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Stage Door Theater holding casting call for ‘ ’Night Mother’

WESTERLY — Stage Door Theater Company has announced a casting call for the upcoming performance of Marsha Norman’s “ ‘Night Mother,” a two-character drama that originally opened on Broadway in 1983 and ran for a year, earning Tony nominations for best play and best actress for both stars, Anne Pitoniak and Kathy Bates.

Eugene Celico, the theater’s artistic director, said while the part of the mother has already been cast — veteran Stage Door actress Mary Sue Chiaradio has been in cast in the role of the mother — open auditions for the role of the daughter, Jessie Cates, will be held on Saturday and Sunday, from 2 to 5 p.m. at the Grace Methodist United Church, 10 Park Ave., Westerly. The part calls for a woman in her late 30s to early 40s. The audition is open, with no resumes required, only head shots.

“The daughter is introspective,” Celico said. “She has a hard time expressing herself.”

“It’s a dark play,” added Celico, who first produced the play 22 years ago at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center in Waterford. “But it’s a timeless piece and deals with difficult issues in an upbeat, positive way.”

“It’s more about survival and the meaning of life than suicide,” he added, “and can be an emotional roller coaster.”

“Audiences will go away wondering and thinking about a lot of things,” he said.

Celico is not alone in his affinity for Norman’s tender play. According to the New York Times, Oprah Winfrey is in talks to make her Broadway debut in a revival of the Pulitzer Prize-winning play starring opposite Tony-Award winner Audra McDonald as a mother struggling to stop her daughter from killing herself. There was a short-lived revival on Broadway in the 2004-5 season starring Brenda Blethyn and Edie Falco.

Celico will direct “ ‘Night Mother” which will run for seven performances in June.

For more information, call Eugene J. Celico, artistic director at 401-426-0848.

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