Sense & Sensibility Auditions
BY KATE HAMILL, BASED ON THE NOVEL BY JANE AUSTEN
Directed by John Michael Goodson
A playful new adaptation of Jane Austen’s beloved novel follows the fortunes (and misfortunes) of the Dashwood sisters—sensible Elinor and hypersensitive Marianne—after their father’s sudden death leaves them financially destitute and socially vulnerable. Set in gossipy late 18th-century England, with a fresh female voice, the play is full of humor, emotional depth, and bold theatricality. SENSE AND SENSIBILITY examines our reactions, both reasonable and ridiculous, to societal pressures. When reputation is everything, how do you follow your heart?
Prep Session/Monologue Workshop – October 8th @ 3:00 pm
Auditions – October 17th & 18th @ 7:00 pm
Auditions for SENSE & SENSIBILITY & AND THEN THERE WERE NONE will be held at the same time. You may audition for either show or both at the same time. Actors are requested to prepare one two-minute monologue to present for the initial audition. Readings from the script will occur only at callbacks which will be scheduled separately. Monologues should be selected from similar material. As both productions are set in England, it would be beneficial to select an audition monologue that showcases the appropriate accent.
First Rehearsal – January 2, 2017 (possibly earlier if schedules allow)
Performances – February 2 – 17, 2017
The script calls for approximately 10 actors to portray all roles. Individual actors may play between one and five characters. Most actors will be required to play a range of stage ages from 13 – 70. We anticipate casting actors ranging from 20 to 50 years old.
Elinor Dashwood – The nineteen-year-old eldest daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Henry Dashwood and the heroine of Austen’s novel. Elinor is composed but affectionate, both when she falls in love with Edward Ferrars and when she comforts and supports her younger sister Marianne.
Marianne Dashwood – The seventeen-year-old second daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Henry Dashwood. Marianne’s spontaneity, excessive sensibility, and romantic idealism lead her to fall in love with the debaucherous John Willoughby, though he painfully spurns her, causing her to finally recognize her misjudgment of him. After this turn of heart, she ultimately marries her long-standing admirer, Colonel Brandon.
Margaret Dashwood – The thirteen-year-old, good-humored youngest daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Henry Dashwood, Margaret shares her sister Marianne’s romantic tendencies.
Mrs. Dashwood – The kind and loving mother of Elinor, Marianne, and Margaret and second wife to Henry Dashwood. She has inherited no fortune of her own but wants the best for her daughters and shares Marianne’s romantic sensibilities.
John Dashwood – The weak-minded and money-grubbing heir to the Norland estate. At his wife Fanny’s suggestion, he leaves his mother and sisters with very little money and remains largely unconcerned for their welfare.
Edward Ferrars – The sensible and friendly older brother of Fanny Dashwood and Robert Ferrars. Edward develops a close relationship with Elinor while staying at Norland and ultimately marries her, after he is freed from a four-year secret engagement to Lucy Steele.
Fanny Dashwood – The selfish, snobbish, and manipulative wife of John Dashwood and the sister of Edward and Robert Ferrars.
Colonel Brandon – A retired officer and friend of Sir John Middleton who falls in love with Marianne Dashwood and acts kindly, honorably, and graciously towards the Dashwoods throughout the novel
John Willoughby – An attractive but deceitful young man who wins Marianne Dashwood’s heart but then abandons her (greedily) in favor of the wealthy Miss Sophia Grey.
Sir John Middleton – The jovial but vulgar distant relation of the Dashwoods who invites Mrs. Dashwood and her three daughters to stay at Barton Cottage after Mr. and Mrs. John Dashwood inherit Norland, leaving the women homeless.
Mrs. Jennings – Lady Middleton’s gossipy but well-intentioned mother who invites the Dashwood sisters to stay with her in London and makes it her “project” to marry them off as soon as possible.
Lady Middleton – A distant relation of the Dashwoods who lives at Barton Cottage with her husband Sir John Middleton and their four spoiled children
Lucy Steele – Mrs. Jennings’ cousin and a sly, selfish, and insecure young woman. She has been secretly engaged to Edward Ferrars for four years but she ultimately marries his brother, Robert, once Edward is disinherited.
Anne Steele – Lucy Steele’s older, unmarried sister who accidentally reveals her sister’s secret engagement to Edward Ferrars.
Robert Ferrars – A conceited coxcomb and the younger brother of Edward and Fanny. Robert inherits his mother’s fortune after she disinherits Edward. Ironically, he ultimately marries Lucy Steele, even though it was Edward’s engagement to this same woman that caused his mother to disinherit him.
Mrs. Ferrars – The wealthy, manipulative mother of Edward and Robert who disinherits her first son when he refuses to marry a rich heiress
Gossips – A chorus of high-society creatures
Servants – Thomas, et.al.
Roles as originally assigned (this may change) …
Fanny Dashwood/Lucy Steele/Lady Middleton/Gossip
Colonel Brandon/Thomas/Lady Middleton/Gossip
John Willoughby/John Dashwood/Gossip
Edward Ferrars/Robert Ferrars/Lady Middleton/Gossip
Margaret Dashwood/Mrs. Ferrars/Gossip
Mrs. Dashwood/Anne Steele/Gossip