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Oct. 6 & 7: Auditions for our Fall 2019 Staged Reading Series

Three Great Plays with Three Great Directors!
Jizo, Lysistrata, A Man For All Seasons

Auditions Sunday and Monday, October 6th and 7th
7-10 p.m., Playground Play space, 3286 Adeline Street #9, Berkeley, CA 94703.
Please email for an appointment:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The staged readings will be performed on October 21st, 28th, and November 4th at 8 p.m., at the Old Finnish Hall, 1819 10th Street, Berkeley. (All Pay-What-You-Can at the Door)

The staged reading will be produced in conjunction with our main stage production of A Particle of Dread (Oedipus Variations)
by Sam Shepard, directed by Robert Estes. Running Oct. 18th - November 10th.

Actors Ensemble announces auditions for our 2019 Fall Staged Reading Series, produced in conjunction with our main stage production of "A Particle of Dread (Oedipus Variations)", running at the Old Finnish Hall from October 18th through November 10th.  Auditions are October 6th and 7th, from 7-10 p.m. at Playground Playspace, 3286 Adeline  Street #9, Berkeley, CA 94703. Non-AEA/No Pay.  Auditions are cold-read.  Please be prepared to read from sides.  We encourage folks new to or returning to theatre to audition - we will help you through the process!  We regularly cast cross-gender and cross-type.  We actively seek actors of all ages, races, genders, and persuasions.

Please write This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for an appointment.  We will schedule 2-3 folks in 15 minute blocks.  If there is someone you'd like to audition with, let us know and we'll see if we can make that happen. If you cannot make these dates but are still interested, contact us and we may be able to make other arrangements.

Note that auditions for our Main Stage Show opening January 10th, 2019, "She Kills Monsters", are October 13th and 14th, also directed by Kayla M. Kaufman.  If you are interested in both the readings and "She Kills Monsters" we may be able to qualify you for callbacks during these auditions, though we will not audition specifically for "She Kills Monsters" at this time.

Below are detailed information on the plays/roles/directors, etc.  We list age ranges and genders for characters as a general guide for what should be realized in the characterization, not necessarily as a restriction on who could be cast to play the role.  Rehearsals for each reading will be prior Tuesday and Sunday evenings 7-10 p.m, also at the Old Finnish Hall.


"Jizo" by Jane Goldsmith interweaves realism and surrealism in the tragicomic story of Jeff and Sarah, a married couple facing Jeff's terminal illness. Although Sarah has made a suicide pact with Jeff, she gradually finds a reason for living. Jeff's relationships with his landlord, his neighbor, and his estranged daughter are initially strained at best, but their unexpected acts of kindness--as well as the tough love of an otherworldly Death/Trickster figure--lead Jeff toward peace.

Jane Goldsmith is a Bay Area playwright, screen writer, and published novelist. Her plays were staged at Cal State Summer Arts Festival and have received semi-staged readings at various venues.

Gary Green is semiretired from a career in education.  He has directed a number of short plays at the Fringe of Marin.  He has additional directing experience with very talented senior actors through Stagebridge, as well as with English language learners in an acting class he created at Berkeley Adult School.

Seeking actors for three female, two male, and one masked (M or F) part, any age, plus one narrator/sound operator.

Jeff Hamilton, 40s to 60s, terminally ill, cranky, stubborn, scared.
Sarah Hamilton, 40s to 60s, Jeff's wife, a helper, grieving their
estrangement from their daughter.  Doubles as imam in brief scenes.
Callie Hamilton, Jeff and Sarah's daughter, rebellious, reckless, wise in some ways, caring deep down.  Doubles as Gaia in brief scenes.
Cynthia Grunbaum, 30s to 60s, lonely, judgmental, compassionate.  Doubles as rabbi in brief scenes.
Caleb Dorsey, 30s to 60s, gruff exterior, insecure and kind interior.  Doubles as Catholic priest in brief scenes.
Death/Trickster (male or female), acts cavalier but intends to enlighten.
Narrator (male or female), reads stage directions dramatically, operates a few sound effects, doubles as Buddhist monk in brief scenes.


This fresh, fast-paced comedy, inspired by the Aristophanes play, follows Lysistrata, an Athenian housewife, who calls for the women of Greece to help end the Peloponnesian War. She proposes a radical plan: all Greek women must refuse to engage in love making until the men see reason, lay down their arms and come home to lay down with their wives in peace. The women agree to make the sacrifice and all hell breaks loose as men wander the country in an agony of unsatisfied lust. Will Lysistrata and her crew accomplish what the politicians could not?

Ellen McLaughlin is an award-winning American playwright and actress. Her plays include Septimus and Clarissa, Ajax in Iraq, Days and Nights Within, A Narrow Bed, Infinity's House, Iphigenia and Other Daughters, Tongue of a Bird, The Trojan Women, Helen, The Persians, Oedipus, and The Oresteia.   McLaughlin is also an actress, having worked on and Off Broadway as well as extensively in regional theater. She is most well known for having originated the part of the Angel in Tony Kushner's Angels in America.  She graduated from Yale University in 1980, summa cum laude.  She has been teaching at Barnard College since 1995.  https://www.ellenmmclaughlin.com/  

Kayla M. Kaufman is a recent recipient of an A.C.T. Fellowship, after having graduated from Loyola Marymount University Summa Cum Laude with a B.A. in both Theatre Arts and Film and Television Production.  She has recently directed The Revolutionists as part of her A.C.T. fellowship, as well as Men I'm Not Married To for Santa Cruz Shakespeare and Crumble (Lay Me Down, Justin Timberlake) for the Women's Theatre Festival in Raleigh, N.C.  She has extensive theatrical experience with companies on both coasts.  https://www.kaylamkaufman.com  

This play plays with gender politics, so let's play with gender politics like its 2019! Anyone of any gender identity is encouraged to audition for this reading.  There are a lot of characters in this play, so we will do a lot of mixing and matching to make it happen, but the basic set of characters are:

Athenian Chorus Leaders 1 & 2 (Athenian Women)
Lysistrata, an Athenian Women
Calonice, her neighbor
Lampito, woman from Sparta, a beauty
Myrrhine, woman from Anagyra
Dipsas, woman from Corinth
Ismenia, woman from Boetia
Geezers (3), from Athens
Old Women (3), from Athens
Magistrate of Athens
Belphragia, woman from Athens
Fisherwoman, from Athens
Cinesias, man from Athens
Spartan Envoy
Spartan Delegate

"It has always been a female conspiracy! We conspire for life!"

"A Man For All Seasons":

This tragic historical drama offers a brilliant portrait of Sir Thomas More in his last years as Lord Chancellor of England during the reign of Henry VIII. When Henry fails to obtain papal approval for a divorce from Catherine of Aragon to marry Anne Boleyn, he mandates his subjects to sign an "Act of Supremacy" making him both spiritual and temporal leader of England. Sir Thomas cannot in good conscience comply. Cromwell, Cardinal Wolsey, his family, and the King himself are all unable to convince More otherwise, as he maintains his integrity and belief in silence. Ultimately accused of high treason, this very silence leads the man to his execution, and later his canonization in 1935.

Robert Oxton Bolt, CBE (1924 - 1995) was an English playwright and a two-time Oscar-winning screenwriter, known for writing the screenplays for Lawrence of Arabia, Doctor Zhivago and A Man for All Seasons, the latter two of which won him the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay.

Gabriel A. Ross last appeared with AE as Guildenstern in Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead. Some recent performances include: George in All My Sons (Role Players Ensemble), Torrey/Boris in Translations (The Rhino), Flute/Thisby in Midsummer Night's Dream (African American Shakespeare), Clyde in The Speakeasy, Brightbee/Yvonne/Donny in Book of Liz (CMTC) and Isaac in Isaac's Eye (CMTC). He has an MFA in Classical Acting from George Washington University.

Common Man: Narrator. A servant, boatman, jailer, and executioner,
among others.
Thomas More: A famous lawyer. Older and wealthy. Devout Catholic.
Richard Rich: Young man trying to find employment and success.
Norfolk: A duke who shifts allegiance.
Alice: More's wife
Margaret: More's daughter
Wolsey: Cardinal advocating for King Henry and reformation.
Cromwell: Machiavellian assistant to the King.
Chapuys: Spanish ambassador opposed to reformation.
Roper: Love interest to Margaret. Always against prevailing popular
Henry: King of England. Trying to get a divorce.
Woman: Someone who tried to bribe More.
Attendant: Chapuys' assistant.
Cranmer: Archbishop of Canterbury. Judge/prosecutor type.

Actors Ensemble
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Berkeley, CA 94701
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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 ¦

We are a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Federal Tax ID #946139640, since 04-1967