Recent Tragic Events by Craig Wright

Auditions for Recent Tragic Events will be Sunday, July 17th from 6-9pm at the studio at the Attic Theatre. We recommend that you read the play in advance, and be prepared to read sides. You are welcome to show us a contemporary monologue, although it is not mandatory. We will be casting the roles of Andrew, Ron, and Nancy/Joyce Carol Oates. To schedule an audition time, please email 

Performances will be September 9th, 10th, 16th & 17th, venue TBA. Rehearsals begin July 25 and the rehearsal schedule will include some weeknights and some weekend days. 

This dark comedy by Crag Wright is set on September 12th 2001 in the Minneapolis apartment of Waverly, a young advertising executive. Soon to venture on a blind date amidst the television news coverage of the September 11th attacks, Waverly becomes preoccupied when she discovers that her twin sister, Wendy, a student in New York, has not been heard from. Waverly reassures herself that Wendy had no reason to be at the World Trade Center. As the evening unfolds, Waverly and her blind date, Andrew, an airport bookstore manager, realize that they are connected by a succession of bizarre coincidences. As Waverly awaits word on Wendy, the date is complicated by visits from her crazed-musician neighbor, Ron, and his girlfriend, Nancy, and a startling visit from Waverly’s great aunt, Joyce Carol Oates—played by a sock puppet. 

Waverly: [Please note, this role has been cast.] Female, 30s, Advertising Executive. We get the feeling that despite her best efforts, Waverly is not her normal self. Usually responsible, put together, and a bit Type-A, Waverly is flustered and trying not to come apart at the seams. She is a fun, confident, attractive, go-getter who likes to make the decisions, even if she says she doesn’t. On another night she might be more invested in getting to know Andrew, her blind date for the evening, but finds herself distracted by the Recent Tragic Events and her famous author great-aunt, Joyce Carol Oates’, unexpected visit. 

Andrew: Male, 30s. Airport bookstore manager. Andrew is just trying to be normal. He is observant from a distance, piecing together Waverly’s background from bits of information, while not really putting himself at the center of attention. He is shy and nervous around Waverly at first—he mentions to Ron that she is the most beautiful woman he’s ever seen. But over the course of the play he slowly warms up to the whole group, especially after the arrival of his favorite author, Joyce Carol Oates.

Ron: Male, 30s. Musician. Waverly’s eccentric, easygoing, neighbor, who stops by unannounced on the regular to raid her fridge and philosophize. He is opinionated, and has no trouble sharing his thoughts, whether they make sense to others or not. He is not easily offended, and means no offense. Andrew senses, and Ron hints, that a romantic moment may have transpired between him and Waverly, but it is only a passing thought. He is curious without judgment. 

Nancy/Joyce Carol Oates: Female, 30s. Played by the same actress. Nancy is Ron’s current lady-friend. Her only line is, “I’m leaving my husband and Ron’s just a friend, that’s the whole story.” In Act I she is almost more of an obscure background character who keeps out of the conversation, but keeps eating the pizza. Waverly and Andrew sense that there is something odd about her, although she seems to mesh perfectly into Ron’s world of very little reason. In Act II, the character of Nancy operates the sock puppet that is Waverly’s great-aunt, Joyce Carol Oates, renowned novelist and literary figure. She stops by Waverly’s apartment to say hi while she’s in town and ends up playing a drinking game with the whole gang that evening at the apartment. Despite her reputation as a prestigious writer, she surprises everyone with her outgoing personality and sense of humor.