by Steven Peros
Directed by: Jillian Alden
Auditions: Mar. 4, 5, 6 (callbacks), 2024
Performances: May 17, 18, 19(m), 23, 24, 25, 2024
Biographer Bill Lauder has penned a ruthless tell-all about Karla Daven, a long dead legendary 1950’s starlet. As a result, he is summoned in the middle of the night to the dilapidated mansion of Karla’s celebrity husband, Harold Bachman, a reclusive director who makes the outlandish claim that Karla’s ghost has threatened to kill him this very night unless Bill calls off the publication of his tawdry book of lies. What follows is an intense evening where memory wrestles with myth in order to find the truth. As Harold gets deeper into exposing Bill’s lies about Karla, he is forced to confront the lies he’s told himself – lies about himself as a filmmaker, a husband, and as a man. Harold must not only save himself from Karla’s ghost, but from the ghosts of an unrealized life. In addition to being an absorbing psychological ghost story, Karlaboy is an important, non-graphic exploration of LGBT issues in its fascinating dissection of a high profile Hollywood “marriage of convenience.” (Concord Theatricals)
Jillian Alden first appeared at ACT in 2010 with her portrayal of Alice in Alice in Wonderland. Her onstage presence continued with Meet in St. Louis as Esther Smith, Singin’ in the Rain and Sweeney Todd as an ensemble member, Fly Babies as Peggy Taylor, and Moon Over Buffalo as Rosalind Hay. She has also helped backstage on several projects, including costuming for Fly Babies and for University of Washington’s production of Next to Normal, which unfortunately never performed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. She supported ACT’s production of Something Rotten! as an assistant director, and she partners with South Albany High School, serving as vocal director for their production of Disney’s The Little Mermaid. Jillian is a passionate mental health advocate and is nearing the beginning of her clinical practice as a mental health counselor and a drama therapist. She has combined her professional and personal passions to help her serve on ACT’s diversity and inclusion steering committee, and is committed to supporting programs, workshops, and training at ACT which make the theater a more welcoming and safe environment for people with marginalized identities. Karlaboy will be Jillian’s directorial debut with ACT.
Director’s email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Cast of Characters
Harold: A retired and reclusive Hollywood director and Karla Daven’s widower. In his 60s.
Young Harold: A bitter, envious and tormented young man whose Hollywood career is gaining traction, but no academy awards. In his 20s. *Harold is gay and male-identifying.
Bill Lauder: An investigative journalist and a huge fan of Karla, inquisitive and stubborn. In his 30s. *Bill is male identifying and his sexual orientation is not identified.
Karla Daven: One of the most beloved actresses of the early 1950s, who died suddenly and tragically, leaving behind her blossoming career and her husband. *Karla is female identifying and straight
Tony (& Handsome Man): A lover from the past, both to Karla and Harold, handsome, stubborn, and confident. 20s-30s. *Tony is male identifying, and his sexual orientation is not identified.
Studio Boss (& Super Mogul): Head of the unnamed studio to which Karla and Harold are contracted. 40s-60s. *Studio boss is male identifying.
Ensemble of four: Four members of the ensemble will play all of the characters from Harold’s flashback scenes. The roles have been divided between the four members already, based on gender presentation and amount of lines. These roles can be any age between 20 and 70. *Two ensemble members will portray male identifying characters. *One ensemble member will portray female identifying characters. *One ensemble member will portray characters that do not have a specific gender identity.