The Grand Opera House Announces Auditions for

The Grand Opera House will present Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express adapted for the stage by Ken Ludwig.  Performances are on October 4, 5, 11 & 12, 2019 at 7:30pm and October 6 & 13, 2019 at 2:00pm. 


Just after midnight a snowdrift stops the Orient Express in its tracks. By morning everyone is a suspect when an American tycoon is found dead in his compartment, stabbed a dozen times, his door locked from the inside. I

solated and with a killer in their midst, detective Hercule Poirot must identify the murderer – before he or she decides to strike again.

When Agatha Christie’s estate was looking for someone to write a new and first ever stage adaptation of Murder On The Orient Express they tapped award winning playwright Ken Ludwig.  The talents of two literary giants capture all the suspense that you expect from a Christie novel peppered with the humor and comic pathos that is Ludwig’s hallmark.



Director: Doug Donald



6:00 PM-9:00 PM Sunday, August 11th

7:00 PM-10:00 PM Monday, August 12th

Call backs:

7:00 PM-10:00 PM Tuesday, August 13th

*Actors wishing to audition but are unavailable to arrive at the start of the audition time should call the Grand Opera House business office at 563-588-4356 to make appropriate arrangements.



Location: Auditions will be held at the Grand’s Rehearsal space in the Arcade Building, 880 Locust St., Suites 222 and 228.  Please enter though the alley entrance located between Locust and Main.  When you enter go up just past the first hallway and take the stairs on the left to the second floor.  The rooms are right at the top of the stairs. 


Those auditioning should be prepared to list all conflicts or potential conflicts between August 26th and September 29th.  Availability for evening dress/technical rehearsals September 30-October 3rd and all performances is mandatory.  Rehearsals may possibly run anytime from 6-10 pm Monday through Friday and various times on the weekend depending on necessity and cast availability. NOTE: Rehearsal dates and times are NOT set in stone and will be in part determined by the availability of the cast! 


Those auditioning will be asked to read from the script.  Copies of the audition sides can be picked up at the Grand Opera House Business Office in advance beginning Monday, August 5th between 9:00am-4:00pm Monday-Friday.  They will also be available at the audition or can be emailed in advance upon request by contacting Frank McClain at For additional information please contact Frank McClain. 



Please note the accents are important.

These are very distinct characters with strong personality traits.


HERCULE POIROT – male, 30’s to 50’s. A retired Belgian police officer. Poirot is Christie's most famous detective and is known for his short stature (flexible) and long, curly moustache. Poirot is very intelligent, extremely aware and instinctual and is a brilliant detective. Belgian accent required.


BOUC – male, 30’s to 50’s, ANY ETHNICITY. A Belgian man of good humor. Playful, proud, generous. A predilection for grandeur. A whirlwind of energy. Must be an excellent comedian.


Hector McQueen - Ratchett's personal secretary. Hector is truly in cahoots with the Armstrong family. McQueen tries to hard to tell Poirot that Ratchett did not speak any French—making him an immediate suspect in the case. American accent.


RATCHETT/COL. ARBUTHNOT – male, mid 30’s to early 50’s, ANY ETHNICITY. 1 actor will play 2 roles. SAMUEL RATCHETT: Middle-aged American businessman, evil at heart and frightening, brusque, unforgiving, stern demeanor. Pushy, domineering. / COLONEL ARBUTHNOT: Scotsman, also middle aged, handsome, very matter of fact, occasionally tender. Must have great comic timing.


MICHEL/MARCEL – male, mid 30’s to early 60’s, ANY ETHNICITY. 1 actor will play 2 roles. MICHEL: A good-looking Frenchman, about 40, a quiet, almost grave sense of humor. Unfailingly polite. / MARCEL: A Turkish waiter, snooty, smooth. Must have great comic timing.


MARY DEBENHAM – female, 30’s, ANY ETHNICITY. An English beauty. A governess, capable yet romantic. A sadness around her eyes and a hardness about her person.


GRETA OHLSSON – female, mid 20’s to 60’s. Inherently odd, and very devout Swedish woman. A frightened, sheeplike quality. Must be an excellent comedienne with an impeccable Swedish accent.


COUNTESS ANDRENYI - female, 20’s to 30’s, ANY ETHNICITY. Brilliantly beautiful, like something out of a fairytale. Impeccably put together, with a warmth that wins over everyone she meets. Her delicacy belies a steely edge – she is no wilting flower. Hungarian accent.


MRS. HUBBARD – female, late 40’s to 60’s, ANY ETHNICITY. An outspoken and flamboyant American from the Midwest. Jovial, obnoxious, domineering, deliciously nosy and brash. Unapologetic. Must be an excellent comedienne.


PRINCESS DRAGOMIROFF – female, 60’s to 70’s, ANY ETHNICITY. A Russian dowager. Very formal, a sweeping, impressive presence. Imperial, impatient.