by Matthew Barber
Directed by James F. Petsche

Production Kickoff: January 05, 2020

Audition: January 12, 2020

Performance Dates

Mar. 20, 21, 27, 28, Apr. 3, & Apr. 4, 2020 at 8:00PM
Mar. 29 & Apr. 5, 2020 at 2:00PM

A Curtain Panels audience talkback follows the March 29 matinee.

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

The play is set in the rural south Texas town, Groverdell, in the mid-1990s. The action is staged in the Bannister kitchen during midsummer. Two men, two women. Actors should be able to play the ages suggested even though their own ages may not be similar.

  • Eleanor Bannister – (mid-60s to 70ish) A retired schoolteacher and spinster. Dignified, proper. Respected in the community and set in her ways. This character is on stage the entire play.
  • Abel Brown – (mid-60s to 70ish) A traveling handyman. A masculine, effortlessly attractive, self-possessed, charming, and slightly mysterious man. Actor must be able to/learn to passably play Beautiful Dreamer on the violin.
  • Grace Bodell – (mid-60s to 70ish) Miss Bannister's neighbor and best friend. A busybody, bit of a gossip, casual but polished, with no pretense.
  • Eugene Claymire – (mid to late 30s) A town police officer. A former student of Miss Bannister's who as a boy was never considered by her to likely amount to anything.

Retired schoolteacher, Eleanor Bannister, lives a quiet life alone in tiny Groverdell, Texas, set in her routines and secure in her position as the town's most respected woman - until a hole in her roof draws the attention of Abel Brown, a smooth-talking drifter intent on renovating Eleanor's house, and possibly her life. Can the unexpected sparks of late-life romance be trusted, or is there truth in the gossip that Abel isn't all that he seems to be? Either way, the whole town is talking.

James F. Petsche is a former Curtain Players board president and vice president, and he is a recipient of the company's Richard D. Near Award for dedication to continued advancement of the theatre. For Curtain Players, Jim has directed The Trip to Bountiful, The Outgoing Tide, and The Dining Room, and has appeared in The Diary of Anne Frank, Dinner with Friends, The Boys Next Door, and To Gillian on Her 37th Birthday, among others. Jim's theatre resume also includes directing credits with Theatre Daedalus, acting credits with Columbus Civic Theater (I Hate Hamlet and Art) and Little Theatre Off Broadway (The Laramie Project), along with Theatre Roundtable and Ohio Community Theatre Association awards.



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

Curtain Players offers a information 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.

Actors are encouraged to come to auditions familiar with the script and ready to read cuttings from the script. Every effort will be made to give actors equal chances to read. Resumes and head shots are helpful but not necessary.

Requests for an early audition for Fireflies must be made no later than December 29, 2019.

Questions related to the audition process may be directed to

To be determined after consideration of respective personal and theatre schedules. Depending on the role, actors can expect to rehearse up to four and, eventually closer to opening night, five nights a week. Rehearsals are offsite to start, moving into the Harlem Road playhouse on Monday, February 24, 2020. Tech week (mandatory) is March 15-18, 2020.

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Curtain Players is an award-winning theater serving the central-Ohio area. We have been routinely recognized by AACT, OCTA, and Theatre Roundtable for our tradition of excellence. Learn more about who we are!