Reading of Trouble in Mind

By Alice Childress

Directed by Sandra Adell

As the 1950s draw to a close, a newly integrated theatre company prepares to open a progressive but misguided new play about race relations on Broadway. Lead actress Wiletta Mayer has the opportunity to become the first leading lady of color on the Great White Way, but is she willing to compromise her beliefs to make the career leap? For Trouble in Mind, Childress was awarded an Obie Award in 1956 for best original Off-Broadway production, making her the first African-American woman to win an Obie.

Alice Childress (1916 – 1994) was an American playwright, actor, and author, acknowledged as "the only African-American woman to have written, produced, and published plays for four decades." Childress described her writing as trying to portray the have-nots in a have society, saying: "My writing attempts to interpret the 'ordinary' because they are not ordinary Each human is uniquely different. Like snowflakes, the human pattern is never cast twice. We are uncommonly and marvellously intricate in thought and action, our problems are most complex and, too often, silently borne." Childress also became involved in social causes, and formed an off-Broadway union for actors.

Produced by Kathie Rasmussen Women's Theatre at location TBA

Performances: March 10, 2018

Performance Times:
Saturday, March 10, 1-3pm. Reception to follow, 4-5pm

Free admission

Call 608-663-5814 for reservations or more information.

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The Department of Afro-American Studies and Kathie Rasmussen Women’sTheatre are holding auditions for a staged reading of Trouble in Mind by Alice Childress.

Auditions will be held on the following days:


You don’t need to prepare monologues. You’ll be reading scenes from the script. Bring a headshot or recent photo and a resume.

Auditions by appointment only on Wednesday, Oct.4, 6:30-8:30; or Thurs. Oct 5 6:30-8:30
Audition Schedule for each Day: To schedule an appointment, send an email to Sandra Adell Possible times:
6:30-6:40 7:10-7:20 7:55-8:05
6:45-6:50 7:25-7:35 8:10-8:20
6:55-7:05 7:40-7:50 8:25--

WHERE: Room 2625 Humanities Building, 455 North Park, UW-Madison Campus

Personnel: Sandra Adell, Dept. of Afro-American Studies
Jan Levine Thal, Artist Director, Kathie Rasmussen Women’s Theatre (Krass)

Wiletta Mayer—African American, late 40s-early 50s
Millie Davis—African American, mid 30s
John Nevins—African American, mid 20s
Judy Sears—White, early 20s
Sheldon Forrester—African American, late 50s
Al Manners---White, mid-40s
Bill’OWray—White, late 40s, early 50s
Eddie Fenten—White, 30s
Henry—white, slight Irish accent, 60-70

Rehearsal dates: All rehearsals will be in room 4123 Helen C. White Hall, 600 North Park, UW Campus
Table read, Saturday, October 21, 2017, 12:00-4:00 pm
First rehearsal, Saturday, Feb. 10, 2018, 12:00-4:00 pm
Second rehearsal, Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018, 12:00-4:00 pm
Third rehearsal, Saturday, March 3, 2018, 12:00-4:00 pm