EXPLiCIT Summer Show:
Much Ado About Nothing

EXPLiCIT announces audtions for its summer show: Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing! A light, accessible and exuberant comedy, directed by Caltech graduate student and newly elected EXPLiCIT President Mark Kozlowski - Much Ado will offer a wealth of good roles as well as great humor, so don't miss out!

We are looking for both cast and crew: actors, dancers, and musicians, stagehands, techies, or anyone who wants to help out and be part of the show! All are welcome: students, staff, JPL, faculty, and the broader Caltech community! No experience is necessary.

For actors, sides (audition scenes) will be provided; scroll down to view them. Dancers, jugglers, or others with special skills, please come and tell us what you can do!

Auditions will be June 11-12 and June 18-19 (1-5 PM both weekends) in TACIT House (275 S. Hill). If neither weekend works, please email us ASAP at the email below. Performances will be August 4-7 and August 11-14 at the Caltech Alumni House (345 S. Hill Ave)

List of characters with a brief description: The ages are guidelines, and we will probably gender-flip a few of the roles written as males depending on who auditions

Beatrice – (Female, 25-40 years old): Niece to Leonato, cousin to Hero. Smart, sharp-tongued, somewhat cynical. Has been mistreated by some man before in general and probably Benedick in particular. A free spirit. Defies social conventions externally, but is internally troubled by the fact that she might die unmarried. Has a playful side, and a cheerful one: her barbs are directed almost exclusively at Benedick. Devoted to Hero, and feels protective of her. One of Shakespeare’s greatest heroines! Speaks primarily prose, with a few passages in verse.

Benedick – (Male, 25-50 years old): Soldier from Padua, in Don Pedro’s service and Claudio’s best friend. Witty, but in a way that can sometimes grate. Getting to be close to middle age. Spars with Beatrice, and believes that he will never find a woman worth marrying, until he’s tricked into falling in love. Claudio and Don Pedro don’t take him seriously, at least until Benedick challenges Claudio to a duel. Speaks prose and verse with at least two long monologues, and is a very challenging role.

Hero – (Female, 18-25 years old): Leonato’s daughter, in love with Claudio whom she marries at the end after being slandered. Young ingénue type, hasn’t really been burned before, and believes in love at first sight. Cousin of, and dramatic foil to, Beatrice in many ways: Hero is a virgin while it’s strongly implied that Beatrice isn’t. Hero’s tongue is not particularly sharp though she displays occasional flashes of wit. Obedient, and we can probably say somewhat “morally conservative.” Speaks primarily verse.

Margaret – (Female, 18-70+ years old): Waiting-gentlewoman to Hero, aids in the plot to bring Benedick and Beatrice together via gossip. Also the person Borachio uses to convince Claudio that Hero is unfaithful. Companion and confidante to Hero as well as servant, has a silly sense of humor and is somewhat oblivious. Should bear something of a passing resemblance to Hero from a distance. (NOTE: as-written, the play contains TWO waiting-gentlewomen, Margaret and Ursula. I am planning to combine these two roles into one person named “Margaret” as that name is significant to the plot). Speaks primarily verse, with some prose.

Leonato – (Can be either male or female, 50+ years old): Governor of Messina. Father to Hero, uncle to Beatrice, friend of Don Pedro’s. Generally pretty jovial and fun-loving. Needs to have a strong sense of authority and gravitas. Somewhat quick to anger and to forgive. He is strangely quick to believe his daughter is unfaithful, and feels like he has been personally disgraced, to the point of suicide. However, when the truth comes out he is furious at Claudio and the Prince. Speaks both prose and verse, and is a very challenging role.

Antonio – (Can be either male or female, 50+ years old): Brother to Leonato, uncle to Hero. Is outraged when Hero is slandered unjustly, and is willing to duel someone half his age over it. Speaks both prose and verse.

Balthasar – (Can be either male or female, 18-70+ years old) : Court singer to Don Pedro. Doesn’t have many lines, but does sing a solo. If you are auditioning for this part, please prepare a brief solo piece of music in the Bel Canto or Renaissance style. "Amarilli Mia Bella" by Caccini, for example.

Don Pedro – (Male is strongly preferred, could be adapted as female, 25-60 years old): Prince of Aragon, friend of Leonato’s, leader and friend of Claudio and Benedick. Noble character, but with an impish and classy sense of humor. Loyal to Claudio and Benedick (indeed, as it turns out, he’s more loyal to Claudio than to Leonato). The text suggests (in at least two places) that he’s in love with Beatrice, but can’t marry her because they are of the wrong social class. Decisive and self-confident, but this causes a lot of heartache as he assumes Hero to be unfaithful.

Claudio – (Male, 18-25 years old): Count of Florence, follower of Don Pedro’s and in love with Hero. Young and impulsive, enjoys having fun at Benedick’s expense. Jealous, violently so, and he’s one of those Shakespeare heroes that leaves a bad taste in your mouth when all is said and done. Speaks both prose and verse.

Don John – (Can be either male or female, 18-70+ years old): Don Pedro’s bastard brother (in both senses of the term!) Chief antagonist of the play, wants to revenge himself on Don Pedro by sabotaging Claudio and Hero’s impending marriage, a task at which he nearly succeeds. Speaks prose.

Conrade – (Can be either male or female, 25-70+ years old): Follower of Don John. Oily and supercilious, urges Don John to proceed with caution but is rebuffed. Speaks prose.

Borachio – (Male, 18-50 years old): Follower of Don John and the “brains behind the throne”: he comes up with the plot to sabotage the marriage and nearly succeeds, betrayed only by being drunk in the wrong place at the wrong time. Margaret’s lover, for whom he does appear to have a genuine affection despite using her. Speaks mostly prose, with a little bit of verse.

Dogberry - (Can be either male or female, 18-70+ years old): Chief constable of Messina, theologian and philosopher. Main clown of the play. (Mis)-uses big words without necessarily knowing what they mean, and does not really have a grasp of police procedure. Speaks prose.

Verges – (Either male or female, 25-70+ years old): Dogberry’s trusty partner in keeping the peace in Messina and the “assistant clown” of the play. Not many lines, but a chance for physical comedy, playing off of Dogberry’s antics. Speaks prose.

Friar Francis – (Either male or a female “pants” role, 50-70+ years old): Wise and not prone to leap to conclusions, though he does have an ability to concoct schemes sort of like Friar Laurence in Romeo and Juliet. The difference is, his scheme actually works. Is one of the only people to doubt the slander against Hero from the very beginning. Primarily speaks verse.

3 Members of the Watch – (Either male or female, 18-70+ years old) Minor characters of about two lines each. Private citizens pressed into watch duty. They can either be played as 1) in awe of Dogberry or 2) realizing that Dogberry has no idea what he’s doing, but they, the Watch, don’t have any better ideas as to how to get the job done.

Messenger/Sexton – (Either male or female, 18-70+ years old) This is a combined/doubled role which may be split into two roles if we are trying to cast a lot of people. The Messenger’s primary role is to be somewhat taken aback at Beatrice’s sharp mockery of Benedick. The Sexton is a church official charged with writing down Dogberry’s interrogation of Conrade and Borachio, and he is exasperated with how incompetently Dogberry conducts himself.

Actor Information Sheet

Audition Sides
Don John, Conrade, and Borachio
Claudio, Don John, Borachio, Benedick
Don Pedro, Claudio, Leonato, Benedick
Hero and Margaret
Dogberry, Verges, and The Watch
Leonato, Dogberry, Verges
Leonato, Beatrice, Benedick, Hero, and Friar
Friar, Claudio, Leonato, Hero, Don Pedro
Beatrice, Benedick
Don Pedro, Claudio, Benedick
Leonato, Claudio, Don Pedro, Borachio
Beatrice, Messenger
Antonio, Leonato, Don Pedro
Beatrice, Benedick
Don Pedro, Benedick, and Claudio

For more information, please email explicit AT caltech DOT edu.