Audition Notice For Within a Play Written and directed by: David J. Busuttil.
The rehearsal process will include work-shopping and exploration, and the script and characters will adapt to this.
Auditions: February 11th and 12th, at 7pm, at 33 Stewarttown Rd. Georgetown.
Show dates: June 21st, 22nd, and 23rd at 33 Stewarttown Rd. Georgetown.
Actors will be expected to have a piece prepared for the audition. If they do not know which piece to choose, or character to audition for, please use Piece # 1.
We are a non-union, non-paying company. Cast members will be required to be, or become, members of Georgetown Little Theatre.
Within a Play follows a group of actors about to perform a play, when they stumble upon a page from the script for “Within a Play” and realize they are all just actors who only exist within a play.
Characters: Director - the director. Tech – the technical support. The fool. Romeo – the young lover. An actor. Juliet – the young lover. An actor. Thomas – an actor with experience. Mary – an actor with experience. Horatio – the eldest, veteran actor.
Gender: Characters were not written for any particular gender.
Piece # 1 For: Any
Piece # 2 For: Tech and Director
Piece # 3 For: Juliet and Romeo
Piece # 4 For: Mary and Thomas
Piece # 5 For: Horatio
Piece # 1 For: Any Set up: An actor laments his opening monologue.
Thomas: I hate my opening monologue.
Mary: Which one?
Thomas: Which one? The one where I say the same thing over and over again. It's a nightmare. Do you have any idea what a nightmare it is to say the same thing over and over again exactly right? It is such a nightmare. The same thing, then the same thing. Give me a complicated set anytime, but this same sandwich? It’s like a bad dream; a nightmare. I’m overcome by how the same it all is, and just a nightmare. It’s as though the writer took a thesaurus and wrote in every word he could that has the same meaning until he was left with clones, copies, doubles, duplicates, equivalent, echoes, indistinguishable, interchangeable, synonyms, similar, twins, that when said together are,like a tormentor that comes to you after sunset, like a Nightmare. It’s a nightmare. And what’s worse, to the audience, it should be the easiest, “You said it once, just say it again”, as if it works like that at all. The audience doesn’t realize what is hard and what is easy. The same thing over and over again isn’t easy; it’s, it’s, it's a nightmare! It’s hard. I would rather have a monologue where I speak nothing but Chinese, than this ridiculous riff of repeats of one similar sounding sentence
Piece # 2 For: Tech and Director Set up: The opening of the show. The Director is on the stage while Tech is in his booth.
(The set is completely dark. Before Director speaks, it has been just a moment too long)
Director: We wait just a moment too long in the dark. There is the sound of almost silence: a neighbour trying not to fidget, a conversation not quite done. It’s a nervous moment, a sexy moment; for me at least. For me, it’s like the moment before a kiss: tense and exciting (Lights come up). Lights come up. One man on stage. We don’t get monologues in real life. People almost never let two sentences go by without interrupting. By the time you finish your point, two cents gets thrown in enough to make eight dollars. That’s 400 times if you’re counting. In life we get no establishing scene, nothing to set the place, but on stage we say, “you’re watching a play, here is where you are, these are the characters, this is where we’re going”. Even the stage focuses us. If voices came from off stage, it would throw everything out of whack. Isn’t that right?
Tech: (From the lighting booth) That’s right. it would totally throw everyone off. No one would know what to do or where to look.
Director: Shakespeare! He understood it. “All the world's a stage”, true enough, but not enough true. If only it was more true. If only in life we had cues and lines and motivations and directors. If only in life we had an audience. If only this was seen by somebody. Does that make sense?
(Tech walks down to the stage, clipboard and tape in hand, checking off as he inspects, and taping on the stage the markers)
Tech: Doesn’t make much sense to me, but then again, I’m only tech support .
Director: Well, that doesn’t disqualify you. At least, it shouldn’t.
Tech: Should or shouldn’t, I’m probably more like your audience: I like the laughs, the clever banter, but I’m not one for overwrought meaning. I just know when you say “lights come up” I push the button and the lights come up. Actually, come to think of it, I’m worse than the audience, because I watch this thing even after it’s no longer funny. I get off on pushing that button, on making it all work.
Director: You mean come to life.
Tech: No, you mean come to life. To you it’s alive; to me it's a fun, well-oiled machine. You’re a dog handler, I’m more a mechanic.
Director: Dog handler, eh? Well that explains all the bitching.
Tech: And the heavy petting.
Director: Please, when everything starts don’t be like this, don’t attract so much attention.
Tech: Oh I know. If the audience notice me then they’ll be reminded that this isn’t real, that they’re watching a play, and that’s the last thing they want.
Director: Luckily this show has hardly anything as far as tech goes. I mean, with the little you have to do technically in this show, you could do double duty, and also play a character.
Tech: Blah. No, thank you. Okay, so we are set for cues: the lights come up when the actors enter.
Director: Let's try it again,
Piece # 3 For: Juliet and Romeo Set up: The two lovers talk immediately after realizing they exist as characters in a play.
Romeo: That was fantastic! Absolutely fantastic!
Juliet: It sure was…something.
Romeo: Did it make you afraid?
Juliet: Afraid? No, it did many things to me, but I’m not afraid. I have some concerns. I’m still trying to figure out the ramifications.
Romeo: That’s a bit disappointing. I thought I would have been too much of a distraction from it.
Juliet: But that is precisely what I’m thinking about and exactly why I have concerns.
Romeo: It didn’t even speak about this?
Juliet: It spoke of us entering holding hands. We were part of it. It knew something of us before we announced it to the cast. It foresaw it, or caused it.
Romeo: So? Love is written into many plays and It’s no less true for being there. We uphold love that has been written well. We call it even a truer form of love, as though it’s essence had been distilled. Let’s say that now. Let’s not call it false, let’s call it “truer than anything we have felt thus far.”
Juliet: I want to call it that, but how do I trust my want? All lovers want to indulge their desires. All lovers contain such want. And we are lovers, we’re written as such. We want the other, we make promises, we exchange poems -poems written too early, promises containing more than having -want more than wisdom. Lover’s make monologues about love, ones like I am making now, but they lack the integrity to carry through, to make love true. Only time can say if there is any truth in love, and time has been in minutes, not in hours. All of this is in love as it naturally is, but now consider the script. How much more is love promising more than love itself contains when love comes not even from the lover but from the page? What love is there without choice, without loving one over another? What is love worth without character behind it?
Romeo: I wish I had a response ready, but this isn’t scripted, I don’t have some clever scripted assurance to undo all that you feel is done. All I have is my love and all that comes with it.
Juliet: And no one wants more for that to be enough than I do, but it can’t be enough right now.
Romeo: It can be whatever we make it out to be. It is up to you if it is enough. (Beat) Would you like to hear my poem?
(Romeo pulls out a piece of paper with his poem written on it)
Romeo: But I thought-
Juliet: Don’t you see? There is no poem, the paper is just a prop.
Romeo: A prop? But it isn’t a prop; I wrote it.
Juliet: And how will I ever know that?
Romeo: I could read it for you.
Juliet: That will be no better. How often in a play does an actor pretend to read what he has already memorized; and he is not truly reading, nor did he truly write it. And then there is even worse.
Romeo: What is worse than to claim you do not own your own love?
Juliet: What’s worse is that I cannot read the poem for myself either, because I might be an actor too. Or what is even worse: You are a prop and I am a prop, and we are not even actors.
Piece # 4 For: Mary and Thomas Set up: Two actors, one who believes in meaning, the other who does not, debate the point of living.
Mary: Let me ask you something personal, would you perform the play if only ten people were to show up?
Thomas: I would, yes, but that’s hardly a personal question.
Mary: But then would you perform your part if only five people showed up?
Thomas: Still for the sake of the five I would.
Mary: And what if only one person showed up, would you perform it then?
Thomas: I’m a professional. Even for one person I would perform it. But even still none of these questions are in the least bit personal.
Mary: It will be very personal in a moment, trust me. What if nobody shows up, and the chairs are as empty as they are now; what then?
Thomas: Then, and only then, would I not perform. Without an audience it would be only for my own vanity that I would perform then.
Mary: Let me first say that I do not think you are vain, and I don’t think you’re a liar.
Thomas: Thank you?
Mary: But then either you are a liar or you don’t even believe yourself, and I am sorry to say so, but they are the only options left. We found a page of our play, of OUR play, and you pretend that there is no audience and yet you continue on. How can you continue on if there is no audience, if there is no play? You said it yourself, only for your own vanity could you do that. But you’re not very vain, so you cannot believe yourself.
Thomas: Then maybe I am vain. That’s fine. I still refuse to believe you.
Mary: But don't you see, refusing to believe me is not the same as requiring proof.
Thomas: You can’t get me to move just by making fancy arguments or logical arguments. A thing either is or it isn’t and you are saying it is; I’m saying it isn’t. Have you ever done the magic trick where you think of a country, a color, and an animal? Well, my nephew is obsessed with it, and to make a long story short: you think you’re picking for yourself, but all along he influences you so that you say “Orange, kangaroo, Australia,” or whatever it is. We didn’t find a book, it wasn’t a long drawn-out conversation, it was one page. He could influence us for one page, which again, is all it was.
Mary: One page is all it takes.
Thomas: Well, not for me.
Piece # 5 For: Horatio Set up: An actor, who is set to die at the end of the first act, becomes lofty about it.
Horatio: Die well? Who can die well? In the end it is always the end. Curtains. Blackout. What is beyond the scene shall determine if it is a well died death. Is there applause or awe, or just the yawn, the silence? I once saw an old lover’s grandfather moments after he had died. It was before the funeral director could clean him up. I couldn’t look like that. He was so dead, so very dead. He sucked the life right out of the room. His mouth was gaped open as his eyes and his hands were- there was no mistaking it. Do I even dare dream of dying in this manner? It would shock them all. It would kill their idea of death. It might even shake them as I shook with the static of the left over nerves. We do not have the nerve for it. Maybe I do. Act II, you’re on your own. But mercy me, I’m ahead of myself and worn out. I’m going to lie down backstage.