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"The Orphan Train" Auditions   - Project ID # 1600265
Project Type   Live Event Submission Type   Open Call
Location   Sycamore, IL Union   Non-union
Rate/Pay   n/a Release Date   08-21-19
Audition Date   08-24-19 Submission Deadline   08-23-19
Shoot Date      
Casting Category   Theatre - Non-Equity
Market(s)   Chicago, IL>Milwaukee, WI

Molly Ayer is a seventeen-year-old girl who lives with her foster parents, Ralph and Dina Thibodeaus, in the town of Spruce Harbor, Maine. Even though Dina constantly criticizes Molly for her liberal opinions and “goth” self-presentation, Molly knows that Ralph and Dina give her a better, safer home than many of her previous foster families. As the novel progresses, it is revealed that Molly grew up on Indian Island, a Penobscot reservation. Molly’s father died in a car accident when she was eight years old, and her mother, Donna Ayer, was soon jailed for charges related to drug abuse. Molly’s only link to her parents is the charm necklace her father gave her for her eighth birthday.

Role # 1 - Molly Ayer Submit yourself for this role
Seeking 1 talent(s) for this role
Molly is one of the novel’s two protagonists. She is an intelligent, opinionated, and reflective seventeen-year-old girl who lives with her foster parents, Ralph and Dina Thibodeaus, at their home in Spruce Harbor, Maine. Molly’s father was a Penobscot Indian and her mother, Donna Ayer, is white. As a child, Molly lived with her parents in a trailer on the Penobscot Indian Island Reservation in Maine. When Molly was eight years old, her father died in a car accident. When her mother landed in jail a few months later, Molly was placed into the foster care system. She has lived in several foster care homes and struggles to develop trusting relationships with others. She has a boyfriend, Jack, and she is a vegetarian. Throughout the novel, her friendship with 91-year-old Vivian Daly transforms her ability to connect with others and accept herself.

Searchable talent specs:
Gender: Female
Age: from 8 to 17
Ethnicity: Any -

Role # 2 - Vivian/Niamh Submit yourself for this role
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Vivian/Niamh is the novel’s second protagonist. Christened as “Niamh Power”, she was born in Kinvara, County Galway in Ireland in 1920. As a young child, she immigrated to New York with her parents and siblings. Her father and brothers died in a house fire in 1929, while her mother was placed in a mental hospital. Niamh was then sent off to the Midwest on the orphan train. In Minnesota, she moved between two abusive adoptive families (who renamed her “Dorothy”) before finding her way to the Nielsens, the affluent couple who renamed her “Vivian” and raised her. Vivian was married twice, first to Luke Maynard (“Dutchy”) and then to Jim Daly. She is the biological mother of Sarah Darnell, who she gave up for adoption. As a 91-year-old widow living a lonely life, Vivian finds peace by recounting the story of her life to Molly Ayer and cleaning out her attic together. Vivian/Niamh has red curly hair and freckles.

Searchable talent specs:
Gender: Female
Age: from 8 to 17
Ethnicity: Any -

Role # 3 - Ralph Thibodeaus Submit yourself for this role
Seeking 1 talent(s) for this role
Ralph is Molly’s current foster father. He works as a plumber in Spruce Harbor. Inspired by his own experience as a troubled teen, he convinced his wife, Dina, to become foster parents. Ralph is even-tempered and often tries to play the role of mediator during Molly and Dina’s frequent fights. Though he is generally kind to Molly, he fails to protect her from Dina’s fits of anger.

Searchable talent specs:
Gender: Male
Age: from 36 to 60
Ethnicity: Any -

Role # 4 - Donna Submit yourself for this role
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Donna is Molly’s birth mother. She is white and comes from a low-income background. During Molly’s childhood, she worked at a mini-mart. She gave Molly presents and arranged fun activities, but her struggle with depression sometimes led to her neglecting Molly. After the death of Molly’s father, Donna developed a problem with drugs and ended up in jail. Molly soon lost contact with her.

Searchable talent specs:
Gender: Female
Age: from 36 to 60
Ethnicity: Any -

Role # 5 - Mr. Ayer Submit yourself for this role
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Mr. Ayer is Molly’s father. He was a Penobscot Indian who was proud of his cultural heritage and made an effort to share it with Molly. He had a problem with alcohol abuse, however, and died in a car accident when Molly was eight years old. The charm necklace Molly wears was a birthday gift from her father.

Searchable talent specs:
Gender: Male
Age: from 36 to 60
Ethnicity: Any -

Role # 6 - Patrick Power Submit yourself for this role
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Patrick Power (“Da”) is Vivian/Niamh’s biological father. Born in Ireland at the turn of the twentieth century, he immigrates to New York with his wife Mary and his three children, Niamh, Dominick, and James. In New York, he works at an Irish pub. His daughter Maisie is born in New York. Patrick has a problem with alcoholism, and he loves to sing. He dies in a house fire in 1929, along with his two sons.

Searchable talent specs:
Gender: Male
Age: from 36 to 60
Ethnicity: Any -

Role # 7 - Mary Power Submit yourself for this role
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Mary Power (“Mam”) is Vivian/Niamh’s biological mother. Born in Ireland at the turn of the twentieth century, she immigrates to New York with her husband Patrick and her three children, Niamh, Dominick, and James. She becomes pregnant with her daughter Maisie during the voyage to America. Mary is frequently depressed, which can make her neglectful of her children. Still, she values education and teaches Niamh to read. In Ireland, Mary’s fights with Niamh’s Gram are part of the series of events that lead to their family’s departure from Ireland. After Mary’s husband and sons die in a house fire, Mary is institutionalized in a mental hospital.

Searchable talent specs:
Gender: Female
Age: from 36 to 60
Ethnicity: Any -

Role # 8 - Gram Submit yourself for this role
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Gram is Vivian/Niamh’s biological grandmother. She is the mother of Patrick Power. She is born in Ireland in the late 1800s and remains there even after her son emigrates. Gram is a good cook and treats Niamh kindly. She gives Niamh the claddagh cross that Niamh will wear throughout her life. Tired of supporting her son Patrick’s family and fighting with her daughter-in-law Mary, Gram plays a key role in sending Niamh and her family away to New York.

Searchable talent specs:
Gender: Female
Age: from 36 to 60
Ethnicity: Any -

Role # 9 - Jack Submit yourself for this role
Seeking 1 talent(s) for this role
Jack is Molly’s boyfriend. His mother, Terry Gallant, is white and his father is Dominican. His parents weren’t married and his father left his mother to return to the Dominican Republic. Jack is intelligent, athletic, and optimistic. He feels responsible for Molly and tries to help her manage her life and stay out of trouble.

Searchable talent specs:
Gender: Male
Age: from 8 to 17
Ethnicity: Any -

Role # 10 - Margaret Submit yourself for this role
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Maisie is Vivian/Niamh’s biological little sister. She is conceived during the voyage to America and born in New York in 1927. As a child, Niamh is responsible for taking care of her little sister and forms a strong bond with her. In 1929, a house fire kills her father and brothers. The family’s neighbors, the Schatzmans, lie to Niamh and tell her that the fire killed Maisie, too—but they actually adopt her and raise her as their daughter. Maisie moves to upstate New York, marries and has children and grandchildren. She dies just months before Vivian discovers that she survived the fire. Unlike Vivian/Niamh, Maisie has blonde hair.

Searchable talent specs:
Gender: Female
Age: from 8 to 17
Ethnicity: Any -

Role # 11 - Dutchy Submit yourself for this role
Seeking 1 talent(s) for this role
Dutchy is Vivian/Niamh’s true love. He is born in New York in the late 1910s to German parents. After escaping his abusive father to live on the streets as a shoe-shiner, Dutchy is taken in by the Children’s Aid Society. They send him out on the orphan train, where he befriends Niamh. He grows up in Minnesota, moving between adoptive families. He and Vivian/Niamh fall in love and marry after reuniting as adults. As an adult, he works as a musician and music teacher. He dies during battle in World War II. Dutchy is smart, impulsive, creative, and passionate.

Searchable talent specs:
Gender: Male
Age: from 8 to 17
Ethnicity: Any -

Role # 12 - Tyler Baldwin Submit yourself for this role
Seeking 1 talent(s) for this role
Tyler is a student in Molly’s American History class.

Searchable talent specs:
Gender: Male
Age: from 8 to 17
Ethnicity: Any -

Role # 13 - Megan McDonald Submit yourself for this role
Seeking 1 talent(s) for this role
Megan is a student in Molly’s American History class.

Searchable talent specs:
Gender: Female
Age: from 8 to 17
Ethnicity: Any -

Role # 14 - Dominick Submit yourself for this role
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Dominick and James are Vivian/Niamh’s twin brothers. They are born in Ireland around 1923, and immigrate with their parents and sister to New York. They die in a house fire in 1929

Searchable talent specs:
Gender: Male
Age: from 8 to 17
Ethnicity: Any -

Role # 15 - James Power Submit yourself for this role
Seeking 1 talent(s) for this role
Dominick and James are Vivian/Niamh’s twin brothers. They are born in Ireland around 1923, and immigrate with their parents and sister to New York. They die in a house fire in 1929

Searchable talent specs:
Gender: Male
Age: from 8 to 17
Ethnicity: Any -

Role # 16 - Bernice Submit yourself for this role
Seeking 1 talent(s) for this role
The three of the seamstresses who work for the Byrnes’ garment business in Albans, Minnesota. Vivian/Niamh (renamed “Dorothy” at the time) takes comfort in the company of the seamstresses, with the exception of Mary.

Searchable talent specs:
Gender: Female
Age: from 8 to 17
Ethnicity: Any -

Role # 17 - Joan Submit yourself for this role
Seeking 1 talent(s) for this role
The three of the seamstresses who work for the Byrnes’ garment business in Albans, Minnesota. Vivian/Niamh (renamed “Dorothy” at the time) takes comfort in the company of the seamstresses, with the exception of Mary.

Searchable talent specs:
Gender: Female
Age: from 8 to 17
Ethnicity: Any -

Role # 18 - Sally Submit yourself for this role
Seeking 1 talent(s) for this role
The three of the seamstresses who work for the Byrnes’ garment business in Albans, Minnesota. Vivian/Niamh (renamed “Dorothy” at the time) takes comfort in the company of the seamstresses, with the exception of Mary.

Searchable talent specs:
Gender: Female
Age: from 8 to 17
Ethnicity: Any -



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