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Audition Information for The Nance by Douglas Carter Beane

January 16 & 17, 7 pm each night at the Bartell Theatre, 113 E Mifflin St, Madison.

Running April 21 - May 6 – 18, 2017 at the Bartell Theatre. 

A co-production of Madison Theatre Guild & OUT!Cast Theatre!!

Directed by Steve Noll


Play Description
In 1930s New York, burlesque is a dying art. Between the dancing girls were male comedians. Chauncey is one of the best, and his signature act is playing a sissy man, what was called a "nance." But Chauncey harbors a secret. While he pretends to be a straight actor pretending to be gay on stage, in real life he is a very closeted gay man. When new-to-the-city Ned hooks up with Chauncey, he finds his personal life crashing into his on-stage life while the mayor of New York starts cracking down on the "perverts" in the city. A comedic drama with music, from the author of As Bees in Honey Drown and The Little Dog Laughed.


Character breakdown: 
  • Chauncey Miles, male, a closeted gay burlesque comic who plays a "nance" on stage. Witty, sarcastic but bitter. Must read in his 40s. 
  • Ned, male, must read 20s. Young and innocent, he has a secret relationship with Chauncey, later he becomes a stage performer. Role includes brief nudity. 
  • Ephraim, male. Must read older. Lead comedian and manager of the theatre. Gruff.
  • Sylvie, female, a burlesque dancer, must read 20s or early 30s. Member of Communist party and not afraid to argue politics. 
  • Joan, female, a burlesque dancer, 20s. More innocent and vivacious. 
  • Carmen, female, a burlesque dancer, must read 20s or 30s. Specializes in playing onstage with exaggerated Latin-American accent. 
(Note: the three female dancers will have choreographed burlesque dance numbers with sexy costumes, but no nudity).

Auditions: Monday, Jan 16th & Tuesday, January 17th -- 7:00 each night -- at the Bartell Theatre, 113 E Mifflin St. If you can't attend either, contact the producer or the director.

What to prepare: You will be asked to do cold readings from the script. Please also bring a completed audition form and a calendar marked with any conflicts.

Performances: Friday, Apr 21 - 7:30, Saturday, Apr 22 - 7:30, Thursday, Apr 27 - 7:30, Friday, Apr 28 - 7:30, Saturday, Apr 29 - 7:30, Sunday, Apr 30 - 2:00 pm, Thursday, May 4 - 7:30, Friday, May 5 - 7:30, Saturday, May 6 - 2:00 pm

Casting Decisions: Casting decisions will be made as soon as possible. Please be patient. We will contact everyone by phone or e-mail. In addition, the cast list will be posted on the Madison Theatre Guild website shortly after people are notified.

Rehearsals will begin Monday, March 6th and will be Monday – Thursday, 7:00 to 10:00 pm, at the MTG Firehouse, 2410 Monroe Street, Madison.

Please contact the producer, Jim Chiolino ( or the director, Steve Noll ( with any questions.