Chiltern Shakespeare hold open auditions for all of their productions.
Our casts will generally be a mixture of our regular actors, but we also welcome new actors every year.
We aim to have children in every production, and A Midsummer Night's Dream is no exception.
Chiltern Shakespeare is unusual locally in that we perform ten performances over two weeks.
Our audition process is easy, and does vary slightly from year to year, depending upon what the production entails and how the director envisages the production.
Doors at High March open at 7.45pm.
Monday 28th January 2019 at 8pm
Wednesday 30th January 2019 at 8pm
High March School,
High March is in two houses in Ledborough Lane. We will be at the site closest to the Penn Road/Beaconsfield High Street.
We expect you to have prepared your audition, but we do not expect you to have learnt it (e.g. be off book).
Please do not be offended on longer audition pieces if you are stopped before the end of the speech.
Audition Piece For Bottom
When my cue comes, call me, and I will answer. My next is,
most fair Pyramus. Hey ho. Peter Quince? Flute the bellowsmender?
Snout the tinker? Starveling? Gods my life! Stol’n
hence, and left me asleep: I have had a most rare vision. I
had a dream, past the wit of man, to say, what dream it was.
Man is but an Ass, if he go about to expound this dream. Methought
I was, there is no man can tell what. Me-thought I
was, and me-thought I had. But man is but a patch'd fool, if
he will offer to say, what me-thought I had. The eye of man
hath not heard, the ear of man hath not seen, man’s hand is
not able to taste, his tongue to conceive, nor his heart to
report, what my dream was. I will get Peter Quince to write a
ballet of this dream, it shall be called Bottom’s Dream,
because it hath no bottom; and I will sing it in the latter end
of a play, before the Duke. Peradventure, to make it the
more gracious, I shall sing it at her death.
Audition Piece For Demetrius:
My Lord, fair Helen told me of their stealth,
Of this their purpose hither, to this wood,
And I in fury hither followed them;
Fair Helena, in fancy followed me.
But my good Lord, I wot not by what power,
(But by some power it is) my love
To Hermia (melted as the snow)
Seems to me now as the remembrance of an idle gaud,
Which in my childhood I did dote upon:
And all the faith, the virtue of my heart,
The object and the pleasure of mine eye,
Is only Helena. To her, my Lord,
Was I betroth'd, ere I see Hermia,
But like a sickness did I loathe this food,
But as in health, come to my natural taste,
Now do I wish it, love it, long for it,
And will for evermore be true to it
Audition Piece For Egeus
Full of vexation, come I, with complaint
Against my child, my daughter Hermia.
Stand forth Demetrius.
My Noble Lord,
This man hath my consent to marry Hermia:
Stand forth Lysander.
And my gracious Duke,
This man hath bewitch'd the bosom of my child:
Thou, thou Lysander, thou hast given her rimes,
And interchang'd love-tokens with my child:
Thou hast by Moon-light at her window sung,
With faining voice, verses of faining love,
And stolen the impression of her fantasy,
With bracelets of thy hair, rings, gauds, conceits,
Knacks, trifles, Nose-gays, sweet meats (messengers
Of strong prevailment in unhardened youth)
With cunning hast thou filch'd my daughter’s heart,
Turn'd her obedience (which is due to me)
To stubborn harshness. And my gracious Duke,
Be it so she will not here before your Grace,
Consent to marry with Demetrius,
I beg the ancient privilege of Athens;
As she is mine, I may dispose of her;
Which shall be either to this Gentleman,
Or to her death, according to our Law,
Immediately provided in that case
Audition Piece For Helena
How happy some, o'er other some can be?
Through Athens I am thought as fair as she.
But what of that? Demetrius thinks not so:
He will not know, what all, but he doth know,
And as he errs, doting on Hermia’s eyes;
So I, admiring of his qualities:
Things base and wild, holding no quantity,
Love can transpose to form and dignity,
Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind,
And therefore is wing'd Cupid painted blind.
Nor hath loves mind of any judgement taste:
Wings and no eyes, figure, unheedy haste.
And therefore is Love said to be a child,
Because in choice he is often beguil'd,
As waggish boys in game themselves forswear;
So the boy Love is perjur'd every where.
For ere Demetrius looked on Hermia’s eyne,
He hail'd down oaths that he was only mine.
And when this Hail some heat from Hermia felt,
So he dissolv'd, and showers of oaths did melt,
I will go tell him of fair Hermia’s flight:
Then to the wood will he, tomorrow night
Pursue her; and for his intelligence,
If I have thanks, it is a dear expense:
But herein mean I to enrich my pain,
To have his sight thither, and back again.
Audition Piece For Hermia, Hippolyta and Fairy 1
Now I but chide, but I should use thee worse.
For thou (I fear) hast given me cause to curse,
If thou hast slain Lysander in his sleep,
Being o’er shoes in blood, plunge in the deep,
And kill me too:
The Sun was not so true unto the day,
As he to me. Would he have stolen away,
From sleeping Hermia? I’ll believe as soon
This whole earth may be bor'd, and that the Moon
May through the Centre creep, and so displease
Her brother's noontide, with th'Antipodes.
It cannot be but thou hast murdred him,
So should a murtherer look, so dead, so grim
Audition Piece For Lion (Snug) and Starveling
You Ladies, you (whose gentle hearts do
The smallest monstrous mouse that creeps on floor)
May now perchance, both quake and tremble here,
When Lion rough in wildest rage doth roar.
Then know that I, one Snug the Joiner am
A Lion fell, nor else no Lions dam:
For if I should as Lion come in strife
Into this place, 'twere pity of my life
Audition Piece For Lysander
Content with Hermia? no, I do repent
The tedious minutes I with her have spent.
Not Hermia, but Helena now I love;
Who will not change a Raven for a Dove?
The will of man is by his reason sway'd:
And reason says you are the worthier Maid.
Things growing are not ripe until their season;
So I being young, till now ripe not to reason,
And touching now the point of humane skill,
Reason becomes the Marshall to my will.
And leads me to your eyes, where I o'erlook
Loves stories, written in Loves richest book
Audition Piece For Oberon
Welcome good Robin
Seest thou this sweet sight?
Her dotage now I do begin to pity.
For meeting her of late behind the wood,
Seeking sweet savours for this hateful fool,
I did upbraid her, and fall out with her
For she his hairy temples then had rounded,
With coronet of fresh and fragrant flowers.
And that same dew which somtime on the buds,
Was wont to swell like round and orient pearls;
Stood now within the pretty flouriets eyes,
Like tears that did their own disgrace bewail.
When I had at my pleasure taunted her,
And she in mild terms begg'd my patience,
I then did ask of her, her changeling child,
Which straight she gave me, and her fairy sent
To bear him to my Bower in Fairy Land.
And now I have the Boy, I will undo
This hateful imperfection of her eyes.
And gentle Puck, take this transformed scalp,
From off the head of this Athenian swain;
That he awaking when the other do,
May all to Athens back again repair,
And think no more of this nights accidents,
But as the fierce vexation of dream.
But first I will release the Fairy Queen
Be thou as thou wast wont to be;
See as thou wast wont to see.
Dian’s bud, or Cupids flower,
Hath such force and blessed power.
Now my Titania wake you my sweet Queen
Audition Piece For Puck
Through the Forest have I gone,
But Athenian find I none,
One whose eyes I might approve
This flowers force in stirring love.
Nigh and silence: who is here?
Weeds of Athens he doth wear:
This is he (my master said)
Despised the Athenian maid:
And here the maiden sleeping sound,
On the dank and dirty ground.
Pretty soul, she durst not lie
Near this lack-love, this kill-curtesy.
Churl, upon thy eyes I throw
All the power this charm doth owe:
When thou wak'st, let love forbid
Sleep his seat on thy eye-lid.
So awake when I am gone:
For I must now to Oberon.
Audition Piece For Quince And Philostrate
If we offend, it is with our good will.
That you should think, we come not to offend,
But with good will. To shew our simple skill,
That is the true beginning of our end.
Consider then, we come but in despite.
We do not come, as minding to content you,
Our true intent is. All for your delight,
We are not here. That you should here repent you,
The Actors are at hand; and by their show,
You shall know all, that you are like to know
Audition Piece For Theseus
More strange then true. I never may believe
These antique fables, nor these Fairy toys,
Lovers and mad men have such seething brains,
Such shaping fantasies, that apprehend more
Then cool reason ever comprehends.
The Lunatic, the Lover, and the Poet,
Are of imagination all compact.
One sees more devils then vast hell can hold;
That is the mad man. The Lover, all as frantic,
Sees Helens beauty in a brow of Egypt.
The Poets eye in a fine frenzy rolling, doth glance
From heaven to earth, from earth to heaven.
And as imagination bodies forth the forms of things
Unknown; the Poets pen turns them to shapes,
And gives to air nothing, a local habitation,
And a name. Such tricks hath strong imagination,
That if it would but apprehend some joy,
It comprehends some bringer of that joy.
Or in the night, imagining some fear,
How easy is a bush suppos'd a Bear?
Audition Piece For Thisbe (Flute)
Asleep my Love? What, dead my Dove?
O Pyramus arise:
Speak, speak. Quite dumb? Dead, dead? A tomb
Must cover thy sweet eyes.
These Lilly Lips, this cherry nose,
These yellow Cowslip cheeks
Are gone, are gone: Lovers make moan:
His eyes were green as Leeks.
O Sisters three, come, come to me,
With hands as pale as Milk,
Lay them in gore, since you have shore
with shears, his thread of silk.
Tongue not a word: Come trusty sword:
Come blade, my breast imbrue:
And farewell friends, thus Thisbe ends;
Adieu, adieu, adieu
Audition Piece For Titania
These are the forgeries of jealousy,
And never since the middle Summers spring
Met we on hill, in dale, forest, or mead,
By paved fountain, or by rushy brook,
Or in the beached margent of the sea,
To dance our ringlets to the whistling Wind,
But with thy brawls thou hast disturb'd our sport.
Therefore the Winds, piping to us in vain,
As in revenge, have suck'd up from the sea
Contagious fogs: Which falling in the Land,
Hath every petty River made so proud,
That they have over-borne their Continents.
No night is now with hymn or carol blest;
Therefore the Moon (the governess of floods)
Pale in her anger, washes all the air;
That Rheumatic diseases do abound.
And through this distemperature, we see
The seasons alter; hoared headed Frosts
Fall in the fresh lap of the crimson Rose,
And on old Hyem's chin and Icy crown,
An odorous Chaplet of sweet Sommer buds
Is as in mockery set. The Spring, the Sommer,
The childing Autumn, angry Winter change
Their wonted Liveries, and the mazed world,
By their increase, now knows not which is which;
And this same progeny of evils,
Comes from our debate, from our dissention,
We are their parents and original
Audition Piece For Wall (Snout)
In this same Interlude, it doth befall,
That I, one Snout (by name) present a wall:
And such a wall, as I would have you think,
That had in it a crannied hole or chink:
Through which the Lovers, Pyramus and Thisbe
Did whisper often, very secretly.
This loam, this rough-cast, and this stone doth shew,
That I am that same Wall; the truth is so.
And this the cranny is, right and sinister,
Through which the fearful Lovers are to whisper