THE PIRATES OF PENZANCE (OR THE RASCALS OF THE RAPPAHANNOCK) - Riverside Center for the Performing Arts Non Equity Auditions

Posted: December 25, 2018
Audition Location: Fredericksburg, VA

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Riverside Center for the Performing Arts announces auditions for The Pirates of Penzance (or the Rascals of the Rappahannock)

Music by: Sir Arthur Seymour Sullivan
Lyrics by: Sir William Schwenck Gilbert
Adapted by: Catherine Flye

Production Details

Production: The Pirates of Penzance (or the Rascals of the Rappahannock)
Producing Company: Riverside Center for the Performing Arts
95 Riverside Parkway
Fredericksburg, Virginia 22406
Rehearsal Dates: To begin in April 2019
Technical Rehearsal Dates: Monday, May 13 – Tuesday, May 21, 2019
Performance Dates: Wednesday, May 22 – Sunday, July 7, 2019

Patrick A’Hearn, Producing Artistic Director

Catherine Flye, Director
Linda Miller, Choreographer
TBD, Music Director

Audition Detail

Date: Monday, January 21, 2019
Time: 3pm – 10pm
Riverside Center for the Performing Arts
95 Riverside Parkway
Fredericksburg, Virginia 22406

Callbacks if needed will be on Monday, January 28, 2019.

Please prepare 32 bars from any Gilbert and Sullivan operetta or in the style of the show. An accompanist will be provided. Be prepared to read from the script if asked. Please bring a headshot and a résumé. AEA Guest Artist contracts for some roles. All appointments will be scheduled via e-mail. Please contact the Production Manager via e-mail at for appointments. If you are unable to attend auditions, video submissions are encouraged (with a headshot, résumé, and video link/s) to

Any questions or concerns, please contact Production Manager, James Davis via e-mail at


This production of The Pirates of Penzance has a delightful twist to Gilbert and Sullivan’s beloved comic operetta which is as appealing today as it was over a century ago. Instead of the rocky coast of Cornwall however, we are in Virginia in the late eighteenth century, when King George 111 ruled the colony. However, the famous soft-hearted Rascals of the Rappahannock (lately of Penzance) are endeavoring to plunder with aplomb along the banks of the famous river. At the same time, the blundering Red Coats of the British army are desperately trying to keep tabs on them and also the befuddled Major General George Boshington, who resides at Mount Vernon Castle alongside his many delightful daughters. Hilarity ensues as the young apprentice Frederick leaves the rollicking band of pirates and falls in love with Boshington’s beautiful daughter Mabel.

There were actual pirates on the Potomac during the late 18th century and they pillaged and plundered right up to the beginning of the War of 1812. They called themselves the Picaroons and were unrepentant loyalists to King George 111 who saw the American revolution as a mere “Colonial Rebellion.” By raiding and disrupting merchant ships, they hoped to strangle the young nations commerce and return the colonies to crown rule. In 1790 George Washington himself noted that the pirates should be pursued and captured – which they finally were when the U.S Government began a crash program to build a modern Navy to defeat the brigands.

Roles – The Pirates of Penzance
All characters must have British accents. They are a hodge-podge of endearing personalities of all ages and types, and the original dialogue has been adapted to ensure that the ‘chorus’ becomes believable individuals with various traits and idiosyncrasies, rather than lumped together as one.

The Pirates
(A soft-hearted bunch – all ‘noblemen who have gone wrong’)
• The Pirate King -baritone
A flamboyant swashbuckler, reminiscent of Errol Flynn, self- assured and fearless, but not a very successful commander.
• Samuel -tenor
A large, jovial, soft-hearted second in command, slightly smarter than his boss.
• Frederick -tenor
A young, handsome, honest, innocent and naïve pirate apprentice who is also a bit of a doofus.
• Horace the Hulk
The strong-man of the group. Reminiscent of the weight lifter Arnold Schwarzenegger. All brawn and no brain.
• Willie the Wimp
A tall, skinny fellow, scared of his own shadow.
• Algie and Percy – twins
Simple, eager and always cheerful. Algie is one hour older and Percy echoes his every sentiment. Tweedledum and Tweedledee.
• Pirate Pete
A good, decent hardworking fellow with his little pirate dog pee wee.
• Ancient Albert (Bert)
The proverbial ancient pirate – no arm, patch over one eye, a limp and a parrot on his shoulder.
• Harry the cabin boy
A young enthusiastic boy – 11 or 12 who adores the King, dresses exactly like him and hangs on his every word.
• Ruth -mezzo
A comic, middle-aged nursemaid turned pirate, in love with Frederick but once her hopes are dashed, she turns her eyes on the unsuspecting Sergeant of Police.
• Major General George Boshington -baritone
A middle aged, befuddled and inept Major – quirky and eccentric – but a good- natured man who loves his daughters.

His Daughters

• Mabel -soprano
A beautiful, headstrong, quick-witted and spunky girl.
• Isobel
The eldest. Prim, proper, organized and easily shocked. Since the death of her mother, she has stepped into her shoes.
• Edith -soprano
Eager, brave, adventurous and inquisitive, very much a leader and twin to Kate
• Kate -soprano
Edith’s twin sister who is somewhat of a drama queen and loves to read poetry
• Bertha -
The tom boy of the group who is very adventurous and can’t pronounce her “R’s”. Chases butterflies and collects grubs and insects.
• Mary
A day dreamer who loves to paint and is very short sighted. She wears glasses
• Martha
The youngest aged about 11 or 12. Shy, gullible and wide-eyed with wonder.

The First Virginia Militia

• Sergeant of Police – baritone
A good-natured fellow and leader of a bumbling squad of inept redcoats
• Constable Cornwilly
Sidekick to the Sergeant
• Redcoat Ronnie
• Redcoat Rupert
• Redcoat Reggie
• Redcoat Roland
The redcoats are more or less deadpan desperately trying to follow orders

Note: Five of the pirates double as police

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