Spotlighters seeks a replace actor for Agnes in
A DELICATE BALANCE
By Edward Albee
Directed by Fuzz Roark
Interested actors should e-mail Fuzz Fuzz@spotlighters.org or call 410.752.1225
NEEDED: Female, age 50 - 55 for Agnes in A DELICATE BALANCE
Performance Dates: May 24 - June 30, 2013; Fri & Sat – 8 PM, Sun – 2 PM
Agnes is the main female character of the play. She is woman in her fifties, well off, and married to Tobias. She is also the mother of Julia and the sister of Claire. Agnes believes herself to be the fulcrum of the family, keeping everyone in balance. She often maintains this balance, or order, by not confronting issues, not taking a stand, and not processing emotions. She tries to keep the peace by not dealing with anything that might upset it.
On the surface, Agnes is completely supportive of her husband, Tobias. She looks to him to confirm her thoughts, and, likewise, she confirms his. It is not until near the end of the play that she brings up issues that show cracks in her relationship with her husband. When the memory of the death of her son is brought to the surface of her thoughts, she reminisces about how difficult a time that was for her, a time when she questioned everything, including her husband’s love and faithfulness to her.
Although she feels as if she is the fulcrum, Agnes begins and ends the play on her musings of insanity. She wonders if she could just suddenly slip off into madness and what that would be like. She wonders what her husband would do if that happened. Would she be an embarrassment to him? Embarrassment is a very large issue with Agnes. She is easily embarrassed by her sister Claire, who Agnes believes has wasted her life and her potential. When Claire insists that she is not an alcoholic, Agnes states sarcastically, “that’s very nice.” Then she lists times that Claire has vomited, fallen down, and called from the club to have someone come and get her. She concludes this commentary with the words: “If we change for the worse with drink, we are an alcoholic.”
Agnes’s relationship with her daughter, Julia, does not fare much better. Julia also embarrasses her mother. When Julia becomes hysterical, Tobias asks Agnes to go talk to their daughter. Agnes’s response is, “I haven’t the time.” Instead of empathizing with Julia, Agnes becomes more self-absorbed. She tells her husband that she has suffered far more than her daughter. This same self-absorption is apparent in all of Agnes’s relationships. She easily becomes lost in self-pity and at the same time believes herself to be above everyone around her. If she is the fulcrum of the balance in the family, Albee portrays her as a very unstable one. Albee has admitted that the character of Agnes is based on his real-life adopted mother.
FUZZ - James Roark
Executive Director - Managing/Artistic Director
817 Saint Paul Street
Baltimore, MD 21202