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This page shows auditions and opportunities to work backstage, front of house, and on the technical sides of future productions.
Kanata Theatre is a community organization which originated in the then-new Beaverbrook community of Kanata. From the start, members were expected to take part in all activities: building and painting scenery, making costumes, setting up lights and sound, selling tickets and so on, as well as acting. We have tried to keep that tradition, even though our “community” is now the whole City of Ottawa.
We encourage you not just to try out for a part and then move on to a role in another company, but to join in and help with any or all aspects of theatre. Become a member and receive our newsletter Greasepaint which will inform you of what’s going on.
Kanata Theatre presents Quartet, by Ronald Harwood. It will be directed by Barbara Kobolak and presented at the Ron Maslin Playhouse in Kanata.
Performance Dates: March 24th – 28th and March 31st – April 4th, 2020
Rehearsal Days: 7-10 pm on Sundays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays beginning January 12, 2020, adding Wednesdays in February and March.
Audition Dates: Sunday December 1, 2-5 pm & Monday December 2, 7-10 pm.
Callback Date (if required): Wednesday December 4, 7-10 pm
First Read through: Scheduled for Monday, December 9th , 7-10 pm.
Location: Ron Maslin Playhouse (1 Ron Maslin Way, Kanata) rehearsal room.
Enter the building by the double doors at the rear. Arrive 15 minutes early to complete audition form.
Process: Cold readings from script and individual and group tasks. If you have a head shot/resume, bring a copy, but this is not required. Bring a list of all your potential conflicts with rehearsal schedule.
Play Synopsis: Quartet concerns four aged opera singers who gather together for a concert at their retirement home, having been asked to reprise their famous quartet from Rigoletto. Three of them are in agreement about this but, Jean, the newcomer, wants nothing to do with it. The play examines a number of the challenges faced by older people. But these challenges can be tackled if one has pride in personal accomplishments, and the will to try again. The play is a comedy/drama set in 1999, in a retirement home for musicians in Kent, England.
Character Notes: All the characters are in their early seventies (but that doesn’t mean that anyone auditioning has to be in their seventies – only that you will be portraying people of that age). And, you do not sing in the play (as opposed to the movie).
Wilfred (Wilf) Bond (the baritone of the quartet): A friendly widower with a rogue’s sense of humour who loves to tell stories and jokes. Seems to have frittered away whatever he earned. He uses a walking-stick (has a bad leg). Wilf achieved acclaim as a baritone, but fell short of major fame. His motto for living at Beecham House and navigating old-age: NSP – No self-pity.
Reginald (Reggie) Paget (the tenor of the quartet): Quiet, calm, detail-oriented, studious – comes off more as a teacher or scholar – and likes a sense of order in his life. Achieved some renown as a tenor, and saved his earnings. Once married to Jean, but they parted badly and the marriage was annulled. Never remarried. Content with his life as it now is – no self pity. Not pleased to see Jean again.
Cecily (Cissy) Robson (the contralto of the quartet): Of the four, the one who achieved the least as regards fame, and has always had to struggle. Born in India, and sent to England for schooling. Cheerful, always willing to help others out, no self-pity. Never married, and has no savings. She’s beginning to exhibit symptoms of dementia.
Jean Horton (the soprano of the quartet): An operatic diva who attained the major fame of an international career, but retired under mysterious circumstances. She’s had several husbands. Jean uses a walking-stick (bad hip). She comes to the retirement home, penniless but proud, hoping to become friends with Reggie again. Exhibits lots of self-pity, until persuaded to change her attitude.
Voice of Bobby Swanson: Bobby is a contemporary of the others. He acts as a heckler who fancies himself a comedian when he interrupts Reggie and Wilf during the introduction of the quartet towards the end of Act II. If anyone is interested in this, please let us know – we could have more than one person involved in this.
Accents: Looking for the two men not to have the same accent (so that their voices don’t sound the same). For example – if Reggie has more of a Standard British accent, then Wilf could have an accent that wasn’t Standard British (meaning, any other English, Irish, Scottish, or Welsh accent). The same thing for the two women: differing accents so that their voices don’t sound the same.
Memory Quartet: In the last 3-4 minutes of the play, the four actors begin to lip-synch to Verdi’s Rigoletto, the quartet “Bella figlia del amore” (“Beautiful daughter of love”). As these four older actors step back into the shadows, four younger versions of themselves step forward and sing the actual quartet – in effect, giving us a Jean, Cissy, Wilf, and Reggie, as in memory of what they once were as performers in the opera. So, yes, we are looking for a soprano, a baritone, a contralto (or a mezzo-soprano), and a tenor (all in age range late 20s-30s), for this “memory quartet”.