Auditions

We are currently auditioning for two productions - Brontë and King Lear.

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Audition Notice: Brontë

Brontë by Polly Teale
Directed by Jayne Grace

Auditions are coming up for Stagecraft’s second play of 2018. Brontë will be a New Zealand premiere. Performances will also be part of Stagecraft’s 60th anniversary celebrations.
 
Auditions: Saturday 3 and Sunday 4 March 2018
Call backs: Monday 5 March after 6pm (if required)
 
Rehearsals from 12 March onwards. Rehearsing Tuesday and Thursday evenings and Sunday afternoons. Performances Wednesday 23 May – Friday 1 June 2018
 
To register your interest in auditioning, please email auditions@stagecraft.co.nz

For enquires about any other aspect of the production, please email the production manager, Shannon on corneashan@hotmail.com
 
The Play
 
This is the New Zealand premiere of Polly Teale’s masterpiece, Brontë. It’s about the three Brontë sisters, who lived single and isolated lives on the Yorkshire moors, yet wrote some of the most powerful fiction ever penned. This play digs into the Brontë family dynamic and explores how the seemingly mundane, isolated and oppressed outward lives of these spinsters was a poor façade for the passionate and brilliant women underneath.
 
Set predominantly in 1845 (it jumps around a bit), Charlotte Brontë is just about to write Jane Eyre and Emily is writing Wuthering Heights. During this time, women couldn’t publish under their own gender or even enter a library – they had a very limited part in public life. This play combines the real and the imaginary, as the Bronte’s fictional characters haunt their creators.
 
This production will be a beautiful voyage into the lives of English literature’s early feminists.

The Characters
 
Ages are ‘stage ages’ and there’s wiggle room.
 
Accents: be prepared to audition with an English accent (RP). The actor playing Patrick needs to be able to do an Irish accent. Yorkshire accents would be ideal and will be requested at the audition, but it’s an ‘everyone does one no one does one’ thing.

  • Charlotte Brontë: Charlotte is ambitious and passionate. As the eldest sibling she’s painfully conscious of the family’s vulnerable financial situation but is powerless to do much about it. Her heavy-handedness in getting her and her sisters published causes tension, especially with Emily. Charlotte is lonely. (Also plays Jane Eyre, young Charlotte and ‘an actor’.)
  • Emily Brontë: Emily is the least conforming of the Brontë sisters. She is incredibly frustrated by the constraints of Victorian times and abhors social convention. In particular, she’s unwilling and unable to stuff herself into a corset to go be a governess, the only real career available to a woman of her status. Emily is wild. (Also plays young Emily, Nelly and ‘an actor’.)
  • Anne Brontë: Anne is extremely perceptive. She has very firm social and moral leanings and her writing focused on voicing these. As a Victorian woman, she couldn’t really express herself through any medium other than thinly veiled fiction. Her strong sense of duty is an echo of her father’s. Anne is insightful. (Also plays young Anne and ‘an actor’.)
  • Branwell Brontë: The second eldest Brontë and the only boy. Branwell struggles with the weight of expectation placed on his shoulders – fluctuating between arrogant and overwhelmed. Branwell is addicted to alcohol and opiates and as he spirals, his relationship with Charlotte becomes toxic. Branwell is plagued. (Also plays Heathcliff, Young Branwell, Arthur Huntingdon and ‘an actor’.)
  • Patrick Brontë (30s+): The father and a Victorian parson. Patrick is Irish. He has a firmly north-pointing moral compass and makes a concerted effort to give Branwell all the tools he needs to become successful. Must also convincingly double as Rochester. Patrick is an enigma. (Also plays Mr Rochester, Arthur Bell Nicholls, Mr Heger and ‘an actor’.)
  • Cathy (18 – mid 30s): Cathy is Emily’s character in Wuthering Heights. She’s an individualist but is also spoiled, arrogant and selfish. She’s obsessed with social climbing but defies social norms. Brontë pulls apart her end-of-life fixation with recapturing the freedom of youth. Cathy is self-absorbed. (Also plays ‘an actor’.)
  • Bertha (18 – 40s): Charlotte’s character in Jane Eyre. The script unpacks Bertha: she’s a sensuous woman who doesn’t conform to Victorian ideals. This is a meaty role  –  Bertha has several incarnations, firstly as the ‘perfect woman’ and latterly as ‘the mad woman’. Betha is uninhibited.  (Also plays ‘an actor’.)

Audition Notice: King Lear

Note: these are early auditions for roles of King Lear and Gloucester only. The main auditions for all the other roles will be in April 2018.
 
When: Sunday 21 January from 2pm
Where: Gryphon Theatre, 22 Ghuznee Street
Production dates: 27 June to 7 July
Rehearsal period: April – June
Directors: Joy Hellyer and Paul Kay
 
We are holding early auditions for these two pivotal roles to allow for some certainty for both the production and the actors concerned. The two overlapping storylines in the play concern these two characters and their children. They are both large roles.
  • King Lear (age 50+): possibly the most celebrated Shakespeare role for an "older" actor. Lear is the ageing but majestic king of Britain. His pride and vanity lead him to disastrously give away his kingdom to two of his three daughters, who betray him, and to banish the one who loves him. His bad choices eventually cause him to go insane and ultimately to question everything his nature and life.
  • Gloucester (age 40+): one of Lear’s most trustworthy advisers. Comfortable with his station in life. Has integrity, but his somewhat reckless personal past continues to complicate his life. His trusting nature is the cause of his downfall at the hands of one of his sons. He is tortured and blinded and rescued by the son he betrayed.
Although we are open to cross-casting many of the roles in the play, we wish these two roles to be played by male actors.
 
While Lear is a King and this is an epic play with wide-ranging themes, the story is also a family drama – with fractured relationships and twists and turns almost like a soap. Our production will have a New Zealand design aesthetic (note that by this we don’t mean ‘kiwiana’). We might for example evoke native bush and use NZ bird sounds. Our set design might incorporate some Kiwi elements like a wool shed feel. Note that we are not committing to a particular era for this as Lear himself often feels like he is of an ancient time, yet his materialistic older daughters feel very modern.

Anyone interested in either of these roles (even if not available on 21 January) should contact either pauldkay@me.com or joy@scenario.co.nz to discuss and arrange an audition time.