Cindy Bither
Administrative Assistant
P: (540) 464-7207
F: (540) 464-7443

111 Smith Hall
Lexington, VA 24450

Auditions Scheduled for Civil War Spy Drama

LEXINGTON, Va., June 20, 2013 -- The VMI Community Theatre will hold auditions for Secret Service, a Civil War spy melodrama by William Gillette, on Monday and Tuesday, June 24 and 25, from 7 to 9 p.m. in the Gillis Theater in Marshall Hall. Performances are scheduled for the week of July 15-21.

Auditions and sign up for crew and staff are open to the community.

First performed in 1896, Secret Service follows the actions of a Union secret service agent posing as a Confederate officer, whose mission is to infiltrate and sabotage the Confederate telegraph service in Richmond. However, romance with a southern girl proves to be a greater obstacle for him than the enemy.

There are roles for at least 10 men, which include the lead character of Lewis Dumont, known as Capt. Thorne, the Union spy; Benton Arrelsford, a civilian working with the Confederate secret service, who is also the villain of the story; young Wilfred Varney, age 16, anxious to join the army and do his part; Henry Dumont, another Union spy, brother of Lewis Dumont; Gen. Nelson Randolph, commanding in Richmond; and Confederate soldiers of all ranks.

There are six roles for women: Mrs. Varney, a refined, intelligent southern general’s wife; Edith Varney, her daughter, a brave and vivacious young woman who falls in love with Capt. Thorne; Caroline Mitford, age 16, a frivolous, cute “southern belle” in love with Wilfred Varney; and two southern ladies who sew for the Richmond hospitals and an African-American house servant and cook.

The Community Theatre’s July production will also feature vignettes of women of all ages and other unique individuals whose lives impacted in various ways on the Civil War, from both the North and the South.

Actors will be asked to read from scripts provided. Help will also be needed with authentic Civil War era costumes and uniforms, firearms, and a set-up for a telegraph office.

The VMI Community Theatre is a non-profit, volunteer group, now in its third summer season. It operates separately from the cadet-based VMI Theatre, which functions during the academic year. The Community Theatre welcomes anyone who would like to act or work with costumes, props, make-up, sets, lights and sound, publicity, and box office.

For additional information, contact the director, Joellen Bland, at 540-464-7389 or