Shandaken Theatrical Society is hosting auditions next week

Phoenicia — The Shandaken Theatrical Society will hold auditions for its fall production, Jules Feiffer’s Little Murders, at the STS Playhouse, 10 Church St., Phoenicia, on Monday and Tuesday, August 23 and 24 at 7 p.m.

A brilliantly funny satire on our society, framed as a biting parody of the Broadway romantic comedy, the production will be directed by Dennis Metnick. Those desiring to audition will read from the script or may bring a prepared 10-minute monologue.

The cast of six men and two women range in age from 20 to 60. The five major roles include: Marjorie Newquist, an energetic, all-American, late 1960s, Happy Days type mother with an edge; Carol Newquist, her husband, who is unable to come to grips with society’s changes but attempts to stay in control; Kenny Newquist, their quasi-anti-social, sexually confused, paranoid, slightly psychotic 20-something son; Patsy Newquist, their idealistic, headstrong daughter, late 20s-early 30s, who believes she can mold the world to her liking and Alfred Chamberlain, Patsy’s fiancé, late 30s-early 40s, a passive, nihilistic victim of the world around him.

In addition, there are three cameo roles: The Judge, Reverend Dupas, and Detective Miles Practice. All three of these off-the-wall roles offer hilarious show-stealing potential.

In “Little Murders,” a girl brings home her fiancé. This meet-the-family scenario is set against the backdrop of random gun violence in New York City during the ’60s following the Kennedy assassination. The characters’ failings are magnified by the social confusion of the times, set amid a black-comedy montage. The play achieves satiric heights that only the genius of Jules Feiffer could reach – satire that is still relevant in 2010.

Director Dennis Metnick returns to STS after a seven-year hiatus. He is remembered for his work on “Cabaret,” “The Mousetrap,” “The Importance of Being Earnest” and “The Fantasticks,” among other productions.

Rehearsals for “Little Murders” will begin August 30. The production will run for eight performances at the STS Playhouse: November 5, 6, 12, 13, 19, 20 at 8 p.m., and Sunday matinees on November 7 and 14 at 2 p.m.