AUDITIONS – THE BOOK OF WILL – 6/26 & 6/27 at 7pm

Directed by ANDREW KARL
SUN JUN 26 | 7pm
MON JUN 27 | 7pm

Performance Dates
SEPTEMBER 9, 10, 16, 17, 18, 23, 24

William Shakespeare’s been dead for three years. His friends and fellow actors miss him and his beautiful plays. When a pirated, badly botched Hamlet (“To be or not to be, there’s the point…”), they realize Shakespeare’s lines are disappearing into the forgetful memory of time. They need a book—a definitive copy of his original plays, but to make one, they have to battle an unscrupulous publisher, a boozy poet, and their own mortality. Lauren Gunderson’s look at Shakespeare’s First Folio is a lively, funny, poignant love letter to theatre and the printed word.

Shakespeare never saved his work. Meet the folks who did.

From the Director: Hey there! Thanks for your consideration to join us in crafting an ode to the Bard, the theatre, and the power of the written word! We are looking for a diversity of artists to portray one or more characters in this (mostly) historical tale about the creation of Shakespeare’s First Folio. All folks, regardless of age, race, gender or experience are invited to audition for the roles they are interested in portraying.

Style of the play: Though firmly set in the early 17th century, this play should NOT be thought of as a period piece. This is a CONTEMPORARY play that happens to be set in Jacobaean England. Gunderson’s text is colloquial and therefore, there is no need for grand recreations of Elizabethan/Jacobean performances (except for the brief, actual stage performances in the script). Bring yourselves to the audition and the text. Who are you today? How do you relate to the desire to ensure a legacy?

Note about the audition: The audition will be conducted in two segments:

  1. Movement and Devising: Laura Gunderson asks the ensemble to convey the physical process of “building the Folio” within the play’s transitions. In our production, this will be done with pedestrian movement sequences that we will craft together. The first portion of the audition will consist of a guided movement exploration. All bodies and abilities will be capable. Please bring clothes you are comfortable moving in.

  2. Reading: Sides (scenes) will be provided at a later date. Not all roles will have sides so please pick the side closest to the characters you wish to portray (again, casting may assign you to a “track” with multiple roles). Feel free to read for as many roles as you like. You may be asked to cold-read material on the audition day. Please stay at the audition until you have been dismissed.

Character Breakdown: 

Henry Condell: Feisty and hopeful, Henry is forty years old, Shakespeare’s friend, and actor in the King’s Men.

John Heminges (pronounced “Hemmings”): Reasonable and serious, John is fifty years old, Shakespeare’s friend, and financial manager of the King’s Men. He is a good man, a gentleman, and the owner of the Globe Tap House.

Richard Burbage: A seasoned lion of the stage, loud and proud, Richard is in his fifties and famous across England.

Elizabeth Condell: Savvy and fun, Elizabeth is Condell’s wife.

Alice Heminges: John’s daughter and alewife, Alice is thirty-five years old, knows everyone, and hangs with the boys.

Rebecca Heminges: John’s wife, Rebecca is strong, busy with their grocery business, and a woman who has weathered much but loves her husband, her sons, and God. She is a good wife.

Ben Jonson: Poet laureate of England and friend/rival of Shakespeare, Ben is an amazing drunk, a bear of a man, and surprisingly weepy.

Ed Knight: “Stage manager” for the King’s Men, Ed is self-serious and particular.

Ralph Crane: Humble scrivener of the King’s Men, Ralph is quick, sure, and quiet.

William Jaggard: Successful and shady publisher of books, plays, and playbills, William is confident in his ability to get what he wants. He is very experienced, very connected, and willing to do whatever it takes to get the job done, but an ass.

Isaac Jaggard:  William’s son, Isaac will inherit the business. He is sensitive, an artist at heart.

Marcus: Printer’s apprentice at the Jaggard print shop, twenty-year-old Marcus is nosy but honest.

Compositor: Works for Jaggard, young.

Emilia Bassano Lanier: A fiery Italian feminist and poet, Emilia is fifty years old, an independent woman, and a lover of life (and of Shakespeare).

Sir Edward Dering: A book and theatre lover, Edward is sixty years old and the first customer of The First Folio.

Anne Hathaway Shakespeare: Shakespeare’s now ailing sixty-year-old wife, Anne is strong-willed, a classy lady, a survivor.

Susannah Shakespeare: A good girl and daughter of Shakespeare, Susannah is thirty years old.

Boy Hamlet: A young actor.

Two Barmen: Drunk ruffians.

Crier: A newsboy.

Bernardo, Francisco, Horatio, Marcellus: Actors playing these roles

Fruit Seller