Valerie Clarke is one of the auditioners in A Chorus Line who makes it past the initial cut. Original portrayed on Broadway by Pamela Blair, her background was largely drawn from Mitzi Hamilton's life story.
In the original version of the script, Val states her birth name is Margaret Mary Houlihan and she came from Arlington, Vermont. She hesitates slightly before stating her age as 25, meaning she was born sometime before 1950 at the time of the play's premiere. In the revised version, she almost states her age as 26 before making herself a year younger. She is usually portrayed by a blonde actress, and the common costume is a tight pastel tee over a violet leotard, with white socks and sneakers.
Val does not openly discuss her childhood. During "And...", she internally muses about being orphaned at age three, "raised by a sweet ex-con", and being "tied up and raped at seven". (In the 2013 London revival, this lyric was changed to "tied up at home at seven".) She began taking tap and acrobatics lessons at age 11, and during adolescence constantly bemoaned her flat chest.
Unlike the other female dancers on the line, Val was not inspired by The Red Shoes. She initially wished to become a Rockette after a girl from her hometown did the same. After said girl became pregnant, Val took the opportunity and moved to New York after she turned 18. Her Rockette audition was not successful and she started trying for Broadway shows instead, also with no success until seeing a dance card revealed she was being judged on her appearance. After getting plastic surgery done on her breasts, buttocks, and nose, jobs came rolling in. She enjoys male attention, yet is not married and doesn't plan to do so.
Val's number during "I Hope I Get It" is 179. She constantly shows off and dances in front of Sheila, much to the older woman's irritation. She stands by Mark in the lineup and flirts with him constantly. Banter between her and Sheila during "Dance: Ten, Looks: Three" reveals the two see each other as competition when they have an argument over Val's Breast choices, and Val's opinion of The Red Shoes which Sheila very much likes. During the Alternatives scene, Val is honest about wanting to become a star and doesn't care whether she dances again, being fascinated by acting. She is one of the final eight chosen.
As portrayed by Audrey Landers, the Val character in the 1985 movie adapation of A Chorus Line was slightly altered. Her birth name and city are the same, but instead she gives her age as 24-and-a-half. Her lines from "And..." and "The Montage" were removed with the elimination of those numbers, but "Dance: Ten, Looks: Three" stayed intact. She also remains one of the final eight chosen.