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AUDITIONS March 24/25 for "Much Ado about Nothing" and "The Imaginary Invalid"

Actors Ensemble of Berkeley is accepting in-person and video auditions for our Summer 2024 productions in John Hinkel Park of Shakespeare's "Much Ado About Nothing", directed by Glenn Havlan, and Molière's "The Imaginary Invalid", directed by Jay Manley. We will accept both video and in-person auditions, though in-person is preferred.  For both auditions, please fill out the signup form below:


For video auditions, there is space within the form for you to submit either a file or a link to an external video.  In-person auditions will be scheduled for 5-minutes/actor in 15-minute intervals, please sign up for a time slot using the link below, and please arrive at least 15 minutes before your appointment time:


PRODUCTION DETAILS----------------------------
ACTORS ENSEMBLE OF BERKELEY is now accepting in-person and video auditions for Shakespeare's "Much Ado About Nothing", directed by Glenn Havlan, and Molière's  "The Imaginary Invalid", directed by Jay Manley. Performances will be weekend afternoons,  4 p.m., at John Hinkel Park Amphitheatre, 41 Somerset Pl., Berkeley, CA 94707, and most rehearsals (as we get close to opening we will have some rehearsals in the park itself) will be at LaVal's Subterranean Theater, 1834 Euclid Ave, Berkeley, CA 94709.

Open auditions for both shows will be Sunday and Monday, March 24 and 25, from 7-9:45 pm at Playground Playspace,  3286 Adeline St #9, Berkeley, CA 94703.  We prefer that you audition in-person, but the option of a video audition is provided.  Auditions will be self-scheduled in 6-minute time periods, please arrive at least 15 minutes beforehand.  

For preliminary auditions, please prepare two contrasting 1-2 minute, memorized monologues, one from Shakespeare.  If auditioning only for "Much Ado", one monologue from Shakespeare will be satisfactory, and it may be up to two minutes long.  If auditioning only for "Imaginary", neither monologue need be from Shakespeare.  Readings from the play will be provided for callbacks.

Callbacks for "Much Ado" will be Monday and Tuesday, April 1 and 2nd, 7-10pm, at the same location.  Callbacks for "The Imaginary Invalid" will be Monday, April 8th, also at the same location.

The productions will be held in the beautiful John Hinkel Park Amphitheatre, free of charge to all in attendance.   We will ask the cast to help soliciting donations to support the  production at the end of each show, and a modicum of help with setup and  teardown.  At each performance refreshments will be available to the audience, which will be offered gratis to the cast. 

We provide expense reimbursement up to $310 per actor per production for actors cast in the role.

"Much Ado About Nothing":

Actors Ensemble of Berkeley presents 21st Century Shakespeare for Our Times in the outdoor setting of John Hinkel Park.  "Much Ado" plays Saturday/Sunday June 29th - July 14th, 2024 at 4 p.m., plus Thursday July 4th, also at 4 p.m.  Rehearsals will be Tuesday-Friday nights beginning May 14th, primarily in-person at La Val's Subterranean Theater in Berkeley, with some Zoom-based table reads the week of May 7th, and in-person rehearsals during the day at the park on June 16th, 23rd, and the evenings of June 26/27/28. 

What happens when "Much Ado About Nothing" is set in 2024? What if the traditional gender roles are scrambled? What if a multi-racial community is proportionately portrayed? What if the inclusive society that we deserve is shown in any and all characters and their personalities?

These days, so much revisionist Shakespeare attempts to decentralize the main protagonists, to invent agency for repressed characters, to change the play to convey an intended message. But we’re going to see what we get when we see and hear different people, modern people, take over the positions, intents, and language of these characters with a new regard for the increasing emergence of diverse individuals.

We are seeking a cast of sixteen. Benedick will be played by a woman, as a woman. Beatrice will be played as a man, by a man. We will consider any actor for any role, but we’re looking to reinterpret other roles by cross-gendered and non-traditional casting. We actively seek actors of all ages, races, genders, and persuasions.  All levels of experience are welcome.  We’re looking for qualities, not types.

Directed by Glenn Havlan, who returns to Actors Ensemble of Berkeley after appearing in "Mothers All" in 2022. Previously with AEB he played Peter Stockmann in "An Enemy of the People". He has been a regular with The Curtain Theatre in Mill Valley, playing Friar Laurence in last year's "Romeo and Juliet". Previously with Curtain, he played The Duke of Milan in 2022’s "The Two Gentlemen of Verona" and "Sir Toby Belch" in 2021’s Twelfth Night. He has appeared in nine shows with the Marin Shakespeare Company and played Jaques in their 25th Anniversary production of "As You Like It".  Glenn has performed in and/or directed forty productions of twenty different Shakespeare plays. He founded two San Francisco companies, the Free Civic Theater and the Theater of Others, staging fifty productions from 2000-2019.

"The Imaginary Invalid":

In the outrageously funny masterpiece "The Imaginary Invalid", the hypochondriac Argan is determined to marry his daughter to a doctor so he can have medical expertise at the ready as well as save on his medical bills. But naturally his daughter is in love with another. The whole household joins in a madcap scheme to save true love and give Argan's doctors a dose of their own medicine.  "Imaginary" plays Saturday/Sunday August 24th - September 8th, 2024 at 4 p.m., plus Labor Day Monday September 2nd, also at 4 p.m. 

Directed by Jay Manley.  Jay, who has extensive experience presenting  Molière classics, has directed throughout the Bay Area, including many award-winning productions, ranging from six “Mountain Plays,” presented at the huge amphitheatre atop Mount Tamalpais, to intimate, new works, including “The Divine Sarah,” at Ross Valley Players.

Rehearsals will begin mid-July, Utilizing some Sunday-Thursday evenings and some Saturday daytimes.  In-person rehearsals at the park during the day on August 17/18 and in the evening on August  21/22/23.We actively seek actors of all ages, races, genders, and persuasions; cross-gender casting is definitely possible with some roles in this play. All levels of experience are welcome. The play will not be performed  with French dialect; it’s all contemporary.

Characters in the Play:

M. Argan – the “invalid,” a hopeless hypochoncriac who revels in his illnesses, and will do anything in his power to care for himself at the least possible cost.
Toinette – Servant in Argan’s household – smart, very sassy, protective of Argan’s daughter, Angelique, and unafraid of her master’s railings.
Béline – Argtan’s second wife, apparently devoted to her husband, but in fact, greedy and only in it for his money.
Angélique – Argan’s lovely daughter, obedient, in love with Cléante, and unwilling to follow her father’s wishes.
Cléante – in love with Angélique.
Dr. Diafoirus – a doctor of dubious distinction, trying to get anything he can out of Argan.
Thomas Diafoirus – the doctor’s son, about to graduate from medical school, a rather dull-witted fellow, but Argan wants him as his son-in-law, so he will always have access to cheap medical attention.
Louise – Argan’s younger daughter.
Béralde – Argan’s sensible brother, who works to undermine Argan’s attempts.
Fleurante – an apothecary, who attempts to treat Argan
Dr. Purgeon – another opportunistic doctor.
Punchinello – a money lender.


Much Ado About Nothing
by William Shakespeare
adapted and directed by Glenn Havlan
produced by Actors Ensemble of Berkeley
4 p.m. Saturday/Sunday June 29th - July 14th plus Thursday, July 4th.
John Hinkel Park Amphitheatre
41 Somerset Pl.,  Berkeley, CA 94707.
Performances are Free of Charge

The Imaginary Invalid
by Moliere
Directed by Jay Manley
produced by Actors Ensemble of Berkeley
4 p.m. Saturday/Sunday August 24th - September 8th plus Labor Day Monday, September 2nd.
John Hinkel Park Amphitheatre
41 Somerset Pl.,  Berkeley, CA 94707.
Performances are Free of Charge

Actors Ensemble
P.O. Box 663
Berkeley, CA 94701
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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 ¦

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