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Flowers for Algernon
6 Jun, 2015
About the Show:
Set in the 1950s, ‘Flowers for Algernon’ is a character study of Charlie Gordon, a 32-year-old developmentally disabled man who has the opportunity to undergo a surgical procedure that will dramatically increase his mental capabilities. This procedure has already been performed on a laboratory mouse, Algernon, with remarkable results.
Keyes’ novel is written from Charlie’s perspective, in a series of progress reports to Professor Nemur, and Doctor Strauss, the engineers of the experiment. These reports are how they, and Alice Kinnian, Charlie’s former teacher who put him forward for the study, can monitor his metamorphosis from retardate to genius. Rogers’ stage adaptation incorporates these progress reports into a bigger picture where we can see more clearly how Charlie’s intellectual growth is impacting on the scientists, and the once-teacher.
Charlie’s jump in intelligence is not necessarily a good thing. Charlie is now able to see the world for what it is, not such a kind place, and has difficulty making new friendships and establishing new relationships due to a lack of social intelligence that the surgery could neither correct nor anticipate. He is now able, through seeing Algernon’s decline, to discover a flaw in the experimental design, and time his own regression – all he has to do is wait, hoping he may be able to salvage something for the future from his brief bout with genius.
This play forms part of Harbour Theatre’s season of short plays entitled “Trapped”.
Characters [NB: Ages are stage ages only]:
Charlie Gordon – “A retarded young man.” Late 20s to mid-30s. Charlie must be played by a strong actor, who is able, in 40 minutes, to transition from being significantly intellectually impaired, to genius, and back again. He is good-looking, but not overly distinctive.
Dr. Strauss – “A young neurosurgeon.” 30s to 40s. Affable and keen to please, but most concerned with his work. Highly admiring of Prof. Nemur.
Prof. Nemur – “His older colleague.” 40s to 50s. A testier man, for him, it is all about the job. Limited regard for others.
Burt Seldon – “A young laboratory technician.” Mid-20s to 30s, old enough to have at least begum post-graduate studies. A nice guy, but somewhat irritable.
Alice Kinnian – “A young, dedicated, teacher.” Mid to late 20s. Pretty, but quite ordinary.
Please bring recent, colour, headshot. No CV necessary. Audition material is available ahead of time, in requested.
Please contact Sarah Christiner – email: firstname.lastname@example.org, or text: 0439 551 340 to arrange an audition.
Author: Based on the novel by Daniel Keyes – adapted for the stage by David Rogers
Director: Sarah Christiner
Show Dates: Season dates: September 10th, 11th, 12th, 14th, 16th, 18th, 19th @ 7.30pm ; matinees 13th & 20th @ 2.00pm