The stories of three American families intertwine against the backdrop of a towering slate of historical figures. Together, through a dazzling array of musical styles from the era, they weave a stunning tapestry that reveals both the prejudice and promise of the American experience. We can’t wait to share with you this triumphant Tony Award-winning musical portrait of America at the turn of the 20th century! Highland Park Players will reinvent this classic into a dazzling staged-concert featuring an expansive choir, Chicago’s best theatrical talent and a professional 27-piece orchestra that will allow you to experience this magnificent story and music like never before, at the stunning new 550-seat theater, the McGrath Family Performing Arts Center in Wilmette!
Book by Terrence McNally
Music by Stephen Flaherty
Lyrics by Lynn Ahrens
Based on the novel Ragtime by E. L. Doctorow
SHOW DATES & TIMES
- April 6 and 7 at 2:00 PM
- August 6 at 7:30 PM
- Performances are at the brand new venue - McGrath Family Center for Performing Arts (1100 Laramie Ave, Wilmette, IL 60091
- All auditioners must submit a video audition/form no later than JANUARY 12, 2024.
- In Person Callbacks are by Invitation Only, Date(s) TBD (January 19 thru 25, weekdays in evening, weekend in the morning or afternoon). Only those being considered for principal roles and/or featured ensemble may be seen in person. Those being considered for the choir will only be reviewed by video submission.
- Performances: April 6 at 2:00 pm and 7:30 pm, April 7 at 2:00 pm
- Tech Rehearsals: April 1, 2, 3, 4 & 5, in the evenings.
- Rehearsals: The month of *March. 3-4 days per week (M-Th evenings, Sat morning or afternoon TBD); Rehearsal schedule will vary based role. *Subject to change.
- Location: Performances and Tech Rehearsals at the McGrath Family Performing Arts Center in Wilmette. Rehearsals at various locations including West Ridge Center in Highland Park. Other venues TBD.
- Complete the TheaterForms form no later than JANUARY 12, 2024.
- Prepare a video showcasing 32 bars (60-90 seconds) of a song in the style of the show that demonstrates your range and vocal ability. Singing from the show is permitted. If you are auditioning for the CHOIR only, please sing at least 16 bars (30 seconds) but you are permitted to sing longer if you like. Upload the video to YouTube or Vimeo and provide the link to us in the Theaterforms form field.
- If you are submitting for PRINCIPAL ROLE or FEATURED ENSEMBLE, you may be invited to an in person Callback. Notification of callback will occur the week after our virtual submission deadline of January 12, 2024. If you are submitting for CHOIR, your only audition is your provided video, there are no Callbacks. If you are invited to join the show (any role, choir included) you will receive an invitation after we have concluded Callbacks (end of January).
CHOIR: All ages (12+). All ethnicities. Seeking a large diverse group of individuals. Seeking strong singers to accompany our 28-piece orchestra on the most beautiful stage in the North Shore! Choir members will be able to hold the score during the performance (you do not need to be memorized) and will be seen on stage. The choir will be heavily featured throughout the production. Please note the Choir is different than Adult & Youth Featured Ensemble.
ADULT FEATURED ENSEMBLE: Ages 18+. All ethnicities. Diverse group of individuals including people of New Rochelle and Harlem, and Immigrants to America. Adult Ensemble members will play a variety of roles including Henry Ford, JP Morgan, Admiral Peary, Matthew Henson, Judge, and more. In addition to learning all group numbers (that choir sings), these individuals will also attend staging rehearsals.
YOUTH FEATURED ENSEMBLE: Ages 10-17. All genders & ethnicities. Diverse group of individuals including people of New Rochelle and Harlem, and Immigrants to America. In addition to learning all group numbers (that choir sings), these individuals will also attend staging rehearsals.
*COALHOUSE WALKER, JR.: A proud and talented pianist, confident and stubborn. A sophisticated Black man with a romantic demeanor and a gentle heart. Vocal Range: G2-A4. *Stipend provided.
*SARAH: Naive yet headstrong Black woman who will fight to make her and her family’s life better; fueled by an innocent spirit. Vocal Range: G#3-F#5. *Stipend provided.
*MOTHER: The consummate wife and mother. A kind woman who is intelligent, compassionate, optimistic, and open minded. Vocal Range: G3-F#5. *Stipend provided
*FATHER: Mother's professionally successful husband. Fancies himself an amateur explorer, he is commanding and attractive. Enjoys being the family breadwinner, a traditionalist. Vocal Range: A2-F4. *Stipend provided.
*TATEH: A Jewish, Latvian immigrant. He wears the trials and tribulations of his past on his sleeve, but remains optimistic that he will be successful. Full of genuine drive and heart. Vocal Range: Bb2-F#4. *Stipend provided.
*YOUNGER BROTHER: Mother’s younger brother. A passionate anarchist, he is intense, obsessive, and high strung. Vocal Range: B2-F#4. *Stipend provided.
*EMMA GOLDMAN: Russian born radical social activist and anarchist. A leader and a fearless advocate for the oppressed. Vocal Range: B3-D5. *Stipend provided.
GRANDFATHER: Mother’s conservative father who is a retired professor. Gruff, outspoken, and irritated by nearly everything that surrounds him. May also play other roles.
*EVELYN NESBIT: Beautiful vaudevillian performer, the Marylin Monroe of her time. Famous for the murder of her high-profile lover by her rich husband. Dance experience preferred. May also play other roles. Vocal Range: B3-D5. *Stipend provided.
*HARRY HOUDINI: The famous magician and Hungarian immigrant who embodies the ‘American dream’. May also play other roles. Vocal Range: E3-G4. *Stipend provided.
BOOKER T. WASHINGTON: A brilliant Black social activist. He is an eloquent and articulate gentleman with no patience for Black Americans leading less than exemplary lives. May also play other roles. Vocal Range: D3-Eb4
WILLIE CONKLIN: A racist Irish-American; fire chief of the New Rochelle Fire Department. May also play other roles. Vocal Range: D4-F5
SARAH’S FRIEND: Passionate, soulful, sings the gospel number for Sarah's funeral. Powerhouse vocalist. May also play other roles. Vocal Range: D3-D5
LITTLE BOY: Presents as age 10-12. Mother and Father's son. He is open-hearted and curious with inexplicable clairvoyance. Never passes judgement on others. Vocal Range: E4-D5
LITTLE GIRL: Presents as age 10-12. Tateh's daughter. Her arrival in America is marked by sickness and hunger. She is scared of her new surroundings and loyal to her father, her only living relative. Vocal Range: C4-Bb4
SEEKING TALENTED CHICAGO-AREA CHORAL GROUPS (or SINGERS) in groups of 6+ that may be interested in joining our Ragtime in Concert Choir! Have a great group? EMAIL US!
Questions? Email us at RagtimeHPP@gmail.com
The Highland Park Players is committed to equity, diversity and inclusion. As such, we encourage performers of all races and ethnicities, gender, identities, sexualities and abilities to audition.
Producer - Bradley A. Rose
Producer - Holly Weis
Director - Connor Giles
Assistant Director - Tuesdai B. Perry
Vocal Director - T.J. Anderson
Orchestra Director - Aaron Kaplan
Orchestra - Chicago's JAM Orchestra
Stage Manager / Light Board Operator - Erin Versosky
Lighting / Sound Designer - Alec Kinatowski