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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

For enquires about any other aspect of the production, please email the production manager, Shannon on
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 Brontës' 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 (20s to mid 30s): 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 (20s to mid 30s): 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 (20s to mid 30s): 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 (20s to mid 30s): 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’. Bertha is uninhibited.  (Also plays ‘an actor’.)