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OPEN AUDITIONS: Majesticpiece Theatre presents Dear Brutus

Updated: Feb 9, 2023




MAJESTICPIECE THEATRE PRESENTS: DEAR BRUTUS

By J.M. Barrie

Directed by Franca Hernandez


To be performed Saturday, March 18th at 7:30pm on Facebook Live

Dress rehearsal Friday, March 17th at 7:30pm

Rehearsal period February 27th - March 17th

Auditions Due Monday, February 20th at 5:00pm


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.


From the director:

Hello, prospective actors for the play Dear Brutus, written by James M. Barrie in the early 20th Century, the author of Peter Pan! Barrie left us an obscure fantastical play somewhat inspired by Shakespeare’s Mid-Summer Night’s Dream. There are no barriers to the actors who audition for this play. Although the plot calls for five male parts and five female parts, I reserve the right to be fluid depending on who auditions. I believe we can make accommodations.


Synopsis:

The characters in Dear Brutus, who all yearn for something missing in their lives, accept the challenge posed by their host, Lob, and wander into a magical woods on the eve of Mid-Summer to explore those parts of themselves they otherwise do not have the courage to express or acknowledge. You may watch a version of the play Dear Brutus on Youtube. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GUEVyJm4Plo)


Please choose ONE of the following sides. Record a video on your phone or computer of you reading the side, and email it and a filled-out audition form to francesvh@comcast.net

(copying MPT coordinator Rachel Kohler at rachel.kohler@corvallisoregon.gov) by 5PM on Monday, February 20th. Feel free to include what role you’re interested in within the body of the email. Please also include a headshot as an attachment to your audition email. It doesn’t need to be professional; just a nice picture of you. 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. We will be casting 11 actors and one Emergency Backup Actor, 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.


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


CHARACTERS


LOB

Age: 60 plus

Race: any

Ethnicity: any

Script gender: male

Ability/Movement: sedate, sitting, lying down

Characteristics: The host who has invited eight people to spend the Mid-Summer festivities at his country mansion. He may be the equivalent of Shakespeare’s Puck. Preference would be a Scottish accent.


MATEY

Age: 60 plus

Race: any

Ethnicity: any

Script gender: male

Ability/Movement: Standing, moving about, nervous

Characteristics: He is the butler in the “normal” world and in the Woods he is a successful, bombastic business person. He is also a petty thief.


ALICE DEARTH aka The Dearth

Age: 30-40

Race: any

Ethnicity: any

Script gender: female

Ability/Movement: Standing, moving about like a runway model

Characteristics: She is very reserved. Sullen and pouty. She despises her alcoholic husband. They both wonder if things might have been different if they’d had a child.


WILL DEARTH

Age: 40s

Race: any

Ethnicity: any

Script gender: male

Ability/Movement: Standing, moving about languidly

Characteristics: He despises himself for having abandoned his love of painting and turned to drink. His wife, Alice, despises him too, and they both wonder if things might have been different if they’d had a child.


MRS COADE AKA COADY

Age: 70s

Race: any

Ethnicity: any

Script gender: female

Ability/Movement: Slow movements, maternal, practical and for her husband’s sake, who confuses her with his late prior wife, she pretends to have a limp as his late wife had.


MR. COADE AKA COADY

Age: 70s

Race: any

Ethnicity: any

Script gender: male

Ability/Movement: Standing, moving about,

Characteristics: Scholar and researcher, caring, muddle-minded, solicitous


MRS. MABEL PURDIE

Age: 30s

Race: any

Ethnicity: any

Script gender: female

Ability/Movement: She is soft, yielding, loving, and kind.


MRS. JOHN PURDIE

Age: 30s

Race: any

Ethnicity: any

Script gender: male

Ability/Movement: Stands as if he were the center of attention. He is charming and flirtatious and not sincere. He eventually comes to terms with his ambiguous personality.

JOANNA TROUT

Age: 20s

Race: any

Ethnicity: any

Script gender: female

Ability/Movement: Young, single, the world is her oyster. She is happy and cheerful most of the time but has moments of thoughtfulness. She is having an affair with John Purdie.


LADY CAROLINE LANEY

Age: 30s

Race: any

Ethnicity: any

Script gender: female

Ability/Movement: elegant, mature although young in age, elite education, poised, and disdainful


MARAGARET

Age: Can be an adult who can play an adolescent

Race: any

Ethnicity: any

Script gender: female

Ability/Movement: Playful, mischievous, happy, joking, with a tinge of sadness.


SIDES

See if you can find a friend, roommate, or family member who will read with you! If your scene partner isn’t auditioning for a role, they can read off camera. If you have a friend who wants to audition, too, film yourselves reading together on your phone! Or hop on a Zoom meeting together and record the meeting as you read the sides. If you can’t find someone to read with, you can simply film yourself reading just the lines of the character you’re auditioning for as if they are a speech.


ALICE & DEARTH


DEARTH. One would scarcely call me an artist now-a-days.


ALICE. Not so far as any work is concerned.


DEARTH. Not so far as having any more pretty dreams to paint is concerned. (Grinning at himself.) Wonder why I have become such a waster, Alice?


ALICE. I suppose it was always in you.


DEARTH. I suppose so; and yet I was rather a good sort in the days when I courted you.

ALICE. Yes, I thought so. Unlucky days for me, as it has turned out.


DEARTH (heartily). Yes, a bad job for you. I didn't know I was a wrong 'un at the time; thought quite well of myself, thought a vast deal more of you. How I used to leap out of bed at 6 A.M. all agog to be at my easel; blood ran through my veins in those days. And now I'm middle-aged and done for. Funny! Don't know how it has come about, nor what has made the music mute. When did you begin to despise me, Alice?


ALICE. When I got to know you really well; a long time ago.


DEARTH. (bleary eyed). Yes, I think that is true. It was a long time ago, and before I had begun to despise myself. It wasn't till I knew you had no opinion of me that I began to go downhill. You will grant that, won't you; and that I did try for a bit to fight on? If you had cared for me, I wouldn't have come to this, surely?


ALICE. Well, I found I didn't care for you, and I wasn't hypocrite enough to pretend I did. That's blunt, but you used to admire my bluntness.


DEARTH. The bluntness of you, the adorable wildness of you, you untamed thing! There were never any shades in you; kiss or kill was your motto, Alice. I felt from the first moment I saw you that you would love me or knife me.


ALICE. I didn't knife you.

DEARTH. No. I suppose that was where you made the mistake. It is hard on you, old lady. I suppose it's too late to try to patch things up?


ALICE. Let's be honest; it is too late, Will. Perhaps if we had had children—Pity! A blessing really when you contemplate what sort of a father they would have had.


DEARTH. I dare say you're right. Well, Alice, I know that somehow it's my fault. I'm sorry for you.

ALICE. I'm sorry for myself. If I hadn't married you what a different woman I should be. What a fool I was.


DEARTH. Ah! Three things they say come not back to men nor women—the spoken word, the past life and the neglected opportunity. Wonder if we should make any more of them, Alice, if they did come back to us.


ALICE. You wouldn't.


DEARTH. I guess you're right.


ALICE. But I—


DEARTH. (sincerely). Yes, what a boon for you. But I hope it's not Freddy Finch-Fallowe you would put in my place; I know he is following you about again.


ALICE. He followed me about, as you put it, before I knew you. I don't know why I quarreled with him.


DEARTH. Your heart told you that he was no good, Alice.


ALICE. My heart told me that you were. So, it wasn't of much service to me -- my heart!


DEARTH. The Honorable Freddy Finch-Fallowe is a rotter.


ALICE. You are certainly an authority on the subject.


DEARTH. You have me there.

________

PERDIE & JOANNA


JOANNA. That man [Lob]—he suspects!


PURDIE. No one minds Lob. My dear, oh my dear.

JOANNA (faltering). Yes, but he saw you kiss my hand. Jack, if Mabel were to suspect!


PURDIE (happily). There is nothing for her to suspect.


JOANNA (eagerly). No, there isn't, is there? (She is desirous ever to be without a flaw.) Jack, I am not doing anything wrong, am I?


PURDIE. You!

(With an adorable gesture she gives him one of her hands, and manlike he takes the other also.)


JOANNA. Mabel is your wife, Jack. I should so hate myself if I did anything that was disloyal to her.


PURDIE. Those eyes could never be disloyal—my lady of the nut-brown eyes. (He holds her from him, surveying her) Oh, the slenderness of you. Joanna, why are you so attractive! (Embraces her)


JOANNA. All I want is to help her and you.


PURDIE. I know—how well I know—my dear brave love.


JOANNA. I am very fond of Mabel, Jack. I should like to be the best friend she has in the world.


PURDIE. You are, dearest. No woman ever had a better friend.


JOANNA. And yet I don't think she really likes me. I wonder why?


PURDIE. It is just that Mabel doesn't understand. Nothing could make me say a word against my wife.


JOANNA (sternly). I wouldn't listen to you if you did.

PURDIE. I love you all the more, dear, for saying that. But Mabel is a cold nature and she doesn't understand.


JOANNA. She doesn't appreciate your finer qualities.


PURDIE. That's it. But of course I am difficult. I always was a strange, strange creature. I often think, Joanna, that I am rather like a flower that has never had the sun to shine on it nor the rain to water it.


JOANNA. You break my heart.


PURDIE (with enjoyment). I suppose there is no more lonely man than I walking the earth to-day.


JOANNA. It is so mournful.


PURDIE. It is the thought of you that sustains me, elevates me. You shine high above me like a star.


JOANNA. No, no. I wish I was wonderful, but I am not.


PURDIE. You have made me a better man, Joanna.


JOANNA. I am so proud to think that.


PURDIE. You have made me kinder to Mabel.


JOANNA. I am sure you are always kind to her.


PURDIE. Yes, I hope so. But I think now of special little ways of giving her pleasure. That never-to-be-forgotten day when we first met, you and I!


JOANNA. That tragic, lovely day by the weir. Oh, Jack!


PURDIE. Do you know how in gratitude I spent the rest of that day?


JOANNA. Tell me.


PURDIE. I read to Mabel aloud for an hour. I did it out of kindness to her, because I had met you.


JOANNA. It was dear of you.

_______

LADY CAROLINE & MATEY

LADY CAROLINE. Is it not a lovely night, Jim. Listen, my own, to Philomel; he is saying that he is lately married. So are we, you ducky thing. I feel, Jim, that I am Rosalind and that you are my Orlando.

(The handkerchief being removed MR. MATEY is revealed; and the nightingale ceases its song.)


MATEY. What do you say I am, Caroline?


LADY CAROLINE (clapping her hands). My own one, don't you think it would be fun if we were to write poems about each other and pin them on the tree trunks?


MATEY (tolerantly). Poems? I never knew such a lass for high-flown language.


LADY CAROLINE. Your lass, dearest. Jim's lass.

MATEY (pulling her ear). And don't you forget it.


LADY CAROLINE. What would you do if I were to forget it, great bear?


MATEY. I would roar to the tree tops.


LADY CAROLINE. I love to hear you talk like that; it is so virile.


MATEY. Listen, Caroline. (He touches his money pocket)


LADY CAROLINE. How much have you made this week, you wonderful man?


MATEY (blandly). Another two hundred or so. That's all, just two hundred or so.


LADY CAROLINE (caressing her wedding ring). My dear golden ring, listen to him. Kiss my ring, Jim.


MATEY. Wait till I light this cigar.


LADY CAROLINE. Let me hold the darling match.


MATEY. Corona. There was a time when one of that sort would have run away with two days of my hard-earned wages.


LADY CAROLINE. How I should have loved, Jim, to know you when you were poor. Fancy your having once been a clerk.


MATEY. We all have our beginnings. But it wouldn't have mattered how I began, Caroline: I should have come to the top just the same. I am a social climber and there are nails in my boots for the parties beneath me. Boots! I tell you if I had been a bootmaker, I should have been the first bootmaker in London.


LADY CAROLINE. I am sure you would, Jim; but should you have made the best boots?


MATEY. Very good, Caroline; that is the most acute thing I have heard you say. But it's late; we had best be strolling back to our Rolls-Royce.


LADY CAROLINE (as they rise). I do hope the ground wasn't damp.


MATEY. Don't matter if it was; I was lying on your rug. (Indeed we notice now that he has had all the rug, and she the bare ground.

______

LOB

Poor bruised one, it was I who hurt you. Lob is so sorry. Lie there! (To another.) Pretty, pretty, let me see where you have a pain? You fell on your head; is this the place? Now I make it better. Oh, little rascal, you are not hurt at all; you just pretend. Oh dear, oh dear! Sweetheart, don't cry, you are now prettier than ever. You were too tall. Oh, how beautifully you smell now that you are small. (He replaces the wounded tenderly in their bowl.) drink, drink. Now, you are happy again. The little rascal smiles. All smile, please—nod heads—aha! aha! You love Lob—Lob loves you.

______

MARGARET & DEARTH

MARGARET. Hold me tight, Daddy, I 'm frightened. I think they want to take you away from me.


DEARTH. Who, gosling?


MARGARET. I don't know. It's too lovely, Daddy; I won't be able to keep hold of it.


DEARTH. What is?


MARGARET. The world—everything—and you, Daddy, most of all. Things that are too beautiful can't last.


DEARTH. Now, how did you find that out?


MARGARET. I don't know, Daddy, am I sometimes stranger than other people's daughters?


DEARTH. More of a madcap, perhaps.


MARGARET. Do you think I am sometimes too full of gladness?


DEARTH. My sweetheart, you do sometimes run over with it. (He is at his easel again.)


MARGARET. To be very gay, dearest dear, is so near to being very sad.


DEARTH. How did you find that out, child?


MARGARET. I don't know. From something in me that's afraid. Daddy, what is a 'might-have-been?'


DEARTH. A might-have-been? They are ghosts, Margaret. I daresay I 'might-have-been' a great swell of a painter, instead of just this uncommonly happy nobody. Or again, I might have been a worthless idle waster of a fellow.


MARGARET (laughing). You!


DEARTH. Who knows? Some little kink in me might have set me off on the wrong road. And that poor soul I might so easily have been might have had no Margaret. My word, I'm sorry for him.


MARGARET. So am I. The poor old Daddy, wandering about the world without me!


DEARTH. And there are other 'might-have-beens'—lovely ones, but intangible. Shades, Margaret, made of sad folk's thoughts.


MARGARET (jigging about). I am so glad I am not a shade. How awful it would be, Daddy, to wake up and find one wasn't alive.


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.

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