Hershey Area Playhouse Announces Auditions for Dearly Departed

HERSHEY, Pa., October 17, 2018 – Hershey Area Playhouse will be holding auditions for the first show of their 20th Anniversary season, Dearly Departed directed by Lois Heagy, on Sunday, November 4 starting at 7:00 PM and Monday, November 5 starting at 7:00 PM.

Auditioners will be asked to read director-selected scenes from the play.

Character Descriptions:

Bud Turpin (elderly 65+): Non-speaking role, is only seen in the first scene


Raynelle Turpin (spry 60+): Bud’s LONG-Suffering wife.  A true Southern lady with a corset of steel.  She can handle just about anything thrown at her by her family…………which is a lot!


Ray-Bud Turpin (35-45): the eldest son upon who falls the responsibility for the future of the family and the funeral arrangements.  Known to take a nip when life gets difficult.


Lucille Turpin (30-40):  Ray-Bud’s wife who helps him negotiate all the twists and turns of their life together, such as their lack of children (a very sore issue with Lucille).


Junior Turpin (30-40): Bud & Raynelle’s other son; A dreamer with great plans and empty pockets.  He is juggling financial ruin, a pack of no-neck monster kids and a wife who suspects him of infidelity.


Suzanne Turpin (25-35):  Junior’s wife; She could have been somebody in this town, a fact she keeps reminding everyone who will listen.  Must have a decent singing voice, as she sings at the funeral.


Marguerite (50+): Bud’s Bible-quoting, Hallelujah sister.  She just knows Bud is going straight to Hell and probably taking her useless son with him.  But she keeps trying to reform the pair of them, to no avail.


Royce (20-30):  Marguerite’s useless son; His favorite things in life are women, alcohol and annoying his mother.  His least favorite thing: work


Delightful (15-25):  Bud and Raynelle’s only daughter; A woman of few words because her mouth is usually full of food.  Only 3 lines in the whole show but the actress is eating constantly.


Reverend Hooker (playing age not important): Local clergyman and host of the radio program “Midnight Sinner”.  He is desperately searching for anything nice that anyone has to say about Bud for the funeral service.


Veda (elderly) friend of the family who comes to the funeral luncheon with her invalid husband

Norval (also elderly).  Norval has only two mumbled lines but spends the scene in a wheelchair.


Nadine (25-35) a young woman at the funeral luncheon who arrives with her numerous children (mostly unseen) to eat the food.


Clyde (playing age not important) Town drunk and auto mechanic who comes to the funeral luncheon representing the “guys at the shop”.  Probably the only person in town who will miss Bud.


Juanita (25-35) a cousin by marriage to the Turpins, married to the town lawyer, who Suzanne also would have liked to marry.  Hmmm…..


The Joy of Life Singers – provides the music for the radio program and can be played by any of the cast except Junior or Ray Bud.


Nadine’s ChildrenOptional non-speaking roles appearing in the funeral luncheon scene only.


Doubling the Characters

The play was written to be performed by ten actors doubling the roles.  IF NECESSARY


Performances of Dearly Departed will be held February 7-10 & February 14-17, 2019 at the Playhouse.  Additional audition information is available on the Playhouse’s website,


Hershey Area Playhouse ( is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization dedicated to providing residents of the community with an opportunity to participate in the creation and production of a theatrical experience. Since its inception in 1999, Hershey Area Playhouse has staged dozens of productions at numerous venues around the Hershey area. In April 2007, the Playhouse opened its new permanent home, Hershey Area Playhouse at Country Meadows.