Carte Blanche Studios Theatre, located at 1024 S 5th Street in Milwaukee, will hold auditions for its next three shows: “The Imaginary Invalid” by Moliere, “The Threepenny Opera” by Brecht, and Shakespeare’s “Titus Andronicus” on Monday January 3, 2011 from 6pm – 10pm. Callbacks for “The Imaginary Invalid” will be held the following evening January 4 from 7pm – 10pm. Callbacks for “Threepenny Opera” will be held Saturday January 8 from 3pm to 8pm. Call backs for “Titus Andronicus” will be held on Saturday, January 15 from 3pm to 8pm. Details on the show are listed below.
If you are new to Carte Blanche, please bring a headshot and resume (if available), and prepare a short monologue. Your monologue need not be in prose or verse; however, some good recommendations are other Molière plays,Shakespeare, Commedia, etc. Contemporary is ok, too. If you do not have a monologue prepared you will read from sides of the scripts. If you are auditioning for “Threepenny” please be prepared to sing 16 bars of a song of your choice, acapella.
Rehearsal for all shows will be mainly weekday evenings, some Sundays as well. The showdates for “The Imaginary Invalid” will be February 11 – 20 and will begin rehearsals emediately after callbacks. The show dates for “The Threepenny Opera” will be April 8 – 24, and will begin rehearsals in February. The show dates for “Titus Andrinicus” will be June 10 – 26 and will begin rehearsals at the end of April.
To schedule an audition or if you have questions, please call James at 262-716-4689.
The character breakdown for “Imaginary Invalid” is as follows:
ARGAN: Age 35-60: A neurotic hypochondriac who is
convinced he is dying of diseases he has conjured in
his own mind.
TOINETTE: Age 18-30: A maid-servant to Argan.
Mischievous. Cares for her Master but enjoys playing
tricks on him.
BÉLINE: Age 30-45: Shrewd, manipulative, and after her
ANGÉLIQUE: Age 15-25: Ingénue. Argan's oldest
daughter and the primary love interest in the story.
LOUISON: Age 13-20: Argan's youngest daughter.
Cunning and knows how to manipulate her father to her
BÉRALDE: Age 30-60: Brother to Argan. Wise. The
voice of reason. Trying to show Argan the error of
CLÉANT: Age 16-25: In love with Angelique. Young,
strapping, and full of life.
MONSIEUR DIAFOIRUS: Age 35-60: A misguided physician
and father to Thomas Diafoirus.
THOMAS E DIAFOIRUS: Age 24-35: A fop. A bumbling, naive
simpleton, lacking in masculinity and secular
MONSIEUR FLEURANT: Age 20-60: An apothecary
(pharmacist) in cahoots with Monsieur Purgon.
MONSIEUR PURGON: Age 30-60: A sly doctor falsely
diagnosing Argan in order to continue taking his
MONSIEUR de BONNEFOI: Age 20-60: A notary scheming
MECHANICALS: Any Age: Seen throughout the show playing
many parts. The Mechanicals will also be showcased in
the pre-show and responsible for performing commedia
del arte style entertainment, sound effects, etc.
Jean Baptist Molière's final work, The Imaginary
Invalid, was originally seen on February 10, 1670 in
Paris. Molière himself played the role of Argan.
This classic farce craftily yields Molière's message
of authoritative challenge through brilliant dialogue
and hilarious physical comedy.
The character breakdown for “Threepenny” is as follows:
Ballad Singer (Male: tenor/baritone):The unnamed Ballad Singer serves as a kind of Greek chorus, commenting and explaining the play’s action as it unfolds. He opens the story with a grotesquely playful tale of “Mack the Knife”, an actual historical character who murdered prostitutes in London. Although John Gay’s Beggar’s Opera (the source material for Brecht’s work) included ballads about the thieves in his dramatic world, the songs were not as outrageous as those sung by Brecht’s narrator — a credit to the musical talents of Brecht and his composer, Kurt Weil. Throughout The Threepenny Opera, the Ballad Singer punctuates the action with distastefully mordant commentaries on the seamy action of the play, sung to a discordant tune. He sings the play’s best-known musical number “Moritat” (or “Theme from the Threepenny Opera”) — more commonly known as “Mac the Knife”.
Sheriff Jackie Brown (Male: tenor/baritone): Brown is the crooked High Sheriff who takes a portion of the beggars’ earnings in return for tip-offs about planned police raids. He is a long-time friend of Macheath, having served with him as a soldier in India. Brown attends Polly and Mack’s wedding and is taken aback by the wealth that surrounds his friend. When cornered by Peachum, who cites a list of Macky’s crimes, Brown is forced to send Constable Smith out to arrest his former pal. He is a weak-willed and greedy man who expresses sorrow upon seeing Macheath in jail at the Old Bailey but nevertheless accepts the money from Peachum. Finally, as Macheath stands at the gallows, Brown rides up on horseback with a reprieve.
Lucy Brown (Female: mezzo): Lucy is the Tiger Brown’s daughter. Mack has been having an affair with Lucy, deceiving both his friend and Polly. Lucy appears to be pregnant — the father presumably Macheath — but she reveals to Polly that she has faked her pregnancy by stuffing a pillow under her dress. Lucy at first treats Polly with haughtiness but later agrees with Polly’s assertion that Macheath loves her more. Lucy finally befriends her lover’s wife.
Charles Filch (Male): Filch comes innocently enough into Peachum’s beggar’s outfitting emporium, hoping to obtain Peachum’s permission to beg on a certain street corner. Filch proves himself singularly unsuited for the career of begging, however, being naturally inclined to pity — he expresses guilt over accepting money from people.
The Gang (Male/Female: 12 - 16): With fellows such as Bob-the-Saw, Crook-fingered Jake, Jimmy, Matthew (or Matt of the Mint), Ned, Robert, and Dreary Walt, the Gang consists of thieves, cutpurses, prostitutes, pimps, and beggars. All of them are supplied costumes for the trade of begging by Mr. Jonathan Jeremiah Peachum, and they forfeit a percentage of their earnings to Macheath, who uses the money as a payoff to Sheriff Brown for protecting their racket. There is no honor among these thieves; all are ready to turn on their brothers if it will buy them an evening of food and pleasure. They give stolen gifts to Mac and Polly at their wedding.
Reverend Kimball: Kimball performs the impromptu wedding between Polly and Macheath. He is more than likely not a real priest, as he is also one of the thieving Gang.
Jenny (Female: mezzo/alto): Jenny is a former lover of Macky’s and now just one of the whores of the gang. Like the Biblical character of Judas, Jenny betrays Macheath. She pretends to read Macheath’s palm, hinting at a dismal future event, then she informs Constable Smith of the thief’s whereabouts.
Macheath (Macky/Mack the Knife): A former war hero turned master thief, Macheath is the dark hero, the grotesque Christ-like figure of The Threepenny Opera. His name alludes to the murderer. Mrs. Peachum calls him a horse-thief and a highwayman (one who robs travelers). Much like Brecht, Macheath is also a womanizer who conducts simultaneous affairs with a variety of women; he plays the attentive husband to Polly while also pursuing an affair with his friend Tiger’s daughter, Lucy. Macheath is the kingpin of the beggar gang, a jaded criminal, and a slave to his “sexual urges.” He appears to pursue his lifestyle with little emotion or regret. He whistles nonchalantly when Polly reads him the list of charges the police have against him: “You’ve killed two shopkeepers, more than thirty burglaries, twenty-three hold-ups, and God knows how many acts of arson, attempted murder, forgery, and perjury, all within eighteen months. In Winchester you seduced two sisters under the age of consent.” Macheath’s only response to the entire list of charges is that he thought the girls were twenty. His father-in-law, Peachum, turns Macheath over to the police to rid his daughter (as well as his own business interests) of him. In the father’s eyes, Macheath is not a desirable match. Despite facing a sentence of death for his crimes, Macheath is tough and practical, brusquely ordering Polly to watch over his interests. He accepts his fate like the soldier he once was, although he persists until the last minute in trying to bribe his way out of jail.
Celia Peachum (Female: mezzo/alto): Polly’s mother and Peachum’s wife, Celia assists her husband at the emporium by bossing the beggars. She faints when she learns that Polly has married Macheath because she sees this as a good investment gone bad: In her mother’s eyes, Polly had the potential to be a society lady and could have raised the family’s status by marrying a wealthy man.
Jonathan Jeremiah Peachum (Male: baritone/bass): Peachum is the proprietor of “The Beggar’s Friend, Ltd.” He runs the begging in London like an efficient business, outfitting the beggars, training them to perfect their methods (especially the art of swindling suckers), and assigning them districts in which to work. Peachum, like Fagin in Charles Dickens’s Oliver Twist, takes a percentage of each of the Gang’s earnings, slowly getting rich while his employees live hand-to-mouth. Peachum needs Polly around his business to attract customers with her good looks. This exploitation of his daughter’s charms is disrupted when she falls in love with Macheath, marrying the thief without her father’s permission. True to his greedy and ruthless ways, Peachum solves the problem by selling Macheath out to the police.
Polly Peachum (Female: soprano/mezzo): Polly is the daughter of the beggar king, Jonathan Jeremiah Peachum. She is referred to by her father as “a lump of sensuality” — a fact that he shamelessly exploits to increase his business. Polly marries her lover, Macheath, in a makeshift ceremony in a stable. During the proceedings, she learns that Macheath has also been sexually active with Lucy. When Lucy and Polly meet they accuse each other ruining their respective relationships with Macheath. They sing a duet in which they trade lines berating each other. While Polly and Lucy are very similar characters, it is Polly who prevails in a sustained union with Macheath. While she does not like her husband’s sexual promiscuity, she accepts it as a fundamental part of his nature.
Constable Smith (Male) Smith is the police officer who arrests Macheath, though he accepts a bribe to leave the handcuffs off. He later offers to help Macheath escape for a one-thousand pound bribe.
A Little Bit About Brecht…..Born Eugen Bertolt Friedrich Brecht on February 10, 1898, in Augsburg, Germany, Bertold Brecht is regarded as a founding father of modern theater and one of its most incisive voices. His innovative ideas would prove to have a profound effect on many genres of modern narrative, not the least of which are novels, short stories, and cinema. Brecht is considered a pioneer of socially conscious theater — especially in the subgenre of anti-reality theater, which sought to debunk the illusory techniques of realistic drama. His work reflects his commitment to his political beliefs Prior to the political ascension of Adolf Hitler’s Nazi party in the 1930s, Brecht fled Germany and lived in exile in Europe and the United States. In 1947, he was unsuccessfully interrogated by the House Committee on Un-American Activities for his outspoken communist sympathies. He returned to Germany in 1948, where he established the Berlin Ensemble, a theatrical production troupe dedicated to political and artistic reform. In this latter period of his life, he produced what is regarded as some of his best work, including the plays Mother Courage and Her Children (1949) and Th eGood Woman of Szechuan (1953). He died of coronary thrombosis on August 14, 1956, in the then-communist country of East Germany. The purpose of Brecht’s plays (as they were originally staged by the author) was to create an experience that would force audiences out of their common perceptions of bourgeois theater (as merely a means of entertainment). His plays sought to instill a willingness to work for social change.
The Character Breakdown for “Titus Andronicus” is as follows:
TITUS ANDRONICUS: Male 40-60 (Conqueror of the Goths)
Strong, willful, proud, traditional-a military man who's wish to retire is thwarted by circumstance and his own stubbornness
LAVINIA: Female 18-late 20s (Daughter of Titus)
Gentle but strong-a proudly moral and decent woman who is systematically degraded
SATURNINUS: Male 20s (Bassianus' brother)
Intense, hot blooded and passionate-a troubled youth with too much power
BASSIANUS: Male 20s (Saturninus' brother)
Centered, well adjusted, popular-the favored son-beloved of Lavinia
MARCUS ANDRONICUS: Male 30-50 (Tribune of the People, and brother to Titus)
Stable and popular-he speaks for the people of Rome
LUCIUS: Male Late 20s-Early 30s (Titus' son)
His father's son-noble, traditional and patriotic
TAMORA: Female Late 20s-Early 40s (Queen of the Goths)
The proud ruler of the conquered Visigoths-a warrior and fiercely protective mother
DEMETRIUS: Male 18-25 (Son of Tamora, Chiron's Older Brother)
Savage and violent-he is a creature of animal desire
CHIRON: Male 18-25 (Son of Tamora, Demetrius' Younger Brother)
Unstable and chaotic-slightly manic and very intense
AARON: Male or Female 20-40 (Tamora's foreign lover)
Tamora's lover-otherworldly and strangely beautiful-Sociopath
Other positions available:
ASSISTANT DIRECTOR/STAGE MANAGER: We need a
dependable, organized individual to assist the
director and manage the shows during their runs.
STAGE CREW: We need crew to assist with props, lights,
sound, sets, and back stage organization during their