Arachne Theater’s ‘Much Ado’ and ‘Romeo & Juliet’

Expires: 2024/04/19
Paying up to $125.00 flat rate

Casting for Arachne Theater’s June 2024 outdoor/indoor festival of two productions: an adaptation of William Shakespeare’s “Much Ado About Nothing,” and “Romeo and Juliet.”

“Much Ado,” or “Much Ado: A Comedy of Very Tragical Mirth,” utilizes additional Shakespeare dialogue (from “Measure for Measure” and “All’s Well That Ends Well”) to focus on the comedy of being in love while giving more material to solve the dark twist at the heart of the play. In this bizarre tale of parents and children, passion and whispers, we see blossoming young love overcome the insidious expectations of the old world.

Arguably Shakespeare’s most enduring classic, “Romeo and Juliet” is a story of love, loss, and the failings of generations, both young and old. In this queer forward retelling, the focus is on not just one romance shattered by generational conflict, but three.

Company states: “Arachne Theater produces classical stories that resonate with our audiences today. We create productions that though familiar are accessible, exciting, and foster a curiosity for classical works. We believe that taking an irreverent approach to text makes stories authentic to today, and that theater makers and storytellers come from all walks of life. Now in its fourth year, our Summer Season is produced in agreement with NYC Parks as well as Caveat NYC.”

2 Project roles
"Much Ado"

All Ethnicities
Beatrice: female/woman identifying; cousin of Hero, determined to never marry. Intelligent, passionate, and extremely well read, she’s defined by her strength and her joy in defying social conventions; she defies them not out of spite, but because she is genuinely happy and will guard her happiness to the last. “Armed and armored”, Scorpio.Hero: female/woman identifying; cousin of Beatrice, determined to marry. She is presumed delicate, but is every inch self-possessed her cousin is; she chooses her silences carefully and (at least for the first part of the play) prefers to bow to social convention, controlling her image as the perfect daughter to keep the family happy. As long as she is rewarded with peace, the world does not need to change. “Intuitive and idealistic”, Pisces.Benedick: any gender; former lover of Beatrice, locked in an eternal battle of wits (and hearts). Determined to never marry, Benedick is passionate but wild, an eternal wanderer and thrill seeker; Benedick is a pessimist disguising their ideas as “realism”. The world is changing, and Benedick is determined to be there at its heart. “Inspired and indecisive”, Sagittarius.Claudio: any gender; Hero's lover and husband-to-be, a newly highly decorated soldier and considered somewhat of a young genius on the battlefield. Well-meaning and capable but easily taken in (think: Kronk). They’re overly optimistic, putting on a front of bravado, with serious self-doubt and suspicion underneath. “Resilient and steady”, Taurus.Friar Francis: any gender; a priest stepping into an arena of hypocrites, gossips, and sinners. Whereas the laypeople expect fire and brimstone, Francis is the opposite - kind, understanding, and seeking knowledge rather than wielding an executioner’s ax of judgment. “Harmonious and judicial”, Libra.Leonato: male/man identifying; Hero’s father and Beatrice’s uncle, stoic and carefully reserved, the Duke of Messina. As a man with no male heirs, all his hopes rest on his daughter Hero’s marriage, and her reputation is his greatest concern - a reputation that in his eyes should be maintained to archaic standards. To him, everything is a reflection on Hero, and therefore on him. He is a deeply kind and loving man at heart, but ruled by his social instincts. “Traditional and solitary”, Capricorn.Prince Pedro: any gender; Benedick's and Claudio's best friend and fellow soldier, as well as a Prince of Aragon. They have all the makings of a great leader but do not relish that position - preferring the company of their friends and the equalizing atmosphere of war. Pedro is caught between the way things were and the way things could be. “Innovative and seeking”, Aquarius.Don John: any gender; a villain of almost cartoon proportions, whose gossip sets off the primary conflict of the play. Motivated by the perceived instability of their newfound acceptance into the family as Prince Pedro’s illegitimate sibling, Don John is calculated and dramatic in their attempts to destabilize what is already teetering in the family. Their ideal new world order would be them on top, ruling with an archaic fist. “Indirect and manipulative”, Cancer.Borachio: any gender; servant to Don John and a proud sinner - drunkard, lecher, and so on and so forth. Loyal to whoever gives him a good time. “Curious and volatile”, Gemini.Dogberry and Seacoal: any gender; town guard clowns whose accidental discovery of the truth resolves the central conflict of the play. "Chaotic and flighty", Aries.Additional Roles: Conrade, Margaret, Ursula, Antonio, Balthasar, The Fool, and others; as cast, doubling and tripling.
Application deadline closed.
"Romeo and Juliet"
Juliet: any gender; a young, spirited intellectual, born to old money and deep pockets, who spends most of her free time devouring her parents extensive library. Sheltered, certainly, but not naïve. She relishes any chance for action and conversation, and staunchly believes that if one keeps a level head and applies careful logic, there’s no challenge you can’t surmount. A Page of Swords. The Fool.Romeo: male; a young light-hearted poet from a nouveau riche family, whose deepest delights come from conversation and his seemingly boundless well of joy. A dreamer, perhaps, but not weepy. He has a habit of maximizing his own emotions for the sake of performance, but to hear him say it, does that make them any less real? A Knight of Cups. The Star.Mercutio: any gender; an enigmatic bon-vivant, with a great delight in playing for shocks in the audience around them. Their penchant for breaking social norms and rules is probably rooted in their deep-seated anger at the world and its inauthenticity. Possessive, but far from jealous. The city has no choice but to tolerate their behavior, given their relationship to the Prince, and Mercutio is more than happy to take advantage. A Knight of Wands. The Emperor. Note: This production established that Mercutio and Benvolio are in a romantic relationship.Benvolio: any gender; an inherent peacemaker, whose highest aspiration is to lead the world to a state of contentment, helping their emotively volatile companions find their ways to peace. Submissive, but not disenfranchised. Not the loudest, and quite happy to be so; it leaves more time to nourish those around them. A Page of Cups. Temperance. Note: This production established that Mercutio and Benvolio are in a romantic relationship.Tybalt: any gender; a soldier with a keen, if unrefined, sense of justice, their moral outrage could change the world for the better if they could only harness it. A bullet, desperately waiting for a gun. Furious, yes, but principled. A Knight of Wands. The Hanged Man. *Note: in this production Tybalt, who will be wearing a wedding ring, is heavily implied to be having a deeply romantic affair with Paris*Paris: any gender; a carefully composed diplomat, with the magnanimity and grace to waltz in back rooms with the best of them and come out on top, even if their partner doesn’t know it. A devotee of the Establishment, but an uncorrupted one. A Knight of Swords. Justice. Note: In this production, Tybalt, who will be wearing a wedding ring, is heavily implied to be having a deeply romantic affair with Paris.The Nurse: any gender; a true and proper life of the party, who knows that the responsibilities of that role vary drastically depending on what party you’re attending. As long as they’re making someone happy, they’re happy. Loud, but with a keen understanding of boundaries and timings. A Queen of Cups. The Sun.Friar Laurence: any gender; while the Friar is certainly religious, they were drawn to the cloth not by a sense of piety, but by a thirst for scholarship. They consider it almost a sacred duty to guide the next generation of the world to a more intelligent, informed, and educated future. A wielder of aphorism, but far from sanctimonious. A King of Swords. The Hierophant.Lady Capulet: female; a matriarch in the truest sense of the word, whose intellect, precision, and stomach for cruelty have kept her house on top for many, many years. A woman totally capable of wielding the sword, the pen, and the scepter in their turn in service of her family. A lady of keen refinement who never leaves the house without a scheme. A Queen of Swords. The Chariot. Note: In this production, most of Lord and Lady Capulet’s texts have been swapped.Lord Capulet: male; an old soldier who has seen the world and done his time and come home to rest. Wholly content to be the balancer in his household, rather than the champion. A stalwart of the Old Guard, but still with some life left in him yet. A King of Cups. The Hermit. Note: In this production, most of Lord and Lady Capulet’s texts have been swapped.Additional Roles: Lord Montague, Prince, Gregory, Peter, As Cast.
Application deadline closed.