Open auditions for “On Golden Pond”

Wabeno Area Players will hold open auditions for “On Golden Pond” at Madonna Hall, 1793 Elm Ave., Wabeno, WI 54566, at 6 p.m. Monday, December 10, and Tuesday, December 11.

Auditions are open to anyone in the community regardless of race or ethnic background.  No previous stage experience is required to try out for any Wabeno Area Player production.  Casting decisions are made by the director and production team.

Persons auditioning will be asked to do a cold read from the play’s script. Knowledge of the material is encouraged, but, we are not looking for any Hepburn or Fonda clones.  The production team does work around the schedules of the cast.  Most rehearsals are Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and some Sunday’s.  We typically have three rehearsals a week until the week before opening the show.  Rehearsal will begin the end of January or the beginning of February.  For more information about the audition please call (715) 889-1606 or email

“On Golden Pond,” written by Ernest Thompson, is a classic American comedy/drama that is as touching, warm, and witty today as when it debuted on Broadway in 1979. It is the love story of Ethel and Norman Thayer, who are returning to their summer home on Golden Pond for the 48th year. He is a retired professor, nearing 80, with heart palpitations and a failing memory – but still as tart-tongued, observant and eager for life as ever. Ethel, 10 years younger and the perfect foil for Norman, delights in all the small things that have enriched and continue to enrich their long life together.

They are visited by their divorced, middle-aged daughter and her dentist fiancé, who then go off to Europe, leaving his teenage son behind for the summer. The boy quickly becomes the “grandchild” the elderly couple have longed for, and as Norman revels in taking his ward fishing and thrusting good books at him, he also learns some lessons about modern teenage awareness- and slang – in return.

In the end, as the summer wanes, so does their brief idyll, and in the final, deeply moving moments of the play, Norman and Ethel are brought even closer together by the incidence of a mild heart attack. Time, they know, is now against them, but the years have been good and, perhaps, another summer on Golden Pond still waits.

Character Descriptions

The ages listed for the characters are those actually stated in the play’s dialog, however, actors auditioning for these roles can be younger or older than the stated age.:

Norman – (age 80 but not physically frail at all) A retired professor who uses his sharp, disarming wit to mask his fears and frustrations arising out of his failing health, fading memory and awareness of his mortality; loving and vulnerable with Ethel.

Ethel – (age 69) A spirited, life-loving, nurturing soul and soulmate to Norman, unfazed by his barbs, saddened to watch him decline but determined that to enjoy to the fullest the time they have left together.

Chelsea – (age 42) A bright, capable, divorced woman, still hurting from her regret of not having lived up to Norman’s expectations which he, of course, engendered but which she should have let go of long ago.

Bill Ray – (age 45) A successful Los Angeles dentist who is initially unnerved by Norman but ultimately gains his respect by standing his ground.

Billy Ray – (age 13) Bill’s son who, underneath a cool/tough front is really in need and responds enthusiastically to the love and attention he receives from Ethel and Norman.

Charlie Martin – (age 44) The local mailman and childhood friend of Chelsea who has always had a crush on her. His laugh is contagious albeit used a little too often.

The show will run March 21-24 and 28-30, 2019 at Madonna Hall, with Thursday, Friday and Saturday performances at 7:00 p.m. and Sunday matinees at 1 p.m. Tickets are $15 for adults, and $10 for students age 10 through high school. Additional service fees will apply. Tickets can be purchased online at or by calling (800) 838-3006.

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