All auditions take place at The Sauk (240 E. Chicago St. in Jonesville, MI) unless otherwise noted. ​​​​​​

​Sauk Shorts 2024

Audition Dates: February 5 and 6, 2024 at 7 p.m.
Performance Dates: March 21-24, 2024

Auditions will consist of readings from the various scripts. If you are interested in auditioning for "Bittersweet Lullaby," please prepare 16 bars of a ballad from a Broadway musical. Bring sheet music. An accompanist will be provided. Please bring all conflicts from February 10 through March 24. No experience necessary. Trinity Bird will serve as production coordinator with stage management by Joella Hendrickson. 

PLEASE NOTE: SAUK SHORTS requires a much smaller time commitment than most productions. Each short play rehearses separately. However, the following days are required for all cast members: 

- Saturday, February 10 from 2-5 p.m. (Read Through)

- Monday, March 11 at 6:30 p.m. (Full Cast Run Through)

- Sunday, March 17 at various TBA times (Tech Rehearsal)

- Monday, March 18 at 6:30 p.m. (Dress Rehearsal)

- Wednesday, March 20 at 6:30 p.m. (Dress Rehearsal) 

- All performances. 

This year's short plays will include: 

​Bittersweet Lullaby

Book by Will Lacker, Music and Lyrics by Dylan Glatthorn

Directed by Bruce Crews

Two struggling songwriters live in the same apartment decades apart. In one magical night, their voices connect through time and they begin a collaboration that leaves them forever changed.

  • MAN - Aspiring composer/lyricist living in the 1950s. 
  • WOMAN - Aspiring composter/lyricist living in the present day. 

Gimme Shelter
By Robert Weibezahl

Directed by Jennifer Wagler
A septuagenarian with an unconventional past and a twenty-something with an uncertain future have a brief encounter at the bus stop in a retirement village and forge a highly unexpected connection.

  • CODY - 28, male. Introverted, a little disaffected and a little angry.
  • FRANCES - 78, female. Gregarious, crusty but kind, not giving into her age. 

God and Growing Old
Written and Directed By Bud Vear (of Hillsdale)
An elderly gentlemen speaks to God and gets an unexpected response.

  • OLD MAN - This role has been cast. 
  • GOD - This role has been cast. 

By Scott Mullen

Directed by Sarah Gray
Claire has a noisy child. Claire's child is NOT allowed in the "quiet sandbox." When Claire finds a bunch of adults in the "quiet sandbox," she challenges them, only to be surprised at their response.

  • RITA, any age.
  • GABE, any age. 
  • BETSY, any age. 
  • CLAIRE, in her 20s-30s.

The Empty Stage
By Bruce Crews (of Jackson)

Directed by Trinity Bird
The Empty Stage explores the power and possibilities inherent in an empty stage. Creativity, relationships, and endless possibilities unite to make all things possible. 

  • ACTOR - Any person of any age. 

The Feast of Asses
By G.M. (Bud) Thompson (of Grand Rapids)

Directed by Andy Anderson
What happens in Vegas… The story of a couple, who never intended to be a couple, but end up bound together. They are sure it is a mistake. Maybe it is. Maybe it’s not.

  • HIM
  • ​HER

The Reception
By Sarah Gray (of Jonesville)

Directed by Conor Slatick
Your wedding is the most wonderful day of your life! But what do your guests think?

  • BRYAN and KATE - neighbors of the bride and groom. In their 40s. Bryan is distracted watching a sports game on his phone and Kate is critical of everything about the wedding. 
  • GEORGE and SUE - distant family of the bride. In their 60s or 70s. George can't remember the groom's name and Sue is starting to get drink. 
  • MIKE and NATE - Friends of the couple. Late 20s. Closer friends with the groom, but find out during the reception they both previously hooked up with the bride. 
  • ASHLEY and CAMERON - Co-workers of the bride. Late 20s to early 30s. Ashley is trying to use this wedding to get closer to Cameron because she has a crush on him. Cameron and his girlfriend broke up the night before. He doesn't want to be there, but wants the free booze.  

The Selfie
By Scott Mullen

Directed by Savannah Bruton
Mandy is confused when Warren asks her to take a selfie with him outside the school dance, but it turns out he has his reasons.

  • WARREN - A shy teen. Overdressed for the school dance. 
  • MANDY - An outgoing teen with a shy side of her own. 

Two Detectives Walk Into a Bar
By Jacob Weldon (of Jackson)

Directed by Josh Hall
Two detectives are individually searching for a criminal, and then mistake each other for the criminal in question. Two Detectives Walk Into A Bar is a parody of the detective noir style.


World Premiere
By G.M. (Bud) Thompson (of Grand Rapids)

Directed by Trinity Bird

For the eleventh consecutive year, playwright G.M. (Bud) Thompson will write a world premiere 10-minute play exclusively for Sauk Shorts.

  • Casting needs TBA

The Last Lifeboat

Audition Dates: March 4, 5, 2024 at 7 p.m.
Performance Dates: May 9-12, 16-19, 2024

Audition requirements will be announced at a later date. No experience necessary. There are roles for six men and five women. This production will be directed by Bruce Crews.

PLEASE NOTE: This production conflicts with "Icarus/Pandora and the Sickle Moon."

About the Play
J. Bruce Ismay was an upper-crust Englishman who always did what was expected of him. He went to the best schools, married the right society girl (even though he was in love with someone else) and vowed to his staunch, unfeeling father on his deathbed that he would take over the family shipping business and build the biggest, most opulent ship the world had ever seen: the RMS Titanic. What an accomplishment! We all know the story of how the ship sank…or do we? Ismay saved as many people as he could on that fateful night, and finally, with no women and children in sight, he stepped into the last lifeboat…and was branded a coward and a traitor forever. The world needed a scapegoat for the sinking of the Titanic and Ismay became the perfect target. He had a powerful enemy in the United States—newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst. Hearst condemned Ismay nationwide before the rescue ship Carpathia even landed in New York. Hearst's cause was aided by William Alden Smith, a ruthless senator with presidential aspirations, who led a "witch-hunt" investigation into this high-profile disaster. Although there was no solid evidence against Ismay, Senator Smith managed to drag the hearings on for months. More than 3,000 passengers brought lawsuits against the White Star Line for loss of life and property, which only fueled Ismay's intense survivor's guilt. When he was forced to resign from the White Star Line, he spent the rest of his days as a recluse at his estate in Ireland, haunted by the ghosts of that fateful night to the point of near insanity. THE LAST LIFEBOAT is the story of the Titanic that has never been told. This epic tale explores not only the tragedy itself, but the sensationalized trials and aftermath of the night that changed the world. 

Available Roles

  • Actor #1 - (late 40s): Ismay
  • Actor #2 - (20s-30s): Chaplain, Angry Man, Chairman, Hearst, Andrews, Senator Fletcher, Reporter #1, Male Witness #1, British Journalist, Boatswain
  • Actor #3 - (20s): Steward, Farrelly, Butler, George Ismay, Witness #2, Lord Mersey, Sailor, Male Witness #2
  • Actor #4 - (30s): Sanderson, Fry, Murdoch, Dr. McGee, Lifeboat Passenger, Franklin, Scottish Journalist, Reporter #2, Male Witness #3, Gonzalo
  • Actor #5 - (40s): Rector, Lightoller, Senator Smith, Althorp, Sailor
  • Actor #6 - (60s-70s): Old Man, Thomas Ismay, Morgan, Captain Smith, Astor, Reporter #3, Irish Journalist
  • Actress #1 - (40s): Vivian
  • Actress #2 - (30s): Florence, Mother
  • Actress #3 - (20s): Dr. Angela Grenfell, Evelyn Ismay
  • Actress #4 - (20s): Sophie, Mrs. Astor, Female Witness #2
  • Actress #5 - (60s): Old Woman, Margaret Ismay, Mrs. Ryerson, Italian Wife, Female Witness #1, Lady Peale, Mrs. Chase

Icarus/Pandora and the Sickle Moon

Audition Dates: March 19 at 7 p.m., March 23 at 2 p.m.
Performance Dates: June 6-9, 2024 

Audition requirements will be announced at a later date. No experience necessary. Trinity Bird will direct this production.

PLEASE NOTE: This production conflicts with "The Last Lifeboat."


About the Play
Icarus follows inventor and architect Daedalus, who commits a crime in Athens and is banished to Crete to serve King Minos. Determined to right the wrong of his crime, Daedalus becomes a father to Icarus, a daring and precocious boy whose eyes are on all the glories of the world around him – the sky, the sea, the stars – while Daedalus buries himself in his work, attempting to save the people of Crete from King Minos' shrewd plans, which include sacrificing humans to a ravenous minotaur. Complicating things further, Icarus falls in love with Ariadne, the daughter of Minos. After adventures involving sea god Poseidon, the Labyrinth, the slaying of the minotaur, and a broken heart, Daedalus and Icarus find themselves in a locked tower, surrounded by Minos' ships. Daedalus makes wings made of feathers, wax, and wood – their only hope for escape from the tower. With his eyes on the sky, Icarus soars and hollers with joy. Daedalus watches in horror as his son flies too close to the sun, which melts the wax in his wings. Icarus falls into the sea and perishes. A grieving Daedalus flies on to Athens, honoring his son by keeping his eyes on the beauty of the world around him.  Approximately 45-50 minutes. 7 men, 4 women and 3-10 flexible.

Available Roles

  • Daedalus: An Athenian man. He ages from age 9-40s.
  • Icarus: Daedalus' son. He ages from 10-20. 
  • Minos: The king of Crete. 40s. 
  • Pasiphae: A sorceress and the queen of Crete. 40s. 
  • Ariadne: The daughter of Minos and Pasiphae; she ages from 9 to age 18. 
  • Talon: Daedalus' nephew, 10-years-old
  • Minotaur: A half-man, half-bull
  • Naucrate: Servant woman. 20s. 
  • Poseidon: God of the sea. A puppet controlled by multiple ensemble members. 
  • Daedalus' Mother: A woman in her 30s. 
  • Aegeus: The king of Athens. 40S. 
  • Theseus: Aegeus' son, a warrior. 20s. 
  • Storyteller: The narrator. 
  • Extras: Ensemble, villagers (including Girl), guards, laborers, slaves, seafarers, royal court. 

Pandora and the Sickle Moon

About the Play

Pandora, the first woman created by Greek gods, has opened a box releasing all the evils of humanity. She can't undo the deed so she decides her penance must be to observe the evil play out in the world. She serves as the audience's narrator in this tragic fairy tale told out of time and place. Pandora tells of Freya, a young princess who has been captured in a battle that killed her family. A classically evil queen, Skadaas, is plotting a way to stay in power. Her first-born son, Brono, does not speak and, therefore, cannot be king. Her second-born son, Vol, is an explorer who has no kingly aspirations, though his mother wishes otherwise. Both sons fall for Freya. Pandora frets about not being able to stop evil and considers her situation hopeless, yet through a climactic and surprising sacrifice, she realizes that Freya has taught her that hope will always remain.  About 35 minutes. 2 men, 3 women and unlimited ensemble.

Available Roles

  • Pandora: The first woman. 
  • Evils: The ensemble. 
  • Hope/Freya: A princess turned servant. 
  • Skadaas: The queen. 
  • Vol: The queen's second-born son. 
  • Brono: The queen's first-born son. He does not speak. (Deaf actors are encouraged to audition!)
  • Ani: The queen's maidservant. 

The 24-Hour Theatre Project

Audition Date: Friday, April 12 at 8 p.m.
Performance Date: Saturday, April 13 at 8 p.m.

Auditions are open to anyone age 15 and up. Actors are auditioning for plays that have not been written. Actors are given two minutes to do whatever shows off their talents best - a monologue, tell a story, sing a song, recite a poem, do a dance, etc. Playwrights and directors will then choose actors to write for. Rehearsals begin Saturday morning at 8 a.m. and continue all day through the 8 p.m. performance. The playwrights and directors will be announced at a later date. 

Tinker Bell 

Audition Dates: May 11 at 2 p.m., May 12 at 7 p.m. 
Performance Dates: June 28-30, July 5-7, 2024

Audition requirements will be announced at a later date. No experience necessary. This production features a cast of seven (either gender). This production will be directed by Tim Ambrose. 

PLEASE NOTE: This production rehearses Monday through Thursday from 4-6 p.m. 

About the Play

Everyone thinks they know Peter Pan. But until you have heard Tinker Bell’s side of the story, you really have not heard it at all. When all the fairies in Neverland start dying, Tinker Bell comes to London to find a friend. There she meets a young boy named Peter Pan who has just run away from his family so he can be a little boy forever and have fun. When Tink takes Peter to Neverland, all sorts of wonderful and amazing things happen: flowers grow, animals appear and pirates arrive. But as Peter brings more Lost Boys and the Darling children back to her island, Tink finds she doesn’t like sharing her friend with anyone else. Especially that Wendy girl. This fresh and intensely theatrical adaptation of the classic story emphasizes play and fun as well as the complicated nature of friendship. A new, twinkling light shines on all the characters you love as J.M. Barrie’s story is reborn from this feisty fairy’s point of view. Approximately 60 minutes. Cast of 7 (either gender).

Available Roles

  • Tinker Bell: A green fairy, lonely, brave
  • Peter Pan: The boy who would not grow up
  • Mr. Smee: Hook's spectacled boatswain
  • Captain James Hook: Cadaverous and blackavised
  • Wendy: Eldest Darling child
  • John: Middlest Darling child*
  • Michael: Youngest Darling child*
  • The Lost Boys*
    • ​Tootles
    • Nibs
    • Slightly
    • Curly
    • First Twin
    • Second Twin
  • The Pirates: Scalawags the lot; they act and speak as a unit*
  • Nana: The Darling family nanny, also a dog*
  • Mrs. Darling: The most beautiful woman in Bloomsbury; she is an offstage voice
  • Crocodile: With a taste for one Captain James Hook*

*Can be either actor or puppet. Excepting the actors playing Tinker Bell and Peter Pan, all should double as puppeteers, other characters, flowers, birds, fairies, etc. 

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Audition Dates: May 13 and 14. Times TBA.
Performance Dates: July 25-28, August 1-4, 2024

Audition requirements will be announced at a later date. Trinity Bird will direct this production with musical direction by Kristi Gautsche. 

PLEASE NOTE: This production conflicts with THE LIFESPAN OF A FACT. 

About the Play
Based on the famous novel by Roald Dahl, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory features an original score composed by Marc Shaiman with lyrics by Shaiman and Scott Wittman (Hairspray) and a book by David Greig. The score also pays homage to the Leslie Bricusse/Anthony Newley score from the 1971 film with songs from the motion picture including "Candy Man," "I've Got a Golden Ticket," "Oompa Loompa Song," and "Pure Imagination." The world-famous Willy Wonka is opening the gates to his mysterious factory…but only to a lucky few. Young Charlie Bucket and four other golden ticket winners will embark on a life-changing journey through Wonka’s world of pure imagination including chocolate waterfalls, nutty squirrels and the great glass elevator, all to be revealed by Wonka's army of curious Oompa-Loompas.

Available Roles

  • Willy Wonka
  • Charlie Bucket
  • Mrs. Green
  • Grandpa Joe
  • Mrs. Bucket
  • Grandma Josephine
  • Grandma Georgina
  • Grandpa George
  • Jerry
  • Cherry
  • Mrs. Gloop
  • Augustus Gloop
  • Mr. Salt
  • Veruca Salt
  • Mr. Beauregarde
  • Violet Beauregarde
  • Mike Teavee
  • Mrs. Teavee
  • Ensemble

The Lifespan of a Fact

Audition Dates: June 28 and 30 at 7 p.m.
Performance Dates: August 22-25, 2024

Audition requirements will be announced at a later date. 


About the Play
Jim Fingal is a fresh-out-of-Harvard fact checker for a prominent but sinking New York magazine. John D’Agata is a talented writer with a transcendent essay about the suicide of a teenage boy—an essay that could save the magazine from collapse. When Jim is assigned to fact check D’Agata’s essay, the two come head to head in a comedic yet gripping battle over facts versus truth. This production contains adult language.

​Available Roles

  • Jim Fingal, a fact checker, mid-20s
  • Emily Penrose, a magazine Editor-in-Chief, lates 40s to 60s.
  • John D'Agata, an essayist, 40s to 60s. 

Anastasia: The Musical

Audition Dates: July 29, 30 at 7 p.m.
Performance Dates: October 10-13, 17-20, 2024

Audition requirements will be announced at a later date. Trinity Bird will direct this production with musical direction by Kristi Gautsche. 

About the Play

From Tony winners Terrence McNally, Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens, creators of such Broadway classics as Ragtime and Once on This Island, this dazzling show transports its audience from the twilight of the Russian Empire to the euphoria of Paris in the 1920s, as a brave young woman sets out to discover the mystery of her past. Pursued by a ruthless Soviet officer determined to silence her, Anya enlists the aid of a dashing con man and a lovable ex-aristocrat. Together, they embark on an epic adventure to help her find home, love and family. Inspired by the animated film of the same name.

Available Roles

  • Anya/Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna Romanov - Playing age: 26  - Range: G3-F5, Belt to D5.
    • Anya is brave, fiery, witty, and above all determined. With no memory of her life before age 17 and having lived through the horrors of the Russian Revolution, Anya jumps at the sound of gunshots and is distrustful of strangers, but there is steel hiding just beneath the surface. Anya is strong-willed and compassionate. Her mantra, “Home, love, family” is her goal. All she knows is her family is in Paris and she will find them however she can.
  • Dmitry Sudayev - Playing age: 28 - Range: A2-G4. 
    • Dmitry is a scoundrel with a heart of gold. A street rat who grew into a conman, Dimitry does all he does to get out of poverty and is not above lying, cheating, and stealing to do so–that is until he meets Anya. What starts as just another scheme (albeit much bigger than anything he’s tried to pull off before) turns into the adventure of a lifetime that requires Dimitry to look inward and figure out how to put the one he loves before himself.
  • Vladimir “Vlad” Popov - Playing age: Mid 40s-Early 50s (No age really specified) - Range: A2-F4
    • Vlad is Dmitry’s partner in crime (literally) and surrogate father. Before the revolution he scammed his way through society pretending to be a count. Vlad is dramatic, crafty, and a big softie at heart. While he, like Dmitry, is not above lying, cheating, and stealing, he cares greatly for his loved ones and is generally affable, though he can be calculating when he needs to be.
  • Deputy Commissioner Gleb Vaganov ● Playing age: Mid 30s - Range: A2-Gb4.
    • Gleb is the villain of the show, though not a bad person. He fully believes in the Communist ideals he follows. Loyal, honest, and hard working, Gleb almost has the potential to be a hero (he’s very much the hero of his own story). A deeply conflicted person, Gleb’s infatuation (and borderline obsession) with Anya leads to his battle with the idea of doing one’s duty vs. doing what is right.
  • Countess Lily Malevsky-Malevitch ● Playing age: ~40 - Range: G3-C5 (Briefly sings a B5 at the end of Land of Yesterday, but the rest of the role is very Mezzo)
    • Lily is the lady in waiting to the Dowager Empress. She has been by the Dowager’s side since before the revolution. Lily is clever, dutiful, and above all fun (when not working for the Dowager). She deals with her exile from Russia with a sort of resigned dark humor…and a LOT of vodka. She and Vlad were once an item (unbeknownst to her oblivious husband) and rekindle their romance upon re-uniting.
  • Dowager Empress Maria Feodorovna Romanov - Playing age: 80 - Range: F3-Bb4.
    • The Dowager Empress has lost everything she once held dear and must now put up with imposter upon imposter never allowing her to grieve in peace. She is icy, proud, and regal (not to mention intimidating) to all but her family. Though, she does have a very shrap wit. She is especially warm with Anastasia both when a child and after it’s revealed that Anya really is the princess. She commands authority and attention the minute she enters a room.
  • Young Anastasia/Alexei (Doubles in Ensemble as well) ● Playing age: ~5 for Young Anastasia, (cast with an older child, normally between 9 and 14), 13 for Alexei - Range: C4-C5.
    • Young Anastasia is the willful, brave, proud, and precocious youngest daughter of the Tsar. She has a special bond with her grandmother (whom she calls Nana). Alexei was the Tsarevich (Heir to the throne) and only boy of the Romanov siblings. He suffered from debilitating hemophelia that often left him bed-ridden. Anya mentions that he was her best friend.
  • Featured Character Tracks:
    • Olga, Tatiana, Mariya (the other Romanov Sisters)/ Paulina, Dunya, Marfa (three prostitutes who audition for the Fake-Anastasia scheme)/Odette and Swans (Dancers in the ballet) ■ These tracks require dancing en pointe ■ Olga track also dances Odette and requires strong ballet ability
    • Teen Anya ■ A featured dance role in the opening sequence ■ May also be one of the prostitutes and ballet dancers (I’m not 100% sure with this track)
    • Commissioner Gorlinsky/Count Leopold/Drunkard 4
    • Tsarina Alexandra Feodorovna/Female Reporter/Countess Gregory
    • Tsar Nicholas II Romanov/Count Ipolitov/Drunkard 3
    • Siegfriend (in Swan Lake sequence)/ Drunkard 1/Sergei the Doorman
    • Von Rothbart (in Swan Lake sequence)/Drunkard 2/Sergei the Doorman
  • ​Ensemble
    • All of the Ensemble plays Townsfolk, Royal Servants, Bolshevik Officers and Soldiers, Parisians, Reporters, and Aristocrats

Play-in-Development 2024

Audition Dates: August 16 at 7 p.m., August 17 at 2 p.m.
Reading Dates: September 13, 14, 2024

Titles, Directors and More to be announced at a later date. 

A Christmas Carol

Audition Dates: October 14, 15 at 7 p.m.
Performance Datees: December 5-8, 12-15, 2024

Character descriptions, audition requirements and production team to be announced.