SEBRING — Highlands Lakeside Theatre announces auditions for “A Higher Place in Heaven.” Highlands Lakeside Theatre is thrilled to invite the local community to audition for our upcoming production of “A Higher Place in Heaven” written by the renowned playwright, Pamela Parker.
Auditions will be held Oct. 23-24, starting at 6:30 p.m. at the Thakkar Foundation Theatre at Highlands Lakeside Theatre, 356 West Center Avenue, Sebring.
A prequel to Parker’s Second Samuel, A Higher Place in Heaven is set in 1925, on the front porch of New Hope, the home of Miss Madison. She and her longtime friend and servant, Miss Simpson, live a quiet life just outside the town of Second Samuel with their sons Frisky and US, who are more often found at the ﬁshing pond than in the schoolhouse. When Son and his wife, Billie Augusta, visit, he ﬁnds a document that would forever change the history of New Hope and its residents’ lives. Filled with laughter and tears, anger and forgiveness, this touching story is one that speaks to divisions of race and privilege that we still struggle with today. It also shows that, no matter our differences, love and grace can bring people together and keep New Hope alive.
Set in Georgia of the 1920s, the play is a family dramedy that challenges the racism prevalent in challenging the ignorance and racism of that time. The nature of the play requires race be adhered to in casting.
A Higher Place in Heaven is a six-person cast.
MRS. MADISON: A white lady in her late 50s. Classically Southern. The character spans the gamut from quiet reserve to a hurricane of fast-pitched biting quips. At all times, even when agitated, her love of family shines through.
MISS SIMPSON: A black lady in her mid-50s. She is a constant rock for the families of New Hope Plantation. Warm and inviting, she loves those around her unconditionally while enduring the inherent racism of the time.
SON: White male is in his late 20s-30s. Miss Madison’s oldest son, an attorney, and budding politician. A product of the time and the privilege in which he was raised, he must transform and grow when faced by the truths of his family’s past.
BILLIE AUGUSTA: While female in her 20s-30s. She is married to Son and serves as a loving opposite in many ways. Despite her inherent privilege, she exudes universal love and open mindedness. Can put Son in his place with charm and dignity.
FRISKY: White male. Early to mid-teens. Miss Madison is his mother. Son is his older brother. Best friends with Ulysses. Friendship has blinded him to color, unlike his brother.
ULYSSES: Black male. Early to mid-teens. Miss Simpson is his mother. Best friend’s with Frisky. Struggles to understand his place in a southern world defined by race.
Highlands Lakeside Theatre is dedicated to creating a supportive and inclusive environment for all. We look forward to seeing you at auditions and embarking on this artistic journey together.
The play is directed by Tom Staik. The production team includes: Elise Chaison-Short, assistant director; Laura Wade, artistic consultant; Suzanne Schilfarth, production coordinator; Olivia Scott, costume design; Rhonda Wilson, sound design; Rodger Smith, lighting design; Kevin Hacker, construction foreman; and Steve Hagen, stage manager.
The play will include an original live score by local musician Gary Johnson.
The second show in HLT’s 2023-24 season, A Higher Place in Heaven will run Jan. 12-28, 2024, on the Blackman Mainstage.
For information visit www.sites.google.com/view/ahigherplaceinheavenatHLT