Kentwood Players - Coming Soon
The Giver

Adapted by Eric Coble from the Newbery Award-winning book by Lois Lowry
Directed by Harold Dershimer
Produced by Kathy Dershimer
January 17 – February 22, 2020
Produced by special arrangement with THE DRAMATIC PUBLISHING COMPANY of Woodstock, Illinois

Life in the community where The Giver and Jonas live is idyllic. Designated birthmothers produce new children, who are assigned to appropriate family units: one male, one female, to each. Citizens are assigned their partners and their jobs, and no one thinks to ask questions. Everyone obeys. The community is a precisely choreographed world without conflict, inequality, divorce, unemployment, injustice…or choice. Join us for this multi-media presentation as we follow Jonas’ journey filled with heightened sensory experiences from a place of sameness…to elsewhere!

The Character Breakdown is: Kentwood Players is committed to diverse, inclusive casting. All ethnicities, races, and gender identities are encouraged to audition and will be considered for every part.
Jonas
(10-15 to play 11-12) The eleven-year-old protagonist of The Giver, Jonas is sensitive and intelligent, with strange powers of perception that he doesn’t understand. Jonas is “chosen” to be the new Receiver of Memory for his community when he turns twelve. Even before his training, Jonas is unusually thoughtful, expresses great concern for his friends and family, and thinks it would be nice to be closer to other people. After his training begins, Jonas’s universe widens dramatically. His new awareness of strong emotions, beautiful colors, and great suffering makes him extremely passionate about the world around him and the welfare of the people he loves, though on the whole he remains level-headed and thoughtful. (MAY BE DOUBLE-CAST)
The Giver
(55-70) The old man known in the community as the Receiver of Memory is actually The Giver. He has held the community’s collective memory for many years and uses his wisdom to help the Committee of Elders make important decisions, even though he is racked by the pain his memories give him and believes that perhaps those memories belong in the minds of everyone in the community.
Jonas’ Father
(35-50) A mild-mannered, tender-hearted Nurturer who works with infants. He enjoys his job and takes it very seriously, constantly trying to nurture children who will stay alive until the Ceremony of Names. However, even if he is attached to a child, he will release it if that seems to be the best decision. He has an affectionate, playful relationship with his two children, usually referring to them by silly nicknames, and he likes playing childish games with the children he nurtures.
Jonas’ Mother
(35-50) A practical, pleasant woman with an important position at the Department of Justice - Jonas’s mother takes her work seriously, hoping to help people (including her assigned children) who break rules to see the error of their ways. She frequently gives Jonas advice about the worries and fears he faces as he matures.
Lily
(8-11 to play 7) Jonas’s seven-year-old sister. She is a chatterbox and does not know quite when to keep her mouth shut, but she is also extremely practical and well-informed for a little girl. (MAY BE DOUBLE-CAST)
Asher
(10-15 to play 11-12) Jonas’ best friend. Asher is a fun-loving, hasty boy who usually speaks too fast, mixing up his words to the exasperation of his teachers and Jonas. He is assigned the position of Assistant Director of Recreation. . (MAY BE DOUBLE-CAST)
Fiona
(10-15 to play 11-12) Another of Jonas’ friends. She volunteers as a caretaker in the house of old. She is mild-mannered and patient. Jonas’s first sexual stirrings come in the form of an erotic dream about Fiona. . (MAY BE DOUBLE-CAST)
Larissa
(60-80) – An elderly woman residing in the house of old. Jonas shares pleasant conversation with her while he gives her a bath during his volunteer hours. Like many inhabitants of the House of the Old, she enjoys gossip and looks forward to her release.
The Chief Elder
(Gender open – 30-60) the elected leader of Jonas’s community. The Elder also shows genuine affection for all of the children at the Ceremony of Twelve, knowing their names as well as an anecdote about each. (WILL ALSO SERVE AS THE ANNOUNCER)
Watch the Audition page for audition details.


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