1 year ago

21 February, 2017

Melbourne University Shakespeare Company (MUSC)

Organised by:
Shakespeare Company (MUSC)

SO -----
The Tragedy of King Lear may boast less star-studded movie adaptations or places on high school syllabuses than its more commonplace cousins Hamlet and Macbeth however it remains one of Shakespeare’s most compelling scripts, brimming with psychologically complex characters, never-ending action and drama, an ultimately tragic battle between good and evil, and it’s almost entirely set either in a medieval castle or in the middle of a raging storm.

Hollywood plot aside, the play delves into discussions of how human folly, in particular greed, narcissism, and a lack of empathy lead to tragic results for innocents and perpetrators alike. In light of the current political climate, Lear seems highly relevant (#relatablecontent) and in order to draw out these themes to the greatest degree possible, this adaptation will be performed backwards, in that it will start with the final scene and run back to the beginning. As such, each tragic event will be followed by the decisions and actions that led to it.

The show will focus on a mix of directing and acting styles, with the rehearsal process starting with a thorough analysis of the text and characters before moving into a collaborative process between the directing team and actors to create a show with strong, traditional character acting within a performative and semi-devised style (at least this is the plan).

About the Director: ^^^^^

Lǝar will be Adelaide’s third theatre directing venture, although this is the first with more than three people and a script she hasn’t written. However, she has summoned the confidence of an inexperienced male director and convinced herself she can kill it anyway. Adelaide writes female led stories with political agendas, however she also likes Shakespeare’s pretty words and plots, and is very excited to combine these theatrical passions into one play. Lǝar will be an experiment in combining strong, realistic acting with performative, devised interpretations of a heavily reworked script to take the drear out Lǝar (there is only so much mad raving one can watch after all). She looks forward to meeting each and every one of you, whether for production team applications or at the auditions.

Message from Rachel Shrives, Equity Officer: ^^^^

This year, MUSC is going to be highly focused on making sure that communication and respect are paramount. In learning from the challenges that student theatre has faced over the last couple of years, we have decided that better role clarity and foregrounding an open and welcoming environment is the way forward. As such, I will be holding regular ‘check-in’ sessions with both cast and crew so as to keep in touch about how everyone is feeling about the project - in our experience, it is the buildup of negative thoughts or feelings about the production that end up adversely affecting the experience for everyone involved. In participating on the project, you will be communicating regularly with the Equity Officer about difficulties you might be facing or overcoming; the material point is that you will not be alone in doing so. The Director, the Stage Manager and the Equity Officer act as a sort of holy trinity of well-being during this production. Members of the MUSC committee, Alice Wheaton and Amy Spurgeon, will also be involved during the project, acting as sounding boards, consultants, and people to talk to about any stage of the project and how you’re faring.


So you wanna audition? // So u think u can prance?

The roles on offer:

LEAR - tbd
REGAN - female
GONERIL - female
CORDELIA - female
EDMUND - male
EDGAR - female
EARL OF KENT - female
OSWALD - tbd
THE FOOL - tbd


Actors will be required to prepare 1 Shakespearean monologue of their choosing to be performed at the audition. The actor should be prepared to have their monologue workshopped as well as to engage in a short, spoken improvised piece that will be revealed during the audition. Find some possible monologues attached below if you want some idea of a direction to go in.

Actors are encouraged to have a read of King Lear (or a cheeky peek at the Spark Notes page for it) and have a think about what character they may like to play, and, if they like, pick a relevant monologue

It is very important to note that experience with Shakespeare, experience with Melbourne University theatre and experience with acting in general are not at all a requirement to audition. Whether this be your first or thirteenth play, all ranges of experience are welcome.
Please note: Given that we are moving away from traditional all-white, all-male Shakespeare, know that we will be casting this diversely, so we encourage everyone to audition no matter your background.

We are looking for:

- Engagement with the text: Shakespeare can be dry, and we are looking for a willingness to bring passion and feeling to the text, regardless of whether your interpretation be ‘correct’ or not
- Ability to take direction: Try not to practice your text only one way. Be prepared to receive instructions to change up your delivery while we workshop your piece
- Emotional commitment to the character: Even if you struggle with or don’t like Shakespearean text, look for the humanity beyond the language. Find a character within the words, drag them out and bring emotion to them, rather than trying to bring emotion to the text. It will flow out naturally from your character.


The performance dates are the 15th-27th of May (Week 11 and 12). Rehearsals will begin with a full day, full cast read through/talk through of the play in Week 2. Rehearsal commitment in the weeks between that and Prod Week will depend on the size of the role however ideally each cast member will attend a max of two rehearsals a week (depending on availabilities etc).

If you have any questions about the show or the rehearsal process please email mu.shakespeare@gmail.com!



Follow this link:
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Some cheeky audition monologues: (not a requirement but good if u r a newbie)
Please BYO a copy of your monologue for us in case we need to prompt