Fool for Love

By Sam Shepard
Directed by James Burns
Performs March 1 - March 23, 2019
Proposed Rehearsals begin January 2019
Etcetera Season
Venue: ArtLab Fort Collins

Notes from the Director

Fool for Love is about how one person’s selfish actions can reverberate long afterward.  Set on the edge of the southwestern desert in a seedy motel, we are assaulted by the ferocity of EDDIE and MAY’s relationship, and all the twists and turns it takes.  A short, sharp, shock of a play, Fool for Love shows us that no matter how much we think we know about love and relationships, there is always something more we can learn; and how dearly bought that knowledge can be.

Character Descriptions

THE OLD MAN: 50’s-70’s  He exists only in the minds of May and Eddie, even though they might talk to him directly and acknowledge his presence. The Old Man treats them as though they all exist in the same time and place. Although he is Eddie and May’s father, he had no involvement in their upbringing. Provides an outsider’s perspective.

EDDIE: late 30’s Habitually entangles himself in volatile romantic entanglements. Believes in the idyllic myths of the Old West, and has trouble distinguishing fantasy from reality. Shares his father’s sense of humor and love of liquor.  Walks with a slight limp and gives the impression he’s rarely off a horse. There’s a peculiar broken-down quality about his body in general, as though he’s aged before his time.

May: early 30’s Simultaneously strong-willed and vulnerable. She is more than a match for Eddie, and can keep up with his verbal gymnastics and power plays. She can make him as jealous as he makes her, but can also be as powerfully rejected. May longs for Eddie as much as Eddie longs for May.

MARTIN: mid 30’s Solidly built. Martin is a simple, kind man, whose innocence to sexual affairs and the passionate volatility exhibited by Eddie and May makes him an involuntary spectator. As an unwitting rival to Eddie, his uncompetitive nature makes Eddie's outsized personality look all the more ridiculous by comparison.

Avenue Q

Book by Jeff Whitty
Music and Lyrics by Jeff Marx and Robert Lopez
Directed by Sydney Parks Smith
Performs March 30 - April 27, 2019
Proposed Rehearsal begin January 14, 2019
Essential Season.
Venue: Lincoln Center Magnolia Theatre
Notes from the Director

Avenue Q tells the story of a recent college graduate trying to find his way in the world. Set in New York City all the way out on Avenue Q (he couldn’t afford anything better), we are introduced to fresh-faced Princeton as he struggles to find his purpose: meeting friends, finding love, losing love, and finding it again, along the way. Inspired by Sesame Street, Avenue Q creates a world filled with puppets, R-rated grown up problems...and a lot of inappropriate, awkward laughter.

I am looking at double and triple casting some of the puppet roles (per the original Broadway casting). Bring all your diverse voices and physicality!

All Auditioners: Please, have 16 bars prepared to sing (in the style of the show). You will be working with a choreographer, wear clothes you can move in. 

There will be a Puppet Workshop on September 30 at the Backstage Arts Warehouse froms 10am to 1pm. Strongly recommended for all those interested in auditioning.

Character Descriptions

Princeton 20's - 30's  Sweet, charming, cute, and sincere. Has recently moved to Avenue Q where he learns life lessons the hard way from puppets and humans alike; loveable and appealing. Baritone

Kate Monster 20's-30's A kindergarten teaching assistant who dreams about eventually opening a school for monsters. She may look sweet, put together and conservative, but has a very feisty and opinionated Monster side; quickly falls for the new guy on the block, Princeton. Alto

Rod 20's - 30's  A conservative, uptight investment banker who is a closeted homosexual. Trying to come to terms with his sexuality with the help of Nicky, his best friend and roommate. Baritone

Lucy T. Slut 20's - 40's A vixenish vamp with a dangerous side who sings at a local café. The star of "Girls Gone Wild" Parts two, five, and seven. She sees other women as obstacles to men. Alto

Nicky 20's - 30's An unemployed, cute twenty-something slacker who is Rod’s roommate. Charming and undeniably cute, he has no problems with Rod being gay. Baritone

Trekkie Monster 20's - 40's lives on Avenue Q in the same building that Princeton moves into; an odd monster who has a big heart, he invested in the internet and is secretly a millionaire. Baritone

Bad Idea Bear 1 20's - 40's A cute and charming little boy bear who, with the help of his counterpart, Girl Bear, is a very bad influence on Princeton. Tenor

Mrs. Thistletwat 20's -40's An old spinster teacher who is bitter and conservative. She is Kate Monster's boss. Spoken

Bad Idea Bear 2 20's - 40's A cute and charming little girl bear who, with the help of her counterpart, Boy Bear, is a very bad influence on Princeton. Mezzo-Soprano

Christmas Eve 20's - 40's She has moved here from Japan, wants to be a therapist and lives on Avenue Q with her Jewish husband Brian. She is smart, blunt and edgy, but also nurturing and kind. Mezzo-Soprano Japanese/Female

Brian 20's - 40's Laid-back, wannabe comedian who doesn’t mind being unemployed. A good guy with a relaxed attitude who everyone always likes. Easy to be around. Married to Christmas Eve, who is constantly badgering him to get a job. Baritone Jewish/Male

Gary Coleman 20's - 40's That's right! The Gary Coleman! Funny and sardonic, with a unique and vivid presence. Has lived life. Must be a strong singer/actress with great comedic timing. She can be any physical type. Alto.Must explore low register. African American/ Female

Much Ado about Nothing

By William Shakespeare
Directed by Judith Allen
Performs June 1 - June 29
Proposed Rehearsal begin April 15, 2019
Essential Season.
Venue: The Park at Columbine Health Systems

Notes from the Director

One of Shakespeare’s most popular and approachable comedies, this adaptation is moving the battle of the sexes into the 20th century. It is a time where women are moving out of the societal strictures of “woman’s place is in the home” and into the main workforce in jobs held previously only by men and who are not available because they went off to war (“Do the job he left behind”) Yes, think Rosie the Riveter, Bletchley Park, etc.

With this adaptation I will be looking for conversational, clean, understandable dialects (no British or foreign dialects, thank you! At least not at auditions) and believable, relatable characterizations for the 20th century. This is a fast-paced romantic comedy, not a parody or a farce. We will be concentrating on a total understanding of the words we are saying and exploring relationships and connectedness layered with humor and honest emotion in a contemporary setting.

IF you are interested in reading for the roles of Benedick, Beatrice, and/or Dogberry, please print off the monologues from the links below and come prepared with at least one of them. They do NOT need to be memorized, but I would like you to have time to think about them and prepare your audition before you arrive. At this time, I am considering Dogberry to be cast as a man, but LADIES, if you are so inclined to tackle it, please show me what you’ve got. You might change my mind. Best wishes!

Character Descriptions

Cast size: 13 (7-9 men, 4-6 women)

MEN:

Leonato of Messina (Character age 50+)Governor of Messina, father to Hero, uncle to Beatrice. Respected, friendly, unpretentious, easily swayed by appearances and opinions of others.

Benedick of Padua (Character age 30+) The “entertainer” of the entourage. He indulges in witty banter to express his feelings. It is hinted that he and Beatrice had a previous romance, but when he went away to war without a commitment the relationship soured. Now whenever they meet, they engage in a verbal competition of insult and sarcasm, a battle of the sexes. Loyal to his friends, independent and charming.

Claudio of Messina (Character age 20+) A war hero. He is mercurial in mood. Having met Hero before, he is deeply infatuated with her now, yet his youth, naiveté and gullibility cause him to be easily convinced of her betrayal. Slightly goofy in his infatuation, he is opposingly harsh and unforgiving in his condemnation.

Don Pedro of Aragon (Character age 30+) A leader of men. Charming, well respected, generous, he commands attention easily. He is the link that ties all the storylines together.

Don John of Aragon (Character age 30+) The resident bad guy, the “bastard” son, brother to Don Pedro. After leading some type of revolt against his brother’s authority he has been put “on notice”. Kept under close scrutiny he is chaffing at having his wings clipped. Not so much the mastermind of the ensuing mischief as the lever to set things in motion against not only his brother, but the person he holds personally responsible for his downfall,“the right noble Claudio”.

Borachio (Character age 20+) Personal follower of Don John and also an enemy of Claudio. It is Borachio’s idea to seduce his girlfriend, Margaret, as a disguised Hero to humiliate Claudio and Don Pedro.

Dogberry, a constable (Character age indeterminate) Constable of Messina. In charge of the night watch. A person of “low station” and rough habits. Proud, slightly pompous, he takes his job very seriously but his attempts to speak like a person of higher education cause a hilarious series of malapropisms.

WOMEN:

Beatrice, niece to Leonato (Character age 30+) Feisty, cynical, witty, passionate and intelligent. Having had her heart broken once before by Benedick, she refuses to marry and be submissive to a controlling husband. A rebel against the unequal status of women in the social order, she will only love and marry when she finds what she considers to be her equal partner.

Hero, daughter to Leonato (Character age 20+) Quiet, respectful, honest and gentle as opposed to her firebrand cousin, also loyal and full of fun. Often portrayed as a bit of a silent, suffering ingénue, I am interested in finding a character that is beginning to embrace some of the feisty and cynical aspects of her cousin.

Ursula, sister or cousin to Leonato (Character age 40+) The role of Ursula will be expanded and combined with the role of Antonio, Leonato’s brother. Ursula is an integral part of the household: fiery, loyal and ready to challenge Claudio on his betrayal of Hero; mischievous and loving with her nieces and invested in helping them find love. The surrogate “mom” figure.

Margaret, a servant (Character age 20+) Servant girl in love with bad boy Borachio. They have had an on-again-off-again relationship for some time. Presentation is wide open to discovery with this character, from vacuous to boyish to vamp. Let’s develop it together.

GENDER FLEXIBLE:

I’m going to be looking for the best fit with the other characters/actors and the total show regardless of gender for these roles:

Conrade, assistant to Don John  (Character age 20+) As a woman, Conrade is a member of Leonato’s household, anxiously waiting for her bad boy boyfriend, Don John, to return.  As a man, Conrade is a follower of Don John and his aborted attempt against Don Pedro. Either way, Conrade is the one who convinces Don John to snap out of the sulks and actually do something to embarrass and hurt Claudio and Don Pedro.

Verges, assistant to Dogberry   (Character age 20+)  Also doubles as the messengers at beginning and end of play. Verges is Dogberry’s deputy and loyal friend and emulates his style and bearing. Perhaps slightly smarter than Dogberry but not really given the chance to shine. Possibly the “Tim Conway” to Dogberry’s “Harvey Korman”. Possibly the “straight man”

Actors cast as Borachio, Conrade, Don John and Margaret will double for the roles of:
Hugh Otecake
Friar Francis
Watchman (George Seacole)
Sexton

Benedick #1

Audition scene: Benedick monologue #1

Benedick. I do much wonder that one man, seeing how much another man is a fool when he dedicates his behaviors to love, will, after he hath laughed at such shallow follies in others, become the argument of his own scorn by failing in love: and such a man is Claudio. I have known when there was no music with him but the drum and the fife; and now had he rather hear the tabour and the pipe: I have known when he would have walked ten mile a-foot to see a good armour; and now will he lie ten nights awake, carving the fashion of a new doublet. He was wont to speak plain and to the purpose, like an honest man and a soldier; and now is he turned orthography; his words are a very fantastical banquet, just so many strange dishes. May I be so converted and see with these eyes? I cannot tell; I think not: I will not be sworn, but love may transform me to an oyster; but I'll take my oath on it, till he have made an oyster of me, he shall never make me such a fool. One woman is fair, yet I am well; another is wise, yet I am well; another virtuous, yet I am well; but till all graces be in one woman, one woman shall not come in my grace. Rich she shall be, that's certain; wise, or I'll none; fair, or I'll never look on her; mild, or come not near me; noble, of good discourse, an excellent musician, and her hair shall be of what colour it please God. Ha! the prince and Monsieur Love! I will hide me in the arbour.

Benedick #2

Audition scene: Benedick monologue #2

Benedick. [Coming forward] This can be no trick: the conference was sadly borne. They have the truth of this from Hero. Love me! why, it must be requited. I hear how I am censured: they say I will bear myself proudly, if I perceive the love come from her; they say too that she will rather die than give any sign of affection. I did never think to marry: I must not seem proud: happy are they that hear their detractions and can put them to mending. They say the lady is fair; 'tis a truth, I can bear them witness; and wise, but for loving me; by my troth, it is no addition to her wit, nor no great argument of her folly, for I will be horribly in love with her. I may chance have some odd quirks and remnants of wit broken on me, because I have railed so long against marriage: but doth not the appetite alter? a man loves the meat in his youth that he cannot endure in his age. Shall quips and sentences and these paper bullets of the brain awe a man from the career of his humour? No, the world must be peopled. When I said I would die a bachelor, I did not think I should live till I were married. Here comes Beatrice. By this day! she's a fair lady: I do spy some marks of love in her.

Dogberry

Audition scene: Dogberry monologue
(with apologies for the “mushing together” of conversations)

Dogberry. Are you good men and true? Who think amongst you the most desertless man to be constable? Ah! Come hither, neighbour Otecake. God hath blessed you with a good name. To be a well-favoured man is the gift of fortune; but to write and read comes by nature. Both which, you have, I knew it would be your answer. Well, for your favour, sir, why, give God thanks, and make no boast of it; and for your writing and reading, let that appear when there is no need of such vanity. You are thought here to be the most senseless man for the constable of the watch; therefore bear you the lantern. This is your charge: you shall comprehend all vagrom men; you are to bid any man stand, in the prince's name. If a' will not stand? Why, then, take no note of him, but let him go; and thank God you are rid of a knave. You are to meddle with none but the prince's subjects. You shall also make no noise in the streets; for, the watch to babble and to talk is most tolerable and not to be endured. You are to call at all the ale-houses, and bid those that are drunk get them to bed. If they will not? Why, then, let them alone till they are sober. If you meet a thief, you may suspect him, by virtue of your office, to be no true man; and, for such kind of men, the less you meddle with them, why the more is for your honesty. I think they that touch pitch will be defiled. Thus, the most peaceable way for you, if you do take a thief, is to let him show himself what he is and steal out of your company. This is the end of the charge. Well, master, good night: an there be any matter of weight, call up me. Keep your fellows' counsels and your own; and good night. One word more, honest neighbor, I pray you watch about Senior Leonato’s door, for the wedding be there tomorrow, there’s a great coil tonight. Adieu, be vigitant, I beseech you.

Beatrice #1

Audition scene: Beatrice monologue #1
(with apologies for the “mushing together” of dialogue)

Beatrice. Why, then, God forgive me! You have stayed me in a happy hour: I was about to protest I loved you. [And] I love you with so much of my heart that none is left to protest. [I bid you], kill Claudio. [No?] You kill me to deny it. Farewell. I am gone, though I am here: there is no love in you: nay, I pray you, let me go. In faith, I will go. Friends? You dare easier be friends with me than fight with mine enemy. And is he not approved in the height a villain, that hath slandered, scorned, dishonoured my kinswoman? O that I were a man! What, bear her in hand until they come to take hands; and then, with public accusation, uncovered slander, unmitigated rancour, —O God, that I were a man! I would eat his heart in the market-place. Talk with a man out at a window! A proper saying! Sweet Hero! She is wronged, she is slandered, she is undone. He is now as valiant as Hercules that only tells a lie and swears it. I cannot be a man with wishing, therefore I will die a woman with grieving.

Beatrice #2

Audition scene: Beatrice monologue #2
(with apologies for “mushing” dialogue together)

Beatrice. (upon seeing Don John walk by) How tartly that gentleman looks! I never can see him but I am heart-burned an hour after. He were an excellent man that were made just in the midway between him and Benedick. Yea, half Signior Benedick's tongue in Count John's mouth, and half Count John's melancholy in Signior Benedick's face,— with a good leg and a good foot, and money enough in his purse. Such a man would win any woman in the world, if he could get her good-will. Lord, I could not endure a husband with a beard on his face: I had rather lie in the woollen. No, he that hath a beard is more than a youth, and he that hath no beard is less than a man: and he that is more than a youth is not for me, and he that is less than a man, I am not for him. Would it not grieve a woman to be overmastered with a pierce of valiant dust? To make an account of her life to a clod of wayward marl? To one day be fitted with a husband? No, uncle, I'll none.