Encore Michigan

Peppermint Creek to hold auditions for “Alabama Story” 02/26, 02/27

February 22, 2024

Performers are invited to audition for the final production of Peppermint Creek’s 2023-2024 season, “Alabama Story”.

As the Civil Rights movement is brewing, a controversial children’s book about a black rabbit marrying a white rabbit stirs the passions of a segregationist State Senator and a no-nonsense State Librarian in 1959 Montgomery, Alabama. A contrasting story of childhood friends—an African American man and a woman of white privilege, reunited in adulthood—provides a private counterpoint to the public events swirling in the state capital. Political foes, star-crossed lovers, and one feisty children’s author inhabit the same page in a Deep South of the imagination that brims with humor, heartbreak and hope—inspired by true events.

Peppermint Creek Theatre Company

: The Alabama Story


Dates: February 26 and 27 at 7:00 pm

Location: Sycamore Creek Church, 1919 S. Pennsylvania Ave, Lansing

All of the characters love books/love reading. The play is about many things, including people’s love affair with words, with writing and reading, with telling, passing along, listening to, and absorbing stories. None of the characters should be cartooned or condescended too, especially the Southern “types.” They’ve all got heart and guts; they are who they are because they were handed a specific pack of cards and are doing the best they can with what they’ve been dealt. Mostly, in the author’s words, “Alabama Story” is a play about censorship, set against the backdrop of the Civil Rights Movement in Montgomery, Alabama in the late ’50s.

Garth Williams (Male. 50-65)Caucasian male. Illustrator/author (“The Rabbit’s Wedding”). Functions as the “Stage Manager” (a la “Our Town”) in that he may be omnipresent and watchful throughout. A white writer and illustrator from the East Coast, raised and educated in England (no dialect), but a world traveler and resident of many varied locales. The actor assumes the roles of “Others,” including aged, sickly Alabama State Representative Bobby Crone, Montgomery newspaper reporter Herschel Webb, segregationist columnist Henry Balch, a Radio Announcer, and White Passersby. Versatile, able to transform and be specific about individual characters without cartooning.Ethnicity: White / European Descent

Lily Whitfield (Female. 30s)A white woman from small-town Alabama privilege. Genteel Alabama accent. She is sheltered, ashamed, loyal, religious, garrulous, charming, unhappily married, all facade, and ready to blossom. A bit like Sissy Spacek in “The Long Walk Home.” There is inquisitiveness and courage under the surface. She plays by the rules with which her upbringing has endowed her, but her thoughtful awareness grows throughout the story.Ethnicity: White / European Descent.

Joshua Moore (Male. 30s)Upwardly mobile middle-class African American man, who left Alabama more than a decade ago. Purposely subtle and suppressed Alabama accent, which becomes more pronounced when agitated. He is aspirational, loyal, kind, worldly, happily married, slow to boil, and a disciple of Dr. King. Well-mannered, considerate, and polite. Real teeth under the surface.Ethnicity: Black / African Descent.

Senator E. W. Higgins (Male. 50-65) – A white male Alabama State Senator. Pronounced Alabama accent. He is a charmer, a bully, a poisoner, a politician, a victim of the world he grew up in–and in many ways, still a prisoner of it. Loquacious, powerful, and accustomed to getting his way. Adheres to the unspoken “code of the South” and fights to preserve it. Intimidated only by his mentor, Alabama State Representative Bobby Crone. His heart has been obscured underneath his inbred biases, but he has heart, nonetheless.Ethnicity: White / European Descent.

Emily Wheelock Reed (Female. 50-65)A white female librarian, the State Librarian of Alabama, born in North Carolina and raised in Indiana. No Southern accent. Dry and wry. No overt sense of humor. Does not suffer fools. All business. Pragmatic and principled. Professional in demeanor. Not easily ruffled on the surface. A deep and quick thinker. Sturdy spine. If she is intimidated, she does not show it. Willing to be wrong and to admit error, but not easily bent or cowed.Ethnicity: White / European Descent.

Thomas Franklin (Male. Late 20s/Early 30s))A white male reference librarian. Emily’s assistant. An Alabama native. Genteel and educated. Pronounced Alabama accent. He is officious, efficient, slightly uncomfortable in his own skin, likable, and dedicated. Neutral and objective when conveying information. Aware of conventions and manners, hierarchy and protocol. Can be a little timid, but also has a spine.Ethnicity: White / European Descent.

All auditionees will be given sections from the script to read from during auditions. Download sides by visiting peppermintcreek-DOT-org.


Rehearsals will begin: March 4, 2024

Production dates: April 18 – 21 & 25 – 28, 2024