The Joy Luck Club Auditions

We will cast at least twelve women and five men to play more than thirty-six roles; some actors will double in two to five roles each. All roles are available.

Auditions are by appointment only on September 21 and 23 at the Nevada Theatre, 401 Broad Street, Nevada City.  Please sign up below.





The Joy Luck Club tells a series of interconnected stories about Chinese mothers, their American daughters, and the people who complicate their lives. The play takes place in China and in America from the early 20th century to 1987.

The Joy Luck Club will begin rehearsals on February 16, with performances running four weeks at the Nevada Theatre from April 9 through May 2, 2020.

Show dates are:

  • Thursday (7:00 show) April 9, 16, 23, 30
  • Friday (8:00 show) April 10, 17, 24, May 1
  • Saturday (8:00 show) April 11, 18, 25
  • Saturday, (2:00 matinee) May 2 final show
  • Sunday (2:00 matinee)  April 19, 26, (no show April 12  Easter Sunday)







Each woman should choose and prepare just one monologue; there are eight available in the download section.  All men should prepare and read the speech by Canning Woo even though some might be auditioning for younger characters.

The actor should work with the material enough to be able to interpret it with sensitivity and capture as much of the meaning as possible. We encourage you to memorize your monologue, but interpretation is more important than memorization.

If time permits, we’ll also arrange some cold readings of dialogue scenes.  Call-backs (on September 28) will involve scenes and more monologues.



the four mothers

The characters are all about seventy years old, but the actors’ age range can be 40+, and each enacts/tells a story about herself when she was a girl; all born in China and migrated to the United States

Lindo Jong — a strong personality, so clever and resourceful, but also pushy and especially critical; tends to control or manipulate others; as a teenager, she played on her mother-in-law’s superstitions to escape an arranged marriage; the mother of Waverly

Ying-Ying St. Clair — superstitious and scared of rumors, doesn’t always seem in tune with the real world but says “I was not always like this” and claims “I keep my true nature hidden”; the mother of Lena

An-Mei Shu — sometimes critical of her daughter, insisting that “you always have a choice,” but wounded, unable to forget that her four-year-old son drowned at the beach and her mother took her own life out of humiliation; the mother of Rose

Suyuan Woo — disappointed in her daughter for not being exceptional and for not expecting the best of everything; particularly intolerant of her daughter’s disobedience; never talks about the agony and shame of abandoning her two babies during the Japanese occupation in 1944; the mother of Jing-Mei

the four daughters

All in their thirties, but each enacts/tells a story about herself when she was a girl; all born, raised and educated in the United States

Waverly Jong — an aggressive, capable attorney skilled at criticizing and manipulating others; was a nationally-recognized chess prodigy as a girl; her only weakness is her mother, whom she wants to please but whose inevitable, relentless criticism exasperates her; the daughter of Lindo

Jing-Mei Woo — struggles with low self-esteem (failed at piano lessons, dropped out of college, has not married, and feels inadequate at her job); submits to her mother’s friends insisting that she play mah jong and travel to China to find her long-lost half-sisters; the daughter of Suyuan

Lena St. Clair — ashamed of her mother and lacks confidence in herself; unhappily puts up with her husband’s management of their financial “sharing” even though she agreed to it; the daughter of Ying-Ying

Rose Shu — has trouble standing up to others and making decisions; she submits to divorce but eventually asserts herself; she can’t break free of her guilt over the drowning death of her little brother; the daughter of An-Mei

the women (at least four actors to play eleven roles)

mother of An-Mei — a tragic figure, widowed and feels she has no choice but to become Wu Tsing’s fourth wife (i.e., third concubine), suffering various humiliations before taking her own life

Yan Chang — a crafty servant

Huang Taitai — the domineering but highly superstitious mother of Tyan-Yu who unfairly blames Lindo for not providing grandchildren

also the Matchmaker, Chwun Yu Wang, Chwun Hwa Wang, An-Mei’s Auntie, Second Wife, Amah, etc.

the men (at least five actors to play seventeen roles)

Canning Woo — patient, quiet, tolerant and understanding; devoted to his wife (Suyuan) and daughter (Jing-Mei) (age range: mature)

Ted Jordan — a physician exasperated at his wife’s inability to make decisions or even know what she wants; married to Rose (age range: thirties)

Harold Livotny — a successful architect who loves to show off his house and his Jaguar; married to Lena (age range: thirties to forties)

Rich Shields — friendly, outgoing, and oblivious to any hints on how to handle his girlfriend’s Chinese parents; engaged to Waverly (age range: thirties)

Clifford St. Clair — the supportive husband of Ying-Ying (age range: forties)

the Watermelon Man — so charismatic that the younger Ying-Ying can’t resist marrying him, but he cheats on her and abandons her

Wu Tsing — a rich merchant with five wives but much superstition (age range: mature)

Chong — teaches piano to the younger Jing-Mei, but he’s as deaf as Beethoven (age range: mature)

Lau Po — teaches chess to the younger Waverly; the sort of man you’d find playing chess in the park

Tyan-Yu — obnoxious teenage husband of the younger Lindo

also Tin Jong, Actor, Master Archer, Moon Lady, etc.



Waverly Lindo

Lena & Rose

men [Canning Woo]

Jing-Mei & Ying-Ying

An-Mei & Suyuan

Mac users Control+click and “Save Link as” to download files



Audition form is available to Download and Print. Please complete and bring to scheduled audition time.


You will receive an email within 24 to 48 hours to confirm your registration to audition. We will also provide your audition time (depending on availability).

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