Shakespeare in Love
Performs in the Hawks Mainstage Theatre
Directed by Jeff Horger
Auditions: Monday, February 12 at 7:00 pm and Tuesday, February 13 at 7:00 pm
Rehearsals begin: February 26, 2018
Performance Dates: April 12-May 13, 2018
NOTES ABOUT AUDITIONING
WHAT TO PREPARE: All actors will be asked to perform a Shakespearean monologue or sonnet of their choosing. The piece should be no more than 1 minute in length and can be comedic, dramatic, or romantic. Actors are encouraged to prepare the piece beforehand, but memorization is not a requirement. There will be a small selection of Shakespearean monologues available at auditions for those who are not able to prepare their own piece beforehand.
MUSIC: Auditions will contain a short dance routine and a song will be taught to the group. Actors do not need to prepare any music beforehand and although dressing for movement is advised, dance attire is not required.
DIALECTS: The characters in this play range from upper class nobles to lower class scoundrels, and from accomplished stage actors to back alley gangsters. All of them, however, have some sort of British dialect. Actors will be asked to demonstrate a British dialect at auditions. Perfection is not expected and casting is not dependent on the successful execution of said dialect, but we need to know what we’re dealing with from the start.
WORKING WITH ANIMALS: This production will feature a dog. Although not every actor in the production will have specific scenes with the dog, all actors will interact with the dog over the course of the rehearsal process.
VIOLA DE LESSUPS (mid 20s – mid 30s, any race) A young romantic isolated by her own nobility from the art she so desperately craves. She adores poetry and is in love with the idea of love. Passionate, confident, and full of life.
NURSE (late 20s – mid 50s, any race) Viola’s caretaker. Frustrated by Viola’s tendency to buck societal trends, but devoutly loyal to her charge.
QUEEN ELIZABETH I (mid 30s – early 60s, any race) The head of state and the face of an entire nation. She enjoys the theatre, especially when there’s a dog involved. She is wise and calculated, not necessarily cold, but well aware of the societal structure that she not only adheres to but represents.
JOHN WEBSTER (late teens – early 20s, any race) A young man drawn to the theatre because of its potential for horrific gory scenes and bloody battles. A trouble maker by nature and a pain in the neck in rehearsals. A bit of a harmless psychopath. ALTHOUGH THIS CHARACTER IDENTIFIES AS MALE, THIS ROLE MAY BE PLAYED BY ANY GENDER.
ENSEMBLE – There are 12 ensemble tracks to be played by actors of different genders, all of whom will play multiple roles in the production. Artistic and functional in their responsibilities, these are the individuals that make this show work.
WILL SHAKESPEARE (late 20s – mid 30s, any race) A poet trying to leave his artistic mark on the world. He is cunning, intelligent, sexual, and anything but confident.
KIT MARLOWE (late 20s – mid 40s, any race) A well respected playwright, although he needs to keep working to pay the bills. A little older, a little wiser, and a lot more confident than Will, he is both his mentor and his closest friend.
NED ALLEYN (late 20s – late 30s, any race) One of the most popular actors of the day. A leading man who has drank his own Kool-Aid 100%. Although seemingly egotistical, selfish, and opinionated at a glance, he takes his craft very seriously and has the deepest respect for committed theatre artists.
RICHARD BURBAGE (early 30s – mid 40s, any race) An accomplished stage actor who relishes his fame above all else. He is melodramatic, completely over the top, but undeniably talented. Pompous but likeable. He has earned enough success as a performer that he owns and operates his own theater.
LORD WESSEX (late 20s – mid 40s, any race) A man with a title but no money, a fact that fills him with frustration and insecurity. He has been trained in the noble arts of etiquette and swordplay, but is bad with words and worse with people. An unlikeable prig.
HENSLOWE (early 30s – late 50s, any race) Owner of The Rose Theater. He is a business man at heart, more concerned with turning a profit than creating fine art. He doesn’t understand the intricacies of theatrical structure, but he knows what he likes: broad comedy. Calling him an idiot is an overstatement, but not a huge one.
FENNYMAN (mid 30s – late 50s, any race) A ruthless loan shark who finances theatre plays in return for a piece of the profit. He enjoys the theatre but knows very little about it. He is a bit of a gangster, unafraid to get his hands dirty when his clients are unable to repay their debts.
TILNEY (early 30s – mid 50s, any race) The Master of Revels for the English crown. Although his chief responsibility is to oversee royal festivities, he is concerned with stage censorship, which makes him both respected and feared by professional theatre artists, especially those seeking to create new works.