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4 female facing and 6 male facing featured roles


Alice Murphy
– plays both 16-17 and 36-37. Alice at age 36-37 is an editor of a southern literary magazine; intelligent, attractive, professional – but with an air of melancholy. Young Alice at age 16-17 is rebellious, high-spirited, adventurous – looking to break out of small-town life and experience the world. She must be a very strong singer and comfortable in folk and bluegrass styles.


Jimmy Ray Dobbs
– plays both age 18-20 and 38-40. Jimmy Ray in his early 20s in flashbacks is Mayor Dobbs’ son and young Alice’s beau; handsome, boyishly charming, well-built and intelligent; from a family of wealth and power and is being groomed by his father for a similar future in the family business; an independent thinker who is not afraid to stand up to his father for what he believes in; he has a sense of personal responsibility and morality as well as a deep reserve of passion and emotion. The same actor will also play an adult Jimmy Ray at age 38-40.


Billy Cane
– a young soldier returning home from WWII; an aspiring young writer; fresh, open, optimistic, charming, and a little naïve.


Margo Crawford
– a small-town bookstore owner; a childhood friend of Billy’s who now harbors romantic feelings towards him; a natural beauty with a keen intellect.


Mayor Josiah Dobbs
– the Mayor of Zebulon; a political and financial powerbroker – distinguished, an imposing and controlling presence; has a genuine interest in protecting his son’s future and his family name, but in doing so, is ultimately pushed to a point of extreme and irrevocable cruelty.


Daddy Cane
– Billy’s father. A widower. Spry, good looking. Kind hearted, if a bit lonely.


Daddy Murphy
– Alice’s father; an authoritative and a stern disciplinarian; devoutly religious, hard-working, a poor but proud farmer.


Mama Murphy
– Alice’s mother. A caretaker to her family and her rural community. A warm, loving, sensible woman. Hardworking, with great inner strength and compassion.


Lucy Grant
– A junior editor at a literary magazine. An ambitious, professional young “modern” career woman of the 1940’s. Strong, forthright and provocative with a sharp sense of humor.


Daryl Ames
– An assistant at a literary magazine. Funny, with a dry and officious sense of humor. Insecure, and perhaps a bit socially awkward, but endearing and innately likeable.


Ensemble – Opportunities for featured casting in the ensemble