Casting Call for “A Thousand Clowns”

  • BY: by Herb Gardner
  • DIRECTED BY: by Bob Cohen
  • SHOW DATES: Runs June 27 - July 28, 2024 / Rehearsals begin May 20th
  • Sessions: in person on 2/24 or appointmen by request


Sat, Feb 24 2024


appointment by request
1:00 PM - 4:00 PM

More Info

Go to Sign Up Form


Stevenson Studio @Mendo Art Center


Play Description

A timeless comedy “A Thousand Clowns” by Herb Gardner, is a heartwarming and thought-provoking play that follows the eccentric Murray Burns as he confronts societal norms and finds meaning in unconventional ways. With its delightful blend of wit, charm, and poignant storytelling, “A Thousand Clowns” is guaranteed to leave audiences with a renewed appreciation for life’s quirky beauty.


Determined to avoid employment, Murray Burns, an eccentric former TV writer, lives with his 12-year-old nephew, Nick, in a messy New York City apartment. When Nick’s unconventional home life is discovered, Murray comes under the scrutiny of social worker Sandra Markowitz, whom he quickly charms. Attempting to be responsible for both Nick and Sandra, Murray begrudgingly looks for a job — but can he truly commit to a more conventional life?

The play takes place in Manhattan at the start of the 1960s.

The roles of Murray Burns and Nick are cast.

Open Roles:

  • SANDRA MARKOWITZ – Sandra is a 25 year old psychological social worker, who just recently got her PhD from NYU. She is from the Bronx and when the show opens is seemingly engaged to Albert Amundsen, a social worker, but not a PhD who is also her boss. Things go awry when she meets and experiences Murray and Nick.
  • ALBERT AMUNDSON – a nose to the grindstone, rather boring social worker in the child welfare bureau who toes the line and doesn’t break the rules. When we meet him, Albert is engaged to Sandra. Albert is 30ish.
  • ARNOLD BURNS – Murray’s older brother and also his agent, who is thoroughly concerned about Murray’s welfare and whether he and Nick eat enough. He brings fresh fruit to Murray’s apartment every day. Nick calls him Uncle Arnie. A wonderful role that earned Martin Balsam a Best Supporting Actor Oscar in the film version. The character age can be from 40ish to mid 50s. 
  • LEO HERMAN (aka Chuckles the Chipmonk) – Chuckles has a really silly kids TV show which Murray used to write for. It has become increasingly terrible since Murray quit. Leo really wants Murray to come back to write for him again, and when circumstances dictate that Murray find a job in order to keep custody of Nick, he may get his wish. Leo’s character age can range from late 40s to mid 60s.
Auditions will consist of readings from the script. Perusal scripts are available at the MTC office (call first: 707-937-2718).

Audition sides can be downloaded from the Audition Signup Form (linked below).

For further info or questions, please contact the director.
DIRECTOR INFORMATION: Bob Cohen | phone: 707-357-2075 | email: