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Top 20 Roles for Strong Leading Males (Part 2)

Top 20 Roles for Strong Leading Males (Part 2)

We had so much fun putting together our list of the top leading female roles, so now let’s hear it for the boys! Whether in a drama or a comedy, a strong protagonist is essential to creating a fantastic show.

We’ve compiled a list of some of the top leading male roles perfect for emerging actors or anyone looking for new characters to discover. Grab a copy of one of these scripts and delve into the stories of these men as they face and overcome challenges with work, family, and friends. Check out Part 2 below and read Part 1 here.

The Odd Couple by Neil Simon
This classic comedy opens as a group of the guys assemble for cards in the apartment of divorced Oscar Madison. And if the mess is any indication, it's no wonder that his wife left him. Late to arrive is Felix Unger who has just been separated from his wife. Fastidious, depressed and none too tense, Felix seems suicidal, but as the action unfolds Oscar becomes the one with murder on his mind when the clean-freak and the slob ultimately decide to room together with hilarious results as The Odd Couple is born. 6m, 2f

Barefoot in the Park by Neil Simon
Paul and Corie Bratter are newlyweds in every sense of the word. He's a straight-as-an-arrow lawyer and she's a free spirit always looking for the latest kick. Their new apartment is her most recent find-too expensive with bad plumbing and in need of a paint job. After a six day honeymoon, they get a surprise visit from Corie's loopy mother and decide to play matchmaker during a dinner with their neighbor-in-the-attic Velasco, where everything that can go wrong, does. Paul just doesn't understand Corie, as she sees it. He's too staid, too boring and she just wants him to be a little more spontaneous. Running "barefoot in the park" would be a start... 4m, 2f

Equus by Peter Shaffer
Dr. Martin Dysart, a psychiatrist, is confronted with Alan Strang, a boy who has blinded six horses in a violent fit of passion. This very passion is as foreign to Dysart as the act itself. To the boy's parents it is a hideous mystery; Alan has always adored horses. To Dysart it is a psychological puzzle that leads both doctor and patient to a complex and disturbingly dramatic confrontation. 5m, 4f

The Elephant Man by Bernard Pomerance
Based on the life of John Merrick, who lived in London during the latter part of the nineteenth century. A horribly deformed young man, victim of rare skin and bone diseases, he has become the star freak attraction in traveling side shows. Found abandoned and helpless, he is admitted to London's prestigious Whitechapel hospital. Under the care of celebrated young physician Frederick Treves, Merrick is introduced to London society and slowly evolves from an object of pity to an urbane and witty favorite of the aristocracy and literati only to be denied his ultimate dream, to become a man like any other. 6m, 2f

Fences by August Wilson
This sensational drama centers on Troy Maxson, a former star of the Negro baseball leagues who now works as a garbage man in 1957 Pittsburgh. Excluded as a black man from the major leagues during his prime, Troy's bitterness takes its toll on his relationships with his wife and his son, who now wants his own chance to play ball. 5m, 2f

The Piano Lesson by August Wilson
It is 1936 and Boy Willie arrives in Pittsburgh from the South in a battered truck loaded with watermelons to sell. He has an opportunity to buy some land down home, but he has to come up with the money right quick. He wants to sell an old piano that has been in his family for generations, but he shares ownership with his sister and it sits in her living room. She has already rejected several offers because the antique piano is covered with incredible carvings detailing the family's rise from slavery. Boy Willie tries to persuade his stubborn sister that the past is past, but she is more formidable than he anticipated. 5m, 3f

Lend Me a Tenor by Ken Ludwig
It’s September 1934 and Saunders, the general manager of the Cleveland Grand Opera Company, is primed to welcome world famous, Tito Morelli, Il Stupendo, the greatest tenor of his generation, to appear for one night only as Otello. The star arrives late and, through a hilarious series of mishaps, is given a double dose of tranquilizers and passes out. His pulse is so low that Saunders and his assistant Max believe he’s dead. In a frantic attempt to salvage the evening, Saunders persuades Max to get into Morelli's Otello costume and fool the audience into thinking he's Il Stupendo. Max succeeds admirably, but Morelli comes to and gets into his other costume ready to perform. Now two Otellos are running around in costume and two women are running around in lingerie, each thinking she is with Il Stupendo. 4m, 4f

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey, Dale Wasserman
A charming rogue contrives to serve a short sentence in an airy mental institution rather than in a prison. This, he learns, was a mistake. He clashes with the head nurse, a fierce martinet. Quickly, he takes over the yard and accomplishes what the medical profession has been unable to do for twelve years; he makes a presumed deaf and dumb Indian talk. He leads others out of introversion, stages a revolt so that they can see the World Series on television, and arranges a rollicking midnight party with liquor and chippies. For one offense, the head nurse has him submit to shock treatment. The party is too horrid for her and she forces him to submit to a final correction: a frontal lobotomy. Winner of the 2001 Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Revival. 13m, 4f

The Whipping Man by Matthew Lopez
It is April, 1865. The Civil War is over and throughout the south, slaves are being freed, soldiers are returning home and in Jewish homes, the annual celebration of Passover is being celebrated. Into the chaos of war-torn Richmond comes Caleb DeLeon, a young Confederate officer who has been severely wounded. He finds his family's home in ruins and abandoned, save for two former slaves, Simon and John, who wait in the empty house for the family's return. As the three men wait for signs of life to return to the city, they wrestle with their shared past, the bitter irony of Jewish slave-owning and the reality of the new world in which they find themselves. The sun sets on the last night of Passover and Simon - having adopted the religion of his masters - prepares a humble Seder to observe the ancient celebration of the freeing of the Hebrew slaves from Egypt, noting with particular satisfaction the parallels to their current situation. But the pain of their enslavement will not be soothed by this tradition, and deep-buried secrets from the past refuse to be hidden forever as the play comes to its shocking climax. 3m

Boeing Boeing by Marc Camoletti, Beverley Cross, Francis Evans
This 1960's French farce adapted for the English-speaking stage features self-styled Parisian lothario Bernard, who has Italian, German, and American fiancées, each beautiful airline hostesses with frequent "layovers". He keeps "one up, one down and one pending" until unexpected schedule changes bring all three to Paris and Bernard's apartment at the same time. 2m, 4f

HONORABLE MENTIONS

Amadeus by Peter Shaffer
In the court of the Austrian Emperor Josef, Antonio Salieri is an established composer. Enter the greatest musical genius of all time: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Salieri has given himself to God so that he might realize his sole ambition to be a great composer. Mozart is a foul-mouthed, graceless oaf who has that which is beyond Salieri's envious grasp: Genius. 12m, 3f

Havana Journal by Eduardo Machado
Ruth, a disillusioned writer and radical, leaves the halls of American academia to travel to Cuba. She hopes to find people there who share her beliefs and validate her struggle. It's not until her return to Columbia University that she is confronted by the realities of sacrifice and idealism. 3m, 1f

Talk Radio by Eric Bogosian
Barry Champlain, Cleveland's controversial radio host, is on the air doing what he does best: insulting the pathetic souls who call in the middle of the night to sound off. Tomorrow, Barry's show is going into national syndication and his producer is afraid that Barry will say something that will offend the sponsors. This, of course, makes Barry even more outrageous. Funny and moving, off beat, outrageous and totally entrancing. 7m, 2f

Exit the King by Eugene Ionesco, Donald Watson
This absurdist exploration of ego and mortality is set in the crumbling throne-room of the palace in an unnamed country where King Berenger the First has only the duration of the play to live. Once, it seemed he ruled over an immense empire and commanded great armies, now his kingdom has shrunk to the confines of his garden wall. Refusing to accept his end, he is attended by his present and former Queens who must help him face the final inevitable truth of life: death. 3m, 3f

Accepting the Call

Accepting the Call

Top 20 Roles for Strong Leading Males (Part 1)

Top 20 Roles for Strong Leading Males (Part 1)