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OPEN AUDITIONS: R.U.R. Rossum’s Universal Robots


R.U.R. Rossum’s Universal Robots

By Karel Čapek

Directed by Brandi Douglas

Open Auditions: Video auditions due on Monday, September 27th by 5pm brandi.douglas1@gmail.com


Rehearsal Timeframe

Rehearsal Weeks: October 5th - 20th Dress Rehearsal - October 22nd Performances: Saturday, October 23 at 7:30pm


Content Label: All Audiences.


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


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. The performance will be presented via Facebook Livestreaming and Youtube Livestreaming for free.


SHOW SYNOPSIS

Rossum's Universal Robots (R.U.R) takes place in a factory that makes artificial people, Robots, created from synthetic organic matter. These robots look and act so human that you can't tell who is who within the factory. The robots were created to help humans fulfill their every single need. After years of serving humans, the robots have decided to fulfill their own needs. Their ultimate need is the extinction of all humans. Will the robots win their revolution? Will the humans survive? Or will it all go down in flames?


FROM THE DIRECTOR Brandi Douglas

RUR is a 1920 science-fiction play by the Czech writer Karel Čapek, and I am really excited to bring it to the Majesticpiece Theatre virtual stage. This play introduced us to the word “robot” and to science fiction as a genre. This play shows us what happens when robots are created in our own image...for better and for worse. It reminds me of my favorite show, WestWorld. I hope you see that inspiration in the posters and the play itself. As for what I am looking for in an actor, as always, I am looking for someone who is willing to push their creativity and have some fun! I look forward to working with you all. Oh! One more thing to note. For those who don’t know, I live in South Carolina; and so, there is a bit of a time difference. All the times listed are PST.


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 brandi.douglas1@gmail.com by 5PM on Monday, September 27th. 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:


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 11-13 performers 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. Most 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. If you do not have access to this tech, this will not disqualify you from auditioning for these roles, but we’ll want to know so that we can line up checking out equipment to you.


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


CHARACTER DESCRIPTIONS

General Note Example: 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.


DOMAIN

Character Age: Any/18 and up

Character Race: Any

Character Ethnicity: Any

Desired Actor Gender: I’m willing to cast anyone in this role

Ability/movement: Some movement may be necessary

Description: Domain is the general manager at the RUR Factory. Domain can be aggressive and controlling but also charming when the situation calls for it.


HELENA

Character Age: Any/18 and up

Character Race: Any

Character Ethnicity: Any

Desired Actor Gender: I’m willing to cast anyone in this role, they just need to be able to comfortably wear a dress.

Ability/movement: Some movement may be necessary

Description: Helena is President of the Humanity League and the child of the President of Europe. Helena is naïve, but determined, vital, and loyal to their cause.


DR. GALL

Character Age: Any/18 and up

Character Race: Any

Character Ethnicity: Any

Desired Actor Gender: I’m willing to cast anyone in this role

Ability/movement: Some movement may be necessary

Description: Dr. Gall is head of the Physiological and Experimental Department at RUR. Dr. Gall is a very distinguished scientist...and can sometimes be a bit condescending.


DR. FABRY

Character Age: Any/18 and up

Character Race: Any

Character Ethnicity: Any

Desired Actor Gender: I’m willing to cast anyone in this role

Ability/movement: Some movement may be necessary

Description: Dr. Fabry is Engineer General, Technical Controller at RUR. Dr. Fabry is a very intelligent engineer who can be somewhat forceful in how he addresses others.


DR. HALLEMEIER

Character Age: Any/18 and up

Character Race: Any

Character Ethnicity: Any

Desired Actor Gender: I’m willing to cast anyone in this role

Ability/movement: Some movement may be necessary

Description: Dr. Hallemeier is head of the Institute for Psychological Training of Robots at RUR. Dr. Hallemeier is a headstrong person who comes off a bit too stoic for some.


ALQUIST

Character Age: Any/18 and up

Character Race: Any

Character Ethnicity: Any

Desired Actor Gender: I’m willing to cast anyone in this role

Ability/movement: Some movement may be necessary

Description: Alquist is the Architect, head of the Works Department at RUR. Alquist is a kind and gentle person who works incredibly hard at the factory.


BUSMAN

Character Age: Any/18 and up

Character Race: Any

Character Ethnicity: Any

Desired Actor Gender: I’m willing to cast anyone in this role

Ability/movement: Some movement may be necessary

Description: Busman is also a General Manager at RUR. Busman is just as skilled as Domain, but less aggressive.


SUPPORTING CAST PLAYING MULTIPLE ROLES: 4 to 6 people

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

Age: 18 and up

Desired Actor Gender: Any

Race: Any

Ethnicity: Any

Ability/Movement: Mobility for quick entrances and exits, down on the floor at times, comfortable with stage fight movements.


SIDES


1: Domain explaining the history of the RUR Factory. DOMAIN

It was in the year 1920 that old Rossum, the great physiologist, who was then quite a young scientist, took himself to the distant island for the purpose of studying the ocean fauna. On this occasion he attempted by chemical synthesis to imitate the living matter known as protoplasm until he suddenly discovered a substance which behaved exactly like living matter although its chemical composition was different. That was in the year 1932, exactly four hundred and forty years after the discovery of America. And then, Miss Glory, Old Rossum wrote the following among his chemical experiments: "Nature has found only one method of organizing living matter. There is, however, another method, more simple, flexible and rapid which has not yet occurred to Nature at all. This second process by which life can be developed was discovered by me today." Now imagine him, Miss Glory, writing those wonderful words over some colloidal mess that a dog wouldn't look at. Imagine him sitting over a test tube and thinking how the whole tree of life would grow from him, how all animals would proceed from it, beginning with some sort of a beetle and ending with a man. A man of different substance from humans. Miss Glory, that was a tremendous moment.

2: Helena speaking to the RUR management team. HELENA

I mean that it's perfectly outrageous. It's terrible. The whole of Europe is talking about the way you're being treated. That's why I came here, to see for myself, and it's a thousand times worse than could have been imagined. How can you put up with it? Good heavens, you are living creatures, just like us, like the whole of Europe, like the whole world. It's disgraceful that you must live like this. Brothers, I have not come here as the President's daughter. I have come on behalf of the Humanity League. Brothers, the Humanity League now has over two hundred thousand members. Two hundred thousand people are on your side, and offer you their help.

3: Hallemeier speaking to the group on the verge of the revolution. HALLEMEIER

If the timetable holds good, human laws hold good. Divine laws hold good, the laws of the universe hold good, everything holds good that ought to hold good. The timetable is more significant than the gospel, more than Homer, more than the whole of Kant. Madame Helena, the timetable is the most perfect product of the human mind. Madame Helena, I'll fill up my glass.

4: Dr. Gall explains to Helena why they continue to make robots. DR. GALL

You see, so many Robots are being manufactured that people are becoming superfluous. Man is really a survival, but that he should die out, after a paltry thirty years of competition, that's the awful part of it. You might almost think that Nature was offended at the manufacture of the Robots, but we still have old Rossum's manuscript. We go on using it and making Robots. All the universities are sending in long petitions to restrict their production. Otherwise, they say, mankind will become extinct through lack of fertility. But the R.U.R. shareholders, of course, won't hear of it. All the governments, on the other hand, are clamoring for an increase in production, to raise the standards of their armies. And all the manufacturers in the world are ordering Robots like mad.


Submit your audition materials by 5pm, Thursday, September 23rd by emailing brandi.douglas1@gmail.com

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