Audition Page


Main Stage Production: JOHN HENRY

Audition Date: Wednesday, January 16 at 7:00PM

The Growing Stage, The Children’s Theatre of New Jersey, located in the Historic Palace Theatre on Route 183 in Netcong, New Jersey will be holding AEA and AEA/EMC auditions for its World Premiere production of JOHN HENRY on Wednesday, January 16 at 7:00 PM. JOHN HENRY by Elise Forier Edie is under the direction of Stephen L. Fredericks, the Growing Stage’s Executive Director.

OPEN CALL for AEA, Non-Union, Community Artists and Young People Ages 10 and up.  All auditioning will be reading from the script.

The Laurie Award winner from the 2017 The Growing Stage’s New Play Reading Festival, JOHN HENRY is based on the traditional American folk-ballad about the “steel driving man.” John Henry blends music, history and storytelling to tell the tale of the first African American folk-hero. Young Jayjay and his best friend Grace are the children of railroad workers, and live in a camp in the Allegheny Mountains, just after the Civil War. When their fathers’ jobs are threatened by the invention of a steam drill, Jayjay’s dad challenges it, by proposing a race though the mountain, to prove a man can work better and faster than a machine. The race is on, but when John Henry’s conquest ends in sudden tragedy, Jayjay must find a way to honor his father’s legacy, while still being true to himself. Despite setbacks, and with the help of his friends and family, he finds a way to go forward, and to take his place in the burgeoning, industrial world.

JOHN HENRY opens February 8th and runs to the 10th, with performances on Friday at 7:30 PM, Saturdays and Sundays at 4:00 p.m. There are two weekday school shows scheduled at this time as well. The Growing Stage is a professional member of the Association of Actor’s Equity. There will be four roles available for AEA artists.

The cast breakdown is as follows (6 men, 3 women):
JAYJAY, (JOHN HENRY JUNIOR), African American, age 11
JOHN HENRY, African American, his father
POLLY ANN, African American, his mother
GRACE FLYNN (“GRACIE”), Irish American, Jayjay’s best friend, age 11
DAN FLYNN, Irish American, Grace’s father
AGNES BLIGH, Scots-Irish/American, Dan’s fiancée
JARYL WALKER (“WALKER JERRY”), white, railroad walker/foreman
BOSS HUNTINGTON, white, railroad owner
VINNIE, a salesman for steam engines

Rehearsal schedules are generally two or three evenings during the week, and a weekend afternoon. All cast members are expected for all performances, with no exception since the company does not cast understudies. Performers of color, seniors, women, and performers with disabilities are encouraged to attend. The Growing Stage Theatre is located in northwestern New Jersey with no regular mass transportation service available. Own transportation is strongly recommended. For additional information, please email the director at or call the theatre at 973-347-4946.