Auditions for “Taking Leave” planned for July 15, 16, 17


Tribune Staff Reports

Jackson County Community Theatre will conduct auditions for the fall productions of “Taking Leave” at 7 p.m. July 15 and 7:30 p.m. July 16 and 17 at Royal Off-the-Square Theatre, 121 W. Walnut St., Brownstown.

“Taking Leave” was written by Nagle Jackson and published in 2000. Its theme is one that many individuals and families face — making the most of life when a loved one is no longer capable of independence. Though the subject is far from a light one, this show treats it with gentle humor and a creative approach.

In the middle of the night, Eliot Pryne, professor of English literature, specialty Shakespeare, is packing what he thinks is a suitcase and leaving what he thinks is a hotel. In the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease, he is “taking leave” of the real world and imagining a new one, but the transition is painful.

His alter-ego, seen only by the audience, charts this final voyage speaking as Eliot once did when he was the leading authority on Shakespeare’s King Lear.

The visit of Eliot’s three daughters, Alma, Liz and Cordelia, forms the central event of this oddly comic yet fully sympathetic play. The decision whether or not to have father put in a “home” provides the central conflict among the three very different sisters: The public school counselor, Alma; the TV actress, Liz; and the ne’er-do-well vagabond, Cordelia, who arrives in her black leather motorcycle outfit fresh from a year in Paris and a history of drug abuse.

As in Shakespeare’s play, it is the young Cordelia who assumes responsibility for her father and leaves us with the bittersweet realization that while all will not be well, Eliot’s taking leave will be a gentle one.

Filled with the often farcical behavior that goes along with this disease and decorated with “good talk” from the literate professor and his daughters, this play has received many accolades.

Characters are Eliot Pryne, early 60s, a retired Ph.D; Eliot-1, another version of Eliot, the same age but still rational; Mrs. Fleming, Eliot’s caregiver, 40s or 50s; Alma, Eliot’s eldest daughter, a public school counselor, mid-30s; Liz, the middle daughter, a television actress; and Cordelia, the youngest daughter, mid-20s, the family “black sheep” with a history of drug abuse. Ages are approximate.

Paul Angle is directing. Actors will be asked to read scenes from the script. Monologues are not required, but brief ones may be performed if actors wish. No previous experience is required.

Those trying out should bring a list of any conflicts that might arise during rehearsals and make sure that they are available on all show dates, Sept. 7, 8, 14 and 15.

The JCCT season is sponsored by a grant from the Indiana Arts Commission, National Endowment for the Arts and Columbus Area Art Council.

Information: Visit or call 812-358-5228

No posts to display