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Performing Arts

Upcoming Auditions
INITIAL AUDITIONS for Spring 18 Productions:

RHINOCEROS
by Eugene Ionesco

INTO THE WOODS
music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
book by James Lapine
 
Will be held:
FRIDAY, JANUARY 19
5:00-8:00pm
Venable Theater, Venable Building, 2nd Floor, 375 Church Street, North Adams, MA
 
If you would like to audition, but are not able to make the initial audition time, please contact Laura Standley at Laura.Standley@mcla.edu to inquire about an alternative time.

With callbacks on:
RHINOCEROS
SATURDAY, JANUARY 20
Venable Theater
10:00-2:00pm

INTO THE WOODS
SATURDAY, JANUARY 20
Venable Theater
3:00-8:00pm

Audition Requirements
ACTORS
Please prepare:
  • 2 contrasting monologues from 2 contemporary plays. You may not be required to perform both monologues, but be prepared to do so. 
  • If you want to be considered for the musical: 1 32-bar selection from a Broadway-style song. 
Choose pieces that are important to you; we are looking for honesty and a strong commitment to what you are doing. At the audition itself, you may be asked to work on your pieces improvisationally, so be sure to memorize your monologues in an exploratory way rather than by rote.
 
For singers, we will provide an accompanist, so please provide easy-to-read, easy-to-handle sheet music in the proper key. Make sure all markings and navigation of the song on the sheet music are clear for the accompanist. No taped accompaniment or a cappella singing will be accepted.

ACTOR/MUSICIANS
We are also considering actors who play instruments as musicians for both shows this semester. If you play an instrument, please prepare a short selection from a song on the instrument of your choosing. If you play more than one instrument, please let us know that too!

About the Plays

RHINOCEROS is a cautionary absurdist drama by Eugene Ionesco. In a small-town cafe, Beringer meets his friend Jean, when suddenly, it’s a rhinoceros! Not long after, another, then another, until soon, the square is overrun with rhinos! Berenger realizes, to his horror, that people are actually TURNING INTO RHINOS! It is an epidemic of 'Rhinoceritis' and nearly everyone succumbs in this absurdist allegory about the nature of moral strength and the human race’s ability to stand up to fascism.

6-10 versatile and diverse performers will make up the cast. Some will play multiple characters, some will play just one. Strong language, movement, and improvisatory skills.

--

INTO THE WOODS is Stephen Sondhiem's masterpiece of music theatre. Cinderella marries her prince, Jack sells his best friend for a handful of beans, Little Red defeats the wolf, and Rapunzel lets her hair down, and it all goes horribly wrong because a baker and his wife seek help from a witch to help them have a child. The community must band together to save each other from the terror of the giant, but sacrifices must be made.

12-16 versatile and diverse performers will make up the cast. Some will play multiple characters, some will play just one. 


CASTING BREAKDOWNS

RHINOCEROS

Beringer 

Alcoholic slacker, disenchanted with life.

 

Jean

Beringer's cultured, easily irritated friend. 

 

Daisy

Beringer's love interest. Laid back about the Rhinos.

 

Logician

Skilled believer in logic.

 

Botard

Skeptical colleague of Beringer.

 

Dudard

Colleague of Beringer's. Rival for Daisy's affection.

 

Papillon

Beringer's boss.

 

Mrs. Boeuf

The wife of one of Beringer's colleagues (who may now be a Rhino).

 

Also:
 
The Waitress
The Grocer’s Wife
The Old Gentleman
The Housewife
The Café Proprietor
A Fireman
The Little Old Man
The Little Old Man’s Wife
And a lot of unruly Rhinos.
 
INTO THE WOODS

The roles of Narrator, Mysterious Man, and Witch have been filled with faculty/guest artists. All other roles are open, and are as follows:

The Baker 

Male, age 25-45, Vocal Range: A Flat 2-G4.

A harried and insecure baker who is simple and loving, yet protective of his family. He wants his wife to be happy and is willing to do anything to ensure her happiness but refuses to let others fight his battles. He desperately wants to have a child with his wife, and can’t understand why their wish is not being granted. When the Witch visits them and tells him that a curse was set on his family because his father stole from her garden, he insists to his wife that he reverse the curse himself since it is on his house. However, he is forgetful and fearful and much too nice to take what he needs, and every time his wife tries to help, he tries to protect her by sending her home. He comes to his senses eventually and realizes that they need to work together to make things happen. The Baker has abandonment issues because his father left him as a boy, and he is terrified that he will turn out just like him. After his wife is killed by the Giant, he, Cinderella, Jack, Little Red and his baby son come together to move forward with their new knowledge and outlook of the world. A tender, warm-hearted, determined but insecure leading man with a strong baritone voice.

 

The Baker’s Wife

Female, age 25-45, Vocal Range: F3-G5.

A determined and bright woman who wishes more than anything to be a mother. She leads a simple, yet satisfying life and is very low-maintenance yet proactive in her endeavors. Strong and logical, she is  eventually responsible for finding most of the objects demanded by the witch in exchange for a child. She loves the Baker deeply and seems to love their life together, but gets frustrated because he won’t vigorously go after what he wants, and because he often seems to put other’s needs over theirs. Loving and compassionate realist. Strong actor/soprano belt mix.

 

Cinderella

Female, age 16-30, Vocal Range: G3-G5.

A hard-working, young girl who lives in servitude to her step-mother and step-sisters who constantly mistreat her and are equally evil. She wishes for a new life and a chance to attend the royal festival. She is persistent and driven, even when her stepmother makes impossible demands. Her kind heart and loving nature have made her a friend of the kingdom’s birds, and they often help her in times of need. Although she seems to know exactly what she wants, when it is actually given to her, she is indecisive and fears the unknown. After experiencing the extremes that life has to offer as a servant turned princess, she decides that she wants to live somewhere in the middle. Must be an excellent legit soprano with a strong mix.

 

Cinderella’s Prince 

Male, age 20-40, Vocal Range: B2-F4.

Vain and gorgeous, he is a disloyal lover who is currently searching for the next new, exciting thing.
He knows exactly what he wants and will stop at nothing to get it. He has led a very sheltered life and is confused when things don’t come easily to him. He is very beautiful and very charming, although also arrogant and entitled. He seems to be quite clever, which is evidenced by his plan to spread pitch all over the steps of the palace in order to catch the runaway Cinderella. Once he gets what he wants, he is easily bored. After he and Cinderella marry, he has a moment of infidelity in the woods with the Baker’s Wife. When Cinderella confronts him about it, he says “I was raised to be charming, not sincere”. Often played by the same actor who plays the Wolf. Self-centered, shallow, and shame-less. Very legit baritone.

 

Red Riding Hood

Female, age 15-20, Vocal Range: B flat 3-F5.

A spoiled young girl who is strong-willed, quick-witted, fearless, yet youthful and naive. Little Red Riding Hood is a friendly, chatty little girl who loves to eat and loves her grandmother. She is trusting to a fault, and a bit of a smart alec. When she sets out into the woods to bring some bread to her grandmother and meets the Wolf, she provides him with information that leads to her and her grandmother being eaten. After the Baker happens to pass by and saves them, Little Red has an epiphany about life, and the dangers of her overtly friendly nature. After her fall from innocence, she becomes a bit blood-thirsty. Her house collapses and her mother disappears when the Giant comes through the kingdom, so she joins the Baker, Cinderella and Jack in killing The Giant. They become a new sort of family since all their own families have been destroyed. Bright belter.

 

Jack

Male, age 15-25, Vocal Range: B2-G4.

Feeling he has no friends in the world, he finds solace in the family’s cow, Milky-White. Adventurous, naive, energetic, and bright-eyed, he is a curious, naive, gullible boy, a little slow of study, but with a huge imagination. When his mother tells him to sell Milky-White because they need the money, Jack is devastated, but obediently sets out into the woods to take her to market anyway. When the Baker and his wife offer to buy the cow for five magic beans, Jack takes them, believing that they are telling him the truth. After his mother throws the beans in the mud and they grow overnight into a magic beanstalk, Jack, armed with his fearless curiosity, climbs the beanstalk all the way into the sky and comes back to earth with gold and treasure. He soon becomes greedy and takes huge risks to appear a grown-up and hold onto the magic he has found, resulting in the destruction of his family, his kingdom, and his innocence. Requires strong lyric tenor with high overall singing range.

 

Jack’s Mother

Female or Male, age 35-60, Vocal Range: B flat 3-F5.

A single mother left by a dead beat husband to raise a clueless son whose imaginary friend is a cow. She loves her son but wishes he would grow up. Beaten down by a life of poverty, she is always worried about how she and her son are going to survive. When their cow, Milky-White, stops producing milk, she has no choice but to sell her at market for much more than she is worth. She is a strict mother, and is often annoyed with her son’s big imagination and naivete. She is infuriated when her son comes back from market with nothing but five magical beans, but after the beans grow into a magical beanstalk and Jack brings home gold and treasure, she takes the gold eagerly. When the Giant comes down to earth searching for Jack, she becomes his protector and does everything in her power to keep her son safe, up until the moment of her death. She is feisty, sharp, and quick to speak her mind. Character actress with legit soprano and strong mix.

 

Rapunzel

Female, age 15-30, Vocal Range: B3-A5.

How would you feel if for your whole life you’d been trapped in a tower with only a crazy witch to talk to? Here we find a girl who wishes to see the outside world. However, her lack of human contact or knowledge of the world proves to be a challenge for her. Upon being banished to a remote desert with her twins by a wondering stranger, she cracks. Understandably, a bit disturbed. Requires strong vocal control in legit soprano style.

 

Rapunzel’s Prince

Male, age 17-40, Vocal Range: C Sharp 3–E4.

Just as vain and gorgeous as his Prince brother, he is always chasing the newest, most exciting endeavour. Rapunzel’s Prince is a hopeless romantic, who seems to be blinded by love, both literally and figuratively. He is the brother of Cinderella’s Prince (we assume his younger brother since he is not next in line for the throne), and they are very competitive, especially when it comes to achieving their own “happily ever after”s. He sees Rapunzel one day in the tower and watches the Witch climb her hair; once he tries it himself, the two of them fall in love. When Rapunzel is banished by the Witch and he is blinded trying to escape the tower, he doesn’t give up, but searches until he finds his princess, who cures his blindness with her tears. The marry and have twins, and it seems that they will live happily ever after. However, it is revealed in Act Two that he becomes impatient with his wife because she can’t seem to get over her troubled childhood, and seeks affections elsewhere, ultimately falling in love with Snow White. Dashing and regal, must have a lovely legit baritone.

 

Cinderella’s Step-Mother

Female, age 40-60, Vocal Range: A3-F Sharp 5.

The mean-spirited, demanding stepmother of Cinderella. She is evil and wants nothing more than to be wealthy and powerful. It is unclear why she married Cinderella’s father other than for the little money he had, and the fact that his drunkenness and ineptitude would guarantee that she had complete control. She uses Cinderella as her slave and has taught her two horrible daughters to do the same. She wants one of her daughters to marry the Prince, and uses everything in her power to prevent Cinderella from going to the ball and thus being their competition. Karma gets the best of her when Cinderella becomes Queen and her two evil daughters get their eyes pecked out by birds at her wedding. Must be a strong character actress. Mezzo soprano.

 

Lucinda, Florinda (Step-Sisters)

Females, age 16-40, Vocal Range: C4-A Flat 5.

These beautiful ladies are always pursuing a glamorous lifestyle to save them from their current situation. They wear the best clothes they have to mask their poverty. They are like vultures in that they find joy feeding off others. Mezzo sopranos.

Wolf

Male, age 18-35, Vocal Range: B Flat 2-G Flat 4.

This resourceful creature is always on the lookout for his next meal. He entices his victims with flowers and fun until they willingly succumb to his desires. Hungry, insatiable, seductive. Must be a strong baritone singer/character actor.

 

Steward

Male, age 30-50, Ensemble Singer.

The Steward is Cinderella’s Prince’s right hand man. He helps the Prince try to find Cinderella and is a little arrogant: he thinks because he works for the Prince his needs are far more important than others’ (such as the Baker’s Wife, whom he struggles with for Cinderella’s slipper at the end of Act One). He is also a coward, however, and when the Giant appears in Act Two, he is the first to leave, alongside Cinderella’s stepmother and stepsisters. He is also responsible for killing Jack’s Mother when he hits her in the head to stop her from arguing with the Giant. Ensemble singing only. Vocal type open.

 

Also:

Granny

The Ghost of Cinderella's Mother

Cinderella's Father

The Giant's Wife

Snow White

Sleeping Beauty

All ensemble singers, often doubled with other parts. Vocal types open.

 

General Information

Auditions for FPA Theatre productions are open to all MCLA students and community members. Theatre Program students are expected to audition for these productions each semester, as well as attend production interviews. Students who audition and are cast in these shows must register for 1 credit of THEA 372.

 Theatre Program students who are not cast are expected to participate in a production capacity on these productions. We are looking to cover all positions in the production process. Even if you feel you don’t have enough experience or knowledge in technical production, there is still a place for you! 

 The Theatre Program is committed to inclusive casting which promotes diversity in the casting of roles where race, ethnicity, gender, age, and the presence or absence of a disability is not essential to the development of the play or characters. All students are encouraged to audition. Theatre Program students are not given preference in casting decisions.

 The audition process is part of the students’ theatre training, and all best efforts will be made to inform students of the director’s process, and to encourage them to maximize their preparation and participation. The aim of casting is to select the most able student for a particular role, while also taking into consideration the relevance of the nature of the role to the student’s continuing development as an actor.

 The Theatre Program tries to audition all shows for a semester at one time. The directors for each show, together with the Theatre faculty decide on casting.

Guest artist actors are occasionally used in some roles and are always pre-cast. Guest artist actors enhance the training process by providing professional level models for students to learn from through observation. Pre-casting of students in roles will not occur.

 Auditions are usually held in Venable Theater on the second floor of Venable Building.

Break a leg!

HOW TO SIGN UP

Sign-up Sheet. On the Friday of audition weekend, in the morning, a sign-up sheet will go up on the Theatre Program call-board across from Venable Theater. Actors, sign up for an initial audition slot as soon as possible.

Audition Forms. Download an Audition Form here. Bring audition forms with you to your initial audition.

Day of Auditions. Arrive at least 15 minutes prior to your scheduled audition time to check in with the monitor.

ALL ACTORS. You will be auditioning for BOTH shows. Prepare material that will best represent you, in terms of both age and type.

 

Call-Backs. If called back for a role, you will be asked to come to a show-specific group audition. These group auditions will consist of cold-readings from the script, and perhaps (depending on the show) movement, dance, singing and/or improv auditions. Persons called back will be posted on the Theatre Program call-board with detailed directions about what to prepare.

 

Cold reading. A cold reading is when you are handed a script and asked to perform a scene. In call-backs you will be given a side, paired with a partner and allowed a short amount of time to rehearse together. To prepare for cold-readings, be familiar with the plays (read the whole thing!) and study the characters you think you are right for.

 

Clothing. For the initial audition, standard audition attire is required. Come dressed for an acting audition, considering the role you are auditioning for and dressing with the essence of the character in mind. Remember the audition is to showcase your acting talent, not your wardrobe! Stay away from clothing that will distract from your audition. During call-backs, for the movement audition you will be asked to dress in clothing appropriate for participating in physical activity.

 

NOTE. All auditions are private. During initial auditions, performers are brought into the audition room one at a time. We find that students do their best and most honest work when parents and guests are not watching. In the room will be the directors and designers, as well as any stage management, assistant director or design students.

Questions? Need access to scripts for preparation?
Contact: Laura Standley

Laura.Standley@mcla.edu

Production Interviews
Production Positions and Descriptions
Audition Form