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Actors Ensemble of Berkeley

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Actors Ensemble of Berkeley
Auditions for our
2020 Summer Productions

“Fortinbras”
by Lee Blessing
directed by Michael R. Cohen
opens Friday, July 3rd at 4 p.m.
Performances Sat/Sun at 4 p.m.
July 4th – July 19th

“The Imaginary Invalid”
by Moliere
Adapted and Directed by Meryn MacDougall
Translated by Charles Theron Hall
Performances Sat/Sun at 4 p.m.
August 22nd-September 6th
plus Labor Day, September 7th

All performances at John Hinkel Park Amphitheatre
41 Somerset Place
Berkeley, CA 94710

Auditions: March 12th & 15th
Callbacks (if required) March 19th

March 12th Auditions and Callbacks
7-10 p.m.
Temple Beth Hillel
801 Park Central St, Richmond, CA 94803

March 15th Auditions:
from 10:00am – 2:00pm
John Hinkel Park,
41 Somerset Place
Berkeley, CA, 94710

Actors Ensemble of Berkeley announces auditions for it’s Summer 2020 productions at John Hinkel Park. We are a community theatre and Berkeley’s longest-running threatrical organization, and we aim to make our production in the park a joyous celebration of theatre and community.

Non AEA/no pay. A small consideration for travel/food costs provided. Refreshments (hot dogs (veggie and regular), corn-on-the-cob, and bottled water) provided free to the cast during the performances. We regularly cast cross-gender and cross-type, and we actively seek folks of all ages, races, genders, and persuasions to audition. The ages/genders specified below are characteristics of the role, not necessarily of the actor playing the role.

A little bit about each of the production follows:

“Fortinbras” is the story of what happened after “Hamlet” – the
sequel, if you prefer. In the story, Fortinbras has been granted via
Hamlet’s dying words the key to the kingdom of Denmark. Upon
arriving and being told the story of lust, betrayal, murder, suicide,
and just plain old dithering, Fortinbras decides this story won’t do
for his plan to consolidate his power, and orders Horatio and his
underlings to make up a new, better, more noble and palatable story
as to how he obtained his position. The ghosts of “Hamlet” come back to haunt Fortinbras, in order to force him to let the truth be told.
A humorous tale, but one with a real message for our times – the
importance of the TRUTH!

Michael R. Cohen is the president of Actors Ensemble, and veteran
director in the Bay Area at both Actors Ensemble and Ross Valley
Players. He last directed “The Skin of Our Teeth” for Actors Ensemble back in 2019, and is currently directing the Ross
Alternative Works play “The Packrat Gene” opening April 24th.

Rehearsals for “Fortinbras” will be at Temple Beth Hillel in Richmond and John Hinkel Park in Berkeley, and various locations around Berkeley beginning May 17th, with a table read sometime before that. A draft rehearsal schedule will be provided upon request.

Roles Available for “Fortinbras”

Hamlet (Prince of Denmark) Age range 20 – 40
Osric (member of the Danish Court) age range 20-80
Horatio (friend of Hamlet). age range 20 – 40
English Ambassador age range 30 – 100
Fortinbras (Prince of Norway) age range 30 – 55
Captain of the Norwegian Army age range 25 – 70
Marcellus (a sentinel) age range 18 – 60
Barnardo (a sentinel) age range 18 – 60
First Maiden age range 18 – 40
Second maiden age range 18- 40
Polonius age range (Ophelia’s father) 50+
Ophelia (Polonius’ daughter) age range 20 – 40
Claudius (King of Denmark) age range 50+
Gertrude (Queen of Denmark) age range 45 – 70
Laertes (Polonius’ son) age range 20 – 45

“The Imaginary Invalid” is the last play written by Moliere, the
greatest playwright of Renaissance France, he collapsed onstage while performing the title role and died shortly afterwards. A wealthy man (Argan) is a hypochondriac. His physicians are encouraging his
anxieties to make a profit. The doctors use pointless old treatments.
Argan decides to marry his daughter (Angelique) to the son of one of
his Doctors to gain free healthcare. His daughter is in love with
another man. Meanwhile his second wife is scheming to inherit all the estate and leave nothing for the daughters. The smart sassy servant Toinette knows all of this and manipulates the household so that in the end Angelique is betrothed to the man she loves, the stepmother is exposed as a gold digger, and Argan’s hypochondria is cured but believing he has enough knowledge to be his own doctor. The show ends with a ceremony giving Argan his fake doctorate. Our production has been adapted with an original new first scene and numerous other tweaks to emphasize the difficulty of seeking healthcare in the contemporary United States.

Meryn MacDougall is an actors, director, and fight choreographer with experience around the Bay Area. Most recently she was in Theatre of Yugen’s “A Noh Christmas Carol”. She directed the staged reading of Actors Ensemble’s collaboration with the Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive on Apollinaire’s “The Mammaries of Tiresias”, and assistant directed our production of “Hamlet” at John Hinkel Park in 2018.

Rehearsals for “The Imaginary Invalid” will begin approximately July
6th, and will be held in and around Berkeley.

Available roles:

Argan: Older male
Operator 1: No Requirement
Operator 2: No Requirement
Toinette: Female, No Age
Beline: 2nd wife, No Req.
Angelique: Female, younger
Louison: Younger sibling
Beralde: Argan’s Sibling
Cleante: Angelique’s Love

Mr. Diaforius: Older male
Thomas D.: Younger Male
Bonnefoi: Notary No/Req
Dr. Purgon: No Req
Dr. Fleurant: No Req

Actors Ensemble is the longest-running theatre organization in
Berkeley, founded in 1957. We aim to produce quality theatre
emphasizing the ensemble, with a community flavor.

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