Twentieth Century
by StageCenter Community Theatre

Jun. 18 - Jun. 19 (2018)

​"A Streamlining Screwball Comedy"

he play is about Oscar Jaffe, the egomaniacal Broadway director, and Lily Garland, the chorus girl he transformed into a leading lady. Bankrupt, with his career on a downslide, Oscar boards the Twentieth Century Limited and encounters Lily, now a temperamental Hollywood star. He’ll do anything to get her back under contract, but his former protégé will have nothing to do with him. All of the action takes place on board the legendary Twentieth Century train from Chicago to New York City where Oscar has 20 hours to persuade Lily to return to Broadway in his upcoming show. If he fails, it’s the end of the line.

Twentieth Century
Written by Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur
Based on a play by Charles Bruce Milholland
New Adaptation by Ken Ludwig
Directed by Jennifer Hargis

Auditions June 18 & 19, 2018  at 7 pm
Performances  August 9 - 25
Please arrive by 6:45

Auditions consist of cold readings from the script.
Please come both nights. If you are not able to attend both nights, please email the director at The cast will be either mostly or completely decided the second night of auditions and scripts will be handed out at the end of the evening.

To download  a copy of the tentative rehearsal schedule, click on the link to the right.
Download File

Anita Highland (female) - attractive, down-to-earth, younger than Lockwood

Dr. Grover Lockwood (male) - normally projects an air of confidence but is prone to bouts of nervousness

Ida  Webb (female) - tough, efficient, smart-mouthed dame

Owen O'Malley (male) - cynical, not without charm, drinker, no specific age but he's been with Jaffe a long time

Conductor (male) - no specific description, but is on quite a bit

Matthew Clark (male) - late middle aged, odd, wears old-fashioned suit, carries a Bible and puts doomsday stickers everywhere

Oscar Jaffe (male) - very dignified looking except for wild hair, overly dramatic, manipulative, lies to get what he wants

Lily Garland (female) - glamorous, also overly dramatic, manipulative and lies to get what she wants

George Smith (male) - uptight, callow, attractive and not overly bright, Lily's current business manager and current lover

Porter (male) - no specific description

Beard (male) - German accent, head of Passion Play acting troupe

Detective (male) - hard-boiled gumshoe

Max Jacobs (male) - cigar-chomping producer

The roles of Porter, Beard, Detective and Max Jacobs will be played by the same actor.

Note from director: Information about audition sides for 20th Century. If you have access to a script (the Ken Ludwig adaptation), these are the sides that I will most likely be using and what I'm looking for with each one. There are too many of them to do in one night, which is another reason why it's important to come to both nights of auditions.

Side 1
Pg. 14-16
Lockwood, Anita, Porter, Clark
From Anita’s “Stop making faces, Grover” through bottom of 16
Looking at Anita and Lockwood as individual characters as well as their chemistry together.
Side 2
Pg. 18-20
Conductor, O’Malley, Webb
From Conductor’s “What seems to be the trouble” on through “Come on, Owen”
Looking at Conductor’s demeanor and delivery as well as banter timing for all three characters. O’Malley is a high-functioning (usually) drunk, so there may be the occasional slur in his words.
Side 3
Pg. 31-32
Webb, Jaffe
From Webb’s “Listen, Oscar, as long as the Lily Garland thing” through Jaffe’s “Out! Out! Out!” line.
Looking at Webb and Jaffe chemistry and banter timing as well as Jaffe flipping out.
Side 4
Pg. 39-40
George, Lily
From Lily’s “Oh George, when I’m in New York City” line through her “Ahhhh!” (a scream) on the next page
Looking at Lily’s mood swings and manipulating ways as well as the chemistry between her and George. I think that I don’t want them to have a believable chemistry, that way the audience will not be sympathetic to their relationship. Looking at George’s attempts to insert himself and control Lily (not in an overt way, but in a “darling, I’m sure this is what you want me to do” way)
Side 5
Pg. 48-50
Jaffe, Web, Beard
From Beard’s “Exgoose me, plis” through Jaffe’s “Sign them up immediately”
Looking at Beard and his German accent as well as how Oscar behaves when he suddenly has an idea. Note: The word is pronounced “O-ber-ROM-er-gow”, last syllable rhymes with “cow”. Emphasis on first and third syllables. German accent will not be parodied, though it is written that way.
Side 6
Pg. 55-56
Lily, George, Jaffe
From Lily’s “I’ve always wanted a real house” through bottom of 56
Looking at how Lily’s countenance changes when she sees Jaffe, how both Lily and Jaffe stoop to manipulate, as well as how George tries very poorly to show who’s in charge around here. Also, how condescending Jaffe is to George.
Side 7
Pg. 59-61
Lily, Jaffe
From Lily’s “What do you want? Scorpion” through Jaffe’s “You were never much of a country girl”
Looking to see how BOTH of them quickly switch from sparring to being loving toward each other, also checking chemistry as well as how easily and ignorantly Lily says the wrong thing and keeps going.
Side 8
Pg. 63-64
Jaffe (monologue)
Large paragraph that begins at bottom of 63 and runs to near the bottom of 64
Looking at the passion and energy that Jaffe uses to describe his ridiculous vision for “his next project”
Side 9
Pg. 74-76
Jaffe, Clark, O’Malley, Webb, Lily
From Jaffe’s “Come in, sir,” near bottom of page through end of page 76.
Looking at Clark’s “odd little (or meek) man” behavior and how he reacts to Lily, as well as how Lily tries to act like a good person, also how Jaffe fawns over Clark to get what he wants.
Side 10
Pg. 90
Max Jacobs (monologue)
Jacob’s paragraph
Looking at characterization of cigar-chomping, overly pleased with himself, Max Jacobs. Interested in speech patterns and hand gestures.
Side 11
Pg. 90-91
Lily Garland (monologue)
From near bottom of pg 90 through middle of 91
Watching Lily read a script dramatically (over dramatically). Looking for facial expressions, nearly operatic acting voice which is different from her regular speaking voice. She goes back and forth between the two throughout the whole play.
Side 12
Pg. 99-100
Jaffe, O’Malley, Lily, Webb, Jacobs
From Jaffe’s “Who is that” near bottom of page through “Get him off me!!!”
Looking at Jaffe’s manipulation tactics and watching Lily fall for it, as well as the sparring between Jaffe and Jacobs