a current measurement form from a recent production, please bring a copy with you. 

Character Breakdown

Character Descriptions:

NOTE TO ALL ACTORS:  WE WILL ONLY READ FOR 6 CHARACTER ROLES. HOWEVER, WE WILL BE CASTING 20-25 ACTORS/SINGERS.  PLEASE BE AWARE THAT WHILE YOU MAY AUDITION FOR ONE ROLE, YOU MAY BE CONSIDERED FOR MUTLIPLE ROLES AND CAST IN ANOTHER. IF YOU ARE NOT INTERESTED IN THIS, PLEASE NOTE THAT ON YOUR APPLICATION DURING AUDITIONS.  ENSEMBLE ACTORS WILL BE CAST IN MULTIPLE ROLES. PLEASE NOTE ANY CONFLICTS YOU MAY HAVE ON YOUR AUDITION APPLICATION.

ADDITIONAL NOTE:  ALL GENDERS AND ETHNICITIES WILL BE CAST IN MEMPHIS!

 

HUEY CALHOUN: Male-LEAD-Tenor -Late 20’s to 30’s

Main character, a flamboyant white radio DJ who opens up the Memphis airwaves to the “race records” that lay the foundation for 1950s rock-and-roll. Huey is patterned after “Daddy-O” Dewey Phillips(1926-68), a historical rock-and-roll radio programmer in Memphis who rose to prominence between 1959-69 as a figure whose “Red, Hot & Blue” program featured both white and black musicians during a period of deep cultural segregation in the South. Phillips was the first radio personality to reveal Elvis Presley’s race (it was widely believed Presley was African American until Phillips interviewed him).

DELRAY FARRELL: African American Male-LEAD-Baritone-Late 30’s to 40’s

Owner of Delray’s, an underground juke joint on Beale Street in Memphis who is very protective of his sister Felicia

FELICIA FARRELL: African American Female-LEAD-Mezzo-Soprano -Late 20’s to Early 30’s

Delray’s sister, an aspiring blues and jazz singer who falls in love with Huey

GLADYS CALHOUN/MAMA: Female-SUPPORTING-Mezzo-Soprano-Late 40’s to 60’s

Huey’s mother, a waitress

GATOR: African American Male-SUPPORTING-Tenor-Late 30’s to 40’s

A soft-spoken bartender at Delray’s…finds his voice…and boy does he ever.

BOBBY: African American Male-SUPPORTING-Baritone-Late 30’s to 40’s

A frequent club-goer at Delray’s, a janitor for Simmons’ radio station, later becomes a personality on Huey’s television program

SIMMONS: Male-SUPPORTING

Owner of radio station WHDZ, who later becomes a producer of Huey’s television program

SELMA, LAVERNE & BESSIE: African American Female- FEATURED Ensemble Early 20’s to Early 30’s

Felicia’s backup singers from Delray’s club (Someday backup singers, Ensemble, one will serve as a Double Dutch girl.)

COLLINS: Owner of a department store where Huey works at the beginning of the play. Also plays:

    • Gordon Grant: Executive from RCA Records in New York
    • White DJ/ White Father/ Ensemble

PERRY COMO: American singer (1912-2001) whose popularity in the 1940s–1960s focused largely on his appeal to the traditional family values of post-war “middle America.” Como’s singing career was augmented by his persona as the host of many TV programs, including his Christmas specials. Also plays:

    • Frank Dwyer/ Ensemble

 

WAILIN’ JOE: A stand-in for colorful figures in the African-American music scene of the 1950s such as Screamin’ Jay Hawkins and Little Richard. Also plays:

    • Rev. Calvin Hobson: African-American pastor at the First Baptist Church
    • Ensemble

 

BUCK WILEY: DJ and former host of “Boppin’ with the Blues” on WHDZ. Also plays:

    • Martin Holton: A TV network executive from New York
    • Ensemble

CLARA: Worker at the Department store. Also plays:

    • White mother/ Ensemble

 STRONG Ensemble crew will pick up MANY various small roles and also serve as back-up singers as well as dancers. I will work HARD to make sure everybody has their moments to SHINE for SURE!!!!!