BRIGHT STAR CHARACTER BREAKDOWN

 

Alice Murphy – plays both 16-17 and 36-37. Alice at age 36-37 is an editor of a southern literary magazine; intelligent, attractive, professional – but with an air of melancholy. Young Alice at age 16-17 is rebellious, high-spirited, adventurous – looking to break out of small-town life and experience the world. She must be a very strong singer and comfortable in folk and bluegrass styles. Mezzo-Soprano.

Jimmy Ray Dobbs – plays both age 18-20 and 38-40. Jimmy Ray in his early 20s in flashbacks is Mayor Dobbs’ son and young Alice’s beau; handsome, boyishly charming, well-built and intelligent; from a family of wealth and power and is being groomed by his father for a similar future in the family business; an independent thinker who is not afraid to stand up to his father for what he believes in; he has a sense of personal responsibility and morality as well as a deep reserve of passion and emotion. The same actor will also play an adult Jimmy Ray at age 38-40. Tenor.

Billy Cane – a young soldier returning home from WWII; an aspiring young writer; fresh, open, optimistic, charming, and a little naïve. Tenor.

Mayor Josiah Dobbs – the Mayor of Zebulon; a political and financial powerbroker – distinguished, an imposing and controlling presence; has a genuine interest in protecting his son’s future and his family name, but in doing so, is ultimately pushed to a point of extreme and irrevocable cruelty. Baritone.

Margo Crawford – a small-town bookstore owner; a childhood friend of Billy’s who now harbors romantic feelings towards him; a natural beauty with a keen intellect. Soprano.

Daddy Cane – Billy’s father. A widower. Spry, good looking. Kind hearted, if a bit lonely. Tenor.

Mama Murphy – Alice’s mother. A caretaker to her family and her rural community. A warm, loving, sensible woman. Hardworking, with great inner strength and compassion. Mezzo-Soprano.

Daddy Murphy – Alice’s father; an authoritative and a stern disciplinarian; devoutly religious, hard-working, a poor but proud farmer. Baritone.

Daryl Ames – An assistant at a literary magazine. Funny, with a dry and officious sense of humor. Insecure, and perhaps a bit socially awkward, but endearing and innately likeable. Tenor/Baritone.

Lucy Grant – A junior editor at a literary magazine. An ambitious, professional young “modern” career woman of the 1940’s. Strong, forthright and provocative with a sharp sense of humor. Soprano.

Max – a customer at Margo’s bookstore, at first, he has a crush on Margo, but later becomes Edna’s beau.

Florence – an employee at Margo’s bookstore and a childhood friend of both Billy and Margo.

Edna – an employee at Margo’s bookstore.

Stanford – Loyal assistant to Mayor Josiah Dobbs