Leading Ladies

by Ken Ludwig
Directed by Michael Fusco

Script Review: June 02, 2019

Audition: June 23, 2019

Performance Dates

Sept. 6, 7, 13, 14, 20, & 21, 2019 at 8:00PM
Sept. 15 & 22, 2019 at 2:00PM

A Curtain Panels audience talkback follows the September 15 matinee.

Unless specifically noted, all roles are open to all regardless of race or ethnicity.


  • The ages listed for the characters are those actually stated or suggested in the script, however, actors auditioning for these roles can be younger or older than the stated age. For many of the characters, their age in relation to that of the other characters is more important than any specific chronological age.
  • Actors reading for the roles of Leo / Maxine and Jack/ Stephanie will be asked to speak in British accents for both their male and female roles and show off their best Shakespearean voice as well. I plan to have a dialect coach on the team.
  • While all roles are open to all regardless of race or ethnicity, several characters are blood relatives, and as such must be similar in appearance.
  • Leo Clark / Maxine – (30s or older) An actor possessing real talent, and a clever, quick-on-his-feet thinker, Leo contrives the scheme and directs it for the most part, posing as Maxine. When he falls in love with Meg, his skills are tested to their limits.
  • Jack Gable/ Stephanie – (30s or older) An actor of some talent as well. A reluctant partner in crime with Leo ... more sincere and not so clever or conniving as Leo, who does know how to push Leo's buttons. His female persona is that of Stephanie.
  • Meg Snider – (20s to early 30s) A bright, vivacious young woman (in line for the other 1/3 of Florence's fortune) who loves the theatre and secretly dreams to experience far more of the world than York can possibly offer, but apparently resigned to settle for less as she has agreed to marry Duncan, an older, stuffy minister.
  • Duncan Wooley – (40s or older) A local minister, substantially older than Meg. A good man at heart, set in his ways and anxious to control Meg's inheritance money. He suspects that Leo and Jack are frauds and would like nothing more than to expose them as such.
  • Audrey – (20s or early 30s) A sexy, attractive young woman, brighter than she appears to be at times. Ability to roller skate is a plus but not required.
  • Doc Meyers – (40s or older) Florence's doctor and family friend and father of Butch. Doc is basically a genuine guy who married for love but encourages his son to marry into money. At some point, he misperceives that Stephanie (Jack) is in love with him.
  • Butch Meyers – (20s to early 30s) Doc's handsome son who, notwithstanding his dad's advice, is in love with Audrey. He is honest and sincere although a bit slow-witted at times.
  • Florence Snider – (60s or older) A kind but crusty old lady with terrible eyesight but a sharp mind and tongue.

As this drawing room farce by Ken Ludwig (Lend Me A Tenor/ Moon Over Buffalo), begins, we meet Leo and Jack, two down-and-out British Shakespearean actors reduced to playing the Moose Lodge Circuit in Pennsylvania's Amish country in the late 1950's. When they learn that Florence Snider, a dying, wealthy old woman in York is seeking to reunite with her long, lost English nephews so she can leave them 2/3 of her fortune, they hatch a scheme to pose as the nephews only to discover from Audrey, a Snider family friend, whom they meet on the train to York, that the soon-to-be heirs are not nephews but nieces. To complicate things, Leo falls head-over-heels in love with Florence's niece, Meg, heir to the other 1/3 of the fortune, (and Jack with Audrey), necessitating that they play both the nieces and themselves. What follows is a classic farcical pastiche full of deceptions, romances, chaos, lots and lots of quick costume changes (think Mrs. Doubtfire / Tootsie) but not so many slamming doors.

For Mr. Fusco, community theatre is his passion and it is his goal that each cast and production team member enjoy the time and effort they invest in creating a show that they and Curtain Players are proud to stage.

Over the past 25+ years, Michael has directed more than 50 plays -- 11 for Curtain Players, including On Golden Pond; Trevor; Cat on A Hot Tin Roof; The Sunshine Boys; and Barefoot in the Park. He is a (mostly) retired lawyer with a BA in English Language and Literature with a focus on Dramatic Literature from Columbia University.



Script review, auditions, and performances take place at:
Curtain Players Theatre
5691 Harlem Road, Galena, OH 43021

Curtain Players offers a script review session for each of its productions as a help for actors seeking roles, but attendance is not required to audition. The event is an opportunity for actors to become acquainted with the community theatre organization, to discuss the play with the director, and to ask questions about the audition process, rehearsal period, and production plans. Those interested in working behind the scenes are also invited to attend.

Curtain Players conducts open auditions for its productions. Roles are not cast in advance, and, unless specified otherwise in the role's description, are open to all without regard to race or ethnicity. Casting decisions are made by the director and a casting committee comprised of a member of the theatre board, a general member of the organization, and individuals of the director's choosing.

Curtain Players has donated two copies of the script to Westerville Public Library for general circulation.

The auditions will consist of readings of excerpts (sides) from the script. Most of the sides will be available in advance at the Script Review or by contacting the director by e-mail at fuscomt74@gmail.com . There may be some cold readings as well.

Actors reading for the roles of Leo / Maxine and Jack/ Stephanie will be asked to speak in British accents for both their male and female roles and show off their best Shakespearean voice as well. The plan is to have a dialect coach on the team.

Requests for an early audition for Leading Ladies must be made no later than June 09, 2019.

Questions related to the audition process may be directed to production@curtainplayers.org.

Prior to the commencement of onstage rehearsals, it is the director's goal to have two table reads and a brief, one-on-one meeting with each of the actors cast. The dates, times and locations for these will be set once we have a cast.

Onstage rehearsals will begin during the week of either July 22 or 29 (depending on cast members' availability). As a rule, the director rehearses Monday through Thursday evenings from 6:30 pm to 9:00. Of course, the schedules for tech and dress rehearsals will be different. Not all cast members will be required to attend all rehearsals. Since we are the first show of the season, it is anticipated that most, if not all, of the rehearsals will be on the stage in the theater.

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