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'The Red Box' auditions April 8 and 9 at The Phipps

Auditions for "The Red Box," a Nero Wolfe mystery based on the novel by Rex Stout, adapted for the stage by Joseph Goodrich, will be held 1-3 p.m. Sunday, April 8 and 7-9 p.m. Monday, April 9 at The Phipps Center for the Arts in Hudson. Actors may schedule an audition time by going to If necessary, callbacks will be held Tuesday, April 10.

A young woman is dead, and the fortunes of a theater producer hinge on solving the mystery, one full of secrets, half-truths, and family drama. The police are baffled, so it is time to call Nero Wolfe, a brilliant, quirky detective genius who never leaves his comfortable abode in Manhattan. While maintaining his schedule of drinking beer, tending to his orchids, and dining on fine cuisine, Wolfe and his wisecracking sidekick, Archie, attempt to solve this seemingly unsolvable mystery.

Director Ben Layne is looking for seven to eight adult males (two in their 20s-early 30s, the rest age 40+), and two adult women, (one in her early 20s, the other in her 40s) to bring these characters to life. In particular, he is looking for an actor to play the role of Wolfe, who is a larger than life presence, both in the physical sense, and in terms of his intelligence and mettle. For the role of Rene Gebert, facility with a French accent is needed.

There will be an initial read-through on April 22 or 23, with rehearsals held Monday through Thursday evenings, with some weekend rehearsals, through May 31. The show will run for nine performances June 1-17 on Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. as well as Sundays at 2:30 p.m. on the main stage.

All auditioning should come prepared to read from the script. Those auditioning should also bring a resume and headshot, if they have one, and a list of all conflicts they may have during the rehearsal period.

Layne earned his B.A. in Theatre Performance from the University of Northern Iowa. He is co-artistic director of Freshwater Theatre with his wife, Ruth Virkus. He is also a busy freelance director for several theaters in the Twin Cities area, including Northern Starz Children's Theatre, Fortune's Fool Productions, The Chameleon Theatre Circle, Devious Mechanics, Swandive Theatre, and Special When Lit Theatre, among others.

For further information, contact the center at 715-386-2305.