AUDITIONS for Shakespeare in Love

produced by the Green Valley Theatre Company
directed by Christopher Cook

WHEN: Saturday May 18, 2pm-5pm,
possible callbacks Sunday and/or Monday May 19 & 20, as needed.

WHERE: Tower Theater Downtown Roseville
417 Vernon Street
Roseville, CA 95678

Resume and headshot, if available
List of rehearsal conflicts
Auditions will consist of cold/warm readings from the script.
No monologue or other prepared material is necessary.
If you play an instrument, and want to be considered to do so in the show, be prepared to give us a short demonstration of your skills.

Begin Sunday May 26
All Rehearsals Sunday-Thursday 7:30pm-10:30pm

Tower Theater in Roseville
8pm on July 19, 20, 26, 27, August 2, 3, 9, 10
7pm on July 28, August 4, 11
2pm on August 10

The ensemble nature of this show means that many roles may be played by actors presenting as any gender. All gender identities are welcome to audition.

Only actors 18 and older will be considered.

Based on the Academy Award-winning film by Tom Stoppard and adapted by Lee Hall (Billy Elliot), Shakespeare in Love is a love letter to the stage and a celebration of theatre, music and human connection. While the government threatens to close all theaters, young Will Shakespeare suffers from writer’s block, as his muse Viola disguises herself as a man to pursue her dreams of being an actor. Amidst mistaken identities, ruthless scheming, backstage theatrics and a misbehaving dog, Will’s love for Viola quickly blossoms and inspires him to write his greatest masterpiece.

Character Breakdown:
VIOLA DE LESSEPS (mid 20s – 30s) A young romantic isolated by her own nobility from the art she so desperately craves. She adores poetry and is in love with the idea of love. Passionate, confident, and full of life. Things start looking up for Viola when she meets poet and playwright Will Shakespeare. She rebels against her parents—and society at large—by dressing as a man and acting in Shakespeare’s play – Romeo and Juliet.
NURSE (late 20s – 70s) Viola’s caretaker. Frustrated by Viola’s tendency to buck societal trends, but devoutly loyal to her charge. The nurse is a constant source of support to Viola. She helps her cross-dress, and cover her tracks with her soon to be husband.

QUEEN ELIZABETH I (mid 30s –60s) Head of state. She enjoys the theatre, especially when there’s a dog involved. She is wise and calculated, not necessarily cold, but well aware of the societal structure that she not only adheres to but represents. She’s intimidating, exceptionally intelligent and keenly aware of her surroundings. She’s compassionate toward Viola, identifying with her because both characters are women in traditionally men’s roles.

WILL SHAKESPEARE (late 20s – mid 30s) A poet trying to leave his artistic mark on the world. He is cunning, intelligent, passionate, and lacks confidence. Is a struggling writer trying to find his voice, and his muse. He owes money all around town but seems more focused on securing romance than funds. His best friend Marlowe is both rival and mentor. Will falls in love Viola DeLesseps, despite the fact that she is engaged and he is married.

KIT MARLOWE (late 20s – 40s) Christopher “Kit” Marlowe is based on a real-life historical figure of the same name. He gives Shakespeare the basic plot for Romeo and Juliet. He is a well respected playwright and a lot more confident than Will. A little older, a little wiser, and a lot more confident than Will, he is both his mentor and his closest friend.

NED ALLEYN (late 20s – late 40s) Lead actor for the Admiral’s Men, a prestigious acting troupe. One of the most popular actors of the day. Although seemingly egotistical, selfish, and opinionated at a glance, he takes his craft very seriously and has the deepest respect for committed theatre artists. Will tells Ned the play is called ‘Mercutio’ – and Ned agrees to play it.

RICHARD BURBAGE (early 30s – 70s) One of a handful of historical figures portrayed in the play. Burbage is a rival actor and theatre owner who ends up forming a truce with Henslowe after the Rose is closed. Burbage takes a stand against censorship. He is melodramatic, over the top, but undeniably talented. Pompous but likeable.

LORD WESSEX (late 20s – mid 40s) A man with a title but no money, a fact that fills him with frustration and insecurity. He has been trained in the noble arts of etiquette and swordplay, but is bad with words and worse with people. An unlikeable prig. He is William Shakespeare’s opposite in almost every way. Humorless, arrogant and lacking any poetry. Wessex makes a bargain with Viola’s father, trading parts of his tobacco plantations for her hand in marriage. In the end Viola must go to America with him, on orders from the Queen.

HENSLOWE (early 30s – 70s) Owner of The Rose Theater. He is a business man at heart, more concerned with turning a profit than creating fine art. Calling him an idiot is an overstatement, but not a huge one. He’s in debt to Fennyman, and is constantly riding Will to finish his play so he can make money off it and repay his debts. He doesn’t understand the intricacies of theatrical structure, but he knows what he likes: “Love and a bit with a dog, that’s what they want.”

FENNYMAN (mid 30s – 70s) A ruthless loan shark who finances theatre in return for a piece of the profit. He is “the money.” He enjoys the theatre but knows very little about it. He is a bit of a gangster, unafraid to get his hands dirty when his clients are unable to repay their debts. He lights a fire under Henslowe’s feet (literally) to make him pay back his debts. Fennyman is given a scene in Romeo and Juliet. He takes his role as the Apothecary very seriously and ultimately discovers a passion for theatre.

TILNEY (early 30s – 70s) The Master of Revels for the English crown. Although his chief responsibility is to oversee royal festivities, he is concerned with stage censorship, which makes him both respected and feared by professional theatre artists, especially those seeking to create new works.

JOHN WEBSTER (late teens – early 20s) A young man drawn to the theatre because of its potential for horrific gory scenes and bloody battles. A trouble maker by nature and a pain in the neck in rehearsals. A bit of a harmless psychopath. He takes revenge on Will Shakespeare by ratting out Viola’s true identity to Mr. Tilney.

SAM (teens –early 20s) An Elizabethan boy actor – he is meant to play the role of Juliet, but his voice changes before the play, rendering him unable to play a woman.

SIR ROBERT DE LESSEPS (40-60s) A successful, wealthy man. Father to Viola. He essentially sells her into marriage, and makes no bones about it.

WABASH (any age) Mr. Wabash is Fennyman’s Tailor – Fennyman gives him a part in Romeo and Juliet because he owes him money. Speaks with a stutter.

RALPH (30-60s) An actor/barman – plays the Nurse in Romeo and Juliet.

*MOLLY (20s- 30s) Brothel worker who deflowers Sam
*KATE (20s – 30s) Brothel worker
*LAMBERT (any age) Henchman for Fennyman
*FREES (any age) Henchman for Fennyman- his “accountant”
*MISTRESS QUICKLY (any age) The wardrobe mistress for Burbage’s troupe
*ACTOR Tries to fend off the dog while auditioning
*NOL Actor who plays Sampson and Benvolio in Romeo and Juliet
*BOATMAN Recognizes Viola and reveals her identity to Will
*ROBIN Plays both Tybalt and Lady Capulet in Romeo and Juliet
*ADAM Plays Gregory in Romeo and Juliet
*PETER Plays Petruccio in Romeo and Juliet
SPOT The dog
(* indicates roles that are typically doubled)