Welcome to the Actors Ensemble of Berkeley website!

Auditions for our 2018 Winter Staged Reading Series Dec. 19 & 20

Presented in conjunction with our main stage production of An Enemy of the People

The Lady from the Sea
by Henrik Ibsen
directed by Susannah Wood
Monday, January 8th, 2018 at 8 p.m.
Live Oak Theatre, 1301 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley, CA 94709

A Protegee of the Mistress
by Alexander Ostrovsky
directed by Jeffrey Trescott
Monday, January 15th, 2018 at 8 p.m.
Live Oak Theatre, 1301 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley, CA 94709

John Gabriel Borkman
by Henrik Ibsen
directed by Aaron Murphy
Monday, January 22nd, 2018 at 8 p.m.
Old Finnish Hall Auditorium, 1819 10th Street, Berkeley, CA 94710

Rosmersholm
by Henrik Ibsen
directed by Crystal Brown
Monday, January 29th, 2018 at 8 p.m.
Old Finnish Hall Auditorium, 1819 10th Street, Berkeley, CA 94710


Auditions: Tuesday Dec. 19th and Wednesday Dec. 20th
from 7:00pm - 10:00pm
at The Sanctuary, 1707 Ward Street
Berkeley, CA, 94703

In conjunction with our main stage production of An Enemy of the People, performances Friday and Saturday nights, January 5 through January 27, with matinees on Sundays, January 14 and 21, Actors Ensemble is proud to organize a staged reading series featuring important, yet rarely produced, works by Henrik Ibsen, and in addition a production of a play by Ibsen's contemporary, the founder of modern Russian theatre and the ancestor of Chekhov, Alexander Ostrovsky.

Staged Readings are performed on stage with blocking, but with the script in hand (if necessary).  Minimal props and costumes (and no set).  For each reading there will be two rehearsals, on the immediately prior Thursday and Sunday evenings (e.g. the rehearsals for "The Lady from the Sea" will be January 4th and 7th, the rehearsals for "A Protegee of the Mistress" will be on January 11th and 14th, etc.).  The first two productions are produced with the cooperation of Theatrefirst's T1 Presents Performance Series, and will be performed at Live Oak Theatre.  The second two productions will be performed at the historic Old Finnish Hall Auditorium, built in 1910 and not used for theatrical productions since sometime in the 1990's, if not earlier.  Note that this is the Finnish Hall on 10th Street, not the Finnish Hall on Chestnut.

For the Auditions we would be happy to listen to a prepared monologue, preferably from a modernist play from this era, and/or read from sides we will provide.  If you are new to theater, don't be intimidated - we will guide you through the process!  If for some reason you cannot make the audition dates, do not hesitate to write to us - we may be able to make alternate arrangements.

Write This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for an audition appointment.  We will schedule 2-3 actors in 15 minute blocks, please come 15 minutes or so before your scheduled audition time, and bring a copy of your headshot and resume, and your schedule/conflicts up through January 28, 2018.  Non-AEA/no pay.  Actors Ensemble does cast cross-gender and cross-type on occasion (and espeicially for staged readings).

More info always at our website www.aeofberkeley.org
Questions?  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Join our Facebook Group! https://www.facebook.com/groups/67180033800
Follow us on Twitter:  @ActorsEnsmblBer

Below we provide some information on the plays:

The Lady from the Sea is a symbolic play from Ibsen's late period, focusing on issues of romantic longing and its conflict with responsibility.  The main character, Ellida Wangel, was at one time deeply in love with a Sailor, but has since then married Edvard though their son died as an infant.  The Sailor comes back to claim Ellida and she must choose.

Characters:
Doctor Edvard Wangel
Ellida Wangel, his second wife
Bolette, his elder daughter from a previous marriage
Hilde, her sister (in her teens)
Arnholm, a private tutor
Lyngstrand
Ballested
Stranger

A Protegee of the Mistress is a play from the middle period of Alexander Ostrovsky, the playwright most responsible for creating Russian theatrical tradition, and Checkhov's direct antecedent, though they were fated never to meet.  The play concerns a rich noblewoman in the Russian countryside who is in the habit of choosing and promoting favorites, in this case with disastrous consequences for the young girl for which the noblewoman has (in all virtue within her mind) conceived a perfect match.

Characters:
Ulanbekova, an noblewoman about 60
Leonid, her son, a student in St. Petersburg.
Vasilisa Peregrinovna, a pastor, about 40 years old.
Potapich, the old butler.
Nadia, a girl of 17, a favorite of Ulanbekova.
Gavrilovna, the elderly housekeeper.
Grisha, a boy of 19, favorite of the lady and a wastrel otherwise.
Liza, the maid.

John Gabriel Borkman is the penultimate play written by Ibsen, and melds both realistic and symbolic themes in its exploration of the title character, who has spent the last eight years in seclusion after having been found speculating with depositors' money during his tenure as bank manager.  He fights with his wife and her twin sister over the future of his son, and at the same time finally confronts his fate.

Characters:
Ella - woman in her 60s
Gundhild -  her twin sister, a woman in her 60s
John Gabriel Borkman - Gundhild's husband, a man in his 60s - 70s
Fodol - Borkman's childhood friend, a man in his 60s - 70s 
Mrs. Wilton - a woman in her 40s
Erhart - Gundhild's son, a man in his 20s
Frida - Fodol's daughter, a woman in her late teens/early 20s
Marlene - Gundhild's maid, a woman in her 30s - 60s

Rosmersholm is judged as one of Ibsen's greatest works, and yet it is rarely performed.  The protaganist, a rich landowner, attempts to support the modern, liberal development of the local community, but is besieged by his brother Kroll, who accuses him of being a traitor to his class, and at the same time he is tortured by the loss of his wife to suicide and his simultaneous attraction to Rebecca, a woman who has seemingly rejected all moral conventions.

Characters:
Johannes Rosmer, a former clergyman and owner of Rosmersholm, a manor
Rebecca West, a resident at Rosmersholm
Professor Kroll, Rosmer's brother-in-law
Ulrik Brendel, Rosmer's childhood tutor
Peder Mortensgaard, a newspaper editor whom Rosmer, while still a priest, denounced for adultery
Mrs. Helseth, housekeeper at Rosmersholm


 
2018 Winter Staged Readings
 

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 $5,200.00 awarded in 2016. This will enable us to continue to provide free or low cost opportunities for community members to participate in the life changing activities of theater arts.

Actors Ensemble Facebook Group

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