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OPEN AUDITIONS: The Siege

Updated: Jul 27


MAJESTICPIECE THEATRE PRESENTS: THE SIEGE

By Lars D. H. Hedbor

Directed by Andrew Freborg

Adapted by Lars Hedbor and Andrew Freborg for the digital stage


To be performed Saturday, August 20 at 7:30pm on Facebook Live


Dress rehearsal Friday, August 19 at 7:00pm

Rehearsals August 1-19



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:

I am excited to be making my directorial debut presenting the world premiere of this work written by a local author and good friend of mine, Lars Hedbor. I wanted to bring something different than other MPT shows. Nothing against Shakespeare and other classics that have made up the bulk of these shows (especially since I have been IN several of them), but I wanted to look elsewhere. I liked the idea of telling a story that most of us are fairly familiar with, in this case, the American Revolution, but from a different perspective. This play doesn’t follow the major historical figures we all know (although one does make a brief appearance), rather it tells it from the POV of 3 regular people who could be considered “marginalized,” a man who has recently lost an arm and must learn how to navigate a world no longer designed to be accessible to him, a woman, and a widow. Then looking at how an aspiring historian reacts to learning about one of her ancestors living through a major historical event. How does an Iraq war vet respond to seeing his ancestor face the same struggles as he did following his service?



Synopsis:


Based on the book from the Tales From a Revolution Series by Oregon author Lars D.H. Hedbor, The Siege tells the story of Nathaniel Wooster, recently wounded in battle, his Fiancée Anna, and their widowed neighbor, Mrs. James, as they ride out the Siege of Yorktown near the end of the American Revolution.


Meanwhile, in 2021, in the midst of a Global Pandemic, three of Nathaniel and Anna’s descendants discover their family’s history through letters written by Nathaniel to his parents, and they contemplate the similarities they face adapting to this new world as their ancestors did 240 years prior.


Live Virtual Auditions will take place on Monday, July 25th and Tuesday, July 26th from 7pm to 9pm on Zoom. Fill out a digital audition form and email it to volunteer coordinator Blair Girard at blair.girard@corvallisoregon.gov by 5pm on the day you’d like to attend. You can attend one or both days of the live virtual auditions (let Blair know which day or days you’re going to be there). You’ll receive the Zoom links via email. Auditions will consist of cold readings on Zoom. You can email Blair with any questions you might have!


  • Actors of any gender, age, race, or ability are invited to audition for any role. We will be casting 6 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.

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



CHARACTERS


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.


NATHANIEL WOOSTER

Continental Soldier with 1 arm amputated/paralyzed. Priority given to actors matching this physical trait. Idealistic, but trying to come to grips with his new physical limitations.

Character Age: early 20s to early 30s

Character Race: Any

Character Ethnicity: Any

Desired Actor Gender: Male Presenting

Ability/movement: Minor movement, need to mime being restrained, and do actions with only one arm. Priority given to actors with only 1 arm.


ANNA WARE

Nathaniel's Fiancée. Intelligent, not afraid to speak her mind when pressed, resourceful, a bit stubborn.

Character Age: Early 20s-Early 30s

Character Race: Any

Character Ethnicity: Any

Desired Actor Gender: Female Presenting

Ability/Movement: No special requirements


MRS JAMES

Widow living in Yorktown whose cabin Nathaniel and Anna take shelter in. Very no-nonsense and straightforward.

Character Age: Late 40s or older

Character Race: Any

Character Ethnicity: Any

Desired Actor Gender: Female Presenting

Ability/Movements: No Special Requirements


THOMAS/CHRISTINE

Descendant of Nathaniel and Anna, avid studier of family history, serves more or less as narrator. Parent/Grandparent of Nate and Ann

Character Age: Mid 40s or older

Character Race: Any

Character Ethnicity: Any

Desired Actor Gender: Any (name/pronouns in script will be updated to match actor preference)

Ability/Movements: No Special Requirements


NATE:

Son/Grandson of Thomas/Christine Depending on ages of respective actors. Iraq War Vet. Fairly Reserved, dealing with PTSD. Serves as Audience Stand in

Character Age: Mid 20s to early 40s

Character Race: Any

Character Ethnicity: Any

Desired Actor Gender: Male/Non Binary (if NB any he/him pronouns can be changed to fit actors)

Ability/Movements: No Special requirements


ANN: Daughter/Granddaughter of Thomas/Christine, depending on ages of respective actors. College Student, History Major (likely due to influence of Thomas/Christine). Passionate, progressive.

Character Age: Early 20s to early 40s

Character Race: Any

Desired Actor Gender: Female/Non Binary (if NB any She/her pronouns can be changed to fit actors)

Ability/Movements: No Special Requirements




EMAIL AUDITION SIDES


If you are unable to attend the live virtual auditions on Zoom on July 25th and 26th, you can still submit a video audition! Please choose ONE of the following sides. Record a video on your phone or computer of you reading the side, and email it to afreborg@msn.com by 5PM on July 26th. 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!

SIDE 1

ANNA

To tell the truth, I was relieved when I heard the news that he had You thought that everything had changed, and that you were less of a man than you had departed as, but I still saw the same man I knew, the same man I’d grown up admiring and wishing that I only had leave to share my thoughts with.


(ANNA brushes her hair back from her face, taking a deep breath.)


I happened to meet you on the road, and I could see that you were still the same modest, devoted son to your parents as I had known before, but more than that, you were now covered in glory for your dedication to the cause of our freedom—and you couldn’t even see it.

(ANNA gestures at NATHANIEL’S amputated arm.)


You gave of your very body at Waxhaws to fight against the Crown, and then made your way home across all of North-Carolina, thinking nothing of the effort that voyage represented. A man who could do that ought to hold his head high in any company, yet you seemed to think that you should be ashamed of your sacrifice.

(ANNA gestures now at the scrape on NATHANIEL’S chest.)


And now you’ve gone and hurt yourself more, trying to prove that you’re the equal of someone like Patrick Bell. Well, you are not his equal. You are far better than him and his Tory family, fighting on the other side, against independence.

joined a Loyalist militia, because I knew that my father would release me from the match with a Tory. But I was terrified that Patrick would come face-to-face with you by some chance, and that one of you would die somehow in the transaction.


_______________________________________________________________________________________


SIDE 2


NATHANIEL

Truly, I am glad to know all of this. It explains much that had haunted me, and makes me all the more certain that I want to spend my life with you.


(NATHANIEL inhales, visibly wincing.)

That day on the hill, I could make no sense of your interest in speaking to me, but I welcomed it all the same. When you made your interest in me known even more clearly, I confess that I wondered whether you were having sport at my expense, as I could not otherwise make sense of a girl with your qualities wanting to be courted by someone with such limited prospects to offer.


(ANNA starts to speak, and NATHANIEL raises a hand, gesturing for her to stop.)

Let me finish. I am aware that my prospects are limited to some sort of work that does not involve most forms of labor, as there is little that can be done with one hand wholly incapable of movement. My first attempts to learn a trade that I could do with just one hand, and with the tools of my mind, were not particularly auspicious. Meeting you, though, gave me cause to redouble my efforts, and I have every faith that once this affair is concluded, I will be able to practice some form of useful arts, whether with ciphers or something else that I have not yet hit upon.


_______________________________________________________________________________________


SIDE 3


NATHANIEL

You have the right of it, Anna. I am always on the alert for dangers, even when none are present. I’ve told myself it is out of concern that you should never suffer the sort of loss that I have, but it is more than that.

(sighs deeply)

Until the day comes when I sleep beneath a stone, I will bear the marks of my experience, and not just here—

(gestures again with his chin at his ruined arm)

-but here.

(taps the side of his own head)

I cannot promise that you will never again see those ghosts torturing me, but I will give you my word that they will never bring you to grief.


I will do whatever you need me to do in order to feel as though I am no danger to you, Anna. I truly do not believe that there is any risk that I might harm anyone else, or even myself when I am haunted, but if you are frightened of me, I will stay away from you.


_______________________________________________________________________________________

SIDE 4

NATE

True, but it still applies,The Revolutionary War, War of 1812, Civil War, the Wars of the Roses between the Plantagenets and Lancasterians, any of the minor battles and skirmishes throughout all of human history, all you can think about is will I make it? Will my friends be ok? What if they aren’t? Who will take care of their family? What even is the point of all this? Is the cause I am fighting for Just? Does the person on the other side think THEIR cause is Just? If so, who is right? Who is wrong? Your brain just goes around and around. I mean, that’s what it was for me. I can’t speak for anyone else, and it doesn’t seem like Nathaniel, Anna, or Mrs James had any doubts on that score, but I would have to imagine I am not the only person to think that.


_______________________________________________________________________________________


SIDE 5


ANNA

(Despondent) Too often that ‘somehow’ is bought with lives. Lives lost, lives destroyed, families torn apart. It’s always the same isn’t it? When that first shot is literally or even metaphorically fired, no matter how right one side may feel, you have NO IDEA who is going to die. You don’t know how many children are going to scream, and burn. How many hearts will be broken, lives shattered? How much blood will spill until everybody does what they were always going to have to do from the very beginning?

(angrily) Sit. Down. And. Talk!


That may be from a TV show, but it doesn’t change the reality of the situation. It’s SO HARD to feel ANY hope when both sides are so entrenched in their views, SO CONVINCED that they, and they alone, are right. I am a Historian. I’ve seen this play out literally a thousand times. We never learn do we? “I’m right, you’re wrong, and nothing you can say or do will convince me otherwise.”


Each side is so determined to “own” the other side that they refuse to accept they may actually have a point.

Politics, Religion, Science, the battleground changes, but the fight itself never does. And the price is ALWAYS paid by innocent people who were unfortunate enough to be caught in the wrong place at the wrong time.

(nearly in tears at this point) 600 thousand people are dead in this country alone over the last year, and why? Because ONE stubborn man couldn’t admit that he might be wrong, and millions more couldn’t bring themselves to admit that they may have been duped.

Millions more have had their livelihoods destroyed, their dreams that they worked towards for YEARS shattered because one side was so convinced that they were right that they refused to even have a conversation about what the negative impacts of their policies might be.

“I’m right, you’re wrong, there is no in between” will ALWAYS get people killed!


_______________________________________________________________________________________


SIDE 6


MRS JAMES

I will dare to hope. Yesterday, as I was preparing water, I heard two soldiers speaking outside the shutters to the kitchen as they hid from their duty for a moment’s rest. They were greatly depressed at the state of affairs in their camp, and they were both remarking on how little hope there is of any relief, and how close they are to defeat if there can be none. They complained that their rations were reduced to the point of slow starvation, and that they had been forced to slaughter their horses some weeks ago, as those unfortunate beasts had nothing left to eat, either.


_______________________________________________________________________________________


SIDE 7


THOMAS/CHRISTINE

Cornwallis meets with Washington. The surrender is signed, and a new Nation is born.

A nation founded on the ideals that ALL are created equal, where ALL are treated with decency and respect, where everyone is free to live their lives as they see fit.


And a Nation that has continually fallen short of those ideals.


There is much to be proud of in our history, and there is much to be ashamed of. That’s why it’s important to learn ALL of it, not just the good, but the shameful. The only way we can avoid making the mistakes of the past is to know them, to understand them, understand HOW we made them, WHY we made them. To say that America is perfect and beyond reproach is an insult to the memories of all those who have and who continue to work tirelessly to hold us to the standard we set for ourselves.


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