Ignite Premiere! 

All Ages Production- Open to performers of all ages and skill level

September 13th - 16th at Bayless High School Auditorium 

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Bye Bye Birdie Synopsis & Character Descriptions


The year is 1958, and the much-adored rock-and-roll idol -- Conrad Birdie -- has been drafted into the US army. His songwriter and agent, Albert, and Albert’s secretary and some-time girlfriend, Rosie, hatch a plan for a farewell performance to take place on The Ed Sullivan Show, which they hope will help sell Birdie’s new song “One Last Kiss,” and ultimately save Almaelou records from going under. To cap off the performance, Birdie will actually give ‘one last kiss’ to Kim MacAfee, an avid member of the Conrad Birdie fan club from Sweet Apple, Ohio.

When Albert and Rosie head to Sweet Apple to prepare for Birdie’s arrival, things start to unravel. Kim’s father is starstruck at the thought of being on The Ed Sullivan Show with his daughter, and Kim’s new steady, Hugo gets jealous at the thought of Kim kissing Conrad on national television.


Albert Peterson: (Tenor) He’s our stories central character. What, you thought it was Birdie? Nope. He’s the nervous and high-strung president of Almalou Records. The actor who seeks to fill this role must be a strong vocalist, but he also serves to carry the show’s main action. As such, he must be spot-on in comedic timing and show the core of this man in audition. It’s a great role. Show us something, gents! (LEAD)

Rose Alvarez (Alto): Poor Rose. She really puts up with a lot through the course of the show. Rose is Al’s secretary but dreams of the day when she can adjust his title from “employer” to “hubby.” That was always their plan, but time seems to have slipped away. Despite his oft selfish and callous treatment of Rose, she continues to support him, biding her time. Well, for a while anyway. Every woman has her breaking point. The role of Rose requires a woman who can display a truly strong spirit and a spicy inner being who can’t wait to escape. The role of Rose will be secured by the one in audition who can sell the character’s spirit, both via dialog delivery AND vocals. (LEAD)

Conrad Birdie (Baritone):  He’s rude. He’s arrogant. He doesn’t show much regard for others. He’s rumored to have a drinking problem. Eh, he’s a Rockstar anyway. This is, essentially, the iconic role of the show. In truth, the character doesn’t have much in terms of dialog, but he does command a heavy swath of vocals. In audition, you must sell the vocals, gentlemen. We also need to see, very clearly, the physicality of Birdie. We need to see the performer fluidly at-work during the vocal auditions. 

Kim MacAfee (Soprano): Kim needs to come across as a typical all-American teenage girl of the 1950’s. She’s convinced that she’s already reached adulthood, and enjoys all the marvelous perks that come along with being a woman. Of course, the jolt of news about Birdie’s imminent arrival and her role in seeing him off is enough to send her reeling back down the ladder rungs into pure childhood bliss.  Ladies, if you seek to fill this role, you need to be solid on the vocals. You also need to communicate the black and white line that defines Kim at the crossroads of development where she finds herself.

Mrs. Mae Peterson (Alto): Wonderful character role!  Every scene in which she appears presents Mae unabashedly working to guilt trip her poor son. She’s a wonderful character who commands volumes of laughter in the audience. 

Mr. Harry MacAfee (Tenor): He’s a great source of comedy in the production. He has a couple of really great scenes in which he has the potential to leave the house rolling. “Parliament has been dissolved; the Magna Carta is revoked, and Nero is back in town!”

Mrs. Doris MacAfee (Alto): Typical 1950's housewife. Mortified with her daughter’s abrupt assertion of adult status. 

Hugo Peabody (Speaking Role): Hugo is Kim’s understandably frustrated boyfriend.  Hugo is a great role for the right actor. He has solid stage time and enjoys command of a couple of humorous moments. The prototypical teenage boy, circa 1950’s. 

Ursula Merkle (Mezzo): If Kim registers an excitement level of six on a scale of ten, Ursula hits twelve. She’s Kim’s number-one confidant. Always looking out for her best friend’s interests, Ursula offers wise council to Kim in times of need. She’s a little quirky, high-energy, and busting with vitality. 

Randolph MacAfee (Tenor): Kim’s younger brother. He’s overlooked a bit, and when he is acknowledged, he really isn’t given much respect at all. Randolph shouldn’t be played shy, but he is certainly the subordinate within the family. 

Adult Ensemble (Lots of speaking roles) 

Mayor (Adult Chorus, variable range): He’s the mayor of the good town of Sweet Apple, Ohio. Takes his role very seriously. 

Edna (Adult Chorus, variable range): What? You don’t know who Edna is? She’s the mayor’s wife! GREAT character role, lots of emotion as Conrad begins to sing during Sweet Apple’s welcoming ceremony for the auspicious guest.

Mr. Johnson (Adult Chorus, variable ranges): Harvey's Dad. 

1st Reporter (speaking role): He’s got something to say,.

2nd Reporter (nonspeaking role): He doesn’t have something to say, but he does have a camera.

3 rd Reporter (speaking role): He also has something to say, although everyone would prefer he changed places with the 2nd Reporter and remain silent instead.

Mrs. Merkle (Soprano): She’s Ursala’s mother. The apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree, usually. High energy- excitable! 

Ed Sullivan (spoken role): "Really Big Shoooooooo" 

Charles F. Maude (Adult Chorus, Tenor): He’s the hearty proprietor of Maude’s Roadside Retreat. Decent guy.

Maude’s Dishwasher (Adult Chorus, Tenor): He washes dishes for a living, but he’s also a member of our male quartet

Maude’s First Customer (Adult Chorus, Baritone): God only knows this guy’s story. Anyway, he’s also a member of the male quartet.

Maude’s Second Customer (Adult Chorus, Tenor): Part of the quartet 

Gloria Rasputin (Soprano): She’s Mrs. Peterson’s choice to replace Rosie. Not exactly what one might expect as the embodiment of the ideal administrative assistant, Gloria is a forceful, broad woman with true gusto. 

Policeman (variable range): He keeps the order.

Another Parent (speaking role): Yup, he or she has sumpin’ to say.

Traveler 1 (speaking role): He travels.

Traveler 2 (speaking role): She travels as well.

Train Conductor (speaking role, variable ranges): If the role of a conductor was good enough for Ragtime, it’s good enough for this show.

Lee (Adult Chorus, speaking role): He’s a concerned parent.

Ed Sullivan TV Crew: Stagehands, Wardrobe, Stage Manager etc. 

Teen Ensemble (LOTS of featured roles)

Carl (Teenage Chorus, variable ranges): He’s a teenage boy from Sweet Apple.

Girl 1 (Teenage Chorus): She’s got a line!

Nancy (Teenage Chorus, variable range): She’s yet another teenage girl from Sweet Apple.

Helen (Teenage Chorus, variable ranges): Uh, huh. She’s another teenage girl from you know where.

Margie (Teenage Chorus, Mezzo): A teenage girl hailing from Sweet Apple and friend to Kim.

Harvey Johnson (Teenage Chorus, Tenor): Always looking for a date. 

Alice (Teenage Chorus, Mezzo): She’s the mayor’s daughter. 

Penelope Ann (Teenage Chorus, variable ranges): She is a teenage girl. She has a couple of lines.

Deborah Sue (Teenage Chorus, variable range): Yep, another teenage girl from Sweet Apple, Ohio.

Fred (Teenage Chorus, variable range): He’s a teenage boy from Sweet Apple.

Suzie (Teenage Chorus, variable range): She’s a teenage girl from Sweet Apple.

Youth Ensemble 

The younger siblings of Teen Chorus heavily featured in "Sincere," "American Boy" and "Kids" 

Heavy Dance Roles 

Sad Girl 1 (nonspeaking role): She’s sad. Featured in "Put on a Happy Face" 

Sad Girl 2 (nonspeaking role): She’s more sad still. "Put on a Happy Face" 

Sweet Apple Shriners (nonspeaking): Dance heavy Role.