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OPEN AUDITIONS: Majestic Readers' Theatre Company presents Women Playing Hamlet

Women Playing Hamlet

By William Missouri Downs

Director - Brandi Douglas

Open Auditions: Video auditions due Monday, October 5 at 5:00 PM

Rehearsal Timeframe: October 14 – November 19

Performances: November 28 @ 7:30 pm and November 29 @ 2:20 pm

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, disability, religious beliefs, or sexual orientation.


Hamlet's a challenge for any actor, but when Jessica is cast as the titular character in a New York production, it sends her into an existential tailspin. It doesn't help that her acting coach is borderline abusive, or that every Starbucks barista with an MFA tells her she's too young for the role. Or that she's somehow managed to make Sir Patrick Stewart her nemesis. Not to mention the fact that she's a woman. How can Jessica figure out "to be or not to be," when she can't even figure out herself? Featuring an all-female cast performing multiple roles, Woman Playing Hamlet is rip-roaring fun for Shakespeare fans and haters alike.


This is quite the intriguing show. If you have an interest in performing a comedy that explores gender roles and stereotypes within the world of Shakespeare and theatre then this is the show for you. Come and be astronauts! Explore with peak curiosity and imagination!


Please choose ONE of the following sides. Record a video on your phone or computer of you reading the side. Fill the frame of your video with your head and shoulders and email it to by 5PM on October 5, 2020. Feel free to include what role you’re interested in within the body of the email.


All characters do not have a specific race or ethnic background; however, the show does ask for the cast to be all women. We're excited to see a diverse pool of actors audition for all roles.


Character Age: 25 - 35

Character Race: Any

Character Ethnicity: Any

Desired Actor Gender: Woman

Character: A young actress who has just been cast as Hamlet in an upcoming New York City production. She is trying to find who she is…not only when it comes to playing this major role, but also as an up and coming actress.


Character Age: 40 - 55

Character Race: Any

Character Ethnicity: Any

Desired Actor Gender: Woman

Character: Jessica’s VERY dramatic acting coach. She doesn’t believe Jessica is serious about the role.


Creative character-actors for development of multiple roles. Being able to utilize movement and change voice to demonstrate different characters a must.

Age: 18 and up

Desired Actor Gender: Women

Race: Any

Ethnicity: Any

Ability/Movement: Mobility for multiple entrances and exits.


Jessica (in a moment of realization/frustration that she accepts the roles life has cast her in)

And I change roles on a dime. At work I play the role of an employee, when I’m with my niece I play an aunt, in bed I play the lover, or if cast, the virgin or the harlot. On my way over here, just now, I ran into Quentin Tarantino coming out of the Carlyle Hotel. He offered me a job playing a ninja in his next film. And guess what I did – I instantaneously switched roles and played the thrilled starlet and flirted with him. Who in their right mind flirts with Quentin Tarantino?! And I’m smoking while using Nicorette which could kill me! And Patrick Stewart is stalking me! And I didn’t want you to talk me out of Hamlet. I already did that myself. I wanted you to answer a question that’s plagued me all my life.

Gwen (telling the story of her playing Hamlet on an outdoor stage)

Horatio had just said “Good night, sweet prince, and flights of angels sing thee to thy rest” when there was this disturbance in the audience I cracked an eye. The audience was pointing up. There above the stage was…a gigantic flock of twenty thousand starlings. Just as they passed over, the stage manager played the cue for the loud trumpets announcing Fortinbras’s entrance at the end of the play. Did you know starlings can be spooked by trumpets? And that when one starling shats the rest are highly open to suggestion? We were bombarded by so much bird poop that hazmat crews had to be called.

Priest (speaking to Jessica in a fatherly, philosophical manner)

There is no real soul lurking behind our actions. We are just selfish, distrustful beings that are hunkered down in our individual NORAD mountains constantly strategizing against each other. It might look like we are loading the dishwasher, or taking the kids to school, but in fact we, like Hamlet, are plotting our next move in the nuclear standoff that is life.

Lord Derby (snobbishly lecturing the audience)

Sterilization! That is the only answer for those who do not understand Shakespeare! Did you know that Shakespeare’s complex syntactical constructions and grammatical anomalies cause heightened brain activity during brain scans? It’s true! Hib habit of nouning verbs and verbing nouns forces the brain to work at a higher level of evolutionary consciousness!

Emily Ostergaard (speaking to the audience about texting Sir Patrick Stewart)

So I texted him Jessica’s phone number. I promise I won’t bug you anymore if you call her. If you are a decent human being, if you had one forgiving bone in your body, you’ll call her and forgive her. I don’t think he ever did call her. So I posted his personal number to my 2,343 Facebook friends. One thing I did learned from Hamlet – Hashtag Revenge!

Home Shopping Network Hostess (selling items in a bubbly manner)

Succulent. That’s one succulent leg of lamb and to think Master-Baker-In-A-Box cooked it using its patented Heat Plus Technology with only a teaspoon of oil! But now I have a very special offer that just came in. It’s the new Coach handbag line based on famous literary works. We’re getting them at discount because no one reads anymore. Here we have the Sense and Sensibility Satchel. The Heart of Darkness Duffel and my favorite…The Hamlet Handbag!

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