Auditions for “A Killer Party” – Spotlights’ Virtual 2021 Summer Youth Production

Accepting Virtual Video Auditions
Now through April 9, 2021

Click here to complete the audition form and submit your video audition.

The Broadview Heights Spotlights 2021 virtual youth production is A Killer Party: A Murder Mystery Musical. 

A Killer Party: A Murder Mystery Musical premiered digitally on August 5, 2020, as a fully-produced (from home!) 9-episode Broadway star-studded musical in the midst of the Covid-19 Pandemic. This hilarious and irreverent send-up of the classic Murder Mystery features music by Jason Howland, lyrics by Nathan Tysen, and a book by Kait Kerrigan and Rachel Axler.  The Spotlights Production will be co-directed by Tim Anderson & Ryan Bergeron and co-produced by Karen Johnston & Peggy Newton.

Interested actors, ages 13 – 21, may submit a video audition through April 9, 2021.  Rehearsals will begin mid-April via Zoom.  Cast members will be asked to pick up props and costumes at the Broadview Heights Spotlights building.  Some filming and recording may be conducted in-person, adhering to appropriate health and safety guidelines. The show will be available for streaming from June 18 – July 18 on 

The show contains mature themes and language, and those auditioning and their parents should be familiar with the material before auditioning.

Audition Video Requirements:

  • Provide a 2- to 3- minute video that showcases your vocal ability.  (i.e. Bring. It!)
  • The song should be in the style of the show (pop/rock/modern musical theater.) (The album is streamable on Spotify and Amazon Music, as well as at the MTI website.)
  • Sing with an accompaniment (Karaoke) track. It is strongly suggested that the track be played through a second speaker positioned behind you. A cappella auditions will not provide us with the information we are looking for about your vocal ability.
  • Position the camera so that it shows you from your waist to approximately 4 inches above your head.
  • Make sure you are well-lit without any weird shadows.
  • The video should be submitted as an upload or an accessible web link (i.e. YouTube) on the audition form.

What We’re Looking For in Your Video Audition:

  • We want to see you! The real you. Show us who you are and what you can do. We are not looking for you be a character.
  • Interpret the importance that the song has to you. Make personal connections to the lyrics and use your whole self to communicate meaning.
  • Be confident. Your preparation should prepare you to present the best possible version of you in the audition.
  • Please do not use costumes or props to “enhance” your audition. (Ever. For any reason.)

Click here to complete the audition form and submit your video audition.


(pronouns: she/her): A latter day version of Justine, now a grand dame of policework who is alternately procrastinating and writing her memoirs.
FEATURED FEATURED SONGS: Sleuth In Duluth, Boom! Shout! (Reprise), Sleuth In Duluth (Reprise)

(pronouns: he/him): Once a Gavroche on Broadway (and not seen on Broadway since), this director is now in Middle America bringing culture to Philistines. Pompous, arrogant, loves being a big fish in a little town.
FEATURED SONGS: A Killer Party, A Killer Party (Reprise)

(pronouns: she/her): Lowly metermaid promoted to detective when everyone else on the force is unavailable. This is her big break and she’s determined and quirky. The suspects have disdain for her because she has ticketed them all. Knows nothing about theatre.
FEATURED SONGS: Today’s Detective, Boom! Shout! The Lights Went Out!, Boom! Shout! (Reprise), Hands Out, Process of Elimination, Sleuth In Duluth (Reprise)

(pronouns: he/him, she/her, they/them): Has been working as a stage manager, assistant director, assistant to the director, box office manager, concessions, barback, and typist for Varthur for ten years. Beleaguered and loyal, could he have finally snapped?
FEATURED SONGS: A Killer Party, Stuck, Boom! Shout! The Lights Went Out!

(pronouns: he/him, she/her, they/them): Works at theater full-time—costumes, sets; a visionary with too few resources. Shea goes all the way with everything they do, whether they’re designing a show or playing a role in the murder mystery dinner party. It’s all or nothing for Shea.
FEATURED SONGS: A Killer Party, Stuck, Circus On the Sea, Shipload Of Fools

(pronouns: she/her): Pharmacist by day, star by night. When she finds out that Varthur cast Lily, an ambitious upstart, as the lead in the murder mystery dinner party instead of her, she is fuming. Is she mad enough to take revenge?
FEATURED SONGS: A Killer Party, Stuck, Wait for My Cue, Never Miss My Mark, I Did It For You

(pronouns: he/him): A trust-fund kid who fancies himself a musical theater writer. In fact, he believes he has written the next Hamilton. The AD has been stringing him along, taking his family’s money, making him think that they would be doing his musical next. When the cast list went out and it wasn’t for his musical, he was livid.
FEATURED SONGS: A Killer Party, Stuck, Never Miss My Mark, I Did It For You

(pronouns: she/her): Real Estate Broker by day and aspiring leading lady by night. She’s tired of playing second fiddle to Vivika. She wants her own spotlight and tonight she’s finally gotten it.
FEATURED SONGS: A Killer Party, Stuck, Songus Interruptus, Hands Out

(pronouns: he/him): Cameron took off work tonight—as a cater/waiter—because Varthur promised him a role in the Murder Mystery. Only, lo and behold, he’s playing the mute Steward —so he’s still taking coats, serving canapes, and waiting for his moment to shine.
FEATURED SONGS: A Killer Party, Stuck, Breathe, Big Cat

(pronouns: she/her): An estate lawyer, who prefers to work with dead people, Joan has bankrolled this entire theater venture and she’s fed up. She’s been trying to sell the building and everything they own goes to her in Varthur’s will.
NO MURDER MYSTERY COSTUME—she would rather die.
FEATURED SONGS: A Killer Party, Live Out Loud

JEREMY JORDAN—A fantasy version of himself
(pronouns: he/him)

This production will include an Off-Screen Chorus that provides background vocals for A Killer Party, Today’s Detective, Stuck, Circus on the Sea, Hands Out, Shipload of Fools, Process of Elimination.


Click here to complete the audition form and submit your video audition.

Additional questions not answered here may be mailed to Tim Anderson at

Spotlights Nominated for 14 Cleveland Awards

The Broadview Heights Spotlights Theater has been nominated for 14 BroadwayWorld Regional Awards (Cleveland).  In addition to our recent, productions of  Ragtime and The Secret Life of Girls, the Spotlights Theater also been nominated in several “Of the Decade” categories.  Local BroadwayWorld editors set the categories and readers of the website nominated their favorites in October.

Voting is open through December 31, 2020.  It takes about 10 minutes, and you need to confirm your vote by clicking on a link sent to you email for it to count.

Click here to visit the site.

The Spotlights Nominations Include:


  • RAGTIME (Broadview Heights Spotlights Theater – 2019)


  • (Broadview Heights Spotlights Theater)


  • Tim Anderson – RAGTIME (Broadview Heights Spotlights Theater – 2019)
  • Ryan Bergeron – MAN OF LAMANCHA (Broadview Heights Spotlights Theater – 2018)


  • (Broadview Heights Spotlights Theater)


  • Ryan Bergeron – RAGTIME (Broadview Heights Spotlights Theater – 2019)
  • Tim Anderson MAN OF LAMANCHA (Broadview Heights Spotlights Theater – 2018)
  • Peggy Newton – QUEEN OF THE MIST (Broadview Heights Spotlights Theater – 2016)


  • RAGTIME (Broadview Heights Spotlights Theater – 2019)
  • THE WHO’S TOMMY (Broadview Heights Spotlights Theater – 2019)
  • DISASTER THE MUSICAL (Broadview Heights Spotlights Theater – 2017)
  • QUEEN OF THE MIST (Broadview Heights Spotlights Theater – 2016)


  • (Broadview Heights Spotlights Theater)


  • THE SECRET LIFE OF GIRLS (Broadview Heights Spotlights Theater – 2020)

Best of luck to all nominees!

Auditions for “Clue: Stay-At-Home Version”

Virtual, Zoom Auditions

Sunday, December 6, 2:00 – 4:00PM
Monday, December 7, 7:00 – 9:00PM  – Filled to Capacity.

The Broadview Heights Spotlights is holding auditions for Clue: Stay-At-Home Version, a virtual performance which will stream live from February 5 – 13, 2021. This show will be directed by Tim Anderson, produced by Ryan Bergeron & Brenton Cochran, and costumed by Katie Simon Atkinson & Jill Kenderes.

Based on the iconic 1985 Paramount movie which was inspired by the classic Hasbro board game, Clue is a hilarious farce-meets-murder mystery. The tale begins at a remote mansion, where six mysterious guests assemble for an unusual dinner party where murder and blackmail are on the menu. When their host turns up dead, they all become suspects. Led by the butler Wadsworth, Miss Scarlet, Professor Plum, Mrs. White, Mr. Green, Mrs. Peacock and Colonel Mustard race to find the killer as the body count stacks up. The characters and the audience must try to figure out who, where, and with what.

“With the uncertainty of our ability to provide a live, in-person, we felt it necessary to plan something exciting to start our 2021 season,” says Tim Anderson, Education Director for the Spotlights and the director for this production.  “This show is based on a movie with sort of a cult following among theater types.  Our production will still have a very theatrical feel, including full costumes, a scale model of a set, and sound effects.”  The Spotlights produced a successful run of a virtual production of The Secret Life of Girls in October.

Auditions for Clue will be held virtually on Sunday, December 6, from 2:00 – 4:00PM and Monday, December 7, from 7:00 PM to 9:00PM.  All Monday evening audition slots are filled.

Those auditioning should be able to provide a list of conflicts between December 13 and February 13.

Click here to register for Sunday auditions.

Callbacks, if necessary, will be held by invitation only on a to-be-determined date later in the week.

After signing up, you will receive scenes to review and a link to the Zoom meeting.

All rehearsals, which will begin minimally in December, and performances will be held virtually.  Participants must have a device with a web camera and reliable internet access.  Cast members also will need to pick up costumes and props at the Spotlights Theater in Broadview Heights in mid-January.

Important Note: All rehearsals and production components will be held 100% digitally, so a device with a webcam and microphone and reliable internet access is necessary.

For additional information, please email the director at



NARRATOR This adapted “Stay-At-Home” version of the play includes a narrator who provides context and scene descriptions throughout.
WADSWORTH a traditional British butler in every sense: uptight, formal, and “by the book.” He is the driving force in the play.
YVETTE a loyal and sexy French maid.
MISS SCARLET a dry, sardonic DC Madam, more interested in secrets than sex.
MRS. PEACOCK the wealthy wife of a Senator, a bit batty, neurotic, and quick to hysteria.
MRS. WHITE a pale, morbid, and tragic woman. Mrs. White may or may not be the murderer of her five ex-husbands.
COLONEL MUSTARD a puffy, pompous, dense, blow-hard of a military man.
PROFESSOR PLUM an arrogant academic, easily impressed by himself.
MR. GREEN a timid, yet officious, rule follower. He’s awfully anxious.
Ensemble Roles (Some may be combined at the director’s discretion).
TV NEWSCASTER reports on McCarthyism.
THE COOK a gruff woman with a threatening presence (alive and dead).
MR. BODDY a slick Frank Sinatra/film noir-esque type fella (alive and dead).
THE MOTORIST a professional driver (alive and dead).
THE UNEXPECTED COP a regular Joe (alive and dead).
SINGING-TELEGRAM GIRL a tap dancer with a heart of gold (alive and dead).
CHIEF OF POLICE a cop who helps to save the day.
BACKUP COP Backup for the Chief in the final “cops” entrance.
BACKUP COP backup for the Chief.

Clue: Stay-At-Home Edition
Based on the screenplay by Jonathan Lynn
Written by Sandy Rustin
Additional Material by Hunter Foster and Eric Price
Based on the Paramount Pictures Motion Picture
Based on the Hasbro board game CLUE
Original Music by David Abbinanti

Produced by special arrangement with Broadway Licensing.

Directed by Tim Anderson

Produced by Ryan Bergeron & Brenton Cochran

Costumed by Katie Simon Atkinson & Jill Kenderes


Click here to register for Sunday auditions.

Auditions for “The Secret Life of Girls” – Virtual Performance

Virtual, Zoom Auditions:

Wednesday, August 12, 7:00 – 10:00PM
Thursday, August 13, 7:00 – 10:00PM

The Broadview Heights Spotlights is holding auditions for “The Secret Life of Girls”, a virtual performance being streamed in October 2020. This show will be directed by Brenton Cochran and Kayleigh Joyce.
The Secret Life of Girls has an all-female cast, so we are seeking 10 women ages 13 and up.
Auditioners will be reading selections from the script via Zoom. Selections and Zoom meeting information will be emailed to you prior to your audition time.
Important Note: All rehearsals and production components will be held 100% digitally, so a device with a webcam and microphone and reliable internet access is necessary.
Please sign up for an audition slot HERE:
For additional information, please email the directors.

About the Show

“I’m going to tell you a secret… and I don’t want you to tell.
The secret is about me… about my life… how it will

never be the same again.”

In this honest and unflinching dramatization of teen-girl angst, a window is opened into the tumultuous and
destructive world of girls’ bullying. Abby seeks to gain acceptance as the newest member of the school
championship volleyball team. As she and her teammates struggle to find a friend, a place in the group and
themselves, their jockeying for position is sometimes humorous and often heartbreaking. Invitations are
extended or withheld, individual friendships sacrificed to collective judgments, and alliances formed and
changed daily as they careen from exclusion to isolation to acceptance and back again.

Bullying in the form of gossiping, keeping secrets, using friendship as a weapon, name-calling, exclusion,
spreading rumors, backbiting, clinging to cliques and manipulation are prevalent. The adults in the girls’ lives
are either unable or unwilling to change their behaviors. Though desperately concerned, Abby’s mother is
unable to make contact with her daughter, while the volleyball coach and team mom enable rather than work to
effect change. When faced with the consequences of their actions, the girls ultimately resolve… one by one… to
change their behaviors.

Based upon interviews with girls on the giving and receiving end of bullying, the play highlights the impact of
“cyberbullying,” the facilitation of mean-spirited behaviors through the use of cell phones, text and instant
messaging, e-mail and chat rooms. The portrayal of the sobering reality of these girls’ lives can start a
conversation in homes, schools and communities, providing the opportunity to reveal the secrets and address the
complexities which dominate the lives of many young women.


Character Breakdown

ABBY, an adolescent girl
REBECCA, an adolescent girl
KAYLA, an adolescent girl
SUTTON, an adolescent girl
ANNA MARIE, an adolescent girl
STEPHANIE, an adolescent girl
CHANDLER, the new girl

Auditions for “Dearly Departed”

Sunday, February 23, 3:00 – 6:00PM
Monday, February 24, 6:00 – 9:00PM

The Broadview Heights Spotlights Theater will hold auditions for Dearly Departed by David Bottrell and Jessie Jones.

Auditions will occur on Sunday, February 23 from 3:00PM to 6:00PM and Monday, February 24 from 6:00 – 9:00PM at the Broadview Heights Spotlights Theater, located on the Broadview Center Property next to the Police Station, 9543 Broadview Road.

The show will be directed by Tyson Douglas Rand and will run April 24th – May 9th. Rehearsals will begin in the week of March 8.  Auditioners are asked to bring a list of conflicts from March 8 through February 24 to list on the audition form.  All roles are unpaid/volunteer.

Auditions will consist of readings from the script.  Resumes and headshots are welcomed, but not required.

About the Show

In the Baptist backwoods of the Bible Belt, the beleaguered Turpin family proves that living and dying in the South are seldom tidy and always hilarious. Despite their earnest efforts to pull themselves together for their father’s funeral, the Turpin’s other problems keep overshadowing the solemn occasion: Firstborn Ray-Bud drinks himself silly as the funeral bills mount; Junior, the younger son, is juggling financial ruin, a pack of no-neck monster kids, and a wife who suspects him of infidelity in the family car; their spinster sister, Delightful, copes with death as she does life, by devouring junk food; and all the neighbors add more than two cents. As the situation becomes fraught with mishap, Ray-Bud says to his long-suffering wife, “When I die, don’t tell nobody. Just bury me in the backyard and tell everybody I left you.” Amidst the chaos, the Turpins turn for comfort to their friends and neighbors, an eccentric community of misfits who just manage to pull together and help each other through their hours of need, and finally, the funeral.

Character Breakdown
(The director is likely to double several roles.)

Bud Turpin: Family patriarch who dies in the 1st scene.

Raynelle Turpin: Bud’s widow – Christian family woman who tells it like it is in a quiet unassuming manner.

Ray-Bud Turpin: Raynelle and Bud’s Eeder son – recovering alcoholic terribly afraid of death and none too happy to foot funeral bill.

Lucille Turpin: Ray-Bud’s wife – desperately wants to have a baby but cannot carry to full term. Motherly type who takes care of everyone.

Junior Turpin: Raynelle and Bud’s younger son – completely broke because of poor business decision. Recently had an affair that his wife finds out about.

Suzanne Turpin: Junior’s wife – completely broke because of Junior’s bad business decision. A bit passive/aggressive personality. Sings hymn at funeral.

Marguerite: Bud’s sister – devoutly and aggressively Christian, very loud and controlling of her offspring and any situation.

Royce: Marguerite’s son – out of work with no future plans, which his mother never lets him forget. More of an observer than a doer.

Delightful: Bud and Raynelle’s daughter – the youngest who was never really allowed to grow up. Eats constantly and only speaks when spoken to.

Reverend Hooker: Parish minister – a minister tired of ministering. Becomes “Ill” at funeral.

Veda: Elderly friend of the family – caregiver to her sickly husband and doesn’t let anyone forget it.

Norval: Veda’s husband – hard of hearing and hard to understand. Kept alive by oxygen masks and meds.

Nadine A younger friend of the family – seems to get pregnant just by looking at a man. All of her children named after famous actors.

Clyde: Ray-Bud’s boss – knows exactly how he wants to die. First priority is to “take care of our own.”

Juanita: Cousin by marriage – very wealthy and proper. Bit of a gossip.

The Joy of Life Singers: At least 3 actors who will be required to sing- they will be doubled from the other characters



Soup, Sandwich, & Show with Santa

This special holiday event at the Broadview Heights Spotlights Theater will be held Saturday, December 14th and Sunday, December 15th at 12:30 PM. The theater is located on the Broadview Center property, 9543 Broadview Road (next to the police station).

Santa’s elves will serve a hot lunch consisting of soup, sandwich or hot dog, potato chips, veggies, and beverage prepared by none other than Mrs. Claus. After lunch, all will be ushered into the theater for the Christmas play, “Can Mrs. Claus Save Christmas?” by Ruth Ann Pattee. Keleigh Bowling is the director with assistance from Amy McSweeney, Donna Simec, and Alex Knudsen. The show features a cast of all ages, including Isabella Boccuzzi, Elle Dralle, Karen Johnston, Julia Kuczynski, Hannah Leffler, Aiden Mills, Kennedy Naypauer, Jaclyn Phelps, Caitlin Sweeney, Michael Sweeney, Abbey Tamer, Victor Vegera, Alexis Zelinsky, and Rachel Zelinsky. Annette Phelps and Karen Johnston are co-producers.

The production will be followed by dessert as Santa greets the children. Tickets are $15 for adults and $13 for children (toddlers on parents’ lap are free). Reservation deadline is Wednesday, December 11th.

Note: Parties that would like to sit together should make reservations together.

Click here to make your reservation for SATURDAY, December 14 at 1:ooPM

Click here to make your reservation for SUNDAY, December 15 at 1:00PM


Auditions for “Nonsense, Nonsense, Intermission, More Nonsense”

Monday, November 25, 6:00 – 9:00PM
Tuesday, November 26, 6:00 – 9:00PM

The Broadview Heights Spotlights Theater will hold auditions for Nonsense, Nonsense, Intermission, More Nonsense, a series of original one-act, theatre-themed plays by local playwright Greg Mandryk. 

Auditions will occur on Monday, November 25 & Tuesday, November 26 from 6:00 – 9:00PM at the Broadview Heights Spotlights Theater, located on the Broadview Center Property next to the Police Station, 9543 Broadview Road.

The show will be directed by David L. Munnell and will run January 31 – February 9, 2020 as our annual coffeehouse production. Rehearsals will begin in January.  Auditioners are asked to bring a list of conflicts from January 5 through February 9.  All roles are unpaid/volunteer.

Auditions will consist of readings from the scripts and improv activities. Auditioners will be asked to sing a silly song acapella (this show is not a musical, but some roles may require onstage singing).   The show also requires an actor to play a guitar live on stage.  If applicable, auditioners should bring a prepared song to play on their own guitar.   

Additional questions may be emailed to the director at

Nonsense, Nonsense, Intermission, Other Nonsense
consists of the following one-act plays
by Cleveland-Area Playwright Greg Mandryk

  • September in Biddeford
  • Venus Needs Men
  • Sorrows of the Sandman
  • If at First…
  • Special Extra Treatment
  • Disciplinary Measures
  • Foul Bouquet
  • Famous Last Words

Roles exist for men and women.  Doubling possible at the discretion of the director.



Auditions for “Ragtime”

Sunday, August 11, 2:00 – 5:00PM
Monday, August 12, 7:00 – 10:00PM

Sign up for an audition slot here.

Auditions will be held by appointment on  Sunday, August 11 from 2:00 PM– 5:00PM and Monday, August 12 from 6:00PM – 9:00PM. Auditioners should sign up for an audition slot at  Invited callbacks, if necessary, will be held on Wednesday, August 14.    Rehearsals will begin the week of September 22.  The show runs November 8 – 23 and will be the performed in the Spotlights’ new 3200-square-foot flexible theater space!

This musical is set in the volatile melting pot of turn-of-the-century New York, weaving together three distinctly American tales – that of a stifled upper-class wife, a determined Jewish immigrant and a daring young Harlem musician – united by their courage, compassion and belief in the promise of the future. Together, they confront history’s timeless contradictions of wealth and poverty, freedom and prejudice, hope and despair… and what it means to live in America.

Written by the award-winning composer/lyricist team of Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens (Once on This Island, Seussical, and Lucky Stiff), noted playwright Terrence McNally, and based on E.L. Doctorow’s distinguished novel, Ragtime is the winner of the 1998 Tony Awards for Best Score, Book and Orchestrations, and both the Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards for Best Musical and Best Score.

The show will be directed by Tim Anderson and music directed by Ryan Bergeron.  Performers of all ethnicities (ages 15 and up) are invited to audition.

The roles of Tateh and Mother have been cast; all other roles are open. There are a small number of roles available for younger performers, and those interested should contact the director directly at

Those auditioning should:

  • Sign up for an audition slot here.
  • Arrive 10 minutes prior to their audition slot to complete an audition form.
  • Plan to attend only one night of auditions.
  • Be familiar with the show and its music and themes.
  • Prepare two brief (up to one-minute) contrasting songs (one up-tempo, one ballad), in the style of the show.
  • Bring sheet music in the correct keys, hole-punched in a three-ring binder.  Singers will not be permitted to sing a cappella.
  • Bring a list of conflicts between September 22 and November 23.

Additional questions may be sent to the director at

(Genders and ages listed are those of the character.)

Coalhouse Walker, Jr. Male
Age: 25 to 35
Vocal range: G2 – A4
A proud and talented pianist. He is sophisticated, with a romantic demeanor and gentle heart though an intimidating build.
Sarah Female
Age: 20 to 25
Vocal range: G#3 – F#5
Washwoman. Sarah is beautiful and filled with a strong will to live fueled by an innocent spirit. Falls deeply in love with Coalhouse after much resistance.
Booker T. Washington Male
Age: 45 to 55
Vocal range: D3 – Eb4
Incredibly intelligent social activist. He is an eloquent and articulate gentleman with no patience for Black Americans leading less than exemplary lives.
Sarah’s Friend Female
Age: 18 to 25
Vocal range: D3 – D5
A friend of Sarah’s who attends her funeral.
Emma Goldman Female
Age: 35 to 45
Vocal range: B3 – D5
Social activist. With an unapologetically demanding presence, she is a leader and powerful woman.
Father Male
Age: 30 to 45
Vocal range: A2 – F4
Mother’s professionally successful husband. Fancying himself an amateur explorer, he is commanding and attractive. Enjoys being the family breadwinner.
Younger Brother Male
Age: 20 to 25
Vocal range: B2 – F#4
Mother’s younger brother. With his wiry frame and obsessive personality, he is an erratic soul. Influenced greatly by Goldman’s teachings.
Grandfather Male
Age: 60 to 70
Mother’s very conservative father. He is a retired professor and easily irritated by nearly everything.
Harry Houdini Male
Age: 25 to 35
Vocal range: E3 – G4
The famous magician. With dark features and notable physical ability, he stands as a symbol of the ‘American Dream.
Evelyn Nesbit Female
Age: 18 to 21
Vocal range: B3 – D5
Beautiful vaudeville performer. Thrust into the limelight after the high-profile murder of her lover, the entire world is her stage.
Henry Ford Male
Age: 35 to 45
Vocal range: D4 – F5
an American industrialist and founder of the Ford Motor Company
J.P. Morgan Male
Age: 60 to 65
the rich, famous financier
Willie Conklin Male
Age: 25 to 40
Vocal range: D4 – F5
A racist volunteer fireman who destroys Coalhouse’s car
Little Girl
(Email Director)
Age: 7 to 10
Vocal range: C4 – Bb4
Tateh’s daughter. A confused and vulnerable child in a brand-new home, she is guarded and shy. Loves her father very much.
Little Boy
(Email Director)
Age: 8 to 12
Vocal range: E4 – D5
Mother and Father’s son. He is open-hearted and curious with inexplicable clairvoyance. Never passes judgement on others.
Ensemble A highly featured, diverse group of Baseball Fans; Coalhouse Supporters; Firemen; Harlem Citizens, Immigrants To America; New Rochelle Citizens; Reporters; Vacationers
Mother This role has been cast. The consummate wife and mother. A kind woman with incredible moral fiber. Refined, intelligent, and graceful. She is accepting of others.
Tateh This role has been cast. The haggard artist and father. He wears the trials and tribulations of his past on his sleeve but remains optimistic.


Full Synopsis

Act One

We are introduced to the social and political climate of the United States in the early twentietth century by meeting a parade of characters – famous celebrities and private citizens of the time. First, we visit New Rochelle, New York, to meet a well-to-do white family: Mother, Father, their Little Boy, Mother’s Younger Brother and Grandfather. Next, we go to Harlem to meet Coalhouse Walker, Jr., a ragtime pianist, and his admirers. Immigrants arrive at Ellis Island, where we meet Tateh, an artist who makes silhouettes, and his Little Girl. The lives of these three American families are entwined with Booker T. Washington, Harry Houdini, J.P. Morgan, Henry Ford, Evelyn Nesbit and Emma Goldman. Whites, African Americans, immigrants and celebrities are set on a collision course from the opening number (“Ragtime”).

Father is accompanying Admiral Peary on a trip to the North Pole. At the dock, he consoles Mother that everything will be the same upon his return, but Mother is not convinced (“Goodbye My Love”). On its way out of the harbor, Father’s ship passes a rag ship filled with immigrants, arriving in New York. Tateh and the Little Girl are on board. Tateh and Father wave to one another; Father admires the immigrants for their naive bravery in coming to a new land, and Tateh questions Father’s reasons for leaving the place that he has worked so hard to find. Simultaneously, Mother wonders what this year without her husband will bring (“Journey On”).

Mother’s Younger Brother is in love with Evelyn Nesbit. He is frustrated and lost, searching for meaning in his life and hoping to find it in her. Her show is a vaudeville act that tells the true story of her lover’s murder by her famous husband (“Crime of the Century”). Younger Brother goes to all of her shows. One day, after the show, Younger Brother approaches her, but she dismisses him.

The scene shifts to Mother and the Little Boy in the garden. The Little Boy wants to see Houdini, as he has a cryptic message for him: “Warn the duke.” While he begins to read her Father’s letter, mother makes a shocking discovery – there is a newborn African-American child buried in the flowerbed. The police arrive on the premises with Sarah, the mother of the child. Rather than let Sarah go to prison, Mother takes Sarah and the child into her own home (“What Kind of Woman”).

With many other immigrants, Tateh and The Little Girl disembark at Ellis Island, full of hope (“America”). Tateh sets up his business on the Lower East Side, selling paper silhouettes of celebrities for a nickel each. Emma Goldman chastises him for selling one of J.P. Morgan, the epitome of capitalism. J.P. Morgan enters the scene and metaphorically crushes the immigrants, but Harry Houdini magically swoops in as an emblem of immigrant triumph. Time passes, Tateh becomes less idealistic – he is still poor and the Little Girl is sick. When a man tries to buy the Little Girl, Tateh has reached rock bottom. He swears to make a better life for himself and his child (“Success”).

Far Uptown, the people of Harlem celebrate the great musician, Coalhouse Walker, Jr. (“His Name Was Coalhouse Walker”). He tells his friends the story of how he loved and lost Sarah, but reveals that he’s just found out where she might be living and is determined to win her back (“Getting’ Ready Rag”). Henry Ford appears to tell us of his new method of mass production and his most famous product – the Model T (“Henry Ford”). A new car rolls off of the assembly line, and Coalhouse drives off in search of Sarah.

Back in New Rochelle, Mother and the Little Boy wait at the train station, on their way to New York City to take care of the family business while Father is away. Tateh and the Little Girl wait across the tracks for a train to Boston. Mother and Tateh greet one another, and Tateh is surprised to be treated with respect (“Nothing Like the City”). The Little Boy has a premonition that they will see Tateh and the Little Girl again, but Mother tells him that is absurd.

On his way to New Rochelle, Coalhouse encounters a group of hostile volunteer firemen who threaten him for being cocky by driving past them in his new car. Meanwhile, Sarah, living in Mother’s attic, begs her infant’s forgiveness for her desperation – trying to explain what drove her to such an unimaginable act (“Your Daddy’s Son”). When Coalhouse arrives at Mother’s home, Sarah will not see him.

Coalhouse returns every Sunday for weeks, wooing Sarah with his ragtime tunes and winning over Mother, Grandfather and the Little Boy (“The Courtship”). Father returns from the North Pole to find a very different household from the one he left. He cannot wrap his head around the facts that his wife is independent, his family is accepting of the African-American courtship happening in his living room and there is ragtime music coming from his piano (“New Music”).

Finally, Sarah comes down to see Coalhouse and they reunite. Coalhouse tells Sarah of his admiration for Booker T. Washington’s achievements and, together, he and Sarah imagine a future for their child (“Wheels of a Dream”). Meanwhile, in Lawrence, Massachusetts, Tateh has lost sight of the American dream and now works at a mill 64 hours a week. In Union Square, Emma Goldman tries to generate a strike against the oppressive mill owners. Younger Brother happens to hear her speech and is energized to the cause of workers rights – he finally has something in which to believe (“The Night That Goldman Spoke in Union Square”).

A violent labor strike erupts in Lawrence. Tateh intends to put The Little Girl on a train to a safer place, with other children and a chaperone. However, she is so distraught that he jumps on the train with her. He soothes her terror with a flipbook of silhouettes that he has made (“Gliding”). The train conductor notices the book of moving silhouettes and buys it for his own child. Tateh sees this as a wonderful new business idea.

Coalhouse once again encounters the volunteer firemen, and, this time, they do more than threaten him. As Booker T. Washington gives a speech about rising above and holding fast, the men destroy Coalhouse’s car. Coalhouse moves through the legal channels in search of justice for this crime against him, but he is denied at every avenue (“Justice”). He postpones his marriage to Sarah until the matter is resolved. Sarah, out of desperation and naiveté, tries to seek help from a visiting Vice Presidential candidate but is clubbed to death by police, who suspect her of having a gun (“President”). Act One closes with the anger and grief of Sarah’s funeral (“Till We Reach That Day”).

Act Two

Coalhouse mourns the loss of Sarah (“Coalhouse’s Soliloquy”). Seeking vengeance, he shoots three of the firemen who trashed his car, burns their firehouse and demands that the fire chief, Willy Conklin, be brought to justice (“Coalhouse Demands”).

A group of young men joins Coalhouse as he strikes out against the system. Booker T. Washington publicly condemns Coalhouse’s actions. Father goes to the police to tell them what he knows about Coalhouse. Younger Brother, who is moved by the plight of the oppressed and angry about the injustice done to Coalhouse, erupts at Father for working against Coalhouse. He storms out of the house in anger, and Mother, who is still caring for Sarah and Coalhouse’s baby, is deeply upset. In reaction, Father takes the Little Boy to a baseball game. But even this has changed and is now a game, not just for upper class whites, but for immigrants, too (“What a Game”). Meanwhile, Coalhouse’s band of men sets fires around the city. Reporters besiege the family in New Rochelle. Father, thinking that it is time to get away, takes the family to Atlantic City, where Evelyn Nesbit and Houdini both happen to be starring attractions (“Let’s Run Away to Atlantic City”).

In Atlantic City, we discover that Tateh is now a famous film director and has recreated himself as Baron Ashkenazy. His daughter, healthy and beautifully dressed, is by his side. Once again, Tateh meets Mother and tells her the story of his success (“Buffalo Nickel Photoplay, Inc.”).

Later, the Little Boy asks Houdini for his autograph and gives him the message: “Warn the duke.” Houdini is confused and intrigued, but the Little Boy runs off. The Little Girl and Little Boy play together as Tateh and Mother watch from the boardwalk (“Our Children”). Tateh reveals his humble origins to Mother, who is moved by his honesty.

In Harlem, Younger Brother searches for Coalhouse and, although the residents are distrustful of him, one of Coalhouse’s men takes him to Coalhouse’s hideout. Meanwhile, drawn by laughter and dancing in a club, Coalhouse thinks of the first time that he met Sarah (“Sarah Brown Eyes”). A blindfolded Younger Brother is brought to Coalhouse’s den. Younger Brother wants to express his sympathy for Coalhouse’s actions but all he can manage to do is offer his knowledge of explosives (“He Wanted to Say”). Coalhouse focuses his rage by taking over J.P. Morgan’s Library. He threatens to blow up the library and all of its treasures, as well as himself and all of his men, one of whom is now Younger Brother. Father tells Mother that he has volunteered to act as a negotiator, and Mother realizes that this experience has irrevocably changed their relationship (“Back to Before”).

Coalhouse and his men barricade themselves inside the library. Emma Goldman applauds this, but Booker T. Washington deplores these actions. Father tells the authorities that Booker T. Washington is the only man to whom Coalhouse will listen. Booker T. is sent into the library to speak with Coalhouse. He chides Coalhouse, both for risking the lives of the young men around him, while leaving his own son to be raised by white men, and for endangering the position of all African Americans by making them seem hot-headed and violent (“Look What You’ve Done”). He assures Coalhouse that, if he surrenders, he will have a fair trial and a forum for his opinions. Coalhouse negotiates the safe passage of his men, including Younger Brother, while Father remains behind in the library. The men protest his decision, but he explains to them that the only way to win the fight is to go out into the world and tell their story (“Make Them Hear You”). When Coalhouse is left alone with Father, he asks about his son. Father promises a safe end to the standoff, but, when Coalhouse exits the building to surrender, he is shot dead by authorities.

The era of ragtime ends. The characters come forward, one by one, to tell us the end of their stories: Younger Brother joins the revolutionary Emiliano Zapata, Emma Goldman is deported, Booker T. Washington establishes the Tuskegee Institute, Evelyn Nesbit fades into obscurity, Houdini has the one true mystical experience of his life when he is performing in Sarajevo and the duke is shot, Grandfather dies and Father is killed during wartime. Finally, Mother and Tateh marry and move to California with their children.

As the curtain falls, Little Coalhouse runs into Mother’s arms, and men and women of all nationalities – and races – join Mother on the stage (“Epilogue”).

Auditions for “Rumors” by Neil Simon

Sunday, June 30, 7:00 – 9:00PM

Monday, July 1, 7:00 – 9:00PM

The Broadview Heights Spotlights Theater will hold auditions for Neil Simon’s comedic farce, Rumors, on Sunday, June 30 and Monday, July 1 from 7:00 – 9:00PM. 

This farce takes place in a large New York City townhouse where the Deputy Mayor has just shot himself on the evening of his tenth wedding anniversary party.  The victim’s wife is nowhere in sight, and his lawyer tries to convince his own wife to get “the story” straight before the other guests arrive.  Confusions and miscommunications mount as the evening spins off into classic farcical hilarity. 

The show will be directed by Dan Sekanic and will run August 23 – September 7. Rehearsals will begin in mid-July.  Auditioners are asked to bring a list of conflicts from July 7 to September 7. Auditions will consist of readings from the script.    Rumors contains mature language and content with which those auditioning should be familiar and comfortable. 

Questions may be emailed to the director at

Character Breakdown

  • Ken Gorman – (40) A well-to-do lawyer. Wealthy, but by no means pretentious. Takes charge of the situation. Married to Chris. Halfway through the show, a gunshot causes his temporary deafness.
  • Chris Gorman – (mid-30’s) Another lawyer, married to Ken. Beautiful, easily flustered. Frantically tries to maintain normalcy at the party. Has recently quit smoking, which drives her to drink a bit more. Lenny
  • Ganz – (Late 30’s, early 40’s) – A wealthy accountant, distraught over the recent destruction over his new car. Starts the show with an extreme case of whiplash. Intolerant of the gossipy-lifestyle that he is often involved in.
  • Claire Ganz – (Late 30’s) – Ganz’s wife. Very concerned with appearances (hers and others’). Starts the play with a swollen lip. Likes to gossip.
  • Ernie Cusack – (Early 50’s) – a psychiatrist. Affable, smokes a pipe. Loves his wife very much. Tries to be as helpful as possible cooking the evening’s dinner.
  • Cookie Cusack – (40’s) – has her own cooking show. Suffers from extreme back spasms. Loves her husband very much. A bit absent-minded at times.
  • Glenn Cooper – (30-40) A handsome man running for State Senate. Worried about his own reputation. Struggles with placating his wife, who is convinced he is having an affair (which he may or may not be).
  • Cassie Cooper – (late 20’s, early 30’s) Glenn’s beautiful wife. Obsesses over her husbands’ relationships with other women. Quick to anger. Must rub her quartz crystal to calm herself down.
  • Officer Welch (M) – (30-50) – A city police officer having a rough night. Does not tolerate lying. Sees through the “classy” façade that these high-society types put up.
  • Officer Pudney (F) – (20-30) – Welch’s partner. A strong but silent type.


Auditions for “The Who’s Tommy” – Summer Youth Production

Sunday, April 7
2:00 – 6:00PM

Click here to sign up for an audition slot.

The 2019 Broadview Heights Spotlights Summer Youth Production is The Who’s Tommy.  Based on the band’s iconic 1969 rock concept album, this rock opera is an exhilarating story of hope, healing and the human spirit. The story of the pinball-playing, deaf, dumb and blind boy who triumphs over his adversities has inspired, amazed and puzzled audiences.  The show celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2019!

Auditions will be held by appointment on Sunday, April 7 from 2:00 – 6:00 p.m.  Auditioners should sign up for an audition slot at  Invited callbacks, if necessary, will be held on Thursday, April 11.  Rehearsals will begin at the end of April.  The show runs June 20 – 30, and will be the premiere production the Spotlights’ new 3200-square-foot performance space!

The show will be directed by Tim Anderson, music directed by Ryan Bergeron, and choreographed by Maggie Majercik.  Performers (ages 12 to 20) are invited to audition. There are a small number of roles available for younger performers, and those interested should contact the director directly at

The show contains mature language and themes, and those auditioning and their parents should be familiar with the material before auditioning.

Those auditioning should:

  • Plan to attend only one night of auditions.
  • Be familiar with the show and its music, language, and themes.
  • Prepare two one-minute, contrasting songs (one up-tempo, one ballad), at least one of these should be a rock song in the style of the show.
  • Bring sheet music in the correct keys, hole-punched in a three-ring binder.  Singers will not be permitted to sing a cappella.
  • Bring a list of conflicts between April 22 and June 30 (including all school concerts, lessons, practices, games, family obligations, etc.).

Click here to sign up for an audition slot.


After witnessing the accidental murder of his mother’s lover by his father, Tommy is traumatized into catatonia and, as the boy grows, he suffers abuse at the hands of his sadistic relatives and neighbors. As an adolescent, he’s discovered to have an uncanny knack for playing pinball and, when his mother finally breaks through his catatonia, he becomes an international pinball superstar.


Character List

The production team reserves the right to make non-traditional casting decisions/doubling of roles.  Vocal ranges are given as a guide, but are flexible.

Name Description Vocal Range
Mrs. Walker


A weary middle-class woman. Mrs. Walker is tired and frustrated from trying to care for and cure Tommy. Tommy’s mother and Captain Walker’s wife.

G3 – D6

Captain Walker


A former soldier with lingering guilt. He murders his wife’s lover after coming back from a POW camp, resulting in Tommy’s trauma-induced blindness, deafness, and dumbness. Father to Tommy and husband to Mrs. Walker.

F3 – C#5

Uncle Ernie


A lecherous, drunken bachelor. Ernie molests a young Tommy and later runs a children’s camp seeking to profit from Tommy’s popularity. Mrs. Walker’s brother and Tommy’s uncle.

G2 – Bb4



An embittered young genius stricken deaf, dumb, and blind after a childhood trauma. Tommy discovers that he is a natural master of pinball, and later becomes a cult-like hero figure to masses enthralled by his story. Captain Walker and Mrs. Walker’s son.

Db3 – B4

Cousin Kevin


A bully with sadistic tendencies. Tortures his cousin, Tommy, when they’re young and later seizes the opportunity to profit from Tommy’s success.

Ab2 – B4



A brazen drug dealer and prostitute. Tommy’s parents bring him to the Gypsy to experiment with unusual cures.

G3 – F5

The Specialist


A doctor with modern ideas about how to cure Tommy. Tommy’s parents hire him in their desperation to find any cure for their son.

G#3 – F4

Sally Simpson


A bold, sensitive, and excitable teenybopper. Sally develops a fan crush on Tommy and rushes the stage to be close to him.

F3 – D5

Highly Featured Ensemble Roles Including:

Harmonica Player
Kevin’s Father
Kevin’s Mother
Lads and Lasses
Minister’s Wife
Mrs. Simpson
The Hawker

Click here to sign up for an audition slot.

Additional questions may be sent to the director at