OPEN AUDITION ANNOUNCEMENT:
Act Two Theatre proudly presents the hilarious, chaotic and collapsing comedy, The Play That Goes Wrong, as the opening show of our 2024 season. 🎭
THE PLAY THAT GOES WRONG
BY HENRY LEWIS, JONATHAN SAYER AND HENRY SHIELDS
Directed by Paul James
Auditions are November 27 & 28.
Callbacks, by invitation, on November 29.
Show Dates are Feb. 1 – 11, 2024.
Audition Sign-ups, audition format information, perusal sides, and preparation suggestions will go live on this page in Mid-October. The exact date will be announced on our Facebook page and via email to those subscribed to our AUDITION AND ACTOR emails.
ABOUT THE PLAY: Part Monty Python, part Sherlock Holmes, The Play That Goes Wrong is a play-within-a-play that follows the Cornley Polytechnic Drama Society’s production of the 1920’s whodunit, “The Murder at Haversham Manor.” Despite their best efforts, the production rapidly goes from bad to disastrous, with madcap mishaps and choreographed chaos—from an unconscious leading lady, a corpse that can’t play dead, a self-destructing set, and actors who trip over everything (including their lines). Nevertheless, the accident-prone thespians battle against all odds to make it through to their final curtain call, with hilarious consequences!
We are looking for truthful, funny and physically adept actors who can commit to the style of the play and fully inhabit the characters. It is vital to believe in the characters who are performing the play within the play, as that is where the heartbreaking and hysterical comedy is born. We are looking for actors with a keen ability and understanding of comedy, but who can play the truth of the scenes.
PLEASE NOTE: The Play That Goes Wrong is a physically demanding show. Most roles will require varying amounts of crawling, climbing, lifting, running, and/or falling. There is also a sword fight and some hand-to-hand combat. There are also scenes on a 7′ platform without a railing for several characters; Chris, Jonathan, Robert & Dennis. We will be working under the guidance of a highly-experienced fight choreographer. Actors considering auditioning for this production should be in good and capable physical shape.
We will be casting 8 named actors and 4-6 unnamed “shadow” actors (backstage run-crew members) who will be fully involved in the rehearsal and performance process; they will be visible onstage and off for “The Murder of Haversham Manor” with improvised lines and interactions.
ROLES-All Roles are available. Age ranges listed below are “stage-ages” and fluid, and will depend upon groupings and pairings found through auditions along with the suitability for the physical aspects and demands of each role. BRITISH RP accents are required for all characters except Annie and Trevor.
Chris: Head of the Drama Society and director of the show – plays Inspector Carter. A first-time director but a decent actor (maybe he’s been in a Shakespeare play once), who is perhaps a little melodramatic. This play is the biggest day of his life, and everything rides on the play’s success; it is a nerve-wracking and exciting night. He tries his best to keep the show on track while gritting his teeth at the ineptness that surrounds him. Every time someone laughs, he becomes more frustrated with both his fellow actors and the audience. (INSPECTOR CARTER is brought in to investigate the mysterious circumstances of Charles Haversham’s death.) Age range: 30s-50s
Robert: Plays Thomas Colleymoore in “The Murder at Haversham Manor.” He wants to be like Richard Burton, as evidenced by his declamatory style; however, he is not a parody of a bad actor. He is unaware of others around him, does not feel bad when things go wrong, and never learns from his mistakes. There is a power struggle between Robert and Chris to be the president of the Cornley Polytechnic Drama Society (a position that matters a great deal to Robert). We are seeking an actor with real vocal power and a British accent. (THOMAS COLLEYMOORE, an old school friend of Charles, finds him dead and suspects murder, setting the events of the play in motion.) Age range: 20s-40s
Jonathan: Plays Charles Haversham in “The Murder at Haversham Manor.” He’s a bit stuffy but sees himself as a James Bond type. He’s a bad actor but sees himself as very cool. Excited and having fun, but not naive. He technically must drive the show. He cares about the play, but not to the same extent as the others. Poor guy. He’s been cast as a corpse but has trouble playing dead. It’s a very physical role with a British accent. (CHARLES HAVERSHAM is found dead during his engagement party at the beginning of the play. But don’t worry, he plays a very important role and has lines… after he dies. It’s theatre!) Age range: 20s-40s
Max: Plays Cecil Haversham and Arthur the Gardener in “The Murder at Haversham Manor.” He has never been on stage before. He learned his lines and does exactly what he’s told to do. He has zero connection with any of the other actors, but when he gets a laugh, he breaks the fourth wall and engages with the audience. Childlike and naive, his mistakes are fundamental. He doesn’t think anything through, just looks for approval. British accent. (CECIL HAVERSHAM, the dim-witted younger brother of Charles, had a tempestuous relationship with his brother, causing concern for the others.–ARTHUR THE GARDENER left Haversham Manor before the party but provides some important insight into the crime in the second act.) Age range: 20s-40s
Sandra: Plays Florence Colleymoore in “The Murder at Haversham Manor.” She is vain and possesses a huge ego. She wants to be loved and has ambitions to go to Hollywood. She will hurt anyone standing in the way of what she wants but is smart enough to stay on the good side of someone who can help her. The stakes are high for her. She is the classic ingénue… on steroids. It’s a very physical role with a British accent. The actor cast in this role will need to be comfortable being in an enclosed grandfather clock for up to 5 minutes. (Thomas’s sister, FLORENCE COLLEYMOORE, has just gotten engaged to Charles, but she also harbors a secret that could make her a suspect in his murder investigation.) Age range: 20s-40s
Dennis: Plays the butler, Perkins, in “The Murder at Haversham Manor.” Probably the worst actor of the bunch, he has no real desire to be involved in the theater; he just wants to make friends (of which he has none). He has difficulty pronouncing big words and must write a cheat sheet on his sleeve. He believes if he does well in the show, he will be more successful socially. Laughter from the audience is agony for him. He may be slightly oblivious but understands when he gets things wrong. The laughter is a personal tragedy and failure. (The long-time butler of Haversham Manor, PERKINS, is desperate to solve the murder of his employer and friend.) Age range: 20s-50s
Trevor: The play’s lighting and sound operator, just off-stage in the audience’s constant view; he simply wants to get on with the show. Curmudgeonly and doesn’t care for actors; he is impulsive and easily distracted, occasionally missing cues or forgetting to turn his mic off. He does many things he shouldn’t, including engaging with the audience; when things go really sideways, he is forced to act in the play, although he hates acting. He generally stays at his control panel just off-stage until he is forced to substitute as the leading lady. This is the least physically demanding role with an American accent. The actor cast in this role will need to be comfortable being in an enclosed grandfather clock for up to 5 minutes. Age range: 20s-50s
Annie: The stage manager; she has the biggest journey of any of the characters in the entire show. When Sandra is knocked out, Annie, who cannot bear to be on stage and is frightfully shy, must step in. Initially terrified by acting, she is willing to kill for it by the end of the play. Her initial terror turns to joy, and then to fury. She starts small but grows and grows. This is a juicy role that requires great comedic timing and physicality. Improv skills or similar instincts are particularly helpful with an American accent. Age range: 20s-40s
Stage Crew: 4-6 MEMBERS of the Cornley Polytechnic Drama Society are the “run-crew” for the Murder at Haversham Manor who are seen trying to get the play to go RIGHT. Actors in these roles must be physically fit, able to lift, run, prat fall and hold a variety of items including a “dead” body. These roles will be visible onstage and off as events happen pre-show and during “The Murder of Haversham Manor” with improvised lines and interactions. Age range: Any age 18+
Rehearsal/Schedule Format: Rehearsals for The Play That Goes Wrong are Monday-Thursday evenings at our theatre or scene shop locations in St. Peters beginning with Read-Through on November 30. This show utilizes an eight-week rehearsal format followed by tech week (Jan. 27-31). The show runs for 8 performances over two consecutive weeks (Feb. 1-10) including a brush-up rehearsal on the Wednesday evening prior to the second week of performances. Set Build dates, costume fittings, safety & choreography sessions, and other show production functions are also elements of required availability. (No rehearsal on Dec. 25 and Jan. 1)
Auditions are November 27 & 28. (Audition Sign-ups will go live on this page in Mid-October. The exact date will be announced on our Facebook page and via email to those subscribed to our AUDITION AND ACTOR emails.
Theatre Location for Auditions
St. Peters Cultural Arts Centre
One St. Peters Centre Blvd.
St. Peters, MO 63376
The Performing Arts Theatre is in the City Hall building, Western(far right) most building at the opposite end from the Rec-Plex. Act Two Theatre performs in St. Peters to one of the largest average audiences of local St. Louis area theatre companies. Each show runs for 8 performances with attendance numbers ranging between 1300-1800 per show run. Act Two’s loyal, large and enthusiastic season ticket subscriber base allows many to receive the gift, joy and magic of live theatre that our talented actors, directors, tech crew and volunteers create.
About Act Two Theatre:
2023 marks Act Two Theatre’s 30th Anniversary season. We are proud to present another year of high-quality theatre in St. Peters, Missouri. We are located in the beautiful 318-seat Performing Arts Theater at the St. Peters City Hall Cultural Arts Centre, adjacent to the Rec-Plex. The theater has comfortable seating and a terrific stage!
Act Two Theatre performs to one of the largest average audiences as compared to other local St. Louis area theatre companies. Except for the Muny and Stages no other professional, regional or community theatre company boasts a larger following. Act Two’s loyal, large and enthusiastic season ticket subscriber base allows many to share in the joy and magic of live theatre that our talented actors, directors, tech crew and volunteers create.