Geauga Center for the Arts Production of:
Much Ado About Nothing
Written by William Shakespeare
Directed by Art Suskin and Karen O’Baker Porter
Auditions can be submitted by prerecorded video by end-of-day Sunday, May 15th
or by appointment: Saturday, May 14th and Sunday, May 15th starting at 3:00 p.m.
Auditions will be conducted via Zoom, Duo, or via Video Submissions.
Please prepare a Shakespearean sonnet. Please inform us if you can play an instrument.
Virtual callbacks (if necessary) are by invitation only. Sides will be provided for reading via email.
To cast 23 roles, we are looking for 11 Men (some will double in 2 or more roles) and 4 Women between the ages of 20 and 60. All roles are open. Women can play Men in this production. Non-traditional casting is encouraged. We highly recommend reading/being familiar with the play prior to auditions.
Rehearsals will begin May 22nd, generally Sunday - Thursday each week. (Subject to change, depending on cast conflicts/availability). Please provide all conflicts for May, June, and July. Rehearsals will be conducted via Zoom for at least three weeks.
Performances (6) will take place in Big Creek Park, Frances Hall Amphitheater on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, June 24 – July 3. All performances and the last 10-14 days of rehearsal will be outdoors.
NOTE: We may schedule additional performances depending on the company's availability.
Synopsis of the Play:
The war is over. Pedro Prince of Aragon, with his followers Benedick and Claudio, visits Leonato, Duke of Messina, father of Hero and uncle of Beatrice. Claudio falls in love with Hero and their marriage is agreed upon. Beatrice and Benedick despise love and engage in comic banter. The others plot to make them fall in love with each other, by a trick in which Benedick will overhear his friends talking of Beatrice's supposed secret love for him, and vice versa. Meanwhile Don John, the prince's misanthropic illegitimate brother, contrives a more malicious plot with the assistance of his follower Borachio: Claudio is led to believe that he has witnessed Hero in a compromising situation on the night before her wedding day – in fact it is her maid Margaret with Borachio. Claudio denounces Hero during the marriage ceremony. She faints and on the advice of the Friar, who is convinced of her innocence, Leonato announces that she is dead. Beatrice demands that Benedick should kill Claudio. The foolish constable Dogberry and his watchmen overhear Borachio boasting of his exploit and the plot is exposed. Claudio promises to make amends to Leonato: he is required to marry a cousin of Hero's in her place. When unmasked, she is revealed as Hero. Beatrice agrees to marry Benedick.
(In certain scenes, any character may double as Lord, Attendant, or Watchman.)
Don Pedro is the Prince of Aragon. He has just won a war against his illegitimate half-brother Don John. He reconciles himself to his brother, though he doesn’t speak to him much and may merely be keeping him close to keep an eye on him. He is honest and honorable.
Don John is a bastard, in both the legal and ethical senses of the term. The essence of his character is that he is evil. Think Iago-lite.
Claudio is a Count of Don Pedro’s suite, who has distinguished himself in the recent war. He is from Florence, though he has an emotional uncle living in Messina.
Benedick is a gentleman of Padua serving in Don Pedro’s army. He wears a beard at the beginning of the play. According to Beatrice, he adopts a new best friend once a month, possibly out of a concern for money; his present one is Claudio. Witty, charming, smart.
Leonato, the governor of Messina, is an older man, with a white beard. He has a daughter, Hero, and is the guardian of an orphaned niece, Beatrice.
Antonio is Leonato’s brother. An old man, he has a tendency to wag his head in a characteristic way.
Balthasar is an attendant of Don Pedro’s and a musician. A singer, he most likely plays the lute to accompany himself. Responsible for most of the singing and music in the play.
Conrade is one of Don John’s followers. He attempts to cheer Don John up and to convince him that he should be, at the least, happy that Don Pedro has taken him back, and use that favor to pursue his own ends.
Borachio is one of Don John’s followers. His name tells us well enough that he is a drunkard. He also has, however, a crafty mind.
Friar Francis is in the tradition of Romeo and Juliet’s Friar Laurence; both are long-winded, well-meaning, somewhat interfering gentlemen who think it is a fine idea to make people believe a young girl is dead.
Dogberry is the constable of the Watch, whose job is to patrol the streets of Messina at night and keep order. Dogberry has very few doubts about himself.
Verges is the Headborough, and Dogberry’s partner as commander of the Watch. He is an old man, and seems to be completely under Dogberry’s thumb.
The Sexton is in charge of examining the men detained by the Watch, and it is his misfortune that the Watch should be commanded by Dogberry.
A Boy attending on Benedick is none too bright. He fetches Benedick's book at his request.
Hero is Leonato’s daughter. A sweet and obedient girl overshadowed by her cousin Beatrice, she almost never speaks in her elders’ presence.
Beatrice is Leonato’s orphaned niece. She appears to be somewhat taller than Hero, as well as older.
Margaret is Hero’s waiting-gentlewoman. A fashion-obsessed flirt who requires good dancing abilities in her men, she is witty enough to hold her own against both Benedick and Beatrice in certain circumstances.
Ursula is one of Hero’s waiting-gentlewomen.
The Messenger is sent by Don Pedro to announce his coming to Leonato.
The First Watchman suggests either Seacoal or Hugh Oatcake as leaders of the patrol, on the basis of their ability to read and write. He joins in the testimony to the Sexton.
The Second Watchman (George Seacoal) is a member of the Watch who is able to read and write, and is therefore put in charge of the nightly patrol.
The Watchmen (one of whom is Hugh Oatcake) are part of the neighbourhood watch that Dogberry commands, charged with patrolling the streets of Messina at night.
A Lord is among Claudio's and Don Pedro's suite when they visit Hero's tomb.
For further information, contact the Director (Art Suskin) at 816-210-6266 or email@example.com