Auditioning a Ghost
Order a Script
Contact the Playwright, Jeannette Jaquish
Request a Perusal Script

by Jeannette Jaquish, based on the 1883 short story "Selecting a Ghost" by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
(c) 2000 - 2019 Jeannette Jaquish

CLICK to see Excerpts of the 3 versions:
-- Daughter as Lead, 13 to 19 actors, ~60 min.
-- Mother as Lead, 14 to 22 actors, ~62 min. Includes 3 more adult females.
Excerpts of Mother/Daughter as Lead scripts.
-------You get both scripts with purchase of either.
$30 first performance, $10 additional performances, $70 for one year.

Excerpts of Large Cast, Mother as Lead script , 30 actors, ~82 min.
------Cast size reduces if you give multiple parts to one actor.
------There are 4 optional songs. Lyrics are provided, and links to sheet music & recordings which you acquire yourself. Optional 3 Narrator rhyming script.
$50 first performance, $10 additional performances, $90 for one year.

A.C. Doyle wrote many quality works before and after his Sherlock Holmes stories which eclipsed his other works. Such is the charming and witty "Selecting a Ghost" or "The Ghosts of Goresthorpe Grange." This 1883 story has only recently been easy to find, thanks to the internet. Actually, I had not read the original in 2000 when I wrote the original "Auditioning a Ghost"; I had only read a much simplified, but beautifully illustrated children's book of spooky stories that included it, titled "Mostly Ghostly", by Stephen Zorn. When I finally read the original I was surprised how different my script was from it.
Sir Doyle's story ends with a police report. I have tacked on two scene twists revealing a poetic justice for the villain plus a disturbing but funny vision of what lies ahead for the family. And more actors onstage, of course!

SYNOPSIS of all the variations
Despite the new castle, new wealth, new mail order coat of arms, the lady of the house is still pouty. She can't hold her head high at the social engagements of the old money aristocrats that her inheritance has bought her; they all know she is not a bona fide aristocrat because her castle hasn't got a ghost.
Be careful what you wish for, for you might get it. The man of the house indulges her with a bit of illusion, or so he intends, by arranging a little parlor seance to prompt her imagination into creating its own wispy little haunt. Miss Chartreuse Tarantella, mystic gypsy, however, is a better actor than he bargained for and the potion she demands they swallow to "open their eyes to the unseen world" goes beyond his better judgement. This is play-acting, right?
There is plotting among the household staff who see how to take advantage of the situation, frustration of the upright Butler who bristles under his American boss, and a funny scene with a talent scout who promises to get his client a ghost!
Real or illusion, it's a nightmare. Under their potion induced comatose state they are helpless to escape the horrifying auditions of the hideous specters eager to become their house guests. Tales of their bloody, revolting, suffering, decaying lives, deaths, and promised haunts of the ghosts terrify the paralyzed pair until a gentle mournful ghost pleads her entrance. Choosing her breaks the spell and Gladys and her father find themselves suddenly, confusingly alone again in their parlor. But something besides ghosts is missing. As the man is shaken to his senses by his exasperated butler and realizes the truth of Miss Tarantella's abilities to transcend mortal boundaries, he is oblivious to the progressing hysterics of the traumatized lady who still vividly recalls the ghostly auditions.
Were the ghosts real or hallucinations? The final scene adds another twist with a particularly ironic bit of justice and a hint of wishes granted.

Mother or Daughter as Lead: You get the both versions of the script, tech notes, poster art, and links to beautiful spooky royalty free music.

Large Cast, Mother as Lead: Same story with more characters and longer scenes, same tech, poster art, links to spooky music, plus links to a few optional songs: the sheet music or recordings on other websites -- which the script is just as good with or without.