The Elgin Theatre Company is holding auditions for its spring show, CHICAGO (THE PLAY, NOT THE MUSICAL). This play was written in 1926 by Maurine Watkins and was the inspiration for the musical of the same name. This production of CHICAGO is adapted and directed by Julie Price. 

Synopsis – A fame-obsessed housewife kills her lover in cold blood and, after trying to coerce her husband into taking the blame, is put on trial for murder. The play, while fiction, is a satire based on two unrelated 1924 court cases involving two women, Beulah Annan (the inspiration for Roxie Hart) and Belva Gaertner (the inspiration for Velma) who were both suspected and later acquitted of murder, whom Watkins had covered for the Chicago Tribune as a reporter. 

The play debuted on Broadway at the Sam Harris Theatre in late December 1926, directed by George Abbott, where it ran for 172 performances. 

Auditions dates/times:

  • Friday Feb. 24, 2023 – 6:30 – 9:30 p.m.
  • Monday Feb. 27, 2023 – 6:30 – 10:00 p.m.

Possible Callbacks or Script read-thru, (you will be notified):

  • Wednesday March 1, 6:30 – 9:30 p.m.

Audition/Rehearsal Location:

  • First United Methodist Church, 216 E. Highland Ave., Elgin, IL

Audition Requirements:

  • Cold readings from the script.
  • Be prepared to stay until dismissed.
  • Bring all scheduling conflicts.

Rehearsal Time Commitment: March 1 to May 4, 2023

  • Sunday afternoons 1:00 – 5:00 p.m.
  • Mondays, Wednesdays 6:30 – 9:00 p.m.
  • Tuesday May 2, 6:30 – 9:00 p.m.
  • Thursday May 4, 6:30 – 9:00 p.m.
  • Tech week – May 1 – 4, 6:30 – 10:00 p.m. – Attendance required.

Performance Dates (3 weekends):

May 5, 6, 7, 12, 13, 14, 19, 20, and 21, 2023.

Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2:00 p.m. 

Performance Location:

The professional building 8th floor
Elgin Art Showcase | 164 Division Street – Eighth Floor | Elgin, IL 

Staff members needed:

  • Assistant Director/Stage Manager
  • Property manager
  • Set Design / Set Dresser
  • Lights
  • Sound

Roles: descriptions are from the original script 

  • Roxie Hart, (20-30) “the prettiest woman ever charged with murder in Chicago.” – She is 23ish, slender, and beautiful; and hair the color of flame. A hint of a Raphael angel – with a touch of Medusa. (300+ lines).
  • Fred Casely, (30-40) “the other man.” (8 lines).
  • Amos Hart, (25-35) “her meal-ticket husband.” (79 lines) – an awkward creature of thirty or so, with a low forehead, snub nose, and a weak chin. He wears a noble, melancholy air, and enjoys the procedure thoroughly. His clothes bear the odor of the “shop,” and his hands are marked with grease and grime.
  • Billy Flynn, (30+) her attorney – ‘’best in the city, next to Halliday.” (193 lines) – our hero, counsel for the defense. Carries himself with the Corporal’s air. The eyes are deep-set and keen; He is dressed with careful carelessness: tweed topcoat and fedora, pepper and salt sack-suit, blue shirt with soft collar, and striped necktie with golden horseshoe. He buys on Michigan Boulevard, but follows the style of West Chicago. A millionaire would know his tailor, but a bricklayer would feel comfortably that his Sunday clothes beat Billy’s.
  • Martin S. Harrison, (30+) Assistant States Attorney. (50 lines) – He is a tall man; ambitious, eager, with a nervous manner— almost bursting with suppressed excitement for this case. A little near-sighted, with tortoise-shell glasses; aquiline nose, thin lips.
  • Sergeant, Charles E. Murdock, (50+) a heavy, bluff fellow of fifty or so (38 lines) – A large, bluff fellow of fifty or so, with ruddy face and heavy jowls.
  • Jake, (25-35) reporter on The Chicago Gazette. (145 lines) – A rough and ready chap in the middle twenties, with keen eyes and cynical smile.
  • “Babe”, (male/female) (25+) newspaper photographer on The Chicago Gazette. (38 lines) – Ready to go, with a ready smile and steady flow of words. Loves their work.
  • Miss Mary Sunshine, (30+) sob sister on The Evening Star. (63 lines) – really Pollyanna’s older sister. She is a soulful semi-blonde with protruding front teeth and adenoids, who talks with a slightly affected lisp and boundless enthusiasm.
  • Morton, (50+) Matron at Cook County Jail. (94 lines) – in dark dress with large white apron, she’s a stalwart woman of fifty or so, with iron-gray hair, dark eyes with flabby lids, ruddy complexion, and weak mouth.
  • DJ Cin-dee (Cynthia) (any age) – married to the Radio Preacher, sings jazz during off hours, in secret. A seductive voice on the radio. (7 lines) Jazz singer opportunity.
  • DJ Preacher – (any age) preaches on the radio – harsh, judgmental voice on the radio (7 lines) Offstage voice.
  • *****INMATES: (Also play roles of the extras) (18+).
  • Velma, (35+) “stylish divorcée.” (47 lines) – A dark, quiet woman in the late thirties, with smooth sallow features, large dreamy eyes, and full lips. She moves with studied languor and her voice is soft and low. She wears a heavy dull crepe dress and topaz earrings that match a certain tawny gleam in her smoldering eyes.
  • Liz, (40+) “God’s Messenger.” (42 lines) – A small elderly woman, with a straggly mop of hair that is the weird color left by many peroxides. Her eyes are a washed-out blue, with now and then a wild, fanatic gleam. Her mouth is broad, filled with a fascinating mixture of natural and artificial teeth. There are deep wrinkles – almost cuts – around her mouth and eyes.
  • Maggie – (20+) Hungarian, “Moonshine Maggie” (16 lines) – a rough peasant type, thirty-five or so, with straggly black hair, large plain features. Accent required.
  • Kitty, (20+) “the Tiger Girl.” alias Machine Gun Rosie, the Cicero Kid. (24 lines) – Wiry, young, tough with insolent eyes set deep in a thin face, square hard jaw, and straight scarlet mouth now drawn tight. She wears a rough topcoat over sweater and skirt, and a velvet tam over a matted curly bob.
  • EXTRAS: Coroner, Officer, Judge, Bailiff, Clerk/Bailiff, Photographers, Reporters, court reporter, Neighbors’ voices.


  • This production is rated PG 13 for: adult language, adult themes, suggestions of violence, and flashes of light.

This production is funded in part by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency.

For further information about auditions please visit our contact page to phone or e-mail ETC

Audition Form

Thank you for your interest. All auditions for Elgin Theatre Company productions are open auditions. Please fill out the following form.

An asterisk (*) following a field name identifies a required field.

  • Please be specific– Facebook, blogs, websites, online newsgroups, radio, newspaper, etc.
  • What is the name of the play and the character?
  • Please specify experience, credits, education, special training, and skills:
  • Shows appeared in with roles/dates/theater companies.
  • Work, summer school/camp, other show rehearsals and performances, vacations. You must be specific. We will ask you to confirm your conflicts again when you are cast.