Auditions scheduled for bicentennial play, “To Know You”

Auditions scheduled for bicentennial play, “To Know You”

Aug. 27, 2019

The Maryville College Theatre Department is inviting community members to audition for the fall 2019 production of “To Know You,” a play based on the life and legacy of MC benefactor Susan Wiley Walker.

Auditions are scheduled for Sat., Sept. 21 and Sun., Sept. 22 from 2 p.m. until 4 p.m. in the Clayton Center for the Arts’ Harold and Jean Lambert Recital Hall. Those who would like to audition will be asked to read a portion of the scene from the play in which their character appears. The script will be available on the Maryville College Theatre Department website by Sept. 2.

 “To Know You” is a partially imagined play based on the real life of Walker by Nashville-based playwright Mary Donnet Johnson, in honor of Maryville College’s Bicentennial.

About the play: “A few weeks before the Maryville College Bicentennial, an earnest young archivist races against the clock to flesh out the bare facts she’s found about an almost forgotten figure in the college’s history -- Susan Wiley Walker. Though Mrs. Walker was a generous benefactor in the 1930s and 40s, clues to her life at the College are surprisingly scarce. Just as the archivist makes an important discovery, the benevolent ghost of Mrs. Walker appears and conjures a series of entertaining characters from her era who emerge from the dusty files to bring their stories to life. As this mystical journey unfolds, we are taught important lessons about the value of connection and the wisdom of preserving our precious past.”

Performances are scheduled for Nov. 1 at 7 p.m. and Nov. 2 at 3 p.m. in the Clayton Center for the Arts’ Harold and Jean Lambert Recital Hall. The performances are free and open to the public, though a printed ticket is required.

The roles of the Archivist and Susan Wiley Walker are already cast. Roles are still available for:

  • Sam: teenager, cocky, spirited, cousin to Roy
  • Roy: teenager, less confident than Sam
  • Hal: teenager, a tag a-long
  • Girl #1: about nine years old, bossy
  • Girl #2: about eight years old, sensitive
  • Brownie: man, 40s-50s, handsome, smart, strong, with a sense of humor
  • Peggy: mid 20s, (with ability to pantomime playing a piano)
  • Viola Lightfoot: early 20s, delicate and frail
  • Agnes Henry: African American woman, mature, warm and wise

Actors MUST be available to rehearse Oct. 9-13 and Oct. 25-30, as well as a dress rehearsal the afternoon of Nov. 1 (times to be determined).

For more information, please contact Dr. Heather McMahon, professor of theatre, at 865.981.8161 or

Maryville College is a nationally-ranked institution of higher learning and one of America’s oldest colleges. For more than 200 years, we’ve educated students to be giving citizens and gifted leaders, to study everything, so that they are prepared for anything — to address any problem, engage with any audience and launch successful careers right away. Located in Maryville, Tennessee, between the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the city of Knoxville, Maryville College offers nearly 1,200  students from around the world both the beauty of a rural setting and the advantages of an urban center, as well as more than 60 majors, seven pre-professional programs and career preparation from their first day on campus to their last. Today, our 10,000 alumni are living life strong of mind and brave of heart and are prepared, in the words of our Presbyterian founder, to “do good on the largest possible scale.”