Auditions for Big Fish small cast edition, Dance Nation, and Twelfth Night

Backstage Arts Warehouse 720 E. Vine Drive, Fort Collins

Open Auditions: By Video Submission Only


Company Auditions/Callbacks 
Saturday, December 2nd:  10am - 1pm - Big Fish small cast edition 
Sunday, December 3rd:  10am - 12pm - Dance Nation
Sunday December 3rd:  1pm - 3pm - Twelfth Night


Final Callbacks 
Saturday December 9th:  1pm - 4pm - Big Fish small cast edition
Sunday December 10th:  10am - 12pm - Dance Nation
Sunday December 10th  1pm - 3pm - Twelfth Night


 OpenStage values equity, diversity and inclusion and will continue to strive toward a broader telling of the human story with our Company of Artists and the plays we produce.  If specific age/race/ethnicity/gender or other attributes are key to the story, it will be clearly stated in the character descriptions for auditions. Otherwise we are seeking actors from all races/ethnicities/ages/genders/physical abilities. Any roles that are pre-cast will be clearly stated in the audition notice and Director's Notes. All character descriptions are taken from the playwright's descriptions within the play.

In reference to  character descriptions —most characters we encounter currently are on the binary and are written with he/him or she/her pronouns and you may see that in the descriptions. However limiting the descriptions are, our casting seeks to be as inclusive as possible and we invite gender non-conforming, genderqueer, transgender and non-binary actors to submit for the roles they most identify with.  

Please let us know if you have any questions, concerns, or if there are any accommodations we can provide. 

Big Fish small cast edition

Book by John August  Music and Lyrics by Andrew Lippa

Directed and Choreographed by Noah Racey

Performs March 22 - April 20, 2024 (including preview)
Rehearsals will begin in January, 2024.
Actors are paid a $350 stipend.

Essential Season
Venue: Fort Collins Lincoln Center - Magnolia Theatre

Notes from the Director...


Based on the celebrated novel by Daniel Wallace and the acclaimed film directed by Tim Burton, Big Fish - Small Cast Edition, tells the story of Edward Bloom, a traveling salesman who lives life to the fullest and fantastical! Edward’s incredible, larger-than-life stories thrill everyone around him—most of all, his devoted wife, Sandra. But their son Will, about to have a child of his own, is determined to find the truth behind his father’s epic tales of mermaids and giants. Big Fish is a heartfelt, powerful, and truly magical musical that reminds us why we love going to the theatre—for an experience that’s richer, funnier, and BIGGER than life itself.


Character Descriptions –

Edward Bloom – ( Male presenting,  30s - 50s) character ages from 18 - 60s throughout the show. Young Edward is an enthusiastic, optimistic, energetic romantic. He needs to steal our hearts and make us buy into the fabulous myths that he enters. He is the quintessential hometown boy hero. Older Edward is a charming, charismatic storyteller. A devoted yet absent father nearing the end of his life and wanting to reconnect with his son. He is comfortable in his own skin but hopes for Will’s approval. He absolutely loves his wife, his son, and telling stories.  Strong entertainer. Needs a big voice, very good mover. 

Will Bloom – (Male presenting, age 20-30s). Will is a critical part of the story. He is an earnest, serious, thoughtful young man wanting to reconnect with his storytelling father, but unable to appreciate Edward’s romantic view of life. He is a successful professional and new husband. He has to be able to take us on the journey of understanding and make us believe the complex relationship and final heartfelt embrace of his father’s legacy. Needs a strong tenor voice. No dance. Serious character acting.  

Sandra Bloom – (Female presenting, age 20s -50s) character ages from 15 - 50s throughout the show.  Young Sandra is a lovely, sweet, fresh-faced, innocent young girl excited by the possibilities of life. She appreciates Edward’s romantic viewpoint. Mature Sandra is patient, calm – the perfect balance to Edwards enthusiasm. She adores and appreciates Edward and tries to bring reconciliation to her husband and son, both of whom she loves. Needs a big voice, expressive acting ability, and a good bit of dance ability.  


Young Will Bloom – (Male presenting, age 9 - 12) We see the beginnings of patterns starting between young Will and his father, he is aware that there’s something slightly unpredictable and undependable about his father, but he can’t help but be intrigued by his father’s stories. Vocal Range: B below middle C to C an octave above middle C.

Josephine Bloom – (Female presenting, age 18-30) Will’s wife. Successful adult, sweet, intelligent, and organically compatible with Will. Josephine acts as the bridge between Edward and Will, explaining the deeper meaning of the stories.  Included in ensemble.  

Karl The Giant – (Male presenting, age 18-40's) Edward’s best friend. Karl is shy, exceptionally intelligent, hermitlike, and has a quiet charisma. He needs a booming voice and large personality. Bass voice. Height is a plus. Ability to walk on stilts is a plus, will provide training if needed.  Included in ensemble. 

Amos/ Doctor Bennett – (Male presenting, age 30-50)  Amos is the rather eccentric, quirky owner of the circus that employs young Edward.  He also happens to be a werewolf (in Edward’s tales). Needs an actor able to portray strong, outgoing personality and humor. Strong Entertainer/Character Singing voice. Dr Bennett is warm, kind, frank, soft-spoken friend and physician of Edward. Needs realistic acting.  Included in ensemble.  

Don Price – (Male presenting, age 20-45). Older snarky bully. Sandra’s first fiancé. Needs a bigger than life acting style. Possible movement but not crucial.  Included in ensemble.  

Witch – (Female presenting, age 20-40). Commanding performer with great confidence and storytelling ability. She convinces Edward to pursue a Big Life without fear. Needs high belt voice, mezzo soprano.  Included in ensemble.  

Jenny Hill – Female presenting, age 16-45), young Jenny is a cheerleader, Edward’s devoted, first girlfriend. She is beautiful, a dreamer. Needs loud belt. Some movement. Also included in ensemble. Adult Jenny is very tired, disillusioned version of the younger Jenny. She has dignity and honesty. She is crucial in helping Will understand Edward and Edward’s motivations. Very strong actor needed.  Included in ensemble.  

Zacky Price/Ashton Mayor – (Male presenting, actor ages 25-45). Nerdy brother and shadow of Don Price. Mayor is a typical small town good-guy mayor personality.  Also included in ensemble.  

Girl In The Water – Female presenting, Ensemble (ages 18-35) Strong Singer/Dancer


Additional Ensemble roles will be assigned in casting.



Dance Nation

By Clare Barron

Directed by Heather Ostberg-Johnson

Performs May 9 - May 25, 2024 (including preview)
Rehearsals will begin in March 2024.
Actors are paid a $200 stipend.

etcetera Season
Venue: TBD

Notes from the Director...

All actors playing the dancers will be portraying the ages of 11-14 however it is written to be played by anyone ages 18-75+. All of the dancers accept Luke are female identifying. The actors are NOT pretending to be teenagers. The actors bring their age to the role so we are constantly aware who these pre-teen dancers grow up to be. There is a balance between playing the roles with the maturity of an adult and the intensity and passion of youth.

It’s also a play about dance but does not require that the actors be “good” at dance. There will be many choreographed numbers to learn and memorize but it's okay if the actors possess no “real” dance talent. The movement will be designed around the abilities of the cast. Actors should enjoy movement and be excited to do a lot of it.  

Please note that there is a scene that requires some level of undressing for the dancers. We will work with everyone to make sure actors are comfortable and feel safe. Although the script suggests it, we will not be asking anyone to be nude on stage. 

Plot Summary –

A play about a competitive pre-teen dance troupe trying to make it to nationals. It focuses on two best friends in the troupe, one who always gets the part and one who is always second best. Dance Nation is about ambition, success, desire, friendship, and sexual awakening. The play explores the raw carnal energy of girls on the cusp of becoming young women. The show is intimate, explosive, hilarious, surprising, raw, passionate, punk rock, and full of heart. 

Character Descriptions

Dance Teacher Pat - (Male presenting)Head of the dance studio. Believes they’re building the future. 

Amina -  (Female presenting)The star dancer

Zuzu - (Female Presenting) Always second best

Connie (Female presenting, played by an actor of South Asian descent) - Talented dancer who thinks she should play the role of Gandhi

Luke - (Male Presenting)The only male dancer on the team

Maeve - (Female presenting) The oldest and least talented dancer on the team

Sofia - (Female presenting) Knows what's up

Ashlee - (Female presenting) Future president of the post-apocalyptic USA

Vanessa (Female presenting, A.K.A crumpled sailor) - Could have been phenomenal. Double cast as The Moms

The Moms - (Female presenting) Means well. Grown-up, Wendy. Double cast as Vanessa

Twelfth Night

By William Shakespeare

Directed by Debbie Swann

Performs June 6 - July 13, 2024 (including preview)
Rehearsals will begin in April 2024.
Actors are paid a $350 stipend.

Essential Season
Venue: Park in Columbine Health Systems (performances are outside)

Notes from the Director...

By nature, Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night is an examination of love and gender.  All the characters’ lives are richer once a woman dressed as a man enters their world and makes them question what they think they already know about love and relationships. The concept for this production is simple: the world of Illyria was bland, lacking any color or complexities. And then Viola shows up. She/They brings the life and color. She/They makes us question everything.  

With that in mind, our version in 2023 does not necessarily have to be bound by the gender norms of the past. This version will also explore some “coupling” of supporting characters, (ie. Fabian & Antonio, Feste & Maria, etc.), but chemistry and casting might dictate some of that. I do not want to tell a strictly hetero-normative story because I don’t think Shakespeare wanted to do that either. Unfortunately, he HAD to because of the confines of the time. We, however, are free to express love and relationships as we see fit. I’m excited for the opportunity.  

You’ll find designations for Female-Presenting (F), Male-Presenting (M), and NB (Nonbinary). Some characters will have ALL, meaning that any and all are welcome to audition for this role.  

Character Descriptions 

Viola (Female-Presenting, NB) (20s-30s)

A smart, young, noble woman, shipwrecked in a storm, finds herself in Illyria.  For her own protection, she disguises herself as a young man, calling herself "Cesario," and becomes a page to Duke Orsino. She ends up falling in love with Orsino—even as Olivia, the woman Orsino is courting, falls in love with Cesario.  This is the central conflict of the play.

Orsino (Male-Presenting) (20s-40s)

Duke Orsino is pining for the beautiful Lady Olivia, but becomes more and more fond of his handsome new page, Cesario (Viola). Orsino is a bit of an ego-manic and fancies himself a extreme romantic and art aficionado. He enjoys performing the role of duke and woo-er, but is clearly drawn to how unimpressed Cesario often is by his musings. He’s older than Viola & Olivia, but not so much older that we feel uncomfortable with the pairing. 

Olivia (Female-Presenting) (20s-40s)

A wealthy, beautiful, and noble Illyrian lady, Olivia is courted by Orsino and Sir Andrew Aguecheek, but insists that she is in mourning for the recent death of her brother and will not marry for seven years. She seems to enjoy rejecting suitors to then wallow in her own “misery.” Cesario’s arrival (and indifference toward Olivia) ignites her desire to break free and pursue something that is not immediately given to her. She suddenly has wants and goals for her household and future. 

Sebastian (Male-Presenting, NB) (20s-30s)

Viola’s lost twin, thought to be drowned. When he arrives in Illyria, traveling with Antonio, his friend and admirer, he discovers that many people think that they know him. Like his sister, he is smart, attractive, and well-spoken.  A convention of the play is that he looks and behaves just like his siter’ male alter-ego, Cesario. 

Malvolio/a (ALL) (All Ages)

The strict, fun-hating head servant in the household of Lady Olivia. Malvolio/a is very efficient but also very self-righteous and pompous. Their stuffiness and haughty attitude earn them the disdain of Sir Toby, Sir Andrew, and Maria, who make Malvolio/a believe that Olivia is in love with them. Once convinced, Malvolio/a fantasizes not about loving Olivia but what they could do with her nobility, the new title, and newly acquired power. 

Feste (ALL) (All Ages)

The clown, or fool, of Olivia’s household, Feste moves between Olivia’s and Orsino’s homes. They earn a living by making pointed jokes, singing songs, being generally witty, and offering good advice cloaked under a layer of foolishness. In spite of being a professional fool, Feste often seems the wisest character in the play.  **Please note:  it is highly preferred that Feste play some kind of small instrument, like a guitar, banjo, mandolin, pipe, flute, etc. Feste should also sing. Please let us know what instruments you play and bring them to callbacks, if requested.**

Sir Toby (Male-Presenting) (40s-60s+)

Olivia’s uncle who lives with her, but she does not approve of his rowdy behavior, practical jokes, heavy drinking, late-night carousing, or friends (specifically the idiotic Sir Andrew who is pursuing Olivia). Sir Toby has a mean streak to him. While he enjoys Sir Andrew, he’s also quite interested in keeping him around so he can mooch off him, even if he knows Olivia’s hand is unattainable.  He also takes great joy in tormenting Malvolio/a. 

Maria (Female-Presenting) (All Ages) 

Olivia’s clever, daring waiting-gentlewoman. She gets along with everyone, persuading them to think she favors them, though whether she does or not is debatable.  She has particular disdain for Malvolio/a and is the one who comes up with the plan to take him down.  

Sir Andrew Aguecheek (Male-Presenting, NB) (30s-60s+)

A friend of Sir Toby’s. Sir Andrew Aguecheek attempts to court Olivia, but he doesn’t stand a chance. He thinks that he is witty, brave, young, and good at languages and dancing, but he is actually an idiot.

Antonio (Male-Presenting, NB) (Any)

This reformed pirate rescues Sebastian after his shipwreck. Antonio has become very fond of (perhaps in love with?) Sebastian. Antonio is incredibly loyal, even following Sebastian into Illyria, a place where he is not welcome. 


Fabian (ALL) (Any) - An attendant in Lady Olivia’s house.  They will also assist in tricking Malvolio. While Fabian might not be clever, they certainly aren’t as foolish and gullible as Aguecheek.  

Roles available for double/flexible casting (ALL):

Valentine and Curio - Attendants in Duke Orsino’s house.  

Fabian - An attendant in Lady Olivia’s house.  They will also assist in tricking Malvolio. 

Captain, Sailors, Servants, Officers, Messengers, Priest, etc.