Prepare 2 contrasting monologues - 3 minutes total - Cold Readings from the script.
RHODA PENMARK – (preteen) She is the evil queen of the story. On the surface she is sweet, charming, full of old-fashioned graces, loved by her parents, admired by all her elders. But there is something going on deep within Rhoda’s mind, she plays everyone like a game of chess, and always gets what she wants… no matter the cost.
COL. KENNETH PENMARK – A good looking Officer, in love with his wife and completely taken with his wonderful little girl Rhoda, he is away for much of the events of the story, never fully grasping the horrors that his little girl will bring about.
CHRISTINE PENMARK – A very pretty, gentle, gracious woman, quite obviously dedicated to being a good wife and wonderful mother. The kind of woman whose life is given meaning by the affection she gives and receives. She later learns that her world famous father is her adoptive father, and that family secrets may have given birth to an evil she cannot accept.
MONICA BREEDLOVE – A widow, intelligent, voluble, and perhaps overly friendly. She is smitten with the Penmarks, and a gossipy know-it-all. She is particularly fascinated with Rhoda, showering the child with gifts throughout and being all too excited over Rhoda’s small graces. She will stand in for Col. Penmark as Christine’s ear to cry to and arm to hold on to as events take place.
EMERY WAGES – Monica Breedlove’s younger brother, plump and friendly, though much quieter than Monica and taciturn in many cases. Monica will point out that she thinks her younger brother is perhaps a closeted homosexual, this being the South in the 1950’s; such a thing would not have been spoken of in public circles.
LEROY – The Groundskeeper/Janitor of the Apartment building the Penmark’s and Breedlove’s live in. He feels he is not in his rightful place in life, being so high-minded and more intelligent than the rest of these “rich folks” and their wonderful lives of leisure and luxury. He becomes Rhoda’s foil in the show, but has a strange fascination/admiration for her. The two will butt heads constantly. Also harbors a secret lust for Christine Penmark though he himself is a married man with a family.
MISS FERN – The primly head of the most aristocratic school in the state, she has achieved a certain savoir faire, though she is herself a timid and undistinguished little old maid. She makes the most of the remains of once quite remarkable beauty. She and her sisters run the school and much of the town social events. She is the one who first makes Christine aware that something may be off with little Rhoda, and the one who ultimately asks that Rhoda not come back to the the school after the end of the year.
REGINALD TASKER – A friend of the Breedlove’s who writes Detective stories and has made himself a minor expert in the history of crime. Gets on well with Emory. Enjoys going into the details of some of the most gruesome murder and death stories that have occurred in the U.S. up to that point.
MRS. DAIGLE – The distraught mother of the deceased Claude Daigle, who was drowned at the school picnic. She spends most of the show intoxicated, and accusing the Penmarks, specifically Rhoda; of her little boys death. She is from a slightly lower class than the Penmark’s the the Ferns, and has no problem reminding everyone that that is the case. She is both envious and angry with Christine, yet somehow looking for comfort from her as well.
MR. DAIGLE – The put upon husband of Mrs. Daigle, also distraught over the loss of his son, but far less interested in his wife’s method for getting answers. Rather embarrassed by her actions.
MESSENGER – Messenger carrying the good news and bad out of the Penmark home
RICHARD BRAVO – Handsome once, somewhat stern and weary now. The high flying mystery writer known the world around. He is Christine’s father, later we find he is in fact her adoptive father, and the manner in which he adopted her is rather a secret in and of itself. Loves his daughter and granddaughter, but scared to answer Chris