Auditions for “Black Comedy”

Wheaton Drama Announces Auditions For Black Comedy

Wheaton Drama, Inc. (WDI) announces auditions for Peter Shaffer’s farce, Black Comedy.

Randall W. Knott is directing. The production manager is Don Dumper.

Auditions will be Sunday, January 29, and Monday, January 30 at 7pm at Wheaton Drama’s Playhouse 111, 111 N. Hale in downtown Wheaton. Callbacks (if necessary) will be Tuesday, January 31 at 7:30pm. Auditions will consist of cold readings from the script.  

Set in 1965, Black Comedy sees a struggling artist about to meet both his fiancee’s father and a major art investor on the same evening. In an attempt to impress, the artist has borrowed a room full of antique furniture from his vacationing neighbor. As preparations are made for the evening, the apartment building loses power. Much more is revealed about the artist than he ever wanted brought to light.

The first five minutes of the play take place on a dark stage. When the lights go out, the balance of the play is played in the light, with actors appearing to struggle in the dark. Much mistaken identity, groping, near misses and stunts ensue. This is a show which requires physical comedy skill.

The director will be casting eight physically capable actors (five men, three women) for the following roles:

Brindsley Miller (M): (Late 20’s – Early 30’s) Our protagonist. This man has kept every facet of his life in the dark from everyone around him. The role is very physically demanding and requires a British accent.

Carol Melkett (F): (Mid-Late 20’s) Brindsley’s fiancée. From the author’s description: “A young debutante; very pretty, very spoiled; very silly. Her sound is that unmistakable, terrifying deb quack.” Also requires a British accent.

Miss Furnival (F): (Late 30’s – Early 60’s) A teetotaler – who is also a spinster. You can guess what happens with her when left in a dark room full of booze and strangers. British accent and a lack of a few inhibitions required.

Colonel Melkett (M): (Late 50’s – Early 60’s) Carol’s father is a career British military man, with all the mannerisms and behavior that entails.  Colonel Melkett has a couple of physically demanding stunts.

Harold Corringe (M): (Late 30’s – late 40’s) Brindsley’s antique dealing neighbor. This one is a little tricky.  The play was written in the 60’s. The very dated 60’s humor associated with homosexuality is present in Harold. While the director is not going to change the script, the challenge with this role is going to be to make that funny while being aware of modern sensibilities. A challenging task. British accent.

Schuppanzigh (M): (Early 60’s – early 70’s) Works for the London Electricity Board, and is present to fix the electricity. He is mistaken for Bamberger when he arrives. His is a German accent.

Clea (F): (Mid-Late 20’s) Clea is a hack artist and Brindsley’s British ex girlfriend. Or so his fiancée believes…

Georg Bamberger (M): (Late 60’s – Early 80’s) Bamberger is the major art investor that Brindsley hopes to impress this evening.  He is German (like Schuppanzigh). He appears very briefly at the end of the farce to throw another wrench in the toolbox full of wrenches.


Performances of Black Comedy are March 23 through April 15. No show Easter Sunday. Shows are Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays at 8pm and Sundays at 3pm. Black Comedy is licensed by Samuel French, Inc.

Wheaton Drama’s 2011-2012 season also includes Bad Seed (1/27 – 2/19) and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (5/25-6/17).

For show tickets and information, please visit, or call 630-260-1820.