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  • Writer's pictureDaryl Eisenberg


Updated: Apr 30

A World Premiere RUTKA: A New Musical

AEA/LORT Theater Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park

TO SUBMIT: Email picture/resume to

Subject Line: RUTKA [ROLE]

If a Cincinnati Local Hire, Subject Line: LOCAL - RUTKA [ROLE]

Director: Wendy C. Goldberg 

Producers: Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park

Music & Lyrics: Jocelyn Mackenzie & Jeremy Lloyd Styles (from indie band "Pearl and the Beard")

Book: Neena Beber (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel)

Casting: Eisenberg Casting

Rate: LORT salary, $1,100/week minimum

First Rehearsal - Tuesday, September 10, 2024

Tech Starts - Friday, October 4, 2024

Final Dress - Friday, October 11, 2024

First Preview - Sunday, October 13, 2024

Press/Opening - Thursday, October 17, 2024

Scheduled Close - Sunday, November 10, 2024

Rehearsal/Performance Location: Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Cincinnati, OH. Housing and single roundtrip transportation provided.

SYNOPSIS: You’ll never forget her name. A powerful indie-rock musical makes its world premiere in Cincinnati. Rutka’s world is consumed by the usual teen angst, like friendships, gossip, a new haircut and the flickers of first love — all of which she documents in her diary. But the world at large is far from usual. It’s 1943 in war-torn Poland, and Rutka and her friends are trying to live life in a Jewish Ghetto. With their futures and fates uncertain, they reach for hope, resilience and resistance. This all-new musical is a compelling historical drama based on Rutka’s Notebook — a publication of the real diary left behind by 14-year-old Rutka Laskier. 

NOTE: All roles may take on ensemble and parts duties as assigned. Seeking in all roles strong singers with folk/indie rock sensibilities. Generally, the women need to mix/belt to C/D, and the men to have (at least) a G. ALL ethnicities are welcomed and encouraged to audition. Every effort will be made to have a cast that is reflective of the world we live in with regard to racial diversity and gender identification.


RUTKA - 18+ to play 14, female, Jewish. A spirited, headstrong 14-year-old, unconventional and bold, funny, on that cusp of girl to woman. Rutka is charismatic and unconventional. She speaks her mind. She can be moody and mercurial and hard on herself for being hard on others; a dry wit and sarcastic sense of humor but also passionate and joyful. In the throws of adolescence, she is trying to make sense of a million conflicting emotions.

STASIA - 18+ to play 20, female. A good friend, loyal and kind and a little secretive as she makes her way in a world she doesn’t agree with but doesn’t know how to change. She finds in Rutka a kindred spirit and sees her as a younger sister but also a funny friend. Stasia wishes she were as bold and nonconformist as her friend, and tries hard to stay optimistic; she is in denial about what is happening in the war.

MICKA - 18+ to play 14/15, female, Jewish. Rutka’s great friend, loves a little mischief and gossip; she and Rutka get each other and like to tease each other. Micka is a little more concerned with popularity and fitting in; she satisfies her own crushes vicariously by pushing Rutka forward.

TUSIA - 18+ to play 14/15/16, female, Jewish. Very gossipy and a little more advanced, she acts more sophisticated and knowledgeable than she is; has at times been jealous of Rutka but underneath she looks up to her. She’s a fun, upbeat person but sometimes acts on her more superficial impulses.

LINKA - 18+ to play 14/15, female, Jewish. A studious, hard worker, she is very practical, always does the right thing if she can. A little earnest and sometimes awkward, she shares Rutka’s love of books. She has grit; things don’t come as easily sometimes but she is willing to push through.

NINA - 18+ to play 14, female, Jewish. Quiet and steady and a good listener; a little shy, a gentle daydreamer, she is easy to confide in.

JANEK - 18+ to play 15/16/17, male, Jewish. Rutka’s main romantic interest, he’s handsome and smart. In different circumstances, he’d have been Head Boy, with an easy manner, confident and sometimes a little cocky. Rutka makes him want to recite poetry but she is also the one person who makes him get tongue-tied and awkward.

LOLEK - 18+ to play 17, male, Jewish. Bookish and philosophical, an intellectual, passionate and political. He’s a book worm but also unexpectedly brave and a natural leader. He doesn’t care what people think of him, marches to the beat of his own drum.

MULEK - 18+ to play 14, male, Jewish. Fun-loving, sees himself as much suaver than he is — which is really a bit of a goofball. Crushed out on Rutka and all the girls, really. Janek’s best friend.

YAACOV - to play 30s-40s, male, Jewish. Rutka’s father. A protective family man, idealistic, intellectual, musical and hard working, he knew affluence and success before the war and was devoted to giving his wife and children a nice life. He is trying not to drown in world events and sees his job as continuing to look for a way out for his family and to keep them all from sinking into despair. He hides his own worries in order to keep the family as buoyant as possible.

DVORAH - to play 30s-40s, female, Jewish. Rutka’s mother, trying to keep a semblance of normalcy and parent her children, but more and more desperate. She’s overwhelmed by having a baby, a teenager, and no way to maintain the order she used to take pride in. She can be stern but only because she is trying to keep some control. The spark between her and Yaacov is clearly still there beneath the anxiety and stress.

MORDECHAI & OTHERS - to play 20s-30, male. He has joined the Judenrat/Kahal to enforce Nazi laws in the ghetto. A fellow Jew, he hopes to survive and believes if everyone follows strict laws maybe things will work out. He’s constantly warning people to follow orders and is like the strict hall monitor wielding his scrap of power.

STANISLAWA & OTHERS - to play 80s+, female. This is STASIA many decades later. She sees herself as the keeper of the flame and still converses with Rutka through the diary she has held onto. Though outwardly you would never know it, she has kept the unconventional spirit alive; she never married, has a mischievous twinkle, and enjoys young people and sharing the truth. She has seen the worst of humanity’s potential for cruelty but has been able to find and hold onto joy, which she sees as Rutka’s legacy.

HENRYK BROSSE & OTHERS - 20s-40s, male. A photographer with a studio in the ghetto, he’s a kindly, upbeat presence with a sense of humor who likes to bring out the best in everyone.

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