High Springs Playhouse searching for Gilligan’s Island stars

The High Springs Playhouse (HSP) is holding auditions this week for actors interested in bringing the iconic 1960s TV show “Gilligan’s Island” to the live stage.

“A family friendly stage musical version of the ever popular and iconic 60s TV comedy show ‘Gilligan’s Island,'” the program description says.  

The story involves a group of seven castaways who are shipwrecked on a remote Pacific island. They build huts and begin to explore their surroundings, discovering strange hieroglyphics that speak of an ancient legend. The weather gets rough, Gilligan foils the best-laid of the castaway’s rescue plans, romance develops, and the castaways have an out-of-this-world encounter.

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The play is based on the book and TV show created by Sherwood Schwartz and will be directed by HSP’s Steve Bates.

“I am really excited about directing Gilligan the musical,” Bates said. “I was raised with a family who loved the show and I have seen the reruns several times. I now own the complete series. 

“It was a wonderful show with an idea all its own.  I think that is why it captivated so many viewers. The play pretty much sticks with the basic Gilligan type shows with minimal twist and some of the classic scenes.  So it is sure to make Gilligan fans happy.”

The tryouts are this weekend, March 27-28, at 7 p.m. at the playhouse located at 23416 W. US Highway 27. The show is scheduled to run June 4-27.

Bates said this will be the first time he will be directing a musical. 

“After reading (the script) and getting an idea of how it will work, I am confident that it will be a great success,” Bates said.

“And the set is going to be so fun to create. It’s going to have some interesting surprises to it. It will be nice to be out of a city type environment.  It’s written to be kept pretty much in its original time period.”  

Here are the character descriptions and skills to prepare, according to Bates:

Gilligan: Male/18-35 yrs—inept, accident-prone, First Mate of the S.S. Minnow

Skipper: Male/30-plus—strong, competent, tender-hearted, Captain of the S.S. Minnow

Thurston Howell: Male/50-plus—privileged Wall Street millionaire

Lovey Howell: Female/50-plus—wife of privileged Wall Street millionaire

Professor: Male/20-plus—holds multiple degrees, highly intelligent, logical, college professor

Ginger: Female/18-45 yrs—“knockout” movie star

Mary Anne: Female/18-45 yrs—girl-next-door, innocent and charming

Alien: all genders/18-plus—It’s an alien, so it’s alien?

Preparation for auditions:

Voice/Song—do not use YouTube as accompaniment. Do not select a song from Gilligan’s Island for your audition piece. Bluetooth speakers will be provided for instrumental accompaniment. Acapella is also permitted. Come prepared to perform at least two minutes from your song of choice. Instrumental accompaniment must be queued on a smartphone or a bluetooth compatible device and ready to go.

Cold readings from various scenes in the script will be provided at auditions. Tip: be loud, be proud, like it’s an opening night crowd!

Dance—“You can dance if you want to, leave your cares behind,” however dancing will not be part of auditions for this production.

For more info reach out to the playhouse at (386) 454-3525 or visit the website

This story has been updated to include remarks from the director.

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