"THE BAD SEED"
DECEMBER 18 7:30
Show Runs FEB 22-MARCH3
There will be a cold reading from the script
Bad Seed takes place in a small southern town in the late spring of 1955. Christine Penmark seems to have it all: a lovely home, a loving husband and the most "perfect" daughter in the world. However, this charming life is darkened by a cloud of worry and suspicion.
Rhoda Penmark is a sweet, tidy, well-mannered girl aged eight, and the pride and joy of her mother Christine. She seems absolutely perfect and full of charm which she can turn on at any time to get what she wants. At the same time she is apparently unable to make friends, and some people think there is something odd, even sinister, about her. In order to give her a new start, her anxious parents have just relocated to a new town where nobody knows them, and enrolled her in the best school they can find.
An outing at the school sends the family’s house of cards tumbling down. One of Rhoda’s classmates, Claude Daigle, has just won a prize which she believed was hers by right, and on a picnic he is “accidentally” drowned. She seems strangely unaffected by the tragedy, and everyone thinks there is something very disturbing about her reactions.
The building janitor, Leroy, suspects he knows the answer, and threatens to tell them. Gradually Christine realizes that she might have had something to do with other unexplained deaths of people around her.
Then the truth becomes chillingly clear. Christine’s dear little child is no angel, but an ice-cold, calculating serial killer. Although adopted, she traces the identity of her biological mother, and in doing so stumbles across a dark secret.
The character is 8, but the actor can be older, up to a petite 12 or 13 year old. She should look innocent and act very polite, but it is important that she be mature enough to understand the role. A very large role for a young actress, Rhoda is the title role—the “Bad Seed” who will stop at nothing to get what she wants.
Rhoda’s mother and the leading role of the show. She is a gracious, pretty woman who adores her child and her husband, but she is torn when she realizes the truth about Rhoda.
Col. Kenneth Penmark:
Rhoda’s father, straight arrow military officer. He adores his wife and child.
imposing-looking, no-nonsense, can-do type, but she is also kind and friendly—perhaps too friendly—and offers humor without being a clown. She is a widow who owns the house, which she has converted into apartments and where she and the Penmarks reside.
He is younger than his sister, Monica, with whom he resides. He is friendly, conversational, tolerant, and stable and is calmer compared to his sister.
Janitor of the building and grounds. He is sly, but he is an embittered man who feels like he’s been victimized by the whole world. He dislikes and admires Rhoda at the same time. There is tension between them, but the audience gains the greatest insight of these two characters through their relationship
A spinster who runs a tight ship as head of one of the most aristocratic schools in the state. She expects others to cooperate and to contribute.
A crime writer with an air of mystery who has become somewhat of an expert in the history of crime. He is a friend of Christine and Monica. Should have an air of mystery. (
Mrs. Hortense Daigle:
A later-in-life mother, who has suffered the murder of her only son whom she adored. She is grief-stricken and very confused and self-conscious around Christine. She drinks.
Quiet, but apologetic for his wife’s obsessive grief and embarrassed by her drinking and assertions about the murder.
Christine’s father, once a well-known homicide detective who became an author. He is also a well-known radio journalist, but he hides the secret of his daughter’s past. He adores his daughter and granddaughter.