Audition Notice: The Mystery of Edwin Drood

February 6th, 2016

Auditions for the Musical Mystery, The Mystery of Edwin Drood are being held Saturday, March 5th at 3:00 p.m., Sunday, March 6th at 6:00 p.m. with callbacks, if necessary, set for March 7th, at 7:00 p.m.  Auditions are by appointment.  Audition slots will run every hour on the hour. Auditions will take place at Wheaton Drama’s Playhouse 111 located at 111 N. Hale Street, Wheaton, IL 60187.

Please email  with your preferred appointment times, i.e., 6:00 p.m or 7:00 p.m. on Sunday, March 6th.   We will respond to your request with an email containing an audition form as well as your scheduled appointment time.  We will do our best to honor your choice.  However, we reserve the right to issue a different appointment time if the one you choose is already full.  Appointments will be given on a first come, first serve basis.  If there are walk-ins, they will be seen as time allows.

What to expect at auditions:

  1. Cold readings from the script.  Be prepared to read with a British accent.  Most characters will require a standard British accent (Received Pronuciation).  Variations would be acceptable, such as Cockney for Durdles, Deputy and Puffer.  See special note about Helena and Neville in character descriptions.
  2. Come prepared to move as there will be a dance audition. The dance will be taught at auditions.  Wear clothes and shoes you can dance in.
  3. Come prepared to sing up to 36 bars of music…no more… an accompanist will be provided. Sing any song from a musical that demonstrates your vocal abilities.  You may sing something from the show but it is not requirement.  You must provide your own sheet music.

Show description:

This is a musical version of the last book written by Charles Dickens, The Mystery of Edwin Drood. It is acted out by the Music Hall Royale theatre troupe.  It is a play within a play and every night the ending is decided by audience vote.  Needless to say, the ensemble interacts heavily with the audience throughout the course of the show.

This unique way of telling this tale was conceived and written by Rupert Holmes.  The Mystery of Edwin Drood won several awards including five Tony Awards for musical, book, score, director and actor.

The characters:

Mr. William Cartwright — Chairman of the Music Hall Royale; doubles as Mayor Thomas Sapsea – Male, Age 40 and up, Baritone, (D#3-F#4) – Our host for the evening. He has a quick wit and his dialogue keeps the show moving.  His accent must clear and crisp as he spends much of his time narrating the story for the audience.

John Jasper — doubles as Mr. Clive Paget – Male, Age 35 to 50, Bari-tenor, (A2-A4) Wrongly accused.  He is Rosa Bud’s vocal teacher.  His calm cool exterior hides the fact that he is mad with love for Rosa Bud, despite the fact that she is promised to his nephew, Edwin Drood.

Neville Landless — doubles as Mr. Victor Grinstead – Male, Age 20 to 40, Bari-tenor, (C3-G4) – A suspect.  A stranger from Ceylon, (an Island south of India, now known as Sri Lanka). He is new to Cloisterham and he is taken with Rosa Bud.  He has a questionable past.  Neville must be able to switch from his English accent when he is Victor to his somewhat ignorant interpretation of an East Asian accent when he is playing Neville.  As described in the script, the both Neville and Helena should have an accent with an Eastern feel comprised of Oriental clichés and is “somewhat geographically untraceable.”

Reverend Chrisparkle — doubles as Mr. Cedric Moncrieffe – Male, Age 40 to 60, Baritone, (C3 – G4).  A suspect.  Local clergyman who was once in love with Rosa Bud’s mother.  At first, he seems reverent and yet sometimes he borders on just a little creepy.

Bazzard — doubles as Mr. Phillip Bax and as Waiter – Male, Age 30 to 50, Bari-tenor, (A2 – Eb4, option G4 or Bb4) – A suspect.  Music Hall Royale’s lovable understudy.  Always a bridesmaid, never a bride.

Durdles — doubles as Mr.Nick Cricker – Male, Age 30 to 50, Tenor, (B2 – F4).  He is the local drunk and cemetery caretaker.

Deputy — doubles as Master Nick Cricker  – Male, Age 9 to 13. Durdle’s sidekick a street-wise boy learning about life through Durdles’ eyes.

Rosa Bud — doubles as Miss Deirdre Peregrine – Female, Age 18 to 30, High Soprano, (A3-B5) – A suspect.  Our heroine….a sweet flower….light and airy…or is she?

Edwin Drood — doubles as Miss Alice Nutting – Female, Age 20 to 40, Mezzo (B3-E5) – The victim.  Edwin is played by Ms. Alice Nutting, London’s leading male impersonator.  Drood is Jasper’s nephew.  He is also Rosa Bud’s intended.  Drood must command the stage with equal parts of youthful exuberance, ego and charm.

Helena Landless — doubles as Miss Janet Conover  – Female, Age 20 to 35, Mezzo, (G3 – D5/E5) A suspect.  Neville’s sister, also from Ceylon, a newcomer with a mysterious past.  She becomes good friends with Rosa Bud.  Like Neville, Helena must be able to switch from her English accent of Janet Conover to her “somewhat geographically untraceable” interpretation of what Helena’s accent.  In other words, it is the Music Hall Royale’s interpretation of what the accent should be based on their limited knowledge.

Princess Puffer — doubles as Miss Angela Prysock – Female, Age 40 to 55, Low Alto, (F3-D5).  A suspect.  Puffer is owner of the local opium den.  She is rough around the edges in all her glory.  She also has a previous history with Rosa Bud as her nanny.

Throttle – (Male or Female, Age 25 to 45) Music Hall Royale’s stage manager. A reliable sort, (s)he’s always at the ready to keep the show running smoothly.

Wendy — Female, any age (C4 – D5) Opium den dancer and citizen of Cloisterham; Sings Moonfall quartet with Rosa and Helena.

Beatrice — Female, any age (C4 – D5) Opium den dancer and citizen of Cloisterham; Sings Moonfall quartet with Rosa and Helena.

Flo – Female, any age, Opium den dancer and citizen of Cloisterham

Horace — (Male, any age) Opium den dancer and citizen of Cloisterham

Please note, this is an ensemble cast.  Ages listed above are approximations.  Ages could be skewed depending on those auditioning.

Any questions, please contact the director, Susan Able Barry, at





Children’s Workshops

January 6th, 2016



Kindergarten Through Eighth Grade Classes

A Fun Experience For All!  

Young performers will learn basic onstage and acting techniques while they develop their imagination and creativity.  All children will have a blast as they explore acting through a series of theater and improvisational games.  This ensemble building class will foster each student’s self esteem and help him/her become an independent thinker both on and off the stage.

Program instructor Anne Marie Irey has been involved in theater for over twenty years.  She minored in Theatre at St. Mary’s College and earned her Master’s in Education degree at DePaul University.  Anne Marie is an alumna of The Second City, and spent several years performing improv in Chicago.  Recently, she taught fourth grade at Sacred Heart, where she founded an after school drama program.

Six-week sessions will be offered this winter/spring at Wheaton Drama.  (There is a discount if you register for both classes.)

All sessions will be on Tuesday afternoons at these times:

Grades K – 4:  4:00 p.m. until 4:55 p.m.

Grades 5 – 8:  5:00 p.m. until 5:55 p.m.

Winter/Spring 2016

Session 1: January 12 through February 16 (Make up February 23)

Session 2: March through April 19 (Make up April 26)

Note: Classes are subject to change based on enrollment.

$100 per session per child

$180 per child for both sessions

(Applicants must register for both sessions at same time to receive discount.)

Contact Amy Brockman for more information at  or call 630.260.1820 and leave a message about registration. 

Director Application, 2016-2017 Season

January 2nd, 2016

Are you interested in directing one of our 2016-2017 shows?  Please download and complete the Director Application. Applications are due by February 15, 2016.

Our 2016-2017 Season includes:

Forbidden Broadway’s Greatest Hits – September 16 – October 9, 2016

Shrek The Musical – November 18 – December 11, 2016

The Elephant Man – January 20 – February 12, 2017

Outside Mullingar – March 24 – April 15, 2017

The Producers – May 26 – June 17, 2017

A Note About the 2/16 Meeting

February 9th, 2016

The February monthly meeting program will be the opening scene from Bill Manhoff’s The Owl and the Pussycat, directed by Rob Reinalda and assistant directed by Teresa Reinalda. This classic comedy throws together a priggish wanna-be writer (Geoff Maher) who blows the whistle on a part-time hooker (Angelicque Cate), who then invades his apartment in the middle of the night with hilarious and surprising results.

Video Preview of Rabbit Hole

February 7th, 2016

Quartet Cast Announcement

January 18th, 2016

Director Toria Hollyn, assisted by Jessica Scobey, is pleased to announce casting for Wheaton Drama’s upcoming production of “Quartet”. The show follows the story of four retired opera singers as they dream of a time on stage together again. The cast of four will consist of: Michael Albrow as Wilfred Bond, Ken Ball as Reginald Paget, Joan Morrissey as Jean Horton, and Annie Walker-Bright as Cecily Robson.

Quartet runs March 18 through April 3, with shows playing Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays at 8:00 p.m., and Sundays at 3:00 p.m. All performances will take place at Wheaton Drama’s Playhouse 111, located at 111 N. Hale Street in downtown Wheaton. For tickets, call 630-260-1820 or visit

Updated Bylaws

January 6th, 2016

For your convenience, you can download a Word document with revisions marked.

Wheaton Drama, Inc. Bylaws

Article I (more…)

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