Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Logan Square Thespian Society is staging a production of (working title) A Most Heinous Happening in the Haymarket, an historical epic about a bomb that exploded May 4th 1886 at a labor rally in Chicago which resulted in America's first red scare, a show trial, and ultimately the hanging of four men for the crime of conspiracy to commit murder; without ever indicting the bomb-thrower. The play is set for a six week run (possibly longer) starting in November (the anniversary of the hanging). In addition to a whole slew of extras, both on stage and in the audience (to provoke the theater-goers), the following roles are up for grabs. Note: These are all actual people with much information available about them on the web. There are a number of charcters with a line or two, where the actors will play multiple roles. Aside from those parts, we are looking for the following characters, in order of appearance:

George Engel - He has a mild and genial way; more like a waiter in Wursthaus than an Anarchist toy maker and dedicated insurrectionist. He has a lengthy, Quinn from Jaw's style, monologue and lines in a few other scenes.

Adolph Fischer - A radical with a rough background like the others. He is heavily involved in the movement and is uncompromising about his beliefs. His last words on the gallows; "this is the happiest day of my life. Hurray for Anarchy!" Has lines in dialogue scenes and a monologue yet to be written.

Police Superintendent Hickey - Hickey speaks in a brow-beating, officious, insulting tone. He has one dialogue heavy scene.

Lucy Waller Parsons - A bold, beautiful, and fearless African-American woman. Albert Parsons' wife. Has many scenes and has to have wide emotional range. Pivotal character, who is at the plays heart.

Potter Palmer - Marshall Field's mentor and an older chap as of 1886. Has one dialogue scene yet is a powerful presence both in Chicago business circles and at Thanksgiving dinner. has a dialogue scene.

Bertha Palmer - Potter Palmer's wife and significantly younger than Potter. A bejeweled socialite in Chicago's highest circles. Has a dialogue scene.

Samuel Fielden - Fielden described as affable, almost comic figure, a likable awkward galoot. The bearded radical is the one who was speaking on the wagon, in dusty work clothes, when the bomb was thrown. Has a length monologue.

Mayor Carter Harrison - A robust, smooth, and well liked mayor, the glue that holds the city together. Of Kentucky origin, the mayor dresses in silk suits, sports a salt and peppered beard, and black slouch hat tipped rakishly. He carries several dialogue scenes and a monologue.

Chief Inspector Bonfield - A large, powerful, resolute, ruthless man. Has several dialogue scenes and a lengthy, George Patton style, monologue. The business community's enforcer and one of the main antagonists. A man hell bent on glory and fame who is eventually fired from the force, along with Schaack for taking bribes and selling inmate's possessions.

Captain William Ward - An officer who preaches peace and defusing of potentially volatile situations and is chastised for it by Inspector Bonfield. A man who sides with Mayor Harrison and the immigrant classes.

Captain Michael Schaack - an eager up and comer in the Chicago Police Department; Chief Inspector Bonfield's right hand man. A man who encouraged other officers to 'stir the pot' and continue finding evidence of conspiracies well after the predominant labor agitators of the city were arrested.  Has two dialogue scene with more to be added later.

Oscar Neebe - A middle of the road Anarchist who is convicted to 15 years hard labor because a few weapons found in his home and the infamous 'revenge' pamphlet. A stone hauler who ends up working for the same company on the inside of prison.

Judge Joseph Gary - A stoic figure who helps Grinnell stack the evidence and the case against the Anarchists. Has a dialogue scene at the trial's opening and a yet to be written jury selection scene where he prods potential jurors into saying they have no prejudice against the defendants, when clearly they do.

Chief Prosecutor Grinnell - A pompous grandstanding lawyer who is absolutely sure of the defendants guilt. Has a lengthy monologue at the trial's opening and a short one at the Emergency Board of Trade Meeting.

Captain Black - The head defense attorney, a civil war veteran and a man who has a lot to lose by defending the Anarchists. A man who rides an emotional roller coaster of disbelief throughout the proceedings and clemency campaign; a man who never gives up hope till the very end. He is the arbiter of several dialogue scenes and has a sizable monologue.

Louis Lingg - The most radical of the Anarchists. He has a angry monologue before being sentenced by the judge in which he concludes, "I despise you, your laws, your force propped authority, hang me for it!" Must speak German as his monologue is delivered in it, translated in real time, and met with audible gasps.

Let us know if you might be interested in any of the above parts; auditions will be held soon and sides sent well before hand. This is a 'living' play.

Long Live the Social Revolution,
- The Executive Committee.

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