The Charleston Light Opera Guild and the Clay Center present Ragtime in the Maier Performance Hall at the Clay Center for the Arts and Sciences on November 2, 3, 4, 9, 10 and 11, 2018.

The Charleston Light Opera Guild and the Clay Center for the Arts and Sciences collaborate to present Ragtime, based on the novel of the same name by E. L. Doctorow. This compelling production of the American experience tracks three diverse families in pursuit of the American dream in the "melting pot" of turn-of-the-century New York. Over the course of the show, the worlds of a wealthy white couple, a Jewish immigrant father and his motherless daughter and an African American ragtime musician intertwine. Together, they discover the surprising interconnections of the human heart, the limitations of justice and the unsettling consequences when dreams are permanently deferred.

As the fictitious characters embark on personal voyages of self-discovery, their lives become dramatically entangled with real life characters of historical significance that include J.P. Morgan, Emma Goldman, Harry Houdini, Evelyn Nesbit and Henry Ford. With a script by Terrence McNally and score by Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty, this musical won the 1998 Tony Award for best score, best book and best orchestrations. Featured are such show-stopping songs as "Getting Ready Rag," "Your Daddy's Son," "Wheels of a Dream," "Till We Reach that Day," "Back to Before," and "Make Them Hear You." Ragtime sweeps across the diversity of the American experience to create a stirring epic that captures the beats of the era: the marches, the cakewalks and - of course - the ragtime.

The Guild last performed Ragtime in 2007 at the Charleston Civic Center Little Theatre.


Note: The show program for My Fair Lady included incorrect audition dates for this production. The dates and times shown below are correct.

Ages 15 to Adult (The Little Boy and The Little Girl are short, ages 9 – 11)


Tuesday, August 14 at 7:00 PM

No a capella, please! Prepare a classic Broadway song (bring sheet music for Guild accompanist if not singing from score).


Wednesday, August 15 at 7:00 PM

Scripts are provided.


Thursday, August 16 at 7:00 PM Prompt!

Dress to dance; combinations are taught.

All auditions are held at the Charleston Light Opera Guild Theatre.


Director / Choreographer

Nina Denton Pasinetti

Musical Director

Bobby Hodges, Jr.

Technical Director

Thomas P. Pasinetti


Coalhouse Walker, Jr.

Harlem Ragtime piano player who loves Sarah; tenor/high baritone


Coalhouse's love interest and mother of his child; lyric soprano


Upper-class resident of New Rochelle; soprano


Latvian immigrant who becomes a movie maker; tenor/strong baritone

Mother's Younger Brother

Withdrawn young adult; strong baritone


Upper-class explorer and New Rochelle manufacturer; tenor/high baritone

The Little Boy (Edgar)

Father and Mother's son; short stature; approximately 10 years old; sings

The Little Girl

Tateh's immigrant daughter; short stature; approximately 10 years old

Emma Goldman

Radical immigrant anarchist; alto belt

Evelyn Nesbit

Celebrated beauty and musical comedy star; some dance; mezzo-soprano/alto

Harry Houdini

Noted escape artist and vaudeville headliner; tenor

Booker T. Washington

African-American leader; teacher; strong baritone


Senior member of Mother and Father's family; baritone

Sarah's Friend

African-American female; mezzo-soprano or contralto

Featured Roles

J.P. Morgan (wealthy banker)

Henry Ford (inventor of the assembly line)

Stanford White (eminent architect and Nesbit's lover)

Harry K. Thaw (eccentric millionaire and Nesbit's husband)

Admiral Perry (North Pole explorer)

Matthew Henson (Perry's first mate)

Judge (in Nesbit's Vaudeville Act)

Kathleen (Helper in Mother's house)

Willie Conklin (macho fire chief)

Bridgit (housekeeper)


Huge Ensemble to portray 3 distinct groups - Immigrants, Harlem singer/dancers and Residents of New Rochelle; DANCE production pieces, musical theater & vaudeville dance styles are included.