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OPEN AUDITIONS: Majesticepiece Theatre presents Merry Wives of Windsor

Updated: Jul 27

MAJESTICPIECE THEATRE PRESENTS: The Merry Wives of Windsor

By William Shakespeare

Directed by Angeliki de Morgan

Adapted by Angeliki de Morgan for the digital stage

To be performed Saturday, August 8th at 7:30pm PDT on Facebook Live

Call for Performance 7.00 pm PDT

Dress rehearsal Friday, August 7th at 7:00pm PDT

Rehearsal Tuesday, August 4th at 7:00pm PDT

Readthrough on Wednesday, July 29th at 7:00pm PDT


VIDEO AUDITION SUBMISSIONS DUE BY 5PM ON MONDAY, JULY 27, 2020.


**If needed, I will schedule individual work sessions with performers.


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.

From the director:

The Merry Wives of Windsor is an exciting, fast paced comedy, filled with outrageous characters and lots of intrigue and scheming. I have set this play at The Windsor, South Beach, Florida, right next to The Birdcage. Think vibrant night life, drag queens, and hot Latin music. Need I say more? I hope you join me in Shakespearean shenanigans involving the beloved figure of Falstaff, of course the merry wives, jealous and chilled-out spouses, Falstaff’s pissed off friends, and 3 suitors for one harangued young person. I am excited about my directorial debut for Majesticpiece Theatre and can’t wait to share the show with you and the world!


Synopsis:

Prince Hal is now King Henry V and has rejected Falstaff. Having exhausted their usual stomping grounds in London, Falstaff and his gang have emigrated to South Beach, Florida, in hopes of greener pastures. However, it seems Falstaff cannot outrun trouble. Justice Shallow, who has an old bone to pick with Falstaff, also has moved to town, as has a former landlord, Mistress Quickly. Falstaff eyeballs two local, well to-do wives, Mistress Page and Mistress Ford, to land a fortune – by seduction. Not so smart is Mistress Ford’s jealous spouse, who is also taught a lesson. Add to that Falstaff’s fed-up friends Pistol, Bardolph and Nym, and Mistress Page’s child Anne, who has several suitors and needs to navigate the wishes of both parents and self. Will Falstaff outsmart the merry wives and be able to live a comfortable life without worries? Will Master Ford learn a valuable lesson? Will Anne Page end up with true love or end up in a unhappy, arranged marriage? Questions upon questions – and lots of intrigue and laughter along the way.


Audition details:

Please choose only one of two options:

Choose one of the sides below. Record a video on your phone or computer of you reading the side. Upload the video on Google Drive and either email me the link or share it with me: angiedemorgan@gmail.com by 5PM on Monday, July 27, 2020. Please note that there aren’t sides for ALL characters, but in auditioning, you are indicating that you are willing to play ANY character.

  1. If you have a memorized, comedic Shakespearean audition piece (does not have to be Merry Wives), feel free to record that in lieu of a side; time limit is 2 minutes.

  2. Don’t forget to slate before you start your monologue.

Some guidelines:

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

Please: No props, no costumes, no specialty makeup. What I want to see during auditions is how you can handle Shakespearean language and character choices. Go big! Adjustments to your actual performance (if necessary) will happen during rehearsals, so for your audition, don’t hold back and err on the side of BIG. I know that all of you performers are crazy good with costumes and makeup, so I’m not worried about that.

Accents are not required for your audition, but if you want to try, go for it. Dr. Caius is French, Sir Hugh Evans is Welsh (there are examples on YouTube), and Falstaff, Bardolph, Pistol, Nym, Host, Mistress Quickly and the servants could potentially speak Cockney (reference YouTube).

I have no gender, age, or ability preference for any of the characters! ALL Folx are highly encouraged to audition, including BIPOC, LBGTQ+ and drag performers, as well as performers with limited physical ability. Some prior experience with Shakespeare is helpful, but I will provide materials to make the language more accessible, to understand the text, assistance with accents, and I will work with individual performers if necessary/requested.

I will be casting 21 performers as well as 2 emergency backup actors (who get to make an appearance at the big party in the end!) 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 with a good camera, computer, or tablet that can run Zoom, a pair of headphones, and an area in which greenscreen cloth can be pinned/installed since I’m hoping to have all performers set up for cool backgrounds (however, don’t let this stress you out. If this is not doable for you, do NOT let this keep you from auditioning – we’ll figure it out!!).

If you have any questions or concerns about the audition process, roles, schedule, or anything else, feel free to email and ask! I’m here to support you, encourage you, and make this as easy as possible and fun for you.


CHARACTERS

Narrator/Robin

Character Age: Any

Character Race: Any.

Character Ethnicity: Any.

Desired Actor Gender: Any

Mistress Ford, one of the titular Merry Wives

Character Age: Any

Character Race: Any.

Character Ethnicity: Any.

Desired Actor Gender: Actors of all genders will be considered; strong preference for a drag performer

Ford, Mistress Ford’s (very jealous) spouse

Character Age: Any

Character Race: Any.

Character Ethnicity: Any.

Desired Actor Gender: Any

John & Robert, their servants

Character Age: Any

Character Race: Any.

Character Ethnicity: Any.

Desired Actor Gender: Any

Mistress Page, the other Merry Wife

Character Age: Any

Character Race: Any.

Character Ethnicity: Any.

Desired Actor Gender: Actors of all genders will be considered; strong preference for a drag performer

Page, Mistress Page’s (totally relaxed) spouse

Character Age: Any

Character Race: Any.

Character Ethnicity: Any.

Desired Actor Gender: Any.

Anne, their sweet and innocent child

Character Age: Young.

Character Race: Any.

Character Ethnicity: Any.

Desired Actor Gender: Any.

Doctor Caius, a French doctor, suitor to Anne Page

Character Age: Any

Character Race: Any.

Character Ethnicity: Any.

Desired Actor Gender: Any

Mistress Quickly, the doctor’s housekeeper (and local gossip mill with an eye for her own advantage and mischief)

Character Age: Any

Character Race: Any.

Character Ethnicity: Any.

Desired Actor Gender: Any.

John Rugby, the doctor’s servant

Character Age: Any

Character Race: Any.

Character Ethnicity: Any.

Desired Actor Gender: Any.

Sir Hugh Evans, a Welsh parson

Character Age: Any

Character Race: Any.

Character Ethnicity: Any.

Desired Actor Gender: Any.

Host (of the Garter Inn)

Character Age: Any

Character Race: Any.

Character Ethnicity: Any.

Desired Actor Gender: Any.

Sir John Falstaff

Character Age: Any

Character Race: Actors of all races will be considered; strong preference for a BIPOC performer

Character Ethnicity: Any.

Desired Actor Gender: Any

Bardolph, Pistol & Nym, Falstaff’s servants

Character Age: Any

Character Race: Any.

Character Ethnicity: Any.

Desired Actor Gender: Any.

Fenton, of gentle birth, suitor to Anne Page

Character Age: Any

Character Race: Any.

Character Ethnicity: Any.

Desired Actor Gender: Any.

Robert Shallow, a visiting justice of the peace

Character Age: Any

Character Race: Any.

Character Ethnicity: Any.

Desired Actor Gender: Any.

Abraham Slender, Shallow’s silly relation and suitor to Anne Page

Character Age: Any

Character Race: Any.

Character Ethnicity: Any.

Desired Actor Gender: Any.

Simple, Slender’s servant

Character Age: Any

Character Race: Any.

Character Ethnicity: Any.

Desired Actor Gender: Any.

SIDES:

Sir Hugh: If Sir John Falstaff have committed disparagements unto you, I am of the Church, and will be glad to do my benevolence to make atonements and compromises between you. It is not meet the Council hear a riot. There is no fear of Got in a riot. The Council, look you, shall desire to hear the fear of Got, and not to hear a riot. Take your visaments in that. It is petter that friends is the sword, and end it. And there is also another device in my prain, which peradventure prings goot discretions with it. There is Anne Page, which is daughter to Master Thomas Page, which is pretty virginity. And seven hundred pounds of moneys, and gold, and silver, is her grandsire upon his death’s-bed give, when she is able to overtake seventeen years old. It were a goot motion if we leave our pribbles and prabbles, and desire a marriage between Master Abraham and Mistress Anne Page.

Sir John Falstaff:

No quips now, Pistol. Indeed, I am in the waist two yards about, but I am now about no waste; I am about thrift. Briefly, I do mean to make love to Ford’s wife. I spy entertainment in her. She discourses; she carves; she gives the leer of invitation. I have writ me here a letter to her; and here another to Page’s wife, who even now gave me good eyes too, examined my parts with most judicious oeillades. Sometimes the beam of her view gilded my foot, sometimes my portly belly. O, she did so course o’er my exteriors with such a greedy intention that the appetite of her eye did seem to scorch me up like a burning-glass. Here’s another letter to her. She bears the purse too; she is a region in Guiana, all gold and bounty. I will be cheaters to them both, and they shall be exchequers to me; they shall be my East and West Indies, and I will trade to them both. Go bear thou this letter to Mistress Page—and thou this to Mistress Ford. We will thrive, lads, we will thrive.

Slender:

I will marry her, sir, at your request. But if there be no great love in the beginning, yet heaven may decrease it upon better acquaintance, when we are married and have more occasion to know one another. I hope upon familiarity will grow more content. But if you say “Marry her,” I will marry her. That I am freely dissolved, and dissolutely. O, Mistress Anne! Come in to dinner? I had rather walk here, I thank you. I bruised my shin th’ other day with playing at sword and dagger with a master of fence—three veneys for a dish of stewed prunes—and, by my troth, I cannot abide the smell of hot meat since. Why do your dogs bark so? Be there bears i’ th’ town?

Dr. Caius:

Vat is you sing? I do not like dese toys. Pray you, go and vetch me in my closet un boîtier vert, a box, a green-a box. Do intend vat I speak? A green-a box. -- Vere is dat knave Rugby? You, jack’nape, give-a this letter to Sir Hugh. By gar, it is a shallenge. I will cut his troat in de park, and I will teach a scurvy jackanape priest to meddle or make. You may be gone. It is not good you tarry here.—By gar, I will cut all his two stones. By gar, he shall not have a stone to throw at his dog Do not you tell-a me dat I shall have Anne Page for myself? By gar, I vill kill de jack priest; and I have appointed mine Host of de Jarteer to measure our weapon. By gar, I will myself have Anne Page. Rugby, come to the court with me. (To

Mistress Quickly.) By gar, if I have not Anne Page, I shall turn your head out of my door.—Follow my

heels, Rugby.

Mistress Page:

What, have I ’scaped love letters in the holiday time of my beauty, and am I now a subject for them? Let me see. (She reads.)

Ask me no reason why I love you, for though Love

use Reason for his precisian, he admits him not for

his counselor. You are not young; no more am I. Go

to, then, there’s sympathy. You are merry; so am I.

Ha, ha, then, there’s more sympathy. You love sack,

and so do I. Would you desire better sympathy? Let

it suffice thee, Mistress Page—at the least, if the love

of soldier can suffice—that I love thee. I will not say

pity me—’tis not a soldier-like phrase—but I say love

me. By me, Thine own true knight, By day or night,

Or any kind of light, With all his might For thee to fight.

John Falstaff.

John Falstaff?!! O wicked, wicked world! One that is well-nigh worn to pieces with age, to show himself a young gallant! What an unweighed behavior hath this Flemish drunkard picked—with the devil’s name!—out of my conversation, that he dares in this manner assay me? Why, he hath not been thrice in my company! What should I say to him? I was then frugal of my

mirth. Heaven forgive me! Why, I’ll exhibit a bill in the Parliament for the putting down of men.

How shall I be revenged on him? For revenged I will be, as sure as his guts are made of puddings.

Mistress Quickly:

Marry, this is the short and the long of it: you have brought her into such a canaries as ’tis wonderful. The best courtier of them all, when the court lay at Windsor, could never have brought her to such a canary. Yet there has been knights, and lords, and gentlemen, with their coaches, I warrant you, coach after coach, letter after letter, gift after gift, smelling so sweetly—all musk—and so rushling, I warrant you, in silk and gold, and in such alligant terms, and in such wine and sugar of the best and the fairest, that would have won any woman’s heart; and, I warrant you, they could never get an eye-wink of her. And yet there has been earls—nay, which is more, pensioners—but, I warrant you, all is one with her. But I have another messenger to your Worship. Mistress Page hath her hearty commendations to you too; and, let me tell you in your ear, she’s as fartuous a civil modest wife, and one, I tell you, that will not miss you morning nor evening prayer, as any is in Windsor, whoe’er be the other. And she bade me tell

your Worship that her husband is seldom from home, but she hopes there will come a time. I never knew a woman so dote upon a man. Surely, I think you have charms, la! Yes, in truth.

Ford (as Brook):

Sir, I hear you are a scholar—I will be brief with you—and you have been a man long known to me, though I had never so good means as desire to make myself acquainted with you. I shall discover a thing to you wherein I must very much lay open mine own imperfection. But, good Sir John, as you have one eye upon my follies, as you hear them unfolded, turn another into the register of your own, that I may pass with a reproof the easier, sith you yourself know how easy it is to be such an offender. There is a gentlewoman in this town—her husband’s name is Ford. I have long loved her and, I protest to you, bestowed much on her, followed her with a doting observance, engrossed opportunities to meet her, fee’d every slight occasion that could but niggardly give me sight of her, not only bought many presents to give her, but have given largely to many to know what she would have given. Briefly,I have pursued her as love hath pursued me, which hath been on the wing of all occasions. But whatsoever I have merited, either in my mind or in my means, meed I am sure I have received none, unless experience be a jewel. That I have purchased at an infinite rate, and that hath taught me to say this: “Love like a shadow flies when substance love pursues, Pursuing that that flies, and flying what pursues.”

Page:

And did he send you both these letters at an instant? Ha ha, ’Tis well, ’tis well. No more. Be not as extreme in submission as in offense. But let our plot go forward. Let our wives Yet once again, to make us public sport, Appoint a meeting with this old fat fellow, Where we may take him and disgrace him for it. How, to send him word they’ll meet him in the park at midnight? Fie, fie, he’ll never come. (Beat). You say he has been thrown in the rivers and has been grievously peaten as an old ’oman. Methinks there should be terrors in him, that he should not come. Methinks his flesh is punished; he shall have no desires. -- Well, let it not be doubted but he’ll come. And in this shape when you have brought him

thither, What shall be done with him? What is your plot?

Fenton:

From time to time I have acquainted you With the dear love I bear to fair Anne Page, Who mutually hath answered my affection, So far forth as herself might be her chooser, Even to my wish. I have a letter from her Of such contents as you will wonder at, The mirth whereof so larded with my matter That neither singly can be manifested Without the show of both. Fat Falstaff Hath a great scene; the image of the jest I’ll show you here at large. Hark, good mine Host: Tonight at Herne’s oak, just ’twixt twelve and one, Must my sweet Nan present the Fairy Queen— The purpose why is here—in which disguise,

While other jests are something rank on foot, Her father hath commanded her to slip Away with Slender, and with him at Eton Immediately to marry. She hath consented. Now, sir, Her mother, ever strong against that match And firm for Doctor Caius, hath appointed That he shall likewise shuffle her away, While other sports are tasking of their minds, And at the dean’ry, where a priest attends, Straight marry her. To this her mother’s plot She, seemingly obedient, likewise hath Made promise to the doctor. And here it rests, that you’ll procure the vicar To stay for me at church ’twixt twelve and one, And, in the lawful name of marrying, To give our hearts united ceremony.

Anne Page:

(Note: Anne does not have a long enough together monologue to put up for auditions, so please read this from “Romeo and Juliet”):

The clock struck nine when I did send the nurse;

In half an hour she promised to return.

Perchance she cannot meet him—that’s not so.

O, she is lame! Love’s heralds should be thoughts,

Which ten times faster glides than the sun’s beams,

Driving back shadows over low’ring hills;

Therefore do nimble-pinion’d doves draw Love,

And therefore hath the wind-swift Cupid wings.

Now is the sun upon the highmost hill

Of this day’s journey, and from nine till twelve

Is three long hours, yet she is not come.

Had she affections and warm youthful blood,

She would be as swift in motion as a ball;

My words would bandy her to my sweet love,

And his to me.

But old folks—many feign as they were dead,

Unwieldy, slow, heavy, and pale as lead.

O God, she comes! O honey nurse, what news?

Hast thou met with him? Send thy man away.

Now, good sweet nurse—O Lord, why lookest thou sad?

Though news be sad, yet tell them merrily;

If good, thou shamest the music of sweet news

By playing it to me with so sour a face.

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The Majestic Theatre is a branch of the City of Corvallis Parks and Recreation Department, dedicated to bringing a wide range of artistic productions and arts education programs to the citizens of Corvallis.

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