EAST OF EDEN  by John Steinbeck



Ensemble Theatre is proud to present EAST OF EDEN by John Steinbeck, adapted by Frank Galati October 19th through November 11th 2018. Rehearsals will begin in September. The production is directed by Ian Wolfgang Hinz, the cast will be announced after this role is filled and is made up of all local professional actors.




The role is an important member of a strong ensemble based show. All other roles are cast.

To make an audition appointment please email ian@ensemble-theatre.org or call 216-321-2930

Character description:


Lee is Adam Trask’s complex and interesting Chinese-American servant.  Readers meet Lee when he goes to pick up Samuel to bring him back to the ranch to discuss boring wells with Adam.  On the surface, Lee appears a stereotypical Chinese manservant, wearing a queue and speaking in pidgin Chinese.  Within a few moments of meeting him and learning Lee was born in America, Samuel tells Lee, “I mean no disrespect, but I’ve never been able to figure out why you people still talk pidgin when an illiterate baboon from the back bogs of Ireland, with a head full of Gaelic and a tongue like a potato, learns to talk a poor grade of English in ten years” (161).  Lee and Samuel are great friends from that moment on.  Lee explains he essentially hides behind a stereotypical Chinese mask since that is what the surrounding American culture expects from him.

Behind the façade, Lee is highly intelligent, thoughtful, well-read and kind.  Rather than being humiliated by his position as a servant, he sees servitude as a unique position to exercise power over a master who comes to rely too heavily upon his servant.  Lee, however, does not take advantage of this position.  He ends up running Adam’s household and raising his twin sons while Adam languishes in his depression.  Once Adam emerges from his stupor, Lee presents to him 10 years of carefully maintained accounts—every household penny accounted for.

Besides his role as surrogate father to the twins, Lee plays an important role in the novel by introducing the concept of “timshel.”  When the twins are fifteen months old, Samuel descends upon the Trask property to force Adam to name his unclaimed and unloved sons.  In the process, Samuel and Lee end up discussing the Biblical story of Cain and Abel.  Together they ponder the significance of the story, particularly that because Abel dies, all of humanity is descended from the banished murderer, Cain.  Intrigued by contradictory translations of the wording in the story, Lee consults Chinese elders with whom he undertakes a study of Hebrew in order to translate the passage more accurately.

Later in the novel, Lee explains his findings to both Adam and Samuel, who has come to bid the men farewell.  

Thanks to all of those that auditioned for our 2018-19 Season! 

Stay connected for Auditions for the Colombi New Plays Festival - Ten Minute Play Festival Soon!

"The Future is Bright"

  • Kenneth Jones' ALABAMA STORY
  • Frank Galati's (Steppenwolf Company Member) adaptation of John Steinbeck's EAST OF EDEN
  • Lorainne Hansbury's A RAISIN IN THE SUN 
  • Quiara Alegria Hudes's WATER BY THE SPOONFUL (Pulitzer Prize 2012) 

Most productions will rehearse 4-5 weeks prior to opening date. 
Most rehearsals are weekday evenings and weekend days with 2 days off a week.  
CLICK HERE for ALABAMA STORY Character Breakdown.  
CLICK HERE for EAST OF EDEN Character Breakdown. 
CLICK HERE for A RAISIN IN THE SUN Character Breakdown.  
CLICK HERE for WATER BY THE SPOONFUL Character Breakdown.  

2843 Washington Blvd. | Clevleand Hts., OH 44118

Please Note:  Additional "auditions" may be held on a show by show basis. The Ensemble Theatre casting/audition process is open to all ages and ethnicities.  We encourage everyone who would like to audition to do so for any/all roles they are interested in.  Roles are open to both traditional & non traditional casting with the exception where age or ethnicity is essential to the role.
We look forward to meeting you at auditions!