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Performing Arts

Upcoming Auditions

Youth Actor auditions for  Macbeth   are SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 15 from 2-4pm.
We are looking for community actors age 6-17 to play the following:

The Witches or “Weird Sisters” - The witches are victims trapped within the burnt out landscape of war. They are wandering spirits — refugees in their own land who can never go home. They possess powerful supernatural abilities, including the ability to predict that Macbeth will be king - the act that sets the play into motion. Now free of their corporal wants and needs, they enact their revenge, influencing people and events. They appear throughout the play, observing the action and exerting their powers.
Fleance (age 12-15) - Banquo’s son, who survives Macbeth’s attempt to murder him. Macduff’s Son (age 8-11) - son to the Macduffs, a bright, articulate boy, clever, sweet, feisty.
Macduff’s Daughter (age 8-15) - depending on casting, this role could be small or could share many of Macduff’s son’s lines to create something larger.
Community/Youth Actors: You will not need to have any prepared material. You should plan to be at the audition the entire time. The audition will involve a variety of physical and vocal exercises, as well as reading from the script (no memorization will be necessary). 
Rehearsals for   Macbeth  begin October 22nd. Youth actors will typically rehearse Monday through Thursday 7-9:30 and Sundays 2-4:30.   The show opens the week after Thanksgiving on November 30th.   Actors will need to be available for technical rehearsals on Sunday, November 25th from 10am to 11pm (we will have two one hour breaks for meals).  Dress rehearsals are Monday, November 26 through Thursday, November 29th and will last from 6-11pm. There is a mandatory pick-up rehearsal on December 6th from 6pm to 11pm. The show closes December 9th.  A more detailed rehearsal schedule will be made available at the next audition.
 
For questions or further information about Community/Youth Actor Auditions, please contact Laura Standley at Laura.Standley@mcla.edu.

INITIAL AUDITIONS for Fall 18 Productions:

SHE KILLS MONSTERS

by Qui Nguyen

MACBETH

by Williams Shakespeare

 

Will be held:

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 7, 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:

SHE KILLS MONSTERS
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 8
Venable Theater 10:00-2:00pm

MACBETH
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 8
Venable Theater 3:00-8:00pm

Audition Requirements

ACTORS
Please prepare:

2 contrasting monologues 1 from a contemporary play and 1 from a Shakespeare play. You may not be required to perform both monologues, but be prepared to do so. 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.

Please note that all roles are open to all ethnicities.

About the Plays

SHE KILLS MONSTERS is a comedic romp into the world of fantasy role-playing games that tells the story of Agnes Evans following the death of her teenage sister, Tilly. When Agnes finds Tilly’s Dungeons & Dragons notebook, she stumbles into a journey of discovery and action-packed adventure in the imaginary world that was Tilly’s refuge. In this high-octane dramatic comedy laden with homicidal fairies, nasty ogres, and 90s pop culture, acclaimed young playwright Qui Nguyen offers a heart-pounding homage to the geek and warrior within us all.

10 versatile and diverse performers will make up the cast. Some will play multiple characters, some will play just one. Strong language, movement (especially stage combat and dance), and improvisatory skills.


MACBETH is William Shakespeare’s tragic masterpiece about the damaging physical and psychological effects of political ambition on those who seek power for its own sake. When three witches deliver some surprising prophecies, Macbeth hatches a plan to murder the king and claim the throne for himself. Provoked by his wife and preoccupied with greed, Macbeth begins his tragic descent into madness.

18-20 versatile and diverse performers will make up the cast. Some will play multiple characters, some will play just one.

Casting Breakdowns

SHE KILLS MONSTERS

Tilly - a teenage girl obsessed with Dungeons & Dragons. Smart, sarcastic and strong but underneath an insecure, bullied girl. Lilith’s girlfriend.

Agnes - Tilly’s older “average” sister, a high school teacher who never really knew her sister. Lilith/Lilly - Demon Queen, Tilly’s girlfriend, powerful, beautiful and bloodthirsty.

Kaliope/Kelly - Dark Elf, master tracker, lock-picker, intelligent and above emotions. Orcus/Ronnie - Overlord of the Underworld, a mellow, surfer-type, giant, red demon.

Chuck - a nerdy teenager, serves as the games’ Dungeon Master, desperately tries to be cool.

Miles - Agnes’ boyfriend, struggles with commitment. Charming, overachieving, stuffy, wanna-be politician. Thinks he the golden boy, but he’s actually a fart-knocker.

Narrator/Evil Tina/Farrah the Faerie- Lord of the Rings style hooded figure (think Cate Blanchett), also Vampire Cheerleader, also faerie who is violent, vicious badass fighter.

Vera/Evil Gabbi/The Beholder -Agnes’ friend and school guidance counselor, brash, sarcastic and unhelpful, also Vampire Cheerleader, and one-eyed monster.

Steve - A D&D beginner adventurer who continually appears and dies multiple times in multiple ways.

Actors will also play Kobolds, Bugbears, and other “badass monsters.”

MACBETH

Duncan - the King who is brutally murdered by Macbeth. A strong and just ruler and a figure of indisputable authority. Generous with praise for Macbeth and Banquo, who have fought bravely for him. Will also double as the doctor who cares for Lady Macbeth and is disturbed by her strange behavior.

Malcolm - the eldest son of Duncan and heir to the throne, we need to be able to see him initially as an attractive and somewhat inexperienced young man, with a reserved air of mystery. We need to believe him when he says he’s debauched and also believe him when he says he’s a virgin. Eventually, he ascends to the throne and should seem like he belongs there. A sensitive, young leading man of great potential.

Donalbain/Young Siward/The dead - young, bright, and athletic, he is Duncan’s son and Malcolm’s younger brother. A born leader who also plays Young Siward and fights Macbeth in the end.

Macbeth - A brave soldier, married to Lady Macbeth, his ambition begins to run wild after hearing a prophecy by three witches that he will be made King. Impetuous, passionate, susceptible to dreams of power and glory, he puts aside all morals in order to fulfill his ambitions. Deeply in love and connected to his wife, with whom he plots the murders of all who stand between himself and the crown.

Banquo - another brave soldier, friend to Macbeth’s, he is with Macbeth when the witches make their fateful prophecy that Macbeth will be King and that his (Banquo’s) heirs will be kings.

Unlike Macbeth, Banquo does not succumb to the temptation to engineer these prophecies. His character is a stark contrast to Macbeth’s in that he chooses the path Macbeth does not: a path in which ambition does not lead to betrayal and murder. After Banquo is murdered by Macbeth’s henchmen, he returns as a ghost to rebuke Macbeth for his actions. Straightforward, clear, uncomplicated, upstanding.

Angus, Ross, Lennox, Menteith, Caithness - noblemen who serve Duncan and later Macbeth. Throughout the play, their loyalties are tested. In the end, they all join with Macduff and Malcolm to remove Macbeth from the throne. We will be combining these roles depending on casting to create two, possibly three roles.

Bloody Captain/1st Murderer/The dead - The bloody captain begins the play by recounting Macbeth’s valor at battle with Irish and Norwegian invaders. Also plays one of the dangerous and terrifying pair of criminals conscripted by Macbeth to murder his enemies.

Lady Macbeth - Macbeth’s wife, poised, well bred, fiercely intelligent, ultimately a deeply ambitious woman who wants position and power, but later falls victim to guilt and madness over her complicity in plotting the murders of Duncan, Banquo and others. Deeply in love and passionately connected to her husband.

Lady Macbeth’s Servant - a young servant who brings information to Lady Macbeth, passing messages between both spouses. They find themselves caught up in the bloody deeds and ultimately flee the Macbeth’s service when Lady Macbeth dies.

Porter/Seyton - An evil presence. He is a caretaker at Macbeth’s castle who must answer the door in the middle of the night. Also plays Seyton, the only servant who follows Macbeth to the bitter end.

Macduff - powerful soldier of significant reputation, who mistrusts Macbeth and his rise to the throne, even before Macbeth arranges the murder of Macduff’s wife and child. A formidable and worthy opponent, he leads the movement to remove Macbeth from the throne, in order to avenge the death of his family and to put the rightful heir on the throne. Athletic and fierce. In every way the ultimate protagonist.

Lady Macduff - made more significant to the action by pulling from lines from other characters, Macduff’s wife and mother of their young son. She is warm, poised, lovely, loves her children, with whom she has a great rapport. Our hearts ache to see her murdered.

Old Seyward/2nd Murderer/The dead - a powerful warrior who leads his army in alliance with Malcolm and Macduff against Macbeth. Fearsome and gruff, he also plays one of the dangerous and terrifying pair of criminals conscripted by Macbeth to murder his enemies.

The Witches or “Weird Sisters” - May be played by three young community actors age 6-16, or possibly two children age 6-16 and one actor age 17+. The witches are victims trapped within the burnt out landscape of war. They are wandering spirits — refugees in their own land who can never go home. They possess powerful supernatural abilities, including the ability to predict that Macbeth will be king - the act that sets the play into motion. Now free of their corporal wants and needs, they enact their revenge, influencing people and events. They appear throughout the play, observing the action and exerting their powers.

Gentlewoman (played by the oldest actor playing a witch) - attends Lady Macbeth and is deeply worried about her strange and erratic behavior.

Also looking for young community actors for:

Fleance (age 12-15) - Banquo’s son, who survives Macbeth’s attempt to murder him. Macduff’s Son (age 8-11) - son to the Macduffs, a bright, articulate boy, clever, sweet, feisty.

Macduff’s Daughter (age 8-15) - depending on casting, this role could be small or could share many of Macduff’s son’s lines to create something larger.

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