Friday, February 17, 2012

Auditions Set for Heartland's "Superior Donuts"

Heartland Theatre and director Eric Thibodeaux-Thompson have announced audition dates for Heartland's upcoming production of Tracy Letts' "Superior Donuts," a play set in Chicago which premiered at Chicago's Steppenwolf Theatre in 2008. The Steppenwolf production, directed by Tina Landau, went directly to Broadway with the same cast, including Michael McKean ("This Is Spinal Tap"), as well as Jon Michael Hill and James Vincent Meredith, both U of I alums. Hill was nominated for a Tony Award for his performance.

"Superior Donuts" is about a shop by that name, run by a leftover hippie sort of guy named Arthur Przybyszewski (pronounced more like "Shubashevski") in Chicago's Uptown neighborhood. The shop has definitely seen better days and everybody seems to accept its inevitable doom. Except for Arthur, who refuses to change or move or... Do much of anything. But then a fast-talking kid named Franco, who sees himself as a poet, comes by, trying to convince Arthur to give him a job, let him take over the doughnut-making operation, and see if together they can revive the shop. There are complications, of course, arising from Franco's connections to the mob, his attempts to write the Great American Novel, and a buy-out offer for the doughnut shop from the friendly (maybe too friendly) Russian down the street. "Superior Donuts" is peopled with eccentric, amusing, off-beat characters, especially Arthur and Franco, but also the crazy lady off the streets who cadges a doughnut every day, the neighborhood cops who always stop by, the Russian and his silent (and imposing) nephew, and even a scary loanshark and his associated muscle.

Director Thibodeaux-Thompson is looking for actors to fill these roles:
  • Arthur Przybyszewski, Polish-American, 59 
  • Franco Wicks, African-American, 21
  • Max Tarasov, Russian, 49 
  • Kiril Ivakin, Russian, 35 
  • Lady Boyle, Irish-American, 72 
  • Officer Randy Osteen, Irish-American, 49 
  • Officer James Bailey, African-American, 43 
  • Luther Flynn, Irish/Italian-American, 45 
  • Kevin Magee, Irish-American, 28 

Auditions will be held at Heartland Theatre on Sunday and Monday, February 26 and 27, from 7 to 10 pm both nights. Thibodeaux-Thompson will hold callbacks on Tuesday, February 28th from 7 to 10, and performances are scheduled for April 12 to 15, 19 to 22, and 26-29.

If you need more information, click here.

I haven't seen Heartland's poster for the play yet, so I have scattered some art from other productions throughout this notice just to give you an idea of the mood of the play. Enjoy!

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