THREE MALE ACTORS or TWO MALES AND ONE FEMALE for Key Roles (to be cast among the available roles) in THE COMPLETE WORKS OF WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE (ABRIDGED) and THE TEMPEST.
Actors will perform roles in both productions in rep.
Residency Dates: May 19 through July 6
Performance Dates: June 19 through July 6
Director: Rob Urbinati
Tom Rowan: Casting Director
Late thirties, early forties. He was a businessman/industrialist in Milan, involved with organized crime. He turned his back on this for intellectual pursuits, and was “supplanted” by his brother. So he is a brilliant man, and capable of strong leadership. He is torn by conflicting needs to control people, to free people, and to unite people. He’s complex, and suggests depth. He is capable of cruelty and kindness. He is aristocratic in bearing.
Thirties, androgynous. (Ariel’s age is not stipulated in the text – that would depend on how old he was when Sycorax imprisoned him). Neither masculine nor feminine. He is Prospero’s “step son,” and made to carry out all of Prospero’s demands to punish his enemies. He has magical powers, but seemingly, only at Prospero’s behest. He functions as a sort of stage manager to the magical events that Prospero initiates, and thus, has theatrical flair. He encourages compassion in Prospero (“If you now beheld them, your affections would become tender”). He also has a sly wit, and cares deeply for Prospero. Both Ariel and Caliban, despite their divergent approaches, want the same thing – to earn Prospero’s affection.
a young, disfigured kid (twenty-four years old, according to the text). Like Ariel, he is Prospero’s “step son.” In this production, he’s a gypsy. He’s swarthy, with sexual appetites, and capable of violence. He can also recognizing beauty, and there is a poetic sensibility beneath his coarse, disfigured exterior. He does menial work for Propsero, who inflicts punishment on him to keep him in control. Caliban is deeply resentful of Prospero, but his hatred is borne out of need – like Ariel, he desperately wants to regain Prospero’s love (“When thou cam’st first, thou strok’st me and made much of me”) If Ariel is of the air, Caliban is of the earth. He’s dangerous, but capable of learning and forgiveness. He repents at the end of the play.
TRINCULO and STEPHANO
The script says that Trinculo is a jester and Stephano is a butler; they are the clowns in the play, and we need comic actors. These characters would be the fullest expression of “new vaudeville” in the production; physical comedians of contrasting types – tall/short, thin/fat, masculine/effeminate. They will engage in some comic fights, as they get drunk and squabble. Both of them may speak with an Italian accent. They are middle-aged, working class, vulgar, boastful, greedy, potentially violent and mostly drunk.
Prospero’s younger brother. They should look similar. Antonio is capable of biting someone’s head off and spitting it out. He rules through power. He is the dark side of organized crime, with none of the “community-enriching” qualities that his brother is capable of. Like Prospero, he speaks well. But he’s a foul-mouthed snake. He is the most “Mafia-looking” of the characters, and should be recognizable to the audience as a gangster “type.”
She is a woman of deep compassion. She has Alonso’s ear, and is a true friend who tends to his well-being, as she did for Prospero. That being said, she’s not always gentile in her approach. She should be feisty – a strong woman who “bosses Alonso around” like Italian mothers often do. She’s probably brought up a lot of kids, and is more practical and down-to-earth than Alonso. She doesn’t suffer fools gladly, but she is genuinely kind-hearted, and singular of purpose, which is to encourage and protect Alonso.
THE COMPLETE WORKS
Director: Vincent Carlson Brown
Actors will play caricatured versions of themselves and/or character archetypes (i.e. clown, scholar, athlete). Those cast will need to have a strong understanding of Shakespeare's original texts, great physical abilities and comic sensibilities, as well as a willingness to create and play.