OPEN AUDITIONS: Majesticpiece Theatre presents Cymbeline by William Shakespeare
MAJESTICPIECE THEATRE PRESENTS: CYMBELINE
By William Shakespeare
Adapted and directed by John Carone
To be performed Saturday, April 25th at 7:30pm on Facebook Live
Dress rehearsal Friday, April 24th at 7:00pm
SYNOPSIS: The story of Cymbeline! ...wait, actually, he's actually a minor character. It's mostly the story of his daughter, Princess Imogen, who marries for love but is instantly separated from her husband Posthumus by her evil stepmother (yep, Shakespeare has one of those too) and even more evil stepbrother. When her husband is exiled and then misled into thinking she has left him, Imogen must flee the unfriendly court, disguised as a man (because Shakespeare), encountering woodmen who might her long-lost brothers (what the heck, Shakespeare?) and an entire Roman army out to re-conquer Britain. Can our two lovers emerge from the battle with a happy ending? You never know - I mean, this is one of those Shakespeare plays you've never seen, so you really don't know how it'll end. So come join us for Shakespeare's CYMBELINE!
NARRATOR, a Narrator
BACKUP, a Replacement for any actor if needed due to computer or internet issues
The Britons (in order of appearance):
PISANIO, witty servant of whoever's giving orders
THE QUEEN, a very definitely evil queen
POSTHUMUS LEONATUS, married to Imogen, fiercely in love and just as fiercely out of it. Weirdly misogynistic in the middle but immediately sorry.
IMOGEN, daughter to King Cymbeline, in love with Posthumus.
CYMBELINE, king of Britain, strong and noble but currently influenced by his evil wife
CLOTEN, son of The Queen, evil and egotistical and annoying and with absolutely no redeeming features. (Actor will also portray Cloten without a body and Cloten without a head.)
CORNELIUS, a good doctor
BELARIUS, exiled by Cymbeline, kidnappe... er, guardian of Guiderius and Arviragus
GUIDERIUS, raised by Belarius in the wild, definitely doesn't think he's a prince, is perfectly okay with decapitation
ARVIRAGUS, raised by Belarius in the wild, definitely doesn't think he's a prince, doesn't have an opinion about decapitation
The Romans (in order of appearance):
IACHIMO, a Roman gambler, cad and scoundrel
PHILARIO, a Roman Captain and friend of Posthumus's father
CAIUS LUCIUS, a Roman ambassador and soldier, noble and determined
Please choose ONE of the following sides. Record a video on your phone or computer. Say your name and then read the side. Email the video to email@example.com by 5PM on Tuesday, April 21st. Feel free to include what role you’re interested in within the body of the email. Some 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 - this is Shakespeare and reader's theater, so anyone can try out for anyone - but feel free to say if you were hoping for a particular one.
- If you have an accent on standby, feel free to use it, but we're more interested in diction and emotion.
- 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.
- If you have any questions, feel free to email and ask!
POSTHUMUS (giving Imogen's ring away when persuaded of her infidelity):
O, no, no, no! 'tis true. Here, take this too;
It is a basilisk unto mine eye,
Kills me to look on't. Let there be no honour
Where there is beauty; truth, where semblance; love,
Where there's another man: the vows of women
Of no more bondage be, to where they are made,
Than they are to their virtues; which is nothing.
POSTHUMUS (in despair, thinking of Imogen):
You married ones,
If each of you should take this course, how many
Must murder wives much better than themselves
For wrying but a little! O Pisanio!
Every good servant does not all commands:
No bond but to do just ones. Gods! if you
Should have ta'en vengeance on my faults, I never
Had lived to put on this: I am brought hither
Among the Italian gentry, and to fight
Against my lady's kingdom. Good heavens,
Hear patiently my purpose: I'll disrobe me
Of these Italian weeds and suit myself
As does a Briton peasant: so I'll fight
Against the part I come with; so I'll die
For thee, O Imogen, even for whom my life
Is every breath a death; and thus, unknown,
Pitied nor hated, to the face of peril
Myself I'll dedicate. Let me make men know
More valour in me than my habits show.
Gods, put the strength o' the Leonati in me!
To shame the guise o' the world, I will begin
The fashion, less without and more within.
IMOGEN (shutting down Iachimo's courting):
Away! I do condemn mine ears that have
So long attended thee. If thou wert honourable,
Thou wouldst have told this tale for virtue, not
For such an end thou seek'st,--as base as strange.
Thou wrong'st a gentleman, who is as far
From thy report as thou from honour, and
Solicit'st here a lady that disdains
Thee and the devil alike. What ho, Pisanio!
The king my father shall be made acquainted
Of thy assault: if he shall think it fit,
A saucy stranger in his court to mart
As in a Romish stew and to expound
His beastly mind to us, he hath a court
He little cares for and a daughter who
He not respects at all. What, ho, Pisanio!
PISANIO (describing the nefarious Cloten):
That such a crafty devil as is his mother
Should yield the world this ass! a woman that
Bears all down with her brain; and this her son
Cannot take two from twenty, for his heart,
And leave eighteen. Alas, poor princess,
Thou divine Imogen, what thou endurest,
Betwixt a father by thy step-dame govern'd,
A mother hourly coining plots, a wooer
More hateful than the foul expulsion is
Of thy dear husband, than that horrid act
Of the divorce he'd make! The heavens hold firm
The walls of thy dear honour, keep unshaked
That temple, thy fair mind, that thou mayst stand,
To enjoy thy banish'd lord and this great land!
CLOTEN (yelling at Imogen for her marriage to Posthumus instead of himself, and being a huge jerk about it):
You sin against
Obedience, which you owe your father. For
The contract you pretend with that base wretch,
One bred of alms and foster'd with cold dishes,
With scraps o' the court, it is no contract, none:
And though it be allow'd in meaner parties--
Yet who than he more mean?--to knit their souls,
On whom there is no more dependency
But brats and beggary, in self-figured knot;
Yet you are curb'd from that enlargement by
The consequence o' the crown, and must not soil
The precious note of it with a base slave.
The south-fog rot him!
IACHIMO (creepily hitting on Imogen):
Had I this cheek
To bathe my lips upon; this hand, whose touch,
Whose every touch, would force the feeler's soul
To the oath of loyalty; this object, which
Takes prisoner the wild motion of mine eye,
Fixing it only here; should I, damn'd then,
Slaver with lips as common as the stairs
That mount the Capitol; join gripes with hands
Made hard with hourly falsehood--falsehood, as
With labour; then by-peeping in an eye
Base and unlustrous as the smoky light
That's fed with stinking tallow; it were fit
That all the plagues of hell should at one time
Encounter such revolt.
I dedicate myself to your sweet pleasure,
More noble than that runagate to your bed,
And will continue fast to your affection,
Let me my service tender on your lips.
BELARIUS (explaining how he kidnapped the two young princes):
My fault being nothing--as I have told you oft--
But that two villains, whose false oaths prevail'd
Before my perfect honour, swore to Cymbeline
I was confederate with the Romans: so
Follow'd my banishment, and this twenty years
This rock and these demesnes have been my world.
How hard it is to hide the sparks of nature!
These boys know little they are sons to the king;
Nor Cymbeline dreams that they are alive.
They think they are mine; and though train'd
up thus meanly
I' the cave wherein they bow, their thoughts do hit
The roofs of palaces, and nature prompts them
In simple and low things to prince it much
Beyond the trick of others.
Pronunciation Guide for Character Names
POSTHUMUS LEONATUS: pahs-TYOO-muhs LEE-oh-NAH-tuhs
BELARIUS: bih-LEH-ree-uhs (rhymes with hilarious)
GUIDERIUS: scans to gwi-DIH-ryuhs, also called Polydore (PAH-li-dohr)
ARVIRAGUS: AHR-vi-RAH-guhs, also called Cadwal (KAAD-wawl)
PHILARIO: scans to fi-LAHR-yoh
CAIUS LUCIUS: KEYE-uhs LOO-shuhs