Twelfth Night casting update

Twelfth Night casting update

Here is an update following up from our previous notice regarding the call for cast & crew for Twelfth Night to be performed during Sleaford Live from 8th to 11th May 2019.

We have provided further details about the workshop & auditions, the cast/character list and the audition pieces.

Saturday 3rd November - Pre-Audition Workshop

Open to anyone who is considering auditioning for the play or would like to join the backstage team. (10 am - 4 pm at the Sleaford Playhouse).

During the last hour of the workshop, there will be a short presentation of the set and several surprises regarding how one key item of the set will enhance the themes of illusion and disguise.

November 15th, 16th, 17th - Auditions

(Thursday/Friday 7:30 pm - 10 pm & Saturday 2 pm - 5 pm at the Sleaford Playhouse) If you are auditioning for a role as a musician, please bring your instrument along to the auditions.

If you are already familiar with the play, you will notice, when you see the final script, that I have made some changes to the original text to assist in our unique, retelling of this popular story.

Regarding characters, the most significant changes involve Feste and Maria.

I have completely cut the characters of both Curio and Fabien. Their lines have either been removed or redistributed to Feste and Maria.

All other characters lines mostly remain the same but with some minor changes here and there.

Audition pieces for each character appear at the end of the character list below. We will also be looking at some of these scenes in the pre-audition workshop, for those who can attend.

Character List

Viola

A young woman of aristocratic birth and the play’s protagonist. Washed up on the shore of Illyria when her ship is wrecked in a storm, Viola decides to make her own way in the world. She disguises herself as a young man, calling herself "Cesario," and becomes a page to Duke Orsino. She ends up falling in love with Orsino—even as Olivia, the woman Orsino is courting, falls in love with Cesario. Thus, Viola finds that her clever disguise has entrapped her: she cannot tell Orsino that she loves him, and she cannot tell Olivia why she, as Cesario, cannot love her. Her poignant plight is the central conflict in the play.

Orsino

Orsino is a powerful nobleman in the country of Illyria. Orsino is lovesick for the beautiful Lady Olivia but becomes more and more fond of his handsome new page boy, Cesario, who is actually a woman—Viola. Orsino is a vehicle through which the play explores the absurdity of love: a supreme egotist, Orsino mopes around complaining how heartsick he is over Olivia when it is clear that he is chiefly in love with the idea of being in love and enjoys making a spectacle of himself. His attraction to the ostensibly male Cesario injects sexual ambiguity into his character.

Olivia

A wealthy, beautiful, and noble Illyrian lady, Olivia is courted by Orsino and Sir Andrew Aguecheek, but to each of them, she insists that she is in mourning for her brother, who has recently died and will not marry for seven years. She and Orsino are similar characters in that each seems to enjoy wallowing in his or her own misery. Viola’s arrival in the masculine guise of Cesario enables Olivia to break free of her self-indulgent melancholy. Olivia seems to have no difficulty transferring her affections from one love interest to the next, however, suggesting that her romantic feelings—like most emotions in the play—do not run deep.

Sebastian

Viola’s lost twin brother. When he arrives in Illyria, travelling with Antonio, his close friend and protector, Sebastian discovers that many people think that they know him. Furthermore, the beautiful Lady Olivia, whom he has never met, wants to marry him. Sebastian seems to exist to take on the role that Viola fills while disguised as Cesario—namely, the mate for Olivia.

Malvolio

The straitlaced steward—or head servant—in the household of Lady Olivia. Malvolio is very efficient but also very self-righteous, and he has a poor opinion of drinking, singing, and fun. His priggishness and haughty attitude earn him the enmity of Sir Toby, Sir Andrew, and Maria, who play a cruel trick on him, making him believe that Olivia is in love with him. In his fantasies about marrying his mistress, he reveals a powerful ambition to rise above his social class.

Feste (aka Clown)

The clown, or fool, of Olivia’s household, Feste moves between Olivia’s and Orsino’s homes, always visible to the other characters but never truly noticed or understood by them.  He earns his living by making pointed jokes, singing old songs, being generally witty, and offering good advice cloaked under a layer of foolishness. In spite of being a professional fool, Feste is the wisest character in the play. In fact, in this version of the play, Feste will be taking a much more central role. He can be best described as almost Machiavellian. Feste is a genius puppet Master who orchestrates the entire story. He is the only truly sane character in this bizarre world. He will appear in almost every scene/scene change. Must be able to sing and play various instruments. A traditional lute, flute and tabor would be ideal.

Sir Toby

Olivia’s uncle. Olivia lets Sir Toby Belch live with her, but she does not approve of his rowdy behaviour, practical jokes, heavy drinking, late-night carousing, or friends (specifically the idiotic Sir Andrew). Sir Toby also earns the ire of Malvolio. But Sir Toby has an ally, and eventually a mate, in Olivia’s sharp-witted waiting-gentlewoman, Maria. Together they bring about the triumph of chaotic spirit, which Sir Toby embodies, and the ruin of the controlling, self-righteous Malvolio.

Maria (pronounced Mariah)

Maria is Olivia’s clever, daring and flirtatious waiting-gentlewoman. Maria is remarkably similar to her antagonist, Malvolio, who harbours aspirations of rising in the world through marriage. But Maria succeeds where Malvolio fails—perhaps because she is a woman, but, more likely, because she is more in tune than Malvolio with the anarchic, topsy-turvy spirit that animates the play. In this version of the play, Maria’s role has also been extended and will be appearing in many more scenes that in the original script.

Sir Andrew Aguecheek

Sir Andrew Aguecheek is a friend of Sir Toby’s who attempts to court Olivia, but he doesn’t stand a chance. He thinks that he is witty, brave, young, and good at languages and dancing, but he is actually an idiot who becomes another victim of Maria and Sir Toby’s tricks.

Antonio

Antonio has become very fond of Sebastian after rescuing him from his shipwreck.  He cares for him, accompanies him to Illyria and gives him money—all because of a love so strong that it really resembles an obsession. Antonio’s attraction to Sebastian, however, never bears fruit. Despite the ambiguous and shifting gender roles in the play, Antonio remains alone.

Sea Captain

Becomes a good friend and confidant to Viola after rescuing her from the shipwreck and helping her to remain disguised and find employment at Orsino’s court.

Valentine

Valentine is a gentleman attending on the Duke.

Chorus

Lords, Priest, Sailors, Officers, Musicians, Singers, Dancers and other Attendants.

Audition Pieces

The audition pieces are available to download as a PDF below:

Download - Twelfth Night Audition Pieces.