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All auditions are held at the Adobe Theater, 9813 4th Street NW in Albuquerque
(2 blocks north of Alameda Boulevard, unless otherwise specified)
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Auditions-The Miss Firecracker Contest

Audition Notice

The play takes place in the small Mississippi town of Brookhaven a few days before the Fourth of July. Carnelle Scott (known locally as "Miss Hot Tamale") is rehearsing furiously for the Miss Firecracker Contest—hoping that a victory will salvage her tarnished reputation and allow her to leave town in a blaze of glory. The unexpected arrival of her cousin Elain, a former Miss Firecracker winner, (who has walked out on her rich but boring husband and her two small children) complicates matters a bit, as does the repeated threat of Elain's eccentric brother, Delmount, (recently released from a mental institution) to sell the family homestead and decamp for New Orleans. But, aided by a touchingly awkward seamstress named Popeye (who is hopelessly smitten by Delmount) and several other cheerfully nutty characters, Carnelle perseveres—leading to a denouement of unparalleled hilarity, compassion and moving lyricism as all concerned finally escape their unhappy pasts and turn hopefully toward what must surely be a better future.

Audition Dates
(by appointment)
Auditions for this play are fully open.
Abolutely no parts for this prodution have been pre-cast.

Saturday, August 8, 2015 - 3:30 pm to 6:00 pm
Sunday, August 9, 2015 - 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm


The Adobe Theater
9813 Fourth St
Albuquerque, NM

Performance Dates: 
Friday, October 30, 2015 thru Sunday, November 22, 2015, 
with performances on Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 and Sundays at 2:00 and 
one Thursday, November 12, 2015 at 7:30 pm.


Popeye Jackson (f: 20-26)
Popeye is the seamstress who makes Carnelle's costume; she becomes involved in the pageant madness while adding further strange elements to the story. A funny character with a hard life, She is a semi-literate, naïve, and always out-of-luck young woman who learned to sew as a child by making outfits for bullfrogs because she didn't have any dolls. Popeye is sincerely kind and curious about everything. Popeye falls in love with Delmount just from seeing his picture. Popeye is rewarded with Delmount's returned affection; this theme is perhaps the heart of the play.

Tessy Mahoney (f: 20-26)
As the beauty contestant coordinator, Tessy is supposed to keep Carnelle on schedule and cue her appearances on stage. Tessy's ugliness makes her another misfit at the beauty contest. Her past scandalous tryst with Delmount adds one more bizarre twist as she flirts with him anew.

Elain Rutledge (f: 29-35)
Elain is Carnelle's cousin, and she is everything that Carnelle is not. Although they grew up together, Elain was the spoiled beauty and Carnelle the misfortunate orphan. Elain won the Miss Firecracker contest when she was just 17, while Carnelle is 25 and pushing the eligibility limits. Elain did everything her mother told her to do by going to junior college and parleying her beauty into marriage with a wealthy man. To Carnelle, it appears that Elain has everything: the big house in the big city, a husband and children, beauty, and class. Elain, however, feels suffocated by her life and comes back home with the intention of leaving her husband and two sons because she doesn't like them. Naturally, she is asked to give a speech at the town's Fourth of July festivities about her life as a beauty. Delmount accuses Elain of never being able to go through with any of her threats. As predicted, she gives in to her husband's pleadings and decides to go back to him because, she says, "I need someone who adores me." Her selfishness enables her to dismiss the needs of her family, but doesn't allow her to leave the luxuries to which she has become accustomed.

Mac Sam (m: 33-39)
One of Carnelle's former lovers, Mac Sam seems to truly care about her, even if she did give him syphilis. The carnival's balloon vendor, he cheers on Carnelle as she competes in the beauty contest. Mac Sam is tubercular, drinks heavily, and hasn't bothered to get his syphilis cured because he is tired of life—but not so tired that he doesn't ask Carnelle to spend the night with him. When she declines and says goodbye, he remarks: "I'll always remember you as the one who could take it on the chin" and then he leaves to meet Elain for a wild night.

Carnelle Scott (f: 21-27)
Carnelle works in a jewelry store and is known around town as "Miss Hot Tamale" for her promiscuous past. However, Carnelle is trying to change all that. She got her syphilis cured, joined a church, volunteers for the cancer society, and invites an orphan to dinner every week. Carnelle is insecure and has low self-esteem. After Carnelle's mother died when Carnelle was an infant and her father abandoned her at age nine, she grew up with her aunt who favored Carnelle's older cousin, Elain. Her father came back after her Uncle George died, but soon her father died as well. Shortly before the time of the story, Carnelle's mean Aunt Ronelle dies. Having been surrounded by death all her life, Carnelle is trying to make sense out of life and find her own identity. Carnelle sees the Miss Firecracker contest as a way to redeem herself and to be somebody. She doesn't understand that the social system will never permit her to win, that dyeing her hair bright red will look ridiculous instead of patriotic, or that stomping her feet to music is not tap dancing. Once her cousin Delmount offers to give her enough money to start a new life elsewhere, Carnelle further imagines that being Miss Firecracker will allow her to go out in a "blaze of glory." Instead, after working really hard to prepare, she is humiliated by the crowd and finishes in last place. Although she has enough integrity to fulfill the duties of the person in last place, she spits and screams at the people who taunt her during the parade and then hides. Carnelle's tenacity evokes the loyalty of family and friends. They admire Carnelle's spunk and the indomitable spirit that enables her to spring back, even after the mortification of the pageant, to enjoy the night's fireworks.

Delmount Williams (M: 25-31)
After he has spent time in a mental institution and worked at a job scraping dead animals off the road, Carnelle's cousin and Elain's brother, Delmount returns to town to sell his mother's house. He intends to use the proceeds to go to college to study philosophy, but he offers half the proceeds to Carnelle to enable her to leave town and start a new life. Although perhaps more realistic than the rest of his family, Delmount is unstable and has a history of rash actions, such as rushing out to beat up the guys who taunt Carnelle during the pageant. He also has an obsession with exotic beauty that always gets him into trouble and results in gruesome nightmares about women's dismembered bodies. Yet, Delmount has a sensible disdain for the phoniness of the beauty pageant. He doesn't respect Elain's life choices either, especially the one that left him in an asylum when she could have gotten him out. However, he always forgives her transgressions. Delmount is amazed to learn that Popeye is in love with him, having been entranced with his ability to wiggle his ears and write poetry. But he then falls for her, too, and therein might be Delmount's redemption.

Auditions will consist of readings from the script.

Audition sides (.pdf files) to be used only for audition prep

Carnelle Scott Popeye Jackson Elain Rutledge Mac Sam Delmount Williams Tessy Mahoney
Mac Sam
Mac Sam
For those who may be interested
the "P" numbers beneath the sided refer to
the page numbers in the director's working script
which may or may not correspond with the page numbers
in the actual production scripts licensed by The Adobe thorugh Dramtists Play Service

N.B. Other readings and/or improvisations
may be assigned at the audtitions

For further information and/or audition appointment contact Stage Manager:
Donna M. Barra