Warren Gerds/Critic at Large: Coronavirus: Video auditions sought for Shakespeare play in Green Bay

Coronavirus

Downtown Green Bay’s ‘Theatre in the Park’ with Play-by-Play Theatre

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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV)

Play-by-Play Theatre of Green Bay is holding auditions by video submissions for William Shakespeare’s “The Taming of the Shrew” for its August “Theatre in the Park” production with Downtown Green Bay. Info: playbyplaytheatre.org.

Due to the coronavirus COVID-19, live auditions are being replaced by Play-by-Play Theatre, which bills itself as Green Bay’s first professional regional theater company.

A performance is scheduled outdoors at 6 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 30, in Whitney Park, 800 Main St.

A cast of 13 is sought for the comedy. Directing is Carolyn Silverberg, who has a master’s degree in Shakespearean studies from the University of London, England. She is a graduate of St. Norbert College in De Pere.

Featured in the story is the courtship of bold nobleman Petruchio to headstrong Katherina. At first, Katherina wants nothing to do with the pushy Petruchio as he seeks to “tame” her to be a desirable, compliant and obedient bride. At the same time, Katherina’s younger sister, Bianca, is pursued by competing suitors as the “ideal” woman. The play from the 16th century has been adapted many times including as the musical “Kiss Me Kate.”

For the video auditions, the company asks for a resume along with a video recording of record a Shakespearean monologue, either one from “The Taming of the Shrew” characters suggested on its website or another the applicant is familiar with. Monologues do not need to be memorized.

Also: “Be sure to state your name at the beginning of your tape and record from the waist up. Please email submissions with title ‘SHREW Submission.’ In the body of your email, please include any particular character you might be interested in – this is optional – as well as major conflicts – we understand August is a ways away and our situation is constantly changing, but anything you tell us now is helpful.”

The deadline is Friday, June 5.
Also: “If we need to see more, we will schedule Zoom callbacks.
“Rehearsals will occur in August.
“Performers of all ethnic and racial backgrounds, bodies, and gender identifications are encouraged to audition for all roles. Ages 18 and up.”

The role list includes Katherine/Player, Petruchio/Christopher Sly, Bianca/Hostess, Lucentio/Player, Hortensio/Player, Trainio/Player, Biondello/Huntsman/Messenger, Grumio/Page Bartholomew, Baptista Minola/Player, Gremio/Player, Widow/Curtis/Player, Vincentio/Peter/Lord and Pedant/Tailor/Nathaniel/Servant.

The company notes, “We have condensed the number of Petruchio’s servants to accommodate multi-rolling – from six to three – as well as removed the Haberdasher. However, we are more than willing to expand cast size from 13 to 17 and include these roles again should we find it necessary.”

Play-by-Play Theatre and Downtown Green Bay also are scheduled to present Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” at 6:30 p.m. Sunday, June 28, in Whitney Park. That production is already cast with most players returning from last years’ first “Theatre in the Park” presentation.

In March, the region’s first virtual auditions by a local company were held by Abrams Spotlight Productions for its June 19-28 production of “Mark Twain’s Diary of Adam and Eve.”

Virtual auditions are a growing trend. Websites have popped up with tips. Here are a few suggestions they offer: Wear solid clothes in black or jewel-toned colors. Record inside. Stand in front of a solid background with good lighting. Practice a few times before recording.

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