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

Argenta Community Theater is pleased to announce public auditions for MEMPHIS

Saturday, March 26th –  12:00pm-4:00pm

Callbacks: Sunday, March 27th – 1:00pm-3:30pm

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

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

PERFORMANCE DATES: JULY 20-30, 2022

All persons interested should email Casting@ArgentaCommunityTheater.org for an audition appointment; however, walk-ins will also be welcome.

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 played on Broadway from October 19, 2009 to August 5, 2012, winning four Tony Awards, including Best Musical.

Production Team

Director: Brandon Box-Higdem

Choreographer:   Christen Pitts

Music Director: Bob Bidewell

Technical Director:   Sara Cooke            

Costumer:   Shelly Hall            

Set Designer: Brandon Box-Higdem 

Stage Manager:   Trystan Benson

Lighting Designer:   Dena Kimberling      

Photography and Social Media:    Warren McCullough

Prop Master:   Lauren Nicholas         

ACT’s Executive Director:   Laura Grimes

Audition and Production Information

Audition Notes

*Auditions are open to all genders, races and ethnicities; see descriptions below. Note that age is suggested by stating youth, young adult, adult, mature adult.  

*All ethnicities are encouraged to audition.

*All roles require some singing and dancing.

*Sides for cold readings will be available at auditions for the character audition.

*Please be ready to perform 16 bars of a song that showcases your vocal range. Music should not be performed from the actual show, however should have the same feel as music from the production in the style of Rock n’ Roll or Southern Gospel. An audition pianist will be provided at auditions. Please bring your printed sheet music to the audition, and do not plant to sing a’cappella at the audition.

*There will also be a dance call at the audition.

Performance and Tickets

There will be two previews, 7 evening shows,  and 1 matinee. Cast and crew members each receive two complimentary tickets. Weekday performances will begin at 7:00 PM, Friday and Saturday performances at 7:30 PM and Sunday matinee at  2:00 PM. Please note any scheduling conflicts on your audition form.

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 MULTIPLE 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!

Cast of Character options

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

Mr. 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.

Mr. 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 singer as well as dancers. All cast members will have their moments to SHINE!

 All performers must be fully vaccinated.