A play by Neil Simon, and auditions for "The Heiress," will take place next week at Nutley Little Theatre.

Nutley Little Theatre will hold auditions for “The Heiress,” by Ruth and Augustus Goetz, on Saturday, Sept. 8 at 1:30 p.m., Monday, Sept. 10 at 7:30 p.m., and callbacks, if needed, on Wednesday, Sept. 12, at 7:30 p.m. The show will be directed by NLT President Alex Oleksij. The play, based on the novel “Washington Square” by Henry James, will perform Nov. 2-17.

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Based on the novel "Washington Square" by Henry James, "The Heiress"  takes place in 1850s New York. Catherine is a plain, shy, socially awkward young woman, the only child of a wealthy and successful, but emotionally cold, physician. Suddenly, a handsome, charming man named Morris Townsend appears and begins to court Catherine. But does he really care for Catherine? Or is he only interested in her money?

Needed: 6 Women, 3 men

Catherine Sloper (30ish): plain, shy, socially awkward, bad at chit-chat, she is nevertheless intelligent, capable and possessed of a quiet sense of humor. Constantly being put down by her father, but when loved begins to blossom.

Dr. Austin Sloper (50-70): A prominent and very successful physician. He constantly compares Catherine, unfavorably, to her beautiful and vivacious mother who died giving birth to Catherine. He probably thinks he is practicing “tough love” by continually criticizing Catherine, but all he has done is crush her spirit. A sharp and perceptive man, he is instantly suspicious of Morris’ intentions, sure he is only interested in his daughter’s inheritance.

Morris Townsend (30ish): A handsome, charming man of good family but no money. Even so, he looks like a good catch for the right woman - which is why Dr. Sloper cannot believe he is interested in his dull daughter.  Whether or not Morris’ attentions to Catherine are sincere form the crux of the play.

Lavinia Penniman (40-60): Dr. Sloper’s sister and a widow. She seems flighty and a bit of an airhead, but is more perceptive than we realize. A true romantic, she encourages the relationship between Catherine and Morris, recognizing that it is her niece’s one chance for happiness.

Elizabeth Almond (40-60): Dr. Sloper’s other sister. More sensible than her sister Lavinia, Elizabeth thinks Dr. Sloper is too hard on Catherine, and also hopes Morris is genuinely in love with her niece.

Marian Almond (20s):  Elizabeth’s daughter, Catherine’s first cousin and fiancée of Arthur Townsend. She is pretty, bright and vivacious – everything Catherine is not. Yet the two cousins are very close.

Arthur Townsend (30ish): Morris’ cousin and Marian’s fiancé. A rather dull young man, working his way up in the banking industry, the sort who has his entire life mapped out before him.

Mrs. Montgomery (40ish): Morris’ older sister who has raised him from childhood. A good, decent woman, she is very protective of her brother, aware of his faults but willing to overlook them, and unable to believe he would act dishonorably.

Sides will be provided at the audition. To obtain them ahead of time, email the director at amo57@optonline.net.

NLT’’s production of the late Neil Simon’s “The Gingerbread Lady,” directed by Helen Exel, will open on Friday, Sept. 7, 8 p.m. The award-winning popular playwright died on Aug. 26, at the age of 91.

Th play by Neil Simon focuses on Evy Meara, a former singer whose career and marriage were destroyed by alcohol.  Having just completed a ten-week stint in a rehab facility, she returns home to the welcome of friends, all misfits who are wounded in their own way and covering up their wounds with booze, makeup and self-deprecation.  Evy’s efforts at hosting a birthday party crumble when she falls off the wagon and careens toward a tragic end.
The show features actors Deshja Driggs-Hall, Kyle Marr and Margaret Mikkelsen, all of Montclair; Seth Kaplan of River Dale; Keith Moran of Oakland; and Caroline Ritacco of Nutley. The assistant stage managers, Chiara Russoniello, Jimmy Demetroulakos and Alyssa McKinney, are all from Nutley. Two student interns will be running lights and sound: Elisheva Hirsch from Passaic and Paula Scholanders from Nutley.

Proceeds from opening night ticket sales will benefit the Education Association of Nutley. The show will run through Sept. 22. Auditions and performances will take place at the NLT Barn, 47 Erie Place, Nutley. For more information, visit nutleylittletheatre.com.