Lakewood Theatre Company

The Man Who Came to Dinner

Man Who Came to DinnerAuditions by appointment on Saturday July 18, 2009.

at Lakewood Theatre Company 368 S. State Street, Lake Oswego, OR 97034
Call 503-635-3901 to schedule an appointment beginning June 29.

The comedy The Man Who Came to Dinner will be directed by Joe Theissen.

  • Please bring a current headshot & resume.
  • Prepare a 1-2 minute contemporary comic monologue.
  • Be prepared to read from the script if asked - sides will be provided.
  • Bring your calendar & be prepared to list all conflicts. Conflicts not listed at time of audition may not be honored.

  • Rehearsals begin OCTOBER 1st - Rehearsals will be Mon-Thurs, 6:00-10pm, Sat & Sun 1-5pm. Not everyone will be called for every rehearsal.
  • Tech - NOVEMBER 1st-4th
  • Final Dress - NOVEMBER 5th
  • Performances are Thurs-Sun evenings, with some Sunday matinees TBA



ABOUT THE PLAY The story of The Man Who Came to Dinner is set in a small town in Ohio in December. Famous and outlandish orator Sheridan Whiteside has been invited to dinner at the house of the well-off Stanley family. He slips on a patch of ice outside the house, however, and injures his hip. He is attended by Dr. Bradley, the town physician, and Miss Preen, his nurse. The Stanley's, intimidated by Whiteside's threats of legal prosecution, are forced to allow him to remain at their house while he convalesces.

Whiteside proceeds to terrorize the Stanley's, interfering with almost every aspect of their lives. But Whiteside's life is about to change for the worse when his secretary of 10 years, Miss Maggie Cutler, falls in love with the local newspaper editor, Bert Jefferson, who had dropped by to interview Whiteside. Maggie informs Whiteside of her intention to marry Jefferson (who had not proposed to her yet) and that Bert had written a great play, which she is confident would be a Broadway hit. She gives the play to Whiteside asking him to send the play to Katherine Cornell, a famous actress of the time. Whiteside refuses to believe that Maggie is in love and also doesn't want to lose a very valuable secretary so he plots to break it up. He invites sexy actress Lorraine Sheldon to visit, promising her that he has a great play for her. All she has to do is convince the author to let her have the leading part. Lorraine is excited and says she will come at once.

Meanwhile, the doctor returns with the news that he had misread Whiteside's X-ray, and that he is in fact perfectly fine! Whiteside, attached to his scheme to separate Maggie and Bert, bribes the doctor to hide the "good" news by promising to help edit the Doctor's novel, Forty Years an Ohio Doctor.

Lorraine shows up and starts working on Bert. Maggie suspects Whiteside and plays a trick on Lorraine to get rid of her but it fails; Lorraine is so furious with Maggie that she vows to stop at nothing to break up her relationship with Bert.

Maggie quits her job which causes Whiteside to realize that she really is in love with Bert but he cannot call off Lorraine. With the help of his Hollywood friend Banjo, he tricks Lorraine into stepping into a mummy case, locks her in and ships the case to Nova Scotia.

The play ends with Whiteside walking out of the house, only to fall on ice again.



Role Breakdowns

Sheridan Whiteside - Male, 40-60 This role has been pre-cast.

Maggie Cutler - Female, 20s-40s Whiteside's executive assistant, very businesslike most of the time, but also a romantic who falls in love with Bert Jefferson. Whiteside's private secretary and chief interference runner for the past ten years. In her thirties, she is sarcastic and cynical, and she knows where the bodies are buried. After she meets Bert Jefferson and goes ice skating with him, she decides that the fast lane with Whiteside is infinitely less preferable than conventional delights of domesticity. The fear of losing a good secretary prompts Whiteside to try to destroy the relationship, but her seriousness about her love induces him to help her achieve her goal.

Mr. Earnest W. Stanley - Male, 40-60 Rich factory owner, uptight and put out by the audacity of his guest.

Mrs. Stanley (Daisy) - Female, 40-60 Always trying to play the hostess, and keep her husband from flying off the handle.

Richard Stanley - Male, 18-25 Grown son of Earnest and Daisy, photographer, wishes he could travel and take pictures.

June Stanley - Female, 18-25 Grown daughter of Earnest and Daisy, wants to get married to Sandy who is starting union trouble at the factory.

Harriet Stanley - Female, 50+ Earnest Stanley's eerie sister, floats in and out when Whiteside is alone.

Miss Preen - Female, 30+ Frantic Nurse attending to Whiteside, not enjoying the task of taking care of him. A spinsterish, humorless prude, she becomes the constant butt of his insults and name-calling, to which she reacts with routine indignation.

John - Male, 40+ Butler who has been around awhile

Sarah - Female, 40+ Housekeeper who has been around awhile

Mrs. Dexter - Female, 30+ Visiting society friend of Mrs Stanley

Mrs. McCutcheon - Female, 30+ Visiting society friend of Mrs Stanley

Dr. Bradley - Male, 50+ Whiteside's doctor while Whiteside is in Mesalia. He diagnoses Whiteside's injuries by looking at the wrong X rays. He is also a late-blooming author who tries to get Whiteside to read his book, Forty Years an Ohio Doctor.

Bert  Jefferson - Male, 20s-40s The owner and editor of the Mesalia Journal. He is "an interesting looking young man" who has written a producible play. He naïvely and ambitiously allows himself to be lured by the chance of making it to the big time, even if it means the sacrifice of personal happiness.

Professor Metz - Male, 30+ "a strange-looking little man," an entomologist who once lived for two years in a cave with nothing but plant lice. He is the first of three eccentrics to visit Whiteside during his convalescence. He brings the great man a present of a colony of ten thousand roaches.

Lorraine Sheldon - Female, 30s-40s a snobby actress, young and beautiful, the vicious epitome of the glamorous, brainless, superficial superstar. Whiteside lures her to Ohio by telling her that Jefferson's play has a marvelous part for her. She thus unwittingly lets herself be used to break up the romance between Jefferson and Maggie. Seducing a man for benefit is, for her, all in a day's work.

Sandy - Male, 20s a labor-organizer in Mr. Stanley's factory, big strong lad.

Beverley Carlton - Male, 30s-50s English thespian, songwriter, musician. A Noël Cowardish character who dashes around the world composing and writing plays and being devastatingly charming. His latest comedy, he says, is the best since Molière. He breezes in to visit Whiteside and wish him a "Merry Christmas. He stays about a quarter of an hour, using part of the time to regale him with a number from his new revue. Maggie enlists him in an attempt to lure Jefferson away from Lorraine Sheldon, trying to counter Whiteside's attempt to break up her romance. (pianist preferred, not required)

Banjo - Male - 30s-50s a famous Hollywood comedian, a grown-up adolescent. He is as loony off-screen as on-the Marx brothers all wrapped into one-but he good-heartedly allows himself to be the means by which Maggie can retrieve her happiness.

Also seeking:

4 Men, 20's-40's, to play multiple smaller & non-speaking roles, including:

  • Westcott (the head radioman)
  • the Luncheon Guests (prisoners)
  • Mr. Baker (guard)
  • Expressman
  • Radio Technicians
  • Deputies
  • A plainclothesman


4-6 Boys, ages 9-12 - Proficient singers with unchanged voices

Auditions by appointment on Saturday July 18, 2009. Call Lakewood Theatre Company at 503-635-3901 to schedule an appointment beginning June 29.