Open Auditions for Violet

Violet Auditions copy

These auditions will be for the characters of Monty, Flick, Father and the Six Ensemble Members (3 men, 3 women)

Please visit the bulletin board outside Zoellner Arts Center room 301 for detailed character descriptions and audition information. [The same information is added to the bottom of this post: WHAT TO PREPARE FOR THE AUDITION, PRINCIPAL CHARACTERS, & ENSEMBLE]

Contact Pam Pepper or Bill Whitney


Music by Jeanine Tesori
Book and Lyrics by Brian Crawley
Based on The Ugliest Pilgrim by Doris Betts

Directed by Pam Pepper
Music Direction by Bill Whitney

Straight from the Broadway production of 214, Violet is the story of a woman’s search for beauty and her place in the world. Physically scared by a tragic childhood accident, Violet fervently desires the healing powers of an Oklahoma revivalist preacher. Her journey by Greyhound bus toward physical healing becomes so much more as she befriends two soldiers and discovers the true meaning of beauty, courage, and love. With a musical score equally influenced by bluegrass, gospel and Broadway, and a backdrop of the American south during an era of great social change, this musical will inspire, challenge and uplift.

Critically acclaimed, the original 1997 off-Broadway production of Violet was nominated for 7 Drama Dest awards and won the Lucille Lortel, Outer Critics Circle and Drama Critics’ Circle Awards for Best Musical. The 2014 Broadway revival was nominated for 4 Tony awards and 3 Drama Desk awards.

Here are some resources: fuller synopsis, additional facts, and clips of the music:


Please come to Zoellner 121 prepared to sing approximately 32 bars of a song which you feel best shows your range and vocal ability. Any style is acceptable, as long as it is a song you are comfortable with – it does not have to be from musical theatre. You may sing a cappella (without accompaniment), or you may bring sheet music or a recorded accompaniment to sing with. Your song should not be from VIOLET.

In addition to singing, we’ll also be doing some reading from the script. Please read the libretto before auditioning if at all possible.

Father – Young Violet: pp. 12-13
Flick-Violet – Monty: pp. 22-25, 30-31
Violet – Flick: pp. 36-39, 56-58
Violet – Father: pp. 78-80

Sign up for one 10 minutes audition slot. Reading copes are available in the Department of Theatre office, 301 Zoellner.

Questions? Contact Pam Pepper or Bill Whitney


VIOLET: 25. (Violet Karl from Spruce Pine, N.C.) She is stubborn and prickly, but filled with equal parts hope and obsession that she may be healed and be made beautiful. She’s direct with people who stare at her scar (which is quite prominently located on her face, although not literally visible to the theatre audience). Violet has a sarcasm and toughness to her. She was tortured by other children, especially the Elum brothers who said the axe accident was God’s way of punishing her because she and her father didn’t go to church. Violet has high expectations of God when it comes to being healed. After her father died, she tried doctors, snake handlers and a Catholic church to be healed. Strongly influenced by movies – idealizes the glamour actresses. Flick is the first black person with whom she has spoken. She’s a good poker player, which translates to living her life. Mezzo, belt. Range: G3 – F5

YOUNG VIOLET: 13. Mezzo Soprano. Not quite as guarded or prickly as her older self, but still tough and stubborn. She has a keen curiosity and the rough edges of being brought up solely by her father. Range: A3 – E5 (Should we not find a college student appropriate for this role, we will cast a local teenager.)

FLICK: Late 20’s. Baritone. Real name: Grady Fliggins. An African-American soldier who looks for the positive in life – a dreamer and a go-getter. “You do what you gotta’ do, but in the end you do it alone. You choose your road, then you walk it, one step at a time.” He doesn’t enjoy the army, but enjoys the respect it garners him. There is something gentle and good about him, not to be interpreted or confused with weakness or lack of authority. He is not moved much by Violet’s scar. Flick carries a flask with him most of the time. He was in basic training with Monty. Range: C4 – E6 Gospel and blues.

MONTY: Mid 20’s. Tenor. Real name: Montgomery Harrill (from Raleigh, N.C.). A white paratrooper and corporal. Believes himself to be fearless and irresistible to most – especially women. He is a bit full of himself. Although self-consumed, it is not necessarily purposefully so. As described by Violet, he’s “a boy in the skin of a man.” He’s rough around the edges and he’s fighting his own demons. Monty was in basic training with Flick, and now he trains young men to jump out of airplanes. Range: A3 – G5 Country Western

FATHER: Late 30s – mid 40s. Baritone. A simple, widowed man who lovingly raises his daughter, Violet, alone, doing the best he can with the little knowledge and resources he has to do so. Stern but friendly, smart but uneducated. He accidentally scars 13 year-old Violet’s face while he is chopping wood. Can be stern with her. Protects and toughens her. Teaches her to hide from others so she won’t be tortured by them. He took Violet to see doctors in Charlotte for her 18th birthday. He died of a heart attack when Violet was 22 and left her a little money. Range: A3 – F5


E1-FEMALE: 55-65 yrs old Old Lady, Hotel Singer, Old Lady 2. Range: F3 – E5
OLD LADY: A former beauty in her heyday, now tired and frustrated with life. She’s gossipy, pushy and nosy and fellow passenger, Violet, is the unwilling recipient of her boldness. Not a huge fan of boys or men. She’s on her way to Nashville to see her son Harvey, who works in a cellophane plant. Although she had eight children of her own, she’s not eager to be in a house full of children. Stevie, her youngest, died in Korea. She believes her daughters to have been beautiful brides.
HOTEL SINGER: Memphis. Sings with/counterpoint to Flick.
OLD LADY 2: Passenger, Tulsa to Fort Smith. Sure that whomever is supposed to pick her up forgot. (still a man hater)

E2-FEMALE: 35-45 yrs old Music Hall Singer, Mabel, Woman with Fan. Range: A3 – G5
MUSIC HALL SINGER: Memphis. Has an eye for Flick, but loses interest as soon as she sees him with Violet.
MABEL: Passenger Tulsa to Fort Smith. Talkative. Tired of sitting. A bit man crazy. Three straight husbands tried to teach her to drive before she figured out how to do it. She once hit a traffic cop and subsequently married him after he got out of the hospital. She loves gray eyes.
WOMAN WITH FAN: Fort Smith to Tulsa?

E3-FEMALE: 50-70 yrs old. Landlady, Woman Knitting, Gospel Soloist (Lula). Range: F3 – G5
LANDLADY: Almeta. African-American. Flick’s friend. Runs boarding house in Memphis. Agrees to let them stay when Flick pays her $20. Tells Flick to use the back alley exit if they leave the premises. Has a point of view that is reminiscent of Violet’s father’s.
WOMAN KNITTING: A quiet woman.
GOSPEL SOLOIST: Lula Buffington. Seen in the Hope and Glory Bldg as a member of the volunteer choir that sings for the Preacher’s telecast. Sings for God with passion and power. African-American.

E4-MALE: 30-40 yrs old. Bus Driver 1, Rufus, Radio Singer, Bus Driver 4. Range: B3 – G5
BUS DRIVER 1: Johnson, aka Mr. Wallace Weatherman. Thin lips, flat cheeks, bent nose, small ears, Cherokee black straight hair. Looks forward to Sal’s Barbecue and greasy food. Gets off at Nashville.
PREACHER: In Violet’s fantasy. Talks in tongues. TV preacher. An impassioned, theatrical man who preaches with all the bravado he can muster. Once had a true healing touch but has lost it in his quest to become a showman. Dismissive and egotistical.
RUFUS: In Memphis. A mechanic. Along with the other mechanic, accosts Flick.
RADIO SINGER: Memphis boarding house radio singer.
BUS DRIVER 4: Tulsa to Fort Smith. Johnson, aka Mr. Wallace Weatherman. Wants Dan’s Irish Stew, blackberry pie and beer when he gets to Fort Smith.

E5-MALE: 50-70 yrs old. Radio Soloist, Waiter, Leroy Evans, Mechanic, Bus Driver 3. Range: B3 – F5
LEROY EVANS: Has a dog named Roscoe. Not too smart. Won’t look Violet in the eye because of her scar.
WAITER: In Kingsport. Blunt about Violet’s scar. Racist.
MECHANIC: In Memphis. Gets into fight with Flick.
RADIO SOLIST: Memphis. Part of the boarding house radio trio.
BUS DRIVER 3: Memphis to Fort Smith. Sings “Lonely Stranger.”
EARL: Tulsa to Fort Smith. Overweight? (clothes too tight). Flea circus owner, former midway barker. A strange character on the Greyhound bus who sneaks smokes in the bathroom and is carrying a smelly suitcase he claims holds a flea circus.

E6-MALE: 20-25 yrs old. Billy Dean, Creepy Guy, Radio Singer, Bus Driver 2. Range: B3 – B5
CREEPY GUY: Tulsa to Fort Smith. A “Jesus freak.”
BUS DRIVER 2: On the Nashville to Memphis leg.
RADIO SINGER: Memphis. Part of the boarding house radio trio.
BILLY DEAN: Violet’s first sexual encounter – on a $5 bet. An Elum brother.
VIRGIL: The preacher’s assistant. Knows the smoke & mirrors of the Preacher’s show and must begrudgingly deal with anyone who might derail it.