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Auditions: "Fortinbras" and "The Imaginary Invalid" Summer 2020 - New Dates

Actors Ensemble of Berkeley Auditions for our 2020 Summer Productions

Fortinbras PosterThe Imaginary InvalidFortinbras by Lee Blessing | Directed by Michael R. Cohen | opens Friday, July 3rd, Performances Sat/Sun at 4 p.m. July 4th - July 19th

The Imaginary Invalid By Moliere | Translated by Charles Theron Hall | Adapted and Directed by Meryn MacDougall | Performances Sat/Sun at 4 p.m.  August 22nd-September 6th plus Labor Day, September 7th

All performances at John Hinkel Park Amphitheatre | 41 Somerset Place Berkeley, CA 94710

Auditions: April 19th
Callbacks (if required) March 26th



April 19th Auditions:
from 10:00am - 2:00pm
John Hinkel Park,
41 Somerset Place
Berkeley, CA, 94710

Actors Ensemble of Berkeley announces auditions for it's Summer 2020 productions at John Hinkel Park.  We are a community theatre and Berkeley's longest-running theatrical organization, and we aim to make our production in the park a joyous celebration of theatre and community.

Auditions are Sunday April 19th from 10 am to 2 p.m. at the John Hinkel Park Amphitheatre. Callbacks if necessary will be Thursday March 19th from 7-10 p.m. at Temple Beth Hillel.  Please bring paper copies of your headshot and resume.  You are welcome to perform a 1-3 minute Shakespearean and/or Molierian and/or comic monologue, and be prepared to read from sides - or just read from sides if you prefer. We will schedule folks in groups in 15 minute blocks. If you wish to audition together we encourage you to sign up together.  For the auditions at Temple Beth Hillel we will organize carpools/transportation from El Cerrito/Del Norte BART station.

Please write This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for an appointment. We encourage both theatre veterans and newcomers to audition - if this is your first time - write us and we will help you through the process.  We recognize these dates may not work for everyone - if this is true for you we may be able to make alternate arrangements - write us and find out.

Non AEA/no pay. A small consideration for travel/food costs provided.  Refreshments (hot dogs (veggie and regular), corn-on-the-cob, and bottled water) provided free to the cast during the performances.

We regularly cast cross-gender and cross-type, and we actively seek folks of all ages, races, genders, and persuasions to audition.  Ages and Genders specified below are characteristics of the role, not necessarily of the actor playing the role. 

A little bit about each of the production follows:

"Fortinbras" is the story of what happened after "Hamlet" - the sequel, if you prefer.  In the story, Fortinbras has been granted via Hamlet's dying words the key to the kingdom of Denmark.  Upon arriving and being told the story of lust, betrayal, murder, suicide, and just plain old dithering, Fortinbras decides this story won't do for his plan to consolidate his power, and orders Horatio and his underlings to make up a new, better, more noble and palatable story as to how he obtained his position.  The ghosts of "Hamlet" come back to haunt Fortinbras, in order to force him to let the truth be told.  A humorous tale, but one with a real message for our times - the importance of the TRUTH!

Michael R. Cohen is the president of Actors Ensemble, and veteran director in the Bay Area at both Actors Ensemble and Ross Valley Players.  He last directed "The Skin of Our Teeth" for Actors Ensemble back in 2019, and is currently directing the Ross Alternative Works play "The Packrat Gene" opening April 24th.

Rehearsals for "Fortinbras" will be at Temple Beth Hillel in Richmond, John Hinkel Park in Berkeley, and various locations around Berkeley beginning May 17th, with a table read sometime before that.  A draft rehearsal schedule will be provided upon request.

Roles Available for "Fortinbras"

Hamlet (Prince of Denmark) Age range 20 - 40
Osric (member of the Danish Court) age range 20-80
Horatio (friend of Hamlet). age range 20 - 40
English Ambassador age range 30 - 100
Fortinbras (Prince of Norway) age range 30 - 55
Captain of the Norwegian Army age range 25 - 70
Marcellus (a sentinel) age range 18 - 60
Barnardo (a sentinel) age range 18 - 60
First Maiden age range 18 - 40
Second maiden age range 18- 40
Polonius age range (Ophelia’s father) 50+
Ophelia (Polonius’ daughter) age range 20 - 40
Claudius (King of Denmark) age range 50+
Gertrude (Queen of Denmark) age range 45 - 70
Laertes (Polonius’ son) age range 20 - 45

"The Imaginary Invalid" is the last play written by Moliere, the greatest playwright of Renaissance France, he collapsed onstage while performing the title role and died shortly afterwards.  A wealthy man (Argan) is a hypochondriac. His physicians are encouraging his anxieties to make a profit. The doctors use pointless old treatments. Argan decides to marry his daughter (Angelique) to the son of one of his Doctors to gain free healthcare. His daughter is in love with another man. Meanwhile his second wife is scheming to inherit all the estate and leave nothing for the daughters. The smart sassy servant Toinette knows all of this and manipulates the household so that in the end Angelique is betrothed to the man she loves, the stepmother is exposed as a gold digger, and Argan’s hypochondria is cured but believing he has enough knowledge to be his own doctor. The show ends with a ceremony giving Argan his fake doctorate.  Our production has been adapted with an original new first scene and numerous other tweaks to emphasize the difficulty of seeking healthcare in the contemporary United States.

Meryn MacDougall is an actor, director, and fight choreographer with experience around the Bay Area.  Most recently she was in Theatre of Yugen's "A Noh Christmas Carol".  She directed the staged reading of Actors Ensemble's collaboration with the Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive on Apollinaire's "The Mammaries of Tiresias", and assistant directed our production of "Hamlet" at John Hinkel Park in 2018.

Rehearsals for "The Imaginary Invalid" will begin approximately July 6th, and will be held in and around Berkeley.

Available roles:

Argan: Older male
Operator 1: No Requirement
Operator 2: No Requirement
Toinette: Female, No Age
Beline: 2nd wife, No Req.
Angelique: Female, younger
Louison: Younger sibling
Beralde: Argan’s Sibling
Cleante: Angelique’s Love

Mr. Diaforius: Older male
Thomas D.: Younger Male
Bonnefoi: Notary No/Req
Dr. Purgon: No Req
Dr. Fleurant: No Req

Actors Ensemble is the longest-running theatre organization in Berkeley, founded in 1957. We aim to produce quality theatre emphasizing the ensemble, with a community flavor.

Upcoming Events:

  • Auditions for Fairies of the Moonlight, book and lyrics by Mercedes Cohen, music by Aoife Ni Conchobhair O'Connor, directed by Michael R. Cohen, Auditions Monday and Tuesday, March 1st and 2nd 6-9 p.m., Performances March 27 7 pm March 28 4 pm, all at Temple Beth Hillel, Richmond.  Write This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for an appointment and/or more information.
  • Auditions for our Summer Program with performances in the John Hinkel Park Amphitheatre, Fortinbras by Lee Blessing, directed by Michael R. Cohen, opens July 3rd, and The Imaginary Invalid by Moliere, translated by Charles Heron Wall, adapted by Meryn MacDougall and Vicki Siegel, opens August 22nd.  Auditions are March 12th at Temple Beth Hillel and March 15th at John Hinkel Park, with callbacks March 19th.  Write This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for an appoitnment and/or more information.
  • Staged Musical Reading: Fairies of the Moonlight, book and lyrics by Mercedes Cohen, music by Aoife Ni Conchobhair O'Connor, directed by Michael R. Cohen, Auditions Monday and Tuesday, March 1st and 2nd 6-9 p.m., Performances March 27 7 pm and March 28 4 pm, all at Temple Beth Hillel, Richmond.  Write This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for an appointment and/or more information.
  • Fortinbras by Lee Blessing, directed by Michael R. Cohen.  Opens July 3rd at John Hinkel Park Amphitheatre.  Free (donations accepted).  Weekends at 4 pm till July 19th
  • The Imaginary Invalid by Moliere, translated by Charles Heron Wall, adapted and directed by Meryn MacDougall, opens August 22nd.  Free (donations accepted).  Weekends at 4 pm till Labor Day, September 7th.

Actors Ensemble
P.O. Box 663
Berkeley, CA 94701
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.aeofberkeley.org
A 501(3)(c) organization

Thank You

Actors Ensemble of Berkeley is delighted to acknowledge the Berkeley Civic Arts Program and Civic Arts Commission's support in the form of a grant of $8,000.00 awarded in 2017. Also, a thank you to Theatre Bay Area for a grant of $2,500.00.

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Actors Ensemble of Berkeley - P.O. Box 663 - Berkeley - California - 94701 ¦ Our Answering Service: (510) 649-5999 ¦