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Auditions set for ‘Death and Life of Larry Benson’

Iberia Performing Arts League will hold open auditions for Reginald Rose’s “The Death and Life of Larry Benson” on Monday, Aug. 3 and Tuesday, Aug. 4.
The auditions will be held from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. each night at the Essanee Theatre, 126 Iberia Street.
Productions will run Thursday through Sunday, Oct. 16 through Oct. 25.
The cast will consist of five males and eight females, ranging in suggested ages from 16 to 60s. Many of the roles are small and present an opportunity for those without acting experience to “get their feet wet.”
The auditions will consist of cold readings from the script, so some familiarity with the characters is suggested.
“The Death and Life of Larry Benson” is a gripping and emotional story about the family of Larry Benson as they deal with the fact that their son is MIA, until one day they find that he is returning home. The entire town is excited and plans for a very big welcome. But when he arrives, the young soldier finds that he is a stranger. The buildup of tension and drama brings about the moment of truth and vindication.
Character descriptions with suggested ages:
• Freda Benson: A greying, motherly woman in her late 40s. Separated from her husband, she sews and bakes for neighbors to make money. She looks a bit tired and overworked, but is a woman of great strength
• Jessie Benson: Freda’s 16-year-old daughter and a mixture of bubbling adolescence and absent mindedness. Her joy at the return of her older brother is mixed with resentment toward her father.
• Sam Benson: A large man, near 50. He is quiet, but can be easily triggered to violence. He feels awkward and ashamed when he comes back to his former home to greet his son, who is returning home.
• Grace: A pretty girl in her 20s, practically engaged to Larry since the age of 6. Although overjoyed at his return, she is faced with having to tell him that she is engaged to another man.
• The Boy: Tall, well built and in his 20s. At times he seems to be in a dreamlike daze, clinging only to the fact that he is home and these are his parents.
• Mrs. Potter: The Bensons’ next door neighbor. She is always helpful toward Freda and not a fan of Sam.
• Mr. Potter: Has always been a good neighbor, helping Freda by cutting the lawn and putting up the screens.
• Susan and Mary Ellen: Jessie’s girlfriends who are very excited and slightly envious of Jessie’s having an older brother.
• Bud: A nice-looking boy in his 20s. He is engaged to Grace and was a friend to Larry.
• Nettie: One of Freda’s best customers and always full of helpful advice.
• Mrs. Fitch: She is an elderly woman who was the first grade teacher who gave Larry a “D” in conduct in the first grade
More details of cast requirements may be obtained by contacting the director, Donna Berard, at dabbspb@cox.net or 337-229-6919.

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