Much Ado About Nothing
by William Shakespeare
Directed by Deborah Mulhall
Season: 28th January - 25th February 2017
Preview night 27th January
Friday and Saturday nights at 8pm
Sunday matinée at 4.30pm
Apply at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Information evening: Monday Sept 19th 6.30pm at the Genesian Theatre, 420 Kent St Sydney.
Auditions at the Genesian Theatre: Wed 21st Sept (evening) from 6pm
Saturday 24th all day from 10am to 4pm.
Audition requirements: A monologue of your own choice 2 to 3 mins (preferably Shakespearean but not necessary). Actors may be asked to experiment in various ways with their piece or to do some improvisation.
Callbacks the following Wed 28th Sept and Saturday 1st Oct at the Genesian Theatre.
Callback material will be from Much Ado About Nothing.
This is a colour blind casting.
Rehearsals will be up to 20 hours a week held in Marrickville. There will be at least one evening rehearsal (more for larger roles) and an all day Saturday OR Sunday rehearsal every week beginning late October. Cast and crew MUST be available all through January. If you are planning on going away, please do not audition. The Christmas break will be a very short one.
Male Roles (9 min - 12 max)
Leonato, Governor of Messina. 40+. Owner of a large estate, landed gentry.
Don Pedro, Prince of Aragon. 35 - 60. Prince Charming. This dapper, stand-up guy is the Prince of Arragon, the leader of Benedick and Claudio, a friend of Leonato, the brother of Don John, and lover to... no one.
Claudio, a young lord from Florence. 20 - 35. Characterised by immaturity. He lacks insight, and the intuition to critically assess the situations he's in, but he's always willing to be furiously passionate.
Benedick, a gentleman from Padua. 30 - 45. Benedick is a bit of a jerk. He's also kind of awesome. And charming. And just plain fun. He is also loyal and deeply honourable. He shines in the second half of the play, proving to be more of a real man than any of the others. He has to form a very special relationship with the audience, who become his confidante.
Don John, Don Pedro's brother. 25+. Though Don John ostensibly influences all of the action of the play, he has very few speaking lines for a main character. Don John operates as a plot-device more than a fully fleshed out character - and therein lies the challenge - to turn him into one. He is a bastard in both the legal and ethical sense.
Borachio, Don John's follower. Any age up to 50-ish. When we meet him, he is a depraved character but the "understanding" that his villainy has caused the death of Hero turns him around.
Seacol (First Watchman). Any age. Ideal small role for someone wanting to dip their toe. Expected to also help as stagehand. May be doubled with the Friar.
Oatcake (Second Watchman) / Messenger. Any age. Two small roles giving the actor a chance to stretch their acting muscles by developing very different characters.
Friar Francis. Any age. Like Friar Lawrence in R&J, he likes to meddle and scheme. May be doubled with Balthasar. If Balthasar is played by a female, then the role will be doubled with Seacol.
Female Roles (6 min - 9 max)
Hero, Leonato's daughter. 18 - 30. Name says it all. This girl is good. Really good. She's a gentle, loving girl who doesn't have much of a backbone, but doesn't have much of a mean-streak either. Her defining characteristic is that she's always reacting to the actions and commands of others, and is rarely the agent of action herself. Interestingly, Hero's little actions and words within the play show that she has some willfulness and sass in her, but she expresses this side of herself infrequently because she gives so many of her big decisions over to other people. Her final behaviour, in the second wedding, will be a place to make interesting choices.
Beatrice, Leonato's niece. 28 - 40. Beatrice's white-hot wit, combined with her vulnerability, arguably make her the play's most fleshed out (and endearingly awesome) character. Beatrice's relentless hilarity could easily typecast her in the role of a jester in the play, but her barbs are laced with insightful commentary and often inspired by penetrating understanding. She sees the absurdity of the world and instead of being melancholy; she chooses to laugh at it. which is a sure sign of wisdom.She would be a fool, except that when things get really grave (during Hero's first wedding day) and demand seriousness, she's the first to deliver the passion that the events demand.
Antonia, wife to Leonato. 40+. Feminised role. Seems like an older version of Hero. There are hints to trouble in the marriage in the past. Perhaps this is why she allows her husband to take the lead in things. Until towards the end, when she is ready to rip Don Pedro and Claudio apart for what they did to Hero.
Margaret, waiting gentlewomen to Hero. Around Hero's age and close enough in colouring and build to be mistaken at a distance. Little bit of a good time girl but without malice and is unwittingly part of the scheme to disgrace Hero - which distresses her.
Ursula, waiting gentlewomen to Hero. Any age. Reasonably smart and knowing. Trusted by Hero implicitly.
Constance. Don John's follower. This is a feminising of Conrad so gives scope to build a character who dabbles with bad boys. May be doubled with Balthasar.
Roles for either sex
Dogberry, Master Constable in Messina. Any age. Comic role. Has been done so many, many ways that finding the comedy is very much the journey.
Verges, Dogberry's offsider. Any age. With Dogberry, (s)he forms a comic duo. Very open as to how this comedic pair operate.
Balthasar may be played by a female, then Seacol doubles with the Friar. Any age. Needs to be able to play guitar and/or sing. Doubling with Friar Lawrence if a male is cast. May also double with Constance if a female is cast.