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January 6 January 7

6880 Washington Avenue
Saint Louis, Missouri 63130
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The Color Purple Show Information

JUL 19 | 7:00PM 

JUL 20 | 1:00PM & 7:00PM 

JUL 21 | 1:00PM 

This musical adaptation of Alice Walker’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel (and the popular 1985 Steven Spielberg film) spotlights Celie, a downtrodden young woman whose personal awakening over the course of 40 years forms the arc of this epic story.   

Prepare to be spellbound by the powerful voices and unforgettable characters who take you on a heartwarming odyssey of love, empowerment, and redemption. Featuring a Grammy Award-winning score infused with jazz, ragtime, gospel and African blues, this moving tale is a testament to the healing power of love, faith, resilience, and sisterhood.   

To celebrate 20 years of COCA summer musicals, we are welcoming back COCA Alumni from past summer musicals to join our current students in a production you won’t want to miss! 

More Information


  1. If you are currently in college, and are cast in the show, we will offer a small honorarium to be an actor in The Color Purple.
  2. If you graduated four or more years ago and are interested in auditioning for The Color Purple, we are seeking alumni to fill paid roles in the show. Compensation will be $17/hour, and we will also cover roundtrip flight expenses.


Questions about registering to audition? Contact COCA’s Registration Office at 314.561.4898 or registration@cocastl.org

Questions about the production or the audition? Contact Cameron Tyler, Artistic Producer, at ctyler@cocastl.org

*A follow-up email will be sent to auditionees within a week of callbacks, regardless of casting. Actors are expected to accept the role by responding to their casting email within 2 weeks of notification. The deadline for acceptance of a role in The Color Purple will be Sunday, January 21. If we do not hear from an actor in that window, we will need to recast that role.*

Character Breakdown

The breakdown below intentionally leaves some characters gender identity ambiguous. Please specify what roles you are comfortable playing if they differ from your personal gender or other identities.
(African-American, 20s–early 30s): Drives the story. Vulnerable, spirited, introverted, mischievous, seemingly passive but really not, has a deep, hard soul, believes that she is ugly, has a sense of humor which is sometimes wicked. She is an observer. Needs a great belt singing voice with lots of soul.
(African-American, 30s–40s): A popular singer, we meet her at death’s door. Attractive, confident, dynamic, powerful, irresistible, but has a frailty, like a wounded animal. Her vulnerability is shocking later on. She is loved by both Celie and Mister. Needs a knockout, Bessie Smith-style, bluesy singing voice.
(African American, 30s–40s. Also known as ALBERT): Like Celie, a deep well. Handsome, big, masculine, strong
presence, dominating, capable of brutal behavior but also a victim in his own way. Gets his power for free. Married to Celie, he abuses her. He is in love with Shug. He transforms into a kind man by the end of the story. Needs a great singing voice.
(African American, 30s): Powerful warrior woman. Physically bigger but beautiful. Comfortable being large, great
sense of humor, touching, vulnerable. Married to Harpo, she does not let anyone mistreat her. Needs comic chops. Needs a great belt singing voice.
(African American, 20s): Mister’s vulnerable, confused, good-hearted son. Represents the new generation. He marries the independent Sofia. He spends much time trying to get Sofia to obey him the way Celie obeys his father, but he is unsuccessful, as Sofia is considerably stronger than he is. Harpo eventually establishes a jukejoint in his first house and becomes Squeak’s lover. Later, he and Sofia reconcile. Through his love of Sofia, he learns how to love a woman. Needs a great tenor singing voice.
(African American, 20s): Celie’s younger sister. Attractive, adventuresome, feisty spirit, maternal, more educated, and knowledgeable than Celie. She has a powerful bond with Celie. Forced by Mister to leave Celie, she starts a new life in Africa. Needs a great belt singing voice with African influence.
Adult Ensemble:
Males and females, 20s–50s, African American. All types and singing ranges. Need fantastic singing voices and dynamic personalities. To play various roles in the ensemble.


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