Wherefore art thou, actors?

THAT WHICH WE CALL A ROSE: The famous balcony scene in Romeo and Juliet depicts Romeo redolent with steamy tension in Ford Madox Brown’s sensuously textured, 1870 painting. With outstretched arm, the young man is torn between nuzzling Juliet’s neck and making his hasty departure before he is spotted by Juliet’s attendant.
The moment is a little more tempered in movie director George Cukor’s 1936 MGM black and white film starring Leslie Howard and Norma Shearer. Pictures supplied

The ancient grudge between two households outlined in the prologue to Shakespeare’s tragedy Romeo and Juliet sets the scene for the “two hours’ traffic of our stage”.

For anyone interested in being part of that traffic in Unity Theatre’s first production for 2019, an introduction to the play, then auditions, will be held on Saturday and Sunday.

The story of Romeo and Juliet centres on two young lovers who are kept apart by their families’ enmity. Several other significant roles are also available as well as background characters such as citizens, servants, ball guests and guards.

“My idea for the auditions is to do a general introduction to the whole play to give a background to it and how I intend to make it happen in terms of staging,” says director Norman Maclean.

“We’ll have a discussion about the roles and the kind of characters in the play. This way I can get everyone in the picture.”

Also planned is a fun performance activity for the group who will be split to represent the opposing households of the Capulet and Montague families to get a sense of the argy-bargy and strained loyalties the audience sees between the star-crossed lovers’ families.

That relationship is established at the beginning of the play in comic fashion. After a brief, light-hearted exchange that includes some coarse innuendo, Sampson and Gregory, servants of the house of Capulet, see a couple of Montague men and plan to provoke them into a fight.

Gregory: Draw thy tool!

Samson: My naked weapon is out!

But it’s all bravado: “I will frown as I pass by, and let them take it as they list,” says Gregory.

With the entrance of Tybalt who hates the word peace, and the Montagues, the exchange of schoolboy insults becomes potentially deadly. Maclean plans to include a range of weaponry in the production that will include some stage combat.

“Being a large cast play this will be the sort of large cast production where everyone who is keen to be involved can be involved.”

The production will be staged in April. Script samples for the principal roles are available on Unity Theatre’s Facebook page.

Auditions will be held at Unity Theatre, Ormond Road at 3pm on Saturday January 19 and Sunday January 20.

The ancient grudge between two households outlined in the prologue to Shakespeare’s tragedy Romeo and Juliet sets the scene for the “two hours’ traffic of our stage”.

For anyone interested in being part of that traffic in Unity Theatre’s first production for 2019, an introduction to the play, then auditions, will be held on Saturday and Sunday.

The story of Romeo and Juliet centres on two young lovers who are kept apart by their families’ enmity. Several other significant roles are also available as well as background characters such as citizens, servants, ball guests and guards.

“My idea for the auditions is to do a general introduction to the whole play to give a background to it and how I intend to make it happen in terms of staging,” says director Norman Maclean.

“We’ll have a discussion about the roles and the kind of characters in the play. This way I can get everyone in the picture.”

Also planned is a fun performance activity for the group who will be split to represent the opposing households of the Capulet and Montague families to get a sense of the argy-bargy and strained loyalties the audience sees between the star-crossed lovers’ families.

That relationship is established at the beginning of the play in comic fashion. After a brief, light-hearted exchange that includes some coarse innuendo, Sampson and Gregory, servants of the house of Capulet, see a couple of Montague men and plan to provoke them into a fight.

Gregory: Draw thy tool!

Samson: My naked weapon is out!

But it’s all bravado: “I will frown as I pass by, and let them take it as they list,” says Gregory.

With the entrance of Tybalt who hates the word peace, and the Montagues, the exchange of schoolboy insults becomes potentially deadly. Maclean plans to include a range of weaponry in the production that will include some stage combat.

“Being a large cast play this will be the sort of large cast production where everyone who is keen to be involved can be involved.”

The production will be staged in April. Script samples for the principal roles are available on Unity Theatre’s Facebook page.

Auditions will be held at Unity Theatre, Ormond Road at 3pm on Saturday January 19 and Sunday January 20.

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