Auditions set for first show of theater’s 50th season

The Tribune Staff Reports

Jackson County Community Theatre will conduct auditions for the first mainstage play of the 2019-20 season, “Picasso at the Lapin Agile.”

They are set for 7 p.m. July 14 and 15 at Royal Off-the-Square Theatre, 121 W. Walnut St., Brownstown. The performances are Sept. 13, 14, 20 and 21.

The somewhat historical play, written by comedian Steve Martin, places Albert Einstein and Pablo Picasso in a Parisian café (Lapin Agile, French for “Nimble Rabbit”) in 1904, just before the renowned scientist transformed physics with his theory of relativity and the celebrated painter set the art world afire with cubism.

In his first comedy for the stage, the popular actor and screenwriter Martin plays fast and loose with fact, fame and fortune as these two geniuses muse on the century’s achievements and prospects and other fanciful topics with infectious dizziness.

Bystanders, including Picasso’s agent, the bartender and his mistress, Picasso’s date, an elderly philosopher and a delusional inventor introduce additional flourishes of humor. The final surprise patron to join the merriment at the Lapin Agile is a charismatic, dark-haired, hip-swiveling singer time-warped from the future.

Cast needs for “Picasso at the Lapin Agile” include seven men and four women. Ages are somewhat flexible.

Male roles are Freddy, the owner and bartender of the Lapin Agile; Gaston, an older man who is a regular at the bar; Albert Einstein at age 25; Pablo Picasso at age 23; Schmendiman in his 30s; Sagot, Picasso’s art dealer; and the young rock star from the future.

Female roles are Germaine, a waitress at the bar and Freddy’s girlfriend; Suzanne, 20s; the countess; and a female admirer.

Paul Keller will direct the show. This will be his first mainstage directing experience, but he has been active onstage and off in JCCT mainstage and youth productions since appearing as Seymour in the 2017 JCCT production of “Little Shop of Horrors.”

Martin’s quirky absurdist comedy enjoyed a long off-Broadway run beginning in 1995. In addition to a well-received production by JCCT in the fall of 1998, the show was enjoyed by many fans of Indiana University’s production during the Brown County Theatre’s season several years later.

This show will open JCCT’s 50th mainstage season, which will feature some old favorites and some new challenges as the group celebrates its 50-year past and looks forward to the future.

No preparation is necessary, except to bring a list of dates that might conflict with rehearsals. All cast and crew members are required to be members of JCCT. Those not currently members will have the opportunity to join for as little as $5 at the first rehearsal.

The JCCT 2019-20 membership and season ticket drive is in progress. Information can be found online at or by calling 812-358-5228.

In celebration of the 50th season, new seats have been installed at Royal Off-the-Square Theatre. Most have been paid for by donors who have been honored with plaques on their sponsored seats. A few seats are still available for sponsorship.

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