Shakespeare on the Common 2022: Much Ado About Nothing
By William Shakespeare
Directed By: Megan Sandberg-Zakian
First Rehearsal: June 14th, 2022
Production Dates: July 20th-August 7th, 2022
Press Opening: July 27th, 2022
AEA Agreement: LOA / LORT with $540 / week minimum
Commonwealth Shakespeare Company (CSC) seeks video submissions for its 2022 Summer production of Much Ado About Nothing directed by Megan Sandberg-Zakian. This production will be rehearsed indoors in Boston, MA and then transfer to CSC’s outdoor performance space on the Boston Common for tech and performances. Local actors are encouraged to submit.
We anticipate a five-day rehearsal week (Tuesdays-Saturdays) and will transition to a six-day workweek for technical rehearsals and performances. We do not anticipate holding “10/12” technical rehearsals for this production. We also anticipate that all roles will have understudies.
All rehearsals and performances will be held in accordance with the most up to date state, city and union safety protocols regarding COVID-19. CSC will require all staff and performers to provide proof of a completed FDA-approved vaccine regimen for COVID-19 (at least two weeks past the final dose of Pfizer/Moderna or two weeks past the dose of J&J). Additional protocols regarding masking, testing, and/or vaccine booster requirements will be announced closer to the start of rehearsals.
Commonwealth Shakespeare Company is participating in the Pilot Cohort of the StageSource Line Drawn Community Standards Initiative to prevent harassment and abuse in the New England performing arts community. By developing programs and resources specifically for the needs of the New England performing arts community, Line Drawn aims to create safer and more equitable work environments. We are committed to this Initiative because preventing harassment and abuse is not optional – it is a requirement for creating theatre. More information can be found at StageSource.org/Line Drawn.
We are committed to inclusive, diverse casting. All roles are open to qualified performers, without regard to age, sex, ethnicity, disability, race, color, national origin, body type, sexual orientation or gender identity or any other basis prohibited by law unless otherwise specifically indicated.
Accommodations notice: Commonwealth Shakespeare Company encourages performers with disabilities and/or who are D/deaf to audition and will provide reasonable accommodations to individuals who request them in advance. Accommodation requests may include: ASL Interpretation, Braille or Large Print Materials, Physical Access, and Social Narratives. To request an accommodation please email Victoria at email@example.com.
Leonato (Male, over 50): Governor of Messina, Hero’s father. Authoritative, strategic, concerned about politics and appearances but loving at his core, Robin Williams in the Birdcage.-AEA
Antonio (Male or Non-Binary, over 50): “brother” of Leonato (actually his partner/spouse), an empath, flighty but sincere, Nathan Lane in the Birdcage.-AEA or Non-AEA
Benedick (Female or Non-Binary, 30-50): A career soldier from Padua with commitment issues. Bette’s sexy authority and lack of self-reflection meets Ellen’s anxious humor meets Hannah Gadsby’s soft butch realness.-AEA
Beatrice (Female or Non-Binary, 30-50): Leonato’s niece, Hero’s cousin. Early Janelle Monae meets Erotica-era Madonna meets Margaret Cho — iconoclast, confident, femme on her own terms.-AEA
Don Pedro (Male, 30-50): Prince of Aragon. A military man — principled but fallible, courageous but terrified, capable of brutality and tenderness – Denzel in “Courage Under Fire.” –AEA
Don John (Any gender, 25-45): “The Bastard Prince,” brother of Don Pedro. Angry and not 100% sure why. A soldier, but a slouchy one.-AEA
Claudio (Male, 20’s): “A Count of Florence.” A soldier who’s risen up through the ranks. War was hard on him. Handsome, sincere, impulsive, has lots of feelings and not totally sure what to do with them. 90’s Justin Timberlake/ generic boy band vibes.-AEA
Hero (Female, 20’s): Leonato’s daughter, Beatrice’s cousin. Thinks the world is better than it is (but not in a boring, saccharine way), a sheltered politician’s daughter. Early angelic Whitney, “tale as old as time” Celine vibes. –AEA
Borachio (Female or Non-Binary, 25-45): follower of Don John. A soldier, but in a George Clooney in “Three Kings” kind of way. Too smart and somewhat too sexy for their own good. –AEA
Dogberry (any gender, any age): the constable in charge of Messina’s night watch. A clown. Not great with words, but enthusiastic.-AEA
Verges (any gender, any age): the Headborough, Dogberry’s partner. A clown. Smarter than Dogberry, but doesn’t really know it.-Non-AEA
Friar Francis (any gender, over 35): a priest. Believes in love; does not believe in war. Also believes in faking death. Not used to having to take charge of things.-Non-AEA
Roles not listed above will be filled by our 2022 CSC2 Company.
How to submit:
*Please prepare a video of a Shakespeare monologue of three minutes or less. It doesn’t have to be from a comedy, but should demonstrate a sense of humor! We are looking for warmth, vividness, and being present in the language, as well as actors who are fluid and comfortable in their bodies.
*Please also include an introduction with your name, pronouns, a sentence or two about yourself, and a sentence or two about your feelings on “Much Ado” or Shakespeare. Don’t overthink it!
*The full video should be no longer than 3:30.
As you prepare this video, we encourage you to review this note from our director Megan:
Thank you so much for taking the time to put a monologue on tape! Please know that I am not concerned with it being perfect or with the production values of your video. I do want to be able to hear your voice clearly and well — everything else is just icing on the cake — and I want you to bring the fullest, smartest, most heart-forward energy that you can. This is a comedy (with lots of sad parts) which will be performed outside. I’m looking for actors that can bring enormous heart and guts, and be vocally and physically precise and vivid enough to fill a large space. You can’t do that while worrying about your video, so try not to worry about it. I highly recommend the one-take wonder. Prepare really well, including preparing the tech aspects of the video, and then do one take like you would in an audition room. It will make it feel high stakes and give it the most “live” feeling possible. Thank you again for your work.
Thank you for your interest in this production. Our audition submission window is now closed.
Please note we will be using these video submissions in lieu of an in-person EPA in line with the current Equity Guidelines. All audition videos will be destroyed upon conclusion of our audition period.
All performers who submit videos through this email will receive a response by April 15, 2022 whether or not they are invited to our callback round (which may be held in person), dates TBA.
Questions? Please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Featured Photo: Lucy Davenport ( Mary Devlin) and Jacob Fishel (Edwin Booth), Our American Hamlet, 2017. Photo by Nile Hawver/Nile Scott Shots