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OPEN AUDITIONS: Majesticpiece Theatre presents Macbeth

Updated: Apr 7



Macbeth

By William Shakespeare

Director: Martha Benson

Assistant Director: Jessica Ruth Baker

Auditions due: Monday, March 29th at 5pm

Performance: Saturday, April 17th at 7:30pm

Content Label: Appropriate Audiences


Rehearsal Schedule

Readthrough: Monday, April 5 at 6pm

Textwork: Wednesday, April 7 at 6pm

Rehearsal: Friday, April 9 at 6pm

Rehearsal: Monday, April 12 at 6pm

Rehearsal: Wednesday, April 14 at 6pm

Dress Rehearsal: Friday, April 16 at 7pm


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.


All auditions will be via a video submitted to the director via email unless otherwise arranged. In addition to your audition video, please download, fill out, and attach our audition form located at tinyurl.com/MTAuditionForm. It’s a fillable PDF, and you can fill in the blanks on your computer if you download it first. Let us know if you have any trouble with the form, and we’ll help you out with it.


All underage performers will need the permission of parent / guardian before submitting their audition. A headshot will be requested to be posted with the cast list, so if you have one please attach it with your audition video and form.


SHOW TYPE

Majesticpiece Theatre - This show will be rehearsed and performed using the Zoom platform and will have no in-person meetings, rehearsals, or performances. Actors do not need to memorize their lines. The performance will be presented via Facebook Livestreaming and Vimeo Livestreaming for free, with a recording later released on the Majestic Theatre’s YouTube channel.


SHOW SYNOPSIS

When a group of quarantining actors gather together to put on a Zoom production of Macbeth, they think they’ll be safe from the infamous “Curse of Macbeth”. That curse only applies when you’re in a physical theater, right? Wrong. Hecate (an ancient fury of evil- and often cut from the play) and their murderous band of Witches have snuck into the cast in the innocent form of four new company members, and are hell-bent on causing mayhem and destruction. Actors are increasingly corrupted by the witches’ influence, and the lines between reality and fantasy become blurred as actions begin to have dangerous real-life consequences.


FROM THE DIRECTOR Martha Benson

“I have been thinking about the concept of isolated actors tackling a Zoom version of Macbeth since the start of the pandemic, and I am wildly excited to finally take a stab at it with the Majestic Theater. This show is going to be a ferociously joyful adaptation of the great Scottish tragedy. I want to honor the endurance and adaptability of theater-makers who have been forced into new Zoom platforms by having the most fun possible with Shakespeare’s most famous ghost story.


The show culminates in an epic showdown between the possessed Macbeth and the noble Macduff- who is fighting to save their friend, their cast, and the entire show! Horror stories are the definition of fun. Who doesn’t like playing with fake blood and choreographing epic fight scenes? Witches will be flicking on and off screen, gleefully attempting to “possess” the unsuspecting cast. To top it off, actors will be encouraged to make use of the environment around them to create the world of the play. Lady M could do her mad scene in a bathtub. Mackers could perform soliloquies in a hidden closet. Birnam Wood could be the gathering of every houseplant found about the house. I will be choregraphing fight scenes as physical, mimed blows and fake chokes. Actors are strongly encouraged to let their imagination run wild with costumes, props, and settings in and around their homes, blurring the lines between quarantine theatre and quarantine life.”


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 Martha Benson at marthaebenson@gmail.com by 5PM on Monday, March 29th. 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:


Parts of this show may involve more physical action than our past Majesticpiece Theatre shows, so if you have the space and capacity to do so, feel free to film your audition piece standing up, sitting on the floor, walking around with your phone, or whatever feels natural and comfortable for you. Just make sure we can see your eyes! Not all roles will require movement, and any movement in the performance will be catered to the set-up and physical comfort of each actor.


Props and costume pieces are encouraged! Whatever you have lying around.


Actors of any gender, age, race, or ability are invited to audition for most roles. We will be casting 13+ performers and 1-2 Emergency Backup Actors, understudies 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 this particular show, Backup Actors may also be called upon to be servants, minor lords, and other bit parts. Many cast members will be doubled and play more than one role.


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. A few 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. We will work with whatever tech you have available.


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

CHARACTER DESCRIPTIONS

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.


MACBETH

Character Age: 25-55

Character Race: Any

Character Ethnicity: Any

Desired Actor Gender: Any

Ability/movement: Ability to perform limited staged combat (standing/throwing punches, running, falling down); comfortable with enacting violence.

Character: A fearsome warrior and an up-and-coming force in Scottish politics until their ambition (as well as their wife and some witches) gets the better of them.


LADY MACBETH

Character Age: 25-55

Character Race: Any

Character Ethnicity: Any

Desired Actor Gender: Non-binary or female; character will present as female

Ability/movement: Ability to move (crouching, walking, lying on the floor, etc)

Character: Macbeth’s even more ambitious wife. Supports her spouse in equal partnership; willing to do anything to get ahead (up to and including regicide).


KING DUNCAN

Character Age: 35-65

Character Race: Any

Character Ethnicity: Any

Desired Actor Gender: Any

Ability/movement: Any

Character: The established and anointed King of Scotland. Likes and trusts Macbeth, but unfortunately for them, does not live to regret this.


MALCOM

Character Age: 15-20

Character Race: Any

Character Ethnicity: Any

Desired Actor Gender: Any

Ability/movement: Any

Character: King Duncan’s child and heir apparent; flees Scotland when Duncan is murdered. Studious and not much of a warrior.


MACDUFF

Character Age: 25-45

Character Race: Any

Character Ethnicity: Any

Desired Actor Gender: Any

Ability/movement: Ability to perform limited staged combat (standing/throwing punches, running, falling down); comfortable with enacting violence.

Character: One of Duncan’s loyal Thanes, a hot-headed and valiant warrior, but with a soft side shown in their devotion to their wife and family.


LADY MACDUFF

Character Age: 25-45

Character Race: Any

Character Ethnicity: Any

Desired Actor Gender: Non-binary or female; character will present as female

Ability/movement: Ability to perform limited staged combat (standing/throwing punches, running, falling down); comfortable with enacting violence.

Character: Macduff’s wife, mother of one precocious child and pregnant with another.


BANQUO

Character Age: 25-45

Character Race: Any

Character Ethnicity: Any

Desired Actor Gender: Any

Ability/movement: Ability to perform limited staged combat (standing/throwing punches, running); comfortable with enacting violence.

Character: One of Duncan’s loyal Thanes and Macbeth’s best friend, right up until Macbeth’s paranoia and ambition lead to Banquo’s murder. Returns as a ghost.


FLEANCE

Character Age: 12-18

Character Race: Any

Character Ethnicity: Any

Desired Actor Gender: Any

Ability/movement: Ability to perform limited staged combat (standing/throwing punches, running); comfortable with enacting violence.

Character: Banquo’s child and heir; survives the attack on Banquo, flees to live another day.


THE WYRD SISTERS

Character Age: Ageless and probably immortal

Character Race: Any

Character Ethnicity: Any

Desired Actor Gender: Any

Ability/movement: Ability to move (crouching, walking, lying on the floor, etc)

Character: Three witches and/or spirits of indeterminate age, origin, and species. Their prophecies encourage Macbeth to pursue murder as a lifestyle.


HECATE

Character Age: Ageless and definitely immortal

Character Race: Any

Character Ethnicity: Any

Desired Actor Gender: Any

Ability/movement: Ability to move (crouching, walking, lying on the floor, etc)

Character: Ruler / Fury / Spirit of Witches. Haunting the actors and the characters.


PORTER

Character Age: Any

Character Race: Any

Character Ethnicity: Any

Desired Actor Gender: Any

Ability/movement: Any

Character: The single bit of comic relief this show offers, an affable and inebriated doorkeeper who loves telling dad jokes. (The actor who plays this character will be invited to bring their own dad jokes.)


TWO MURDERERS

Character Age: Any

Character Race: Any

Character Ethnicity: Any

Desired Actor Gender: Any

Ability/movement: Ability to perform limited staged combat (standing/throwing punches, running); comfortable with enacting violence.

Character: Macbeth’s muscle, sent forth to take out those who Macbeth believes to be enemies.


ROSS

Character Age: 25-65

Character Race: Any

Character Ethnicity: Any

Desired Actor Gender: Any

Ability/movement: Any

Character: One of King Duncan’s loyal thanes; very not into Macbeth’s life choices.


DIVERSE OTHER THANES, SPIRITS, SERVANTS, DOCTORS, NURSES, CHILDREN, ETC

Character Age: Any

Character Race: Any

Character Ethnicity: Any

Desired Actor Gender: Any

Ability/movement: Most of these minor roles do not have specific movement requirements.

Character: Small ensemble roles to be doubled across a few actors.

SIDES


Macbeth:


(SERVANT

The queen, my lord, is dead.)


MACBETH

She should have died hereafter;

There would have been a time for such a word.

To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,

Creeps in this petty pace from day to day

To the last syllable of recorded time,

And all our yesterdays have lighted fools

The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!

Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player

That struts and frets his hour upon the stage

And then is heard no more: it is a tale

Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,

Signifying nothing.



Lady Macbeth:


Was the hope drunk

Wherein you dress'd yourself? hath it slept since?

And wakes it now, to look so green and pale

At what it did so freely? From this time

Such I account thy love. Art thou afeard

To be the same in thine own act and valour

As thou art in desire? Wouldst thou have that

Which thou esteem'st the ornament of life,

And live a coward in thine own esteem,

Letting 'I dare not' wait upon 'I would,'

Like the poor cat i' the adage?


OR:


Out, damned spot! out, I say!--One: two: why,

then, 'tis time to do't.--Hell is murky!--Fie, my

lord, fie! a soldier, and afeard? What need we

fear who knows it, when none can call our power to

account?--Yet who would have thought the old man

to have had so much blood in him.



Macduff:


(After basically being asked to “take it like a man” one minute after being told their whole family was murdered)


I shall do so;

But I must also feel it as a man:

I cannot but remember such things were,

That were most precious to me. Did heaven look on,

And would not take their part? Sinful Macduff,

They were all struck for thee! naught that I am,

Not for their own demerits, but for mine,

Fell slaughter on their souls. But, gentle heavens,

Cut short all intermission; front to front

Bring thou this fiend of Scotland and myself;

Within my sword's length set him; if he 'scape,

Heaven forgive him too!



Hecate:


(FIRST WITCH

Why, how now, Hecate! you look angerly.)


HECATE

Have I not reason, beldams as you are,

Saucy and overbold? How did you dare

To trade and traffic with Macbeth

In riddles and affairs of death;

And I, the mistress of your charms,

The close contriver of all harms,

Was never call'd to bear my part,

Or show the glory of our art?

But make amends now: get you gone,

And at the pit of Acheron

Meet me i' the morning: thither he

Will come to know his destiny.:


I am call'd; my little spirit, see,

Sits in a foggy cloud, and stays for me.



Banquo:


Good sir, why do you start; and seem to fear

Things that do sound so fair? I' the name of truth,

Are ye fantastical, or that indeed

Which outwardly ye show? My noble partner

You greet with present grace and great prediction

Of noble having and of royal hope,

That he seems rapt withal: to me you speak not.

If you can look into the seeds of time,

And say which grain will grow and which will not,

Speak then to me, who neither beg nor fear

Your favours nor your hate.



Duncan:


Son, kinsmen, thanes,

And you whose places are the nearest, know

We will establish our estate upon

Our eldest, Malcolm, whom we name hereafter

The Prince of Cumberland; which honour must

Not unaccompanied invest him only,

But signs of nobleness, like stars, shall shine

On all deservers. From hence to Inverness,

And bind us further to you.




Any of the Witches:


(SECOND WITCH:

Where has thou been, sister?)


FIRST WITCH

A sailor's wife had chestnuts in her lap,

And munch'd, and munch'd, and munch'd:--

'Give me,' quoth I:

'Aroint thee, witch!' the rump-fed runion cries.

Her husband's to Aleppo gone, master o' the Tiger:

But in a sieve I'll thither sail,

And, like a rat without a tail,

I'll do, I'll do, and I'll do.


(casting a spell)


The weird sisters, hand in hand,

Posters of the sea and land,

Thus do go about, about:

Thrice to thine and thrice to mine

And thrice again, to make up nine.

Peace! the charm's wound up.



Ross, Angus, or Lennox:



(DUNCAN

Whence camest thou, worthy thane?)


ROSS

From Fife, great king;

Where the Norweyan banners flout the sky

And fan our people cold. Norway himself,

With terrible numbers,

Assisted by that most disloyal traitor

The thane of Cawdor, began a dismal conflict;

Till that Bellona's bridegroom, lapp'd in proof,

Confronted him with self-comparisons,

Point against point rebellious, arm 'gainst arm.

Curbing his lavish spirit: and, to conclude,

The victory fell on us.


Submit your audition materials by 5pm, Monday March 29th by emailing marthaebenson@gmail.com


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

reading the side. Feel free to include what role you’re interested in within the body of the email. Also include your headshot and audition form.

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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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