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OPEN AUDITIONS - Majesticpiece Theatre presents: Troilus and Cressida

Updated: Feb 8


Troilus and Cressida

By William Shakespeare, Adapted by Brandon Urey

Directed by Brandon Urey

Video Auditions Due: Monday, February 7th by 5:00pm

Rehearsal Timeframe: February 10th - March 4th

Evening Performance (7:30pm): Saturday, March 5th on Facebook Live

Content Label: Appropriate Audiences (Adult Language, Violence, Raunchy Humor)


The Majestic Theatre (a division of the City of Corvallis Parks and Recreation department) is committed to equity, diversity, and inclusion and to creating a safe place for actors of all backgrounds to explore their craft. We are particularly eager to work with artists of color and other artists from marginalized communities. All auditions are free and open to the public. This audition is for an amateur, volunteer production. The Majestic Theatre staff and volunteers do not discriminate on the basis of age, national origin, race, gender, ethnic background, ability, religious beliefs, sexual orientation, or any protected class.


The Majestic Theatre COVID-19 risk mitigation policies will be in place for all auditions, rehearsals, and performances. For more information, go to majestic.org/covid-precautions


Auditions will be video auditions emailed to the director. Please download and fill out our audition form located at tinyurl.com/MTAuditionForm and email it with your audition video, along with a headshot.


A headshot will be requested to be posted with the cast list.



SHOW SYNOPSIS


Can love survive among warring stars? Amidst the siege of his home planet Ilium by the Achaean Alliance, Prince Troilus attempts to woo the object of his affections, the Lady Cressida, with the aid of the unctuous Pandarus. Meanwhile, the Achaean offensive has ground to a standstill due to a petty feud between their senior commander, Agamemnon, and their greatest hero, Achilles. But the wily Ulysses has hatched a plan to reconcile the aggrieved parties so they might complete their conquest of the last remaining city on Ilium: Troy.


FROM THE DIRECTOR Brandon Urey


Shakespeare’s trademark blend of heady interpersonal drama, political struggle, and crowd-pleasing action make his work a natural fit for the larger-than-life subgenre of space opera. And in his 1602 play Troilus and Cressida, the Bard gives his spin on one of the most legendary conflicts in literature: the Trojan War. The play is full of messy relationships between messy people in a messy situation, rife with conflict and dripping with sharp humor. The core of a good space opera is already there, one need only elevate the setting from shores of Anatolia to the stars.


Plus, you know, Shakespeare in space. It’s cool.



PREPARATION NOTES


Please choose ONE of the following sides. Record a video on your phone or computer of you

reading the side, and email it to Brandon Urey at privateerbmu@gmail.com by 5PM on Monday, February 7th. Feel free to include what role you’re interested in within the body of the email. Also, if you have one, please attach a headshot image to your audition email. It doesn’t need to be a professional headshot; any clear image of your face will do wonderfully.


Some video audition guidelines:


Perform while seated, trying to frame yourself from the shoulders up. This is what you’ll look like in the video chat during the performance, so we’ll want to see how well you can emote in this limited space.


Props and costume pieces are encouraged! Whatever you have lying around. Just keep in mind that we can only see your torso and head!


Actors of any gender, age, race, or ability are invited to audition for any role. We will be casting 12 performers and two Emergency Backup Actors, an understudy for all roles who can hop into the digital performance at any time to cover for another actor who might be experiencing technical difficulties.



In order to participate in the performance, you’ll need a stable internet connection; a smartphone, computer, or tablet that can run Zoom; and a pair of headphones. Some roles in this play have the potential to use software-based special effects in a program called SnapCamera, which requires using a computer with Windows 10/Mac OS 10.13 or newer. A green screen would also be helpful, but not crucial. If you do not have access to this tech, this will not disqualify you from auditioning for the show, but we’ll want to know so that we can line up checking out equipment to you if necessary!


If you have any questions, feel free to email and ask!


CHARACTER DESCRIPTIONS

General Note Example: All characters do not have a specific race or ethnic background; we're excited to see a diverse pool of actors audition for all roles.


TROILUS

Character Age: Early - Mid 20s

Character Race: Any

Character Ethnicity: Any

Desired Actor Gender: Any

Ability/movement: Pantomime fighting within Zoom screen

Character: An impetuous prince of Troy, and head over heels for Cressida.


CRESSIDA

Character Age: Early - Mid 20s

Character Race: Any

Character Ethnicity: Any

Desired Actor Gender: Female-presenting

Ability/movement: Any

Character: The daughter of a Trojan defector, whose attraction to Troilus is tempered by her thoughtful nature. Relegated to become an unwilling pawn in the ongoing war.


PANDARUS

Character Age: Late 30s - 50s

Character Race: Any

Character Ethnicity: Any

Ability/movement: Any

Character: Cressida’s uncle and an obsequious lech, trying his hardest to set his niece up with Troilus.


AENEAS

Character Age: 20s - Early 30s

Character Race: Any

Character Ethnicity: Any

Desired Actor Gender: Any

Ability/movement: Pantomime fighting within Zoom screen

Character: Trojan officer and the future founder of (Space) Rome. A regular intermediary between the city of Troy and the orbiting Greek fleet.


HECTOR

Character Age: 20s - 30s

Character Race: Any

Character Ethnicity: Any

Desired Actor Gender: Any

Ability/movement: Pantomime fighting within Zoom screen

Character: Poor, noble, doomed Hector, prince of Troy and the only real rival to Achilles. A firm believer in the values of chivalry, while everyone around him is quite prepared to dispense with it.


PARIS

Character Age: 20s

Character Race: Any

Character Ethnicity: Any

Desired Actor Gender: Any

Ability/movement: Pantomime fighting within Zoom screen

Character: The handsome prince of Troy who stole away Helen of Sparta, and brought war along with him. Good thing his bros have his back, because he’d be toast otherwise.


HELEN

Character Age: 20s

Character Race: Any

Character Ethnicity: Any

Desired Actor Gender: Female-presenting

Ability/movement: Any

Character: The face that launched a thousand ships, the casus belli for the Trojan War. Capable of keeping pace with Pandarus in the bawdy humor department.

PRIAM

Character Age: 40s - 50s

Character Race: Any

Character Ethnicity: Any

Desired Actor Gender: Any

Ability/movement: Any

Character: The king of Troy, father to Hector, Paris, Troilus, and Cassandra. Not having a great time.


ANDROMACHE

Character Age: 20s - 30s

Character Race: Any

Character Ethnicity: Any

Desired Actor Gender: Female-presenting

Ability/movement: Any

Character: Poor Hector’s poor wife, who tries to prevent her husband from doing something stupid. She does not succeed.


CASSANDRA

Character Age: Late Teens - Early 20s

Character Race: Any

Character Ethnicity: Any

Desired Actor Gender: Female-presenting

Ability/movement: Any

Character: Princess of Troy, cursed with visions of the future that will always be ignored.


AGAMEMNON

Character Age: Late 30s - 40s

Character Race: Any.

Character Ethnicity: Any.

Desired Actor Gender: Any

Ability/movement: Pantomime fighting within Zoom screen

Character: King of Mycenae, commander-in-chief of the Greek forces, and an awful person in general. Currently beefing with his best warrior, Achilles.


ULYSSES

Character Age: 30s - Early 40s

Character Race: Any

Character Ethnicity: Any

Desired Actor Gender: Any

Ability/movement: Pantomime fighting within Zoom screen

Character: King of Ithaca, and one of the few Greeks actually trying to get stuff done. Clever, but prone to pompous speechifying.


NESTOR

Character Age: 40s - 50s

Character Race: Any

Character Ethnicity: Any

Desired Actor Gender: Any

Ability/movement: Pantomime fighting within Zoom screen

Character: The king of Pylos is the eldest of the Grecian commanders, a fairly stand-up guy and Ulysses’s favorite co-conspirator.


DIOMEDES

Character Age: Late 20s - Early 30s

Character Race: Any

Character Ethnicity: Any

Desired Actor Gender: Any

Ability/movement: Pantomime fighting within Zoom screen

Character: Troilus’s Greek counterpart, a keen warrior with an eye for Cressida and a very “to the victor go the spoils” mentality.


ACHILLES

Character Age: 20s

Character Race: Any

Character Ethnicity: Any

Desired Actor Gender: Any

Ability/movement: Pantomime fighting within Zoom screen

Character: Genetically engineered to be the perfect warrior, and leader of the Myrmidons, an elite cadre of clone soldiers. As devoted to his lover Patroclus as he is petty. Which is to say, very.


PATROCLUS

Character Age: 20s

Character Race: Any

Character Ethnicity: Any

Desired Actor Gender: Any

Ability/movement: Pantomime fighting within Zoom screen

Character: Lover of Achilles and easily the most chill person amongst the Grecian host.


AJAX

Character Age: Late 20s - 30s

Character Race: Any

Character Ethnicity: Any

Desired Actor Gender: Any

Ability/movement: Pantomime fighting within Zoom screen

Character: Ajax ranks second among the Greeks in terms of fighting prowess, dead last in terms of wits, and tied with Achilles for the biggest ego. Not so much a man as a cybernetic tank in human form.


THERSITES

Character Age: Any

Character Race: Any

Character Ethnicity: Any

Desired Actor Gender: Non-binary

Ability/movement: Any

Character: Greek dogsbody and jester, with a tongue sharper than any weapon in the Greek or Trojan arsenals. Has had it up to here with everyone’s nonsense.


MENELAUS

Character Age: Late 30s - 40s

Character Race: Any

Character Ethnicity: Any

Desired Actor Gender: Any

Ability/movement: Pantomime fighting within Zoom screen

Character: King of Sparta, brother of Agamemnon, husband of Helen, and the reason everyone’s in this mess. An object of scorn among his peers.


CALCHAS

Character Age: Late 30s - 40s

Character Race: Any

Character Ethnicity: Any

Desired Actor Gender: Any

Ability/movement: Any

Character: Father of Cressida, and a Trojan turncoat. Helps broker a prisoner exchange between the two sides.


SIDES


TROILUS

Peace, you ungracious clamors! Peace, rude sounds!

Fools on both sides! Helen must needs be fair

When with your blood you daily paint her thus.

I cannot fight upon this argument;

It is too starved a subject for my sword.

But Pandarus—O gods, how do you plague me!

I cannot come to Cressid but by Pandar,

And he’s as tetchy to be wooed to woo

As she is stubborn-chaste against all suit.

Tell me, Apollo, for thy Daphnes love,

What Cressid is, what Pandar, and what we.

Her bed is India; there she lies, a pearl.

Between our Ilium and where she resides,

Let it be called the wild and wand’ring flood,

Ourself the merchant, and this sailing Pandar

Our doubtful hope, our convoy, and our bark.

___


CRESSIDA

Words, vows, gifts, tears, and love’s full sacrifice

He offers in another’s enterprise;

But more in Troilus thousandfold I see

Than in the glass of Pandar’s praise may be.

Yet hold I off. Women are angels, wooing;

Things won are done; joy’s soul lies in the doing.

That she beloved knows naught that knows not this:

Men prize the thing ungained more than it is.

That she was never yet that ever knew

Love got so sweet as when desire did sue.

Therefore this maxim out of love I teach:

Achievement is command; ungained, beseech.

Then though my heart’s content firm love doth bear,

Nothing of that shall from mine eyes appear.

____


PANDARUS

Mark him. Note him. O brave Troilus! Look well upon him, niece. Look you how his sword is

bloodied and his helm more hacked than Hector’s, and how he looks, and how he goes. O admirable youth! He never saw three and twenty.—Go thy way, Troilus; go thy way!—Had I a sister were a Grace, or a daughter a goddess, he should take his choice. O admirable man! Paris? Paris is dirt to him; and I warrant Helen, to change, would give an eye to boot.

____


THERSITES

I would thou didst itch from head to foot, and I had the scratching of thee; I would make thee the loathsomest scab in Greece. When thou art forth in the incursions, thou strikest as slow as another. Thou grumblest and railest every hour on Achilles, and thou art as full of envy at his greatness as Cerberus is at Proserpina’s beauty, ay, that thou bark’st at him.

____


ULYSSES

Give pardon to my speech: therefore ’tis meet

Achilles meet not Hector. Let us like merchants

First show foul wares and think perchance they’ll sell;

If not, the luster of the better shall exceed

By showing the worse first. Do not consent

That ever Hector and Achilles meet,

For both our honor and our shame in this

Are dogged with two strange followers.


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