Bards of Birmingham is delighted to announce auditions for Shakespeare's Julius Caesar on Saturday January 24, with callbacks to follow on January 25. All roles are available; no roles are precast.
Audition times: January 24, 1:00 - 4:00 pm. Open call; you may come any time during those hours. In order to be prepared, please see the description of audition procedure below. Auditions will be held at Desert Island Supply Company, at 5500 First Avenue North, Birmingham, AL 35212. You can visit their website at www.desertislandsupplyco.com.
January 25 - Callbacks. Time TBA. Callbacks will consist of cold readings from the script.
Please note - all Bards casting is both gender blind and race blind. These auditions are open to actors ages 25 and younger, however, please be aware that preference in casting is given to actors kindergarten through college age (22). If necessary, some roles will be filled with adults over the age of 25, who will serve as actor-mentors to younger cast members.
PARENTS - Please read.
Alexandre Solzenitsyn once stated that "the line between good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being." With Julius Caesar, as with every Bards play, we intend to approach the moral and philosophical issues embedded in our production - we never simply "put on a play."
Julius Caesar is, by itself, a work which deals intimately with violence, social control, and betrayal. Caesar is murdered by a group of conspirators who carry with them a number of motives, and the chaos, war, and conflict which follows is a price that must be paid by everyone.
In addition to the complex themes of the play, we will be dealing with an added dimension, as our production of Julius Caesar will be set in the present, in the American prison system. This means that we will be engaged not only in an exploration of Shakespeare's words, their meaning and interpretations, but also in a discussion of the American penal system as well. Some of these themes are mature, as we won't hesitate to look at the psychology of violence, the nature of evil (and its banality), and what makes a person heroic. We will discuss historical referents, such as the Stanford Prison Study and the Holocaust.
It is essential to the mission of the Bards that Shakespeare is never made "child-friendly" or "dumbed down." We believe that your children are capable of contemplating and exploring weighty and difficult issues, and it's our desire that they take away from this production experience something lasting and meaningful. Not all Bards plays delve into issues this profound; we leaped light-heartedly into The Taming of the Shrew, Two Gentlemen of Verona, All's Well That Ends Well, The Tempest, and a host of other comedies that we've enjoyed producing. But we also don't shy away from the challenge of working through significant matters as we engage Shakespeare.
Please consider prior to auditioning whether you believe your child is ready for this sort of experience before preparing him/her for the audition process. If you have any questions or concerns about what will or won't be involved in this production, please contact us - we are always happy to answer any questions.
Also, be aware that there are different levels of participation. If you have a very young child who is interested in having a smaller role, it is not necessary for him or her to be at every rehearsal and exposed to the entirety of our discussions. During Richard III, there were three very young actors on the cast who never saw the entirety of the play in which they were acting, simply because their parents felt they were not quite ready for the subject matter. We are happy to make any reasonable accommodations. We are also happy to provide you with information on the substance of everything that we will be discussing, so that you can debrief with your child following rehearsal if you wish to.
One final note - if there is a swear word in the script (in short, if Shakespeare cusses), it will stay in the script that we perform.
Bring the following items with you to auditions:
- A memorized monologue. This monologue should be no shorter than 30 seconds, no longer than 4 minutes.
- A head shot. This doesn't have to be a professional head shot, but needs to accurately represent what you look like.
- A resume. Highlight your acting and/or dancing experience, but please keep in mind that Bards of Birmingham does not require acting experience in order to be cast. A committed novice actor would be preferred over a lackluster experienced actor.
Actors will be called back one at a time to perform for audition judge(s). If casting decisions can't be concluded with an initial round of auditions, actors may be asked to come back for a callback audition round which will include cold readings from the script.