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Playhouse 22, East Brunswick’s Community Theater, will be having open auditions for Lost in Yonkers by Neil Simon on Monday, February 8 and Tuesday, February 9 at 7:30 p.m. Callbacks by invitation will be held on Wednesday, February 10 at 7:30 p.m.

The show dates are April 1 – 17. All shows are Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 3 p.m. Auditions will be held at the East Brunswick Community Arts Center, 721 Cranbury Road, East Brunswick, NJ 08816.

The show will be directed by Deborah Pedretti. Set in Yonkers in 1942. A coming-of-age story of Jay, a 15 year old boy, living with his younger brother, Arty, their mentally-challenged Aunt Bella, a small-time hoodlum Uncle Louie and Grandma Kurnitz, their cold and tough grandmother.  Together they share a small apartment in this well-known Neil Simon dramatic comedy.

Below are the character descriptions.

Jay Kurnitz is 15 years old. The death of his mother forces him to be more mature than he is ready to be when his father leaves him and his younger brother with his family so he can sell scrap metal during WW II.  The play tells his coming-of-age story.

Arty Kurnitz: Jay’s younger brother, he is 13 years old. He is more of an observer than the rest of his family, he often goes with the flow of things, but also can be a little childish.

Bella Kurnitz: Jay’s 35 year-old aunt. She is sometimes a bit “off-center” and is mentally challenged, but despite this she is also loving and protective of her nephews. Much of the second half of the play is focuses on her attempts at independence from her stern mother.

Louie Kurnitz: Jay’s flamboyant, jovial uncle, in his late 30’s to 40’s. Louis comes to live with his family when he is hiding from the local mob.  He is considered by Grandma Kurnitz to be the “survivor” of the family.  He is a strong, volatile, temperamental type with a dark side which the kids uncover in the second act of the play. He works as a “bag-man” for the mob.

Grandma Kurnitz: Jay’s grandmother. She is a very old and stern woman. Owing to her harsh childhood, she has always been very intolerant of what in others she calls “weaknesses.” She is blunt, sometimes even in a funny way, and always knows what is going on with the people around her.

Eddie Kurnitz: Jay’s middle-aged father. After the death of his wife, he is forced to send his two sons to live with their grandmother, while he repays his large financial debts. He is shown to be, much like his sisters, a nervous wreck around Grandma.

Gert: Jay’s aunt, and Grandma’s daughter. She is a very interesting addition to the family. Her most notable issue is that when she breathes she has a tendency to suck air in while still speaking, as a result of trauma instilled in her by Grandma from a very young age.

Playhouse 22 is a non-profit, community theater troupe.

Auditions are on a first come/first serve basis. No appointments necessary. Those auditioning should bring a short monologue.

No paid stipends will be available.

Questions can be emailed to or by calling (732) 254-3939.



1776 Auditions at Playhouse 22, March 6th and 7th with callbacks on the 10th (performances run June 10th thru the 26th). Details to follow but for now, pencil us in and don’t cut your hair. More to come…