The Farnsworth Invention

By Aaron Sorkin

Directed by Jennifer Uphoff Gray

Philo T. Farnsworth is a visionary. A farm boy from Idaho, he can look at the lines of a plowed field and imagine a device that can transmit pictures through the air. David Sarnoff is also a visionary. A Russian immigrant who rose from a telegraph operator to the head of RCA, Sarnoff can see the future of information and entertainment. These two men are at the center of a fascinating struggle over one of the greatest inventions of all time: the television.

Enjoy an electrifying evening from Aaron Sorkin, the Emmy and Academy Award-winning creator of The Social Network, The American President, A Few Good Men, and The West Wing. With 16 actors playing more than 70 roles, this epic story will forever change the way you look at media and the quest for “what’s next.”
The cast will feature members of the UW Madison MFA acting class, and Nicholas Harazin as Philo.

Produced by Forward Theater Company at Overture Center for the Arts, 201 State Street, Madison

Performances: November 3-20, 2011

Performance Times: Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays at 7:30; Sundays at 2:00. Free pre-show talks take place one hour prior to Thursday and Sunday performances.

Ticket Prices: Subscription prices for Forward's three-play season run $56-$84. Single tickets will be available through Overture Center's ticket office October 1 and range from $25 to $37. Preview prices (11/3) only: $10 students/educators, $20 general public.

Call 608-234-5001 for reservations or more information.

How you can help support MadStage! Radio theater page Submit show information to MadStage Information about performance venues Wisconsin playwrights and scripts page Theater humor page Win Free Tickets! Thanks to all those who've contributed to MadStage in the past year! About MadStage Theater and dance classes, workshops, teachers and schools Performance links Performance-related job and volunteer opportunities, plus internship listings Dance Groups featured on MadStage Theater groups featured on MadStage Performance Calendar Home


Auditions will be held on the following days:


Seeking one male actor, age 14-23, to play the roles of Young Sarnoff, Young Farnsworth, and ensemble roles in The Farnsworth Invention. Actors MUST be under 5’9” and be able to play a range of ages, from a young boy to a teenager. Actors who fall outside of these requirements will not be considered under any circumstances.

Rehearsals for The Farnsworth Invention run from October 11 through November 2, Tuesday through Sunday. Tuesday-Friday rehearsals take place in the late afternoon/evening, and Saturday/Sunday rehearsals take place all day. Because all actors will play multiple roles, this actor will be expected to attend most, if not all, rehearsals. Performances run November 3-20.

Interested actors must make an appointment to audition. Auditions will be held on Wednesday July 20 from 2:00 PM to 5:00 PM at Forward Theater offices, located in the AAA building at 8401 Excelsior Dr., Madison, WI 53717. Auditions will consist of a short interview with the director and reading scenes from the play, which will be available electronically in advance of the audition. Please email Frank Honts, Artistic Associate, to schedule an audition (

Please note: All adult roles for this production are already cast.