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Auditions next week ‘Velda: Girl Detective’

Auditions for “Velda: Girl Detective” will be held at 7 p.m. April 3-4 at The Prizery in South Boston.

The play is being produced by the Halifax County Little Theatre and will be performed in Constitution Square on June 8 and 9. Admission will be free.

“Velda” is the brainchild of local author and illustrator Ron Miller and is based on a character he created for the novel “Velda” as well as a series of short stories and comic books. 

“Velda”, said Miller, “is a burlesque queen turned private eye. The stories take place in the early 1950s. But it is not the 50s of “Grease,” “Suds” or “Forever Plaid.” It is the 50s of Greenwich Village, Beatniks, bongo drums and hard-boiled detectives.” 

Velda has already been the subject of two short films Miller created locally with the generous help of numerous friends around South Boston and Halifax. Both are available for viewing online. 

A short Velda play was performed at the Convergence Art Guild two years ago, directed by the late Jack Donohue, and two Velda radio plays have been broadcast by over 100 NPR stations coast-to-coast. 

A third is scheduled for this spring. 

Miller is a little astonished by his character’s popularity. 

“It’s all been a kind of hobby,” he said. “Something to do when I was finished for the day with my real work.”

The two-act play consists of two independent mystery stories and features a number of unusual characters, from Velda herself to assorted thugs, policemen and showgirls. 

A Facebook page has been created that lists the characters as well as current news about the upcoming production: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Velda-Girl-Detective-The-Play/382736765069819