Rockville Little Theatre

The Best Man

By Gore Vidal

September 25, 26, 27*
October 2, 3, 4*

The Best Man

Directed by
Kathryn Stirling

A play about power, ambition, political secrets, ruthlessness and the race for the presidency. This darkly satirical drama resonates today as an exploration of how political and personal agendas can change the destiny of a nation.

Sep 2020
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Oct 2020
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Fridays and Saturdays at 8 pm
* Sunday Matinees at 2 pm

Cast of Characters

There are multiple opportunities for ethnic diversity in the roles. Please note; the age range listed at the end of every description is for the character not the actor. I urge one and all to audition.

William Russell - Former Secretary of State, a cross between John Kerry and John Kennedy, he is the leading nominee for President. His background is patrician, Eastern seaboard, old money. He is strong, intelligent and wants very much to be President. (M- 40s-50s)

Alice Russell - Wife to the candidate, she is attractive and well dressed. She is not comfortable with the press or the cameras, but is not as shy or diffident as she first appears. She has presence and dignity. (F- 40s)

Dick Jensen - Chief of Staff to Russell and his campaign. He is devoted, smart, quick and pragmatic. He knows the game, but is in awe of Russell which keeps him respectful. He wants his candidate to win and does not shy away from a fight. (M- 30s-50s)

Joseph Cantwell - A Senator from the South, he is running against Russell for the nomination. A cross between a young Newt Gingrich and Trump, he is aggressively ambitious and unscrupulous. The means justify the ends and the ends are always his own personal success. (M- 40s-50s)

Mabel Cantwell - She is the wife of a Senator, a Homecoming Queen with an edge. Mabel is pretty, ambitious and much smarter than she lets on. She can be catty and aggressive, but always sugar coated. (F- 40s)

Don Blades - He is Cantwell's right hand man, obsequious and eager. He is not as smart as his boss, but tries hard. Loyally he backs Cantwell without question, only asking how high when Cantwell says jump. (M- 30s-50s)

Arthur Hockstader - Former President. The real deal, Hockstader is the American Dream. Self-educated, from a poor background, a combination of brains and hard work have resulted in his being the smartest person in the room. His pragmatism is born of experience, not ambition. He is a cross between Colin Powell and LBJ. He is ill and wants to ensure the next president will do well for the country. (M- 60s)

Sue Ellen Gamadge - Sue Ellen has carved a niche of power within the political establishment and loves it. She relishes politics and plays the game well. The politicians begrudgingly like and respect her, but more importantly they need her - and she knows it. A cross between Donna Brazil and KellyAnn Conway. (F- 40s-50s)

Sheldon Marcus - A middle class, regular guy trying to do the right thing - get back at Joe Cantwell. Sheldon is not brave, but he is trying. He wants to do good and can't quite believe he is in this heady political environment. (M- 40s)

Senator Cylde Carlin - Senator Carlin is a blowhard of the first order. A follower not a leader, a man with no convictions, he takes the path of least resistance every time. (M- 30s-50s)

Dr. Artinian - The doctor is a physician of evident integrity. Intelligent and thoughtful, Dr. Artinian is well spoken and caring. (F/M- 40s)

Catherine - Office assistant, she is competent and efficient. Indeterminate age. This role may be double cast to play Press. (F- ?)

The Press (5 Actors) - They are loud! They are pushy! They are constant! The Press are on stage throughout the entire play. Eavesdropping and in the way, they lounge on stairs and in doorways. They accompany every entrance and exit and then retreat upstage onto their press box platform to file stories. A lot of the lines are ad lib; improvisational skills are needed and volume is a must! (F/M- ?)

Production Staff


Kathryn Stirling


Jeff McDermott

Assistant Director

Anne Cary

Stage Manager

Ellen Ryan

Master Carpenter

Steve Leshin

Projection Designer

Steve Deming

Costume Designer

Lisa Macphee

Lighting Designer

Kali Monrovia

Property Master

DeeAnn Thompson

Maryland State Arts Council

Supported in part by the Maryland State Arts Council ( and the Nora Roberts Foundation (

Nora Roberts Foundation
RLT logo and show logos since the 2017-18 season courtesy of
Stacy Kleber Design