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March 31, 2016

Top 20 Roles for Strong Leading Males (Part 1)


We had so much fun putting together our list of the top roles for leading females, so now let’s hear it for the boys! Whether in a drama or a comedy, a strong protagonist is essential to creating a fantastic show.

We’ve compiled a list of some of the top leading male roles perfect for emerging actors or anyone looking for new characters to discover. Grab a copy of one of these scripts and delve into the stories of these men as they face and overcome challenges with work, family, and friends.

Seminar by Theresa Rebeck
In this provocative comedy from Pulitzer Prize nominee Theresa Rebeck, four aspiring young novelists sign up for private writing classes with Leonard, an international literary figure. Under his recklessly brilliant and unorthodox instruction, some thrive and others flounder, alliances are made and broken, sex is used as a weapon and hearts are unmoored. The wordplay is not the only thing that turns vicious as innocence collides with experience in this biting Broadway comedy. 3m, 2f

A Great Wilderness by Samuel D. Hunter
After decades as the gentle-natured leader of a Christian retreat that endeavors to “cure” gay teens, Walt is packing up his life and preparing for a reluctant retirement. But when his final client quietly disappears into the remote Idaho wilderness, Walt discovers that his previously unwavering moral compass no longer points the way. With profound humanity and subtlety, A Great Wilderness navigates complex moral terrain, exploring the shifting motives and inconstant strength of our personal convictions. 3m, 3f

The 39 Steps by Patrick Barlow, John Buchan
Mix a Hitchcock masterpiece with a juicy spy novel, add a dash of Monty Python and you have The 39 Steps, a fast-paced whodunit for anyone who loves the magic of theatre! This show is packed with nonstop laughs, over 150 zany characters (played by a ridiculously talented cast of 4), an on-stage plane crash, handcuffs, missing fingers and some good old-fashioned romance. A man with a boring life meets a woman with a thick accent who says she’s a spy. When he takes her home, she is murdered. Soon, a mysterious organization called “The 39 Steps” is hot on the man’s trail in a nationwide manhunt that climaxes in a death-defying finale. A riotous blend of virtuoso performances and wildly inventive stagecraft, The 39 Steps amounts to an unforgettable evening of pure pleasure! 3m, 1f

Title and Deed by Will Eno
Behold the newest nobody of the funniest century yet. He’s almost Christ-like, from a distance, in terms of height and weight. Listen closely or drift off uncontrollably, as he speaks to you directly about the notion of home, about the notion of the world. All of it delivered with the authority that is the special province of the unsure and the un-homed, which is a word he made up accidentally. The running time, if he doesn’t die or think of anything else, is roughly one hour. Title and Deed is a stunning monologue which is a haunting and often fiercely funny meditation on life as a state of permanent exile. 1m

The Joke by Sam Marks
It’s 1965 and two comedians, “Steady Eddie” & “Doug the Mug,” knock ’em dead every night in the Catskills. Punchlines and cheap shots fly – on stage and off – as Doug and Ed battle for the spotlight over a decade, pushing each other to the cusp of a new direction of stand-up comedy. With their personal and professional lives uncovered at center stage, Eddie and Doug must find a way to laugh it off while staying at the top of their game. The Joke takes a look at the friendship and the rivalry between two comic partners during the golden years of the Borscht Belt. 2m

Glengarry Glen Ross by David Mamet
This scalding comedy took Broadway and London by storm. Here is Mamet at his very best, writing about small-time, cutthroat real estate salesmen trying to grind out a living by pushing plots of land on reluctant buyers in a never-ending scramble for their share of the American dream. Revived on Broadway in 2005 and 2012, this masterpiece of American drama also became a celebrated film which starred Al Pacino, Jack Lemmon, Alec Baldwin and Alan Arkin. 7m

4000 Miles by Amy Herzog
After suffering a major loss while on a cross-country bike trip, 21 year-old Leo seeks solace from his feisty 91 year-old grandmother Vera in her West Village apartment. Over the course of a single month, these unlikely roommates infuriate, bewilder, and ultimately reach each other. 4000 Miles looks at how two outsiders find their way in today’s world. 1m, 3f

The Lion in Winter by James Goldman
Sibling rivalry, adultery and dungeons. Comedic in tone, dramatic in action – the play tells the story of the Plantagenet family who are locked in a free for all of competing ambitions to inherit a kingdom. The queen, and wealthiest woman in the world, Eleanor of Aquitaine, has been kept in prison since raising an army against her husband, King Henry II. Let out only for holidays, the play centers around the inner conflicts of the royal family as they fight over both a kingdom, as well as King Henry’s paramour during the Christmas of 1183. As Eleanor says, “every family has its ups and downs,” and this royal family is no exception. 5m, 2f

Noises Off by Michael Frayn
Called the funniest farce ever written, Noises Off presents a manic menagerie as a cast of itinerant actors rehearsing a flop called Nothing’s On. The Opening Night performance of the farce is just hours away, and as the cast stumbles through their final dress rehearsal, things couldn’t be going any worse. With lines being forgotten, love triangles unraveling and sardines flying everywhere, it’s complete pandemonium… and we haven’t even reached intermission! Doors slamming, on and offstage intrigue, and an errant herring all figure in the plot of this hilarious and classically comic play. 5m, 4f

Our Town by Thornton Wilder
Described by Edward Albee as “…the greatest American play ever written,” the story follows the small town of Grover’s Corners through three acts: “Daily Life,” “Love and Marriage,” and “Death and Eternity.” Narrated by a stage manager and performed with minimal props and sets, audiences follow the Webb and Gibbs families as their children fall in love, marry, and eventually—in one of the most famous scenes in American theatre—die. In an important publishing event, Samuel French, in cooperation with the Thornton Wilder estate is pleased to release the playwright’s definitive version of Our Town. Thornton Wilder’s final word on how he wanted his play performed is an invaluable addition to the American stage and to the libraries of theatre lovers internationally. 17m, 7f


Back Back Back by Itamar Moses
Before headlines blazed, before the Mitchell Report and ESPN lit up millions of television screens with the scandals, before congressional jaws dropped, comes the story of three guys making their way in the world of professional baseball
– a world too competitive to rely solely on raw talent. This explosive play takes you behind the headlines into the locker room to witness an even more gripping confrontation you didn’t see on TV, as these teammates face each other and do battle – for their careers, their legacies, and the future of America’s favorite pastime. 3m

Barrymore by William Luce
Each act begins with a stunning entrance onto a stage that the 60 year old legendary actor has rented to prepare for a comeback performance of Richard III. Barrymore jokes with the audience, spars with an offstage prompter, reminisces about better times and does delicious imitations of his siblings Lionel and Ethel. 2m

A Distant Country Called Youth by Steve R. Lawson, Tennessee Williams
Spanning the twenty five years from boyhood to the opening of The Glass Menagerie, this one man show evokes the evolution of an American genius through his extraordinary correspondence with family, friends, lovers and other writers. Hilarious, raunchy and poetic in turn, the piece spotlights these fairly obscure years in William’s life. Here is a young Thomas Lanier Williams growing up, exploring and finding his artistic voice as Tennessee Williams. 1m

Blanche and Beyond by Steve R. Lawson, Tennessee Williams
The stage sequel to A Distant Country Called Youth. While the first play traced the evolution of a young man finding his artistic voice, Blanche and Beyond spans the peak of Williams’ career – the period of Streetcar, Rose Tattoo, Summer and Smoke, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof – and explores a no-longer obscure playwright facing the seismic shock of international fame. 1m

Photo: Billy Carter and Robert Petkoff in The 39 Steps. Credit: Joan Marcus