Friday, February 26, 2010

Character Breakdown

To give you an idea of what I am thinking for this production we must look at the history of MASH. It started out as a novel by Richard Hooker, and then turned into a major motion picture, then into one of the most successful television shows in American culture. In between all of that, Tim Kelly developed a stage play based on the novel. The stage play has been done many times due to the success of the franchise. However audiences have a hard time connecting to it because of their love of the series and not having read the novel. My plan for this production is to try and bring a lot of the television show to the stage. Please understand, there is no way for us to do what they did. I am not looking to copy what they did, I want this to be a companion piece to the television series and a production that our audiences will recognize and enjoy. I am only looking at the first three season of the TV show for notes and ideas; these are the only seasons where Coronel Blake and Trapper John are involved.

Again this is just to give you an idea of what I am thinking. I am NOT planning to be exactly like the television series. If you are not just like Alan Alda (The actor that played Hawkeye) or any of the other actors from the series, that’s okay. If you have any questions, write them down and ask me at auditions. ~MP

In order of appearance

General Hamilton H. Hammond – The overseer of the Mash compounds in Korea. Tough, cigar smoking general stereotype.

Lt. Colonel Henry Blake – The commander of the 4077th. A sweet man that loves fishing and football, Henry is a good doctor but not a good leader. Without Radar he would be lost.

Captain Bridget McCarthy – She is the head of the nurses until Major Houlihan comes in. She is older and has been involved in this war for too long.

Lt. Janice Fury – Younger nurse that has been recently assigned to the 4077th. She is full of energy and is well like, especially by Trapper John.

Lt. Louise Kimble – She is the fun, bubbly one of the nurses. Always laughing almost like a mother type for the girls.

Major Frank Burns – He is known as “Ferret Face.” He’s a poor surgeon and an even poorer human being. He has a torrid affair with Major Houlihan. *The actor in this role must be comfortable with stage kissing.

Father Francis John Patrick Mulcahy – Kind, sweet and quite priest. He tries his very best to be an island of calm in a sea of chaos.

Captain Walter (Walt) Waldowski – The unit’s dentist. He uses his tent as the compounds gambling hall. For the most part he is an average Joe but is known to suffer from depression.

Captain John McIntyre (Trapper John) – He is a ladies’ man, or at least that what he thinks he is. He is at the 4077 before Hawkeye and Duke come along and knows the ropes. A likeable, good looking guy.

Corporal “Radar” O’Reilly – A young farm boy that quietly makes the unit run. He has poor sight but he makes up for it by having acute hearing. He is disheveled but sweet. Remember he knows what’s going to happen before you do.

Captain Benjamin Franklin Pierce (Hawkeye) – A teenage boy in mans clothes. He is one of the best surgeons around, and he knows it. He is a leader and a trouble maker. He is a doctor. He is not a soldier.

Captain August Bedford Forrest (Duke) – Hawkeye’s sidekick. He too is a skilled surgeon and a little boy at times.

Ho-Jon – The Swamps houseboy. The entire compound loves and takes care of Ho-Jon. He is an intelligent young man that gets drafted by the South Korean Army. He is the through line of the play.

Pvt. Lopez – One of the nurses that makes the unit run.

Lt. Nancy Phillips – One of the nurses of the 4077. She has a run in with Major Burns.

Major Margaret Houlihan “Hotlips” – A regularly army, by the book nurse. She has risen up in the ranks in this man’s army and is not afraid of a fight. However, inside she is insecure. She and Frank form an interesting bond. *The actress in this role must be comfortable with stage kissing.

Congresswoman Goldfarb – She is a United States Senator that comes to evaluate that 4077. * Will most likely be double cast as a personal of the 4077.

Dean Mercy Lodge – Could be male or female. The dean of Hawkeyes old medical college. * Will most likely be double cast as a personal of the 4077.

Miss Randazzle – An air head secretary for Dean Lodge. * Will most likely be double cast as a nurse of the 4077.

Lt. Connie Liebowitz – A dietician in Soul. * Will most likely be double cast as a personal of the 4077.

Captain Oliver Wendell Jones (Spearchucker) – A pro-football player that happens to be a neuro-surgeon that was drafted into the war. This is a smaller 2 scene role, but make no mistake, it is a great role. Needs to be a large, strong individual. Preferably someone that plays football. I do not want to double cast this role which mean commitment would only be about 3 weeks.

Major Ruth Haskell – A therapist in Soul, Korea. She is called to evaluate Hawkeye’s mental state. * Will most likely be double cast as a nurse of the 4077.

Corporal Max Klinger – A man that was drafted and not happy about it. Klinger shows his unhappiness of being a draftee by dressing in woman’s cloths. He is hoping that they will think he is crazy and send him home on a Section 8 discharge. However he is a hard worker and a good man to have around. * The actor needs to be comfortable with their body; Klinger will be wearing many styles of dresses and high heels.

G.I’s, Koreans, Medical Personal – The play needs to be alive at all times which means there needs to be people. These roles will have some lines and depends on the dedication that is giving to the production. I could have as many as 5 in this area. They would be through-out the play.

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~Mr. Pursi