Directed by Ryan Bird
PERFORMANCE DATES: February 9-11 and 16-18, 2018
AUDITIONS: Closed auditions Sunday & Monday September 24 and 25, 6:30-9pm by appointment.
To schedule an appointment, go to:
Actors who arrive without an appointment will be see on an “as available” basis.
Please note that appointments will be in 15 minute blocks and times are first come/first served.
Call backs, as needed, by invitation on Wednesday, September 27
Please note that auditions are being held at the United Church of Christ in Ludlow, MA (a few blocks from Exit 7 theater) located at 51 Center St. Ludlow, MA. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions. For information about our theater, please visit us at exit7players.org .
All actors must be 18 years of age or older by audition date.
All races, genders, shapes and sizes are encouraged to audition.
All roles are open.
All ages listed in role description are approximate only.
Actors should bring a theater resume and headshot if they have one.
Actors who wish to be considered for the roles of Beatrice, Benedick, Claudio, Hero and Dogberry should prepare an approximately one minute comedic Shakespearean monologue.
Actors who are open to any role should familiarize themselves with the script and be prepared to read from the script.
REHEARSALS: Tentatively scheduled for Sunday-Wednesday beginning on or shortly after October 29th. With a break over the Thanksgiving and Winter holidays. Please be prepared to list conflicts with rehearsal dates at time of audition.
ROLES: 4-12 women and 7-12 men. Approximal half of the roles are gender neutral and very flexible on age
BEATRICE: (Female, 30-45) Leonato’s niece and Hero’s cousin. Beatrice is “a pleasant-spirited lady” with a very sharp tongue. She is generous and loving, but, like Benedick, continually mocks other people with elaborately tooled jokes and puns. She wages a war of wits against Benedick and often wins the battles. At the outset of the play, she appears content never to marry.
HERO: (Female, 19-30) cousin to Beatrice, daughter of Leonato, lovely, charming, gentle, kind, but has backbone, in love with Claudio, innocent of any wrongdoing, she is slandered by Claudio’s enemies and is devastated by the attacks on her good name.
MARGARET: (Female, 20-50) Hero’s gentlewoman, a woman, not a girl, but definitely not an old maid, is sensual, robust, and has a hard time keeping a cap on her sexuality, not cheap or tawdry, just possessing a sexuality that is present, if perhaps inconsistent with the morality of the court.
URSULA: (Female, 30-50) Hero’s gentlewoman, a calming maternal influence in a household dominated by authoritative men, is somewhat old fashioned, perhaps even a little starchy, a woman of quiet faith.
BENEDICK: (Male, 30-45) An aristocratic soldier who has recently been fighting under Don Pedro, and a friend of Don Pedro and Claudio. Benedick is very witty, always making jokes and puns. He carries on a “merry war” of wits with Beatrice, but at the beginning of the play he swears he will never fall in love or marry.
LEONATO: (Male, 50+) Governor of Messina, father to Hero and uncle to Beatrice, well-respected and values his good name, commanding and powerful, but also possessing a playful side, generous toward his friends and brutal with his enemies, capable of great gentleness and humility and terrible rage.
DON PEDRO: (Male, 30-50) Prince of Aragon, a soldier, Benedick’s contemporary and commander, they are old friends and comrades in arms, is wealthy, privileged, charming, courteous, and virile, possesses an innate sense of power and authority, which he wears with great ease, a man comfortable in his own skin.
CLAUDIO: (Male, 19-30) a young Florentine soldier, in love with Hero, cut from a rougher cloth than his comrades, but can still move seamlessly between the macho world of the military and the world of the court, handsome, charming, masculine, a touch of grit, a true believer in honor and virtue, his strict moral code sometimes clouds his judgment and causes him to act rigidly and impetuously. Must be able to sing.
DOGBERRY: (gender neutral) the master constable of Messina, dedicated, determined, but clumsy, proud, sincere, he takes his job extremely seriously, eager to impress the court, and will go to absurd lengths to do so, his attempts to speak formally and elaborately are riddled with misunderstandings and malapropisms, a role for an actor with great physical and verbal comedic skill.
DON JOHN: (Male, 30-50) Don Pedro’s illegitimate half-brother, melancholy, brooding, wily, envious of his brother’s status and authority, he schemes to get back at him by ruining the happiness of his brother’s friends, an excellent mind for planning and calculating, and an eye for pinpointing the weaknesses of others.
ANTONIO: (Male, 60-70) Leonato’s older brother, although he is perhaps past his physical prime, he is still fierce and commanding, a patriarch who is a little out of step with the times, as his place in society is gradually being usurped by a new, younger guard, has a passionate temper that sometimes overwhelms him.
CONRAD & BORACHIO: cohorts of Don John, they are not in the court but more than happy to move in those circles, it gives them the reflected aura of respectability that they do not possess on their own, they are players, slick, tough and edgy, into drinking, sex, power and money; not necessarily in that order.
VERGES: Dogberry’s hapless sidekick, not the sharpest tool in the kit, together they make a classic double act, this is a role for a character actor who with excellent verbal and physical comedic skills.
FRIAR FRANCIS: (Male, 30-60) compassionate, level-headed, wise, a strong believer in the redemptive power of love, he sets in motion a plot to reunite Hero and Claudio, is a man of true faith and considerable imagination.
BALTHAZAR: Balthazar is the play’s musician. He lends music to the prince’s company and gives a serene atmosphere to Messina. The ability to play a stringed instrument would be a plus
SEXTON: The sexton helps in examining Borachio and Conrade in jail. He shows Dogberry how to take care of the criminals and brings word of the occurrences at the infamous wedding ceremony. He looks down upon Dogberry and eventually captures Don John.
MESSENGERS: Throughout the play, several messengers come onstage and off to report important events to the characters, from the arrival of Don Pedro and his men, to the capture of Don John.
WATCHMEN, OATCAKE, SEACOLE: Dogberry employs a few night watchmen to keep an eye on the happenings of Messina during this very joyous wedding time. They capture Borachio and Conrade on word of Borachio’s affair with Margaret and the framing of Hero.