Happy new year everyone!
Wednesday, January 4 at 3.30 in the black box there will be auditions for our spring play, The Provoked Wife. This is a Restoration Comedy that, although very funny, was written during a time when social deportment (manners, behavior, style, etc.) was of extreme importance. The plays mirror that of the people who lived in and around the aristocratic court of Charles II; including servants, tradesman, entertainers, etc. The main point is that there were rules of etiquette that were quite complex. These “code of manners” dictated such particulars as how to use a fan/walking stick, bow, curtsy, sit, stand, walk, stroll in the park, and drink coffee and chocolate. The lower class might occasionally aspire to or attempt these particulars, but generally leave the “code” to the upper class. The restoration of Charles II brought with it a society of fashion, gluttony, and the pursuit of idle pleasures, witty language, the necessity of marriage, and the proper execution of the code of manners.
Although this play was performed in 1697, I would still like to keep with the early Restoration period, when Charles II was on the throne. We will discuss dialect later, but please do not worry about auditioning with a dialect. The only dialect I may ask to hear at initial auditions is that of Madamoiselle.
For auditions…I am not concerned with accuracy in terms of the code of manners of the Restoration period. That will come later during rehearsals. However, I would like to see people come up with their own version of consistent stylistic choices in terms of physicality, voice, and social interaction. The only thing to keep in mind is that it has to be far, far away from anything we might do in 2017!
SIR JOHN – the brutish, gambling, drunken husband who married for lust.
LADY BRUTE – the charming, witty, mature, but self-preserving wife who married for money.
LADY FANCYFULL – typical Restoration character, a female fop, selfish and ridiculous.
CONSTANT – the unrepentant bachelor, Lady Brute’s temptation, a rake, a cad.
HEARTFREE – sensitive, afraid to love, the moral spokesman.
BELINDA – the reliable companion of Lady Brute, offers the solution, has the happiest end.
MADAMOISELLE – Fancyfull’s French maid, witty, ambitious, sarcastic, but loves her job as she gets to taunt men and manipulate Lady F. (must perform with a French accent)
RASOR – Sir John’s valet, falls for Mademoiselle.
JUSTICE OF THE PEACE
I would like to cast TREBLE and PIPE with a male and a female comfortable with singing. Being able to play an instrument is a plus!
I would like a small male/female ensemble to play ALL other roles.
Here is the audition form (you will be seen sooner if you prepare ahead of time):
SIDES – Choose one side based on who you want to audition for. If you want to audition for m/f ensemble or TREBLE or PIPE, prepare the “male ensemble” and “female ensemble” sides.
Additionally, if you are auditioning for TREBLE or PIPE, be prepared to sing “Happy Birthday” in a classical style. If you want to go a step further, prepare a short chorus of a 1980s love song…but in a Baroque/Classical style. You can accompany yourself if you want, but acapella is fine.
You can email me with any questions – firstname.lastname@example.org