Written by Lee Hall, adapted from the screenplay by Tom Stoppard & Marc Norman.
Directed by Gordon Casagrande.
Auditions: November 5 & 6. 7pm to approximately 10pm.
Rehearsals begin after Thanksgiving.
Performances: February 1 through 23 (with a possible one week extension).
On the Main Stage in the Kweskin Theatre.
“Shakespeare in Love” is a comedy based on the Academy Award winning movie of the same name. It has the same basic plot and characters and even many of the same lines as the movie. It was a smash hit on London’s West End in 2014, with one reviewer calling it “A joyous celebration of the theatre.”
There is a large cast comedy, with 11 men and 3 women in lead or featured roles, and an ensemble of up to 12 men and 8 women. Many speaking parts.
While it is a comedy and not a musical per se, it does include music (Musical Director Peter Randazzo) and dance (Choreographer Karen Casagrande). Leads and featured players do not have to sing. However, 4 or 5 members of the ensemble will be prominently featured a number of times as singers. Also, on at least two occasions there will be need of dancers. It also contains one large scale stage brawl, so some agility is required of all the men. There will also be on-stage, in costume, musicians. All auditioning will be given some movement to try. Those wishing to be considered for the singing parts should prepare an audition song.
The ages listed are the ages you can play on stage.
Will Shakespeare: 30 – 40. The playwright, but not as famous as he will become in later life. Falls madly & passionately in love with Viola. Must be equally adept at comedy & romance.
Viola de Lesseps: Late teens to mid-20s. Romantic, passionate, exuberant young woman who yearns to be a player & dresses as a man to become one. Falls madly in love with Will.
Christopher (Kit) Marlowe: 30 – 40. The most famous & successful playwright at this time. Friend of Will. Clever & engaging. (A much bigger role than in the movie.)
Henslowe: 40 – 60. Owner & manager of the Rose Theatre. The play’s primary comic role.
Fennyman: 40 – 60. “The Money”. Tough, hardnosed backer of “Romeo & Ethel the Pirate’s Daughter”. Becomes enthralled by the theatre.
Ned Allyn: 30 – 40. Supremely self-confident leading player/stage director of the Admiral’s Men. Commands the stage as only a true leading man can.
Nurse: 50 – 60. Much like the nurse in “Romeo & Juliet”. Viola’s personal servant. Level headed with a comic flair.
Queen Elizabeth: 55 – 65. Stately sovereign who brooks no nonsense, but who loves being entertained by the players, especially when there is a dog involved.
Lord Wessex: 30 – 45. Snobbish, condescending nobleman who wants to marry Viola for her family’s wealth.
Burbage: 35 – 55. The owner and leading player of the Curtain Theatre/Chamberlain’s Men, rivals to Henslowe’s & Ned’s theatre/players. A “man of parts” even though he is an actor.
Tilney: 35 – 55. Pompous Lord Chamberlain & Master of the Revels. Wants to close down the theatres. Much like Malvolio in “Twelfth Night”.
Wabash: 30 – 60. Henslowe’s tailor and wannabe actor. Has a stammer until he gets in front of an audience, when he suddenly shows a wonderful stage voice.
Sam: Late teens – early 20s. Actor in the Admiral’s Men. Plays the female ingénue roles in their plays. Must be able to do a light, feminine voice, until his voice starts to change. Also, must be comfortable being kissed by Will while rehearsing “Romeo & Juliet”
Webster: Early to mid-teens. Street wise youngster who wants to act and who especially loves the gory parts of the plays of that time.
Ensemble: Late teens to 60’s. Up to 12 men and 8 women. All play a number of roles. Many speaking parts. Many of the men also act in scenes from “Romeo & Juliet”. 4 or 5 strong singers, both male & female, needed. Male & female dancers, at least 2 of each, needed.
Wabash Romeo Juliet Will Marlowe Will Henslowe Viola Nurse Will Viola Nurse Will Viola Boatman Will Viola Will Viola as Romeo Juliet Marlowe Burbage Will Queen et al 1 Queen et al 2 Nurse Wessex Henslowe Fennyman 1 Henslowe Fennyman 2 Fennyman Will Viola Burbage Will Burbage Ned Allyn et al 1 Ned Allyn et al 2 Ned Allyn et al 3 Tilney Tilney Will et al Tilney et al Wessex deLesseps Wessex Viola 1 Wessex Viola 2 Sam as Juliet Sam et al Webster Will Webster Queen Wabash Henslowe
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