South Hill Park

RG12 7PA

Casting Call – Measure for Measure by William Shakespeare

January 28, 2019

Casting Call – Measure for Measure by William Shakespeare

Directed by Luke Burton & Gemma Harris

The Studio Theatre Company is holding auditions for Measure for Measure by William Shakespeare taking place in July 2019 in the Studio Theatre South Hill Park.

Show dates – 17th – 20th July 2019 7.30pm

Audition dates – 11th & 14th March 2019 7-10pm

Rehearsals – Rehearsals will start 13th May 2019 and be on Monday and Thursday evenings from 7-10pm

Auditions are by appointment and will be in 15 minute time slots. Please email to book a slot.

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Show Synopsis

Justice! Mortality! Mercy! Corruption! Purity!

Set in the not so distant future, will corruption or justice persevere? Measure for Measure revolves around the fate of Claudio, who is arrested by Lord Angelo, the temporary leader of Vienna. Angelo is left in charge by the Duke, who pretends to leave town but instead dresses as a friar to observe the goings-on in his absence. Angelo is strict, moralistic, and unwavering in his decision-making; he decides that there is too much freedom in Vienna and takes it upon himself to rid the city of brothels and unlawful sexual activity. Laws against these behaviors and institutions already exist, and Angelo simply decides to enforce them more strictly. Claudio is arrested for impregnating Juliet, his lover, before they were married. Claudio is sentenced to death in order to serve as an example to the other Viennese citizens.

Isabella, Claudio’s sister, is about to enter a nunnery when her brother is arrested. She is unfailingly virtuous, religious, and chaste. When she hears of her brother’s arrest, she goes to Angelo to beg him for mercy. He refuses, but suggests that there might be some way to change his mind.

First performed in 1604, the themes in Measure for Measure somehow seem more relevant in a modern day setting. “Some rise by sin, and some by virtue fall.”

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Characters (in alphabetical order, there will be some multi-roling required detailed below)

Abhorson (13 lines) an executioner

Angelo (83 lines) The villain of the play, a man who rules strictly and without mercy. He has his own weaknesses, however, and he is loathsome more for his hypocrisy than for anything else. He presents Isabella with a difficult proposition and then does not even hold up his end of the bargain.

Barnadine (7 lines) – A long-term prisoner in the jail, Barnadine is sentenced to be executed together with Claudio. The Duke originally considers him hopeless and therefore dispensable but later changes his mind.

Claudio (35 lines) Isabella’s brother Claudio is a young man sentenced to death for impregnating an unmarried woman. He was engaged to her by a common-law agreement, but they had sexual intercourse before the legal marriage took place. Claudio depends less on the guidance of laws and religious practices than on his sister.

Elbow (28 lines) Elbow is a dim-witted constable who arrests people for misconduct, particularly of the sexual variety. He speaks in malapropisms and provides comic-relief throughout the play.

Escalus (78 lines) Escalus is a wise lord who advises Angelo to be more merciful. He is loyal to the Duke and seeks to carry out his orders justly, but cannot go against Angelo’s will.

First Gentleman (12 lines) A soldier

Francisca (2 lines) a nun

Friar Peter (7 lines)

Friar Thomas (3 lines)

Froth (8 lines) a foolish gentleman

Isabella (129 lines) The main character, Isabella, is a very virtuous and chaste young woman who faces a difficult decision when her brother is sentenced to death for fornication (unlawful sex). Isabella does not approve of her brother’s actions at all, but she pleads for his life out of loyalty and sisterly devotion. Isabella is a spiritual person who starts off wanting to become a nun.

Juliet (7 lines) Claudio’s lover, she is pregnant with his baby.

Lucio (111 lines) described by Shakespeare as a “fantastic,” is a flamboyant bachelor who provides much of the play’s comedic content. He is a friend of Claudio’s and tries to help him.

Mariana (24 lines) Mariana was supposed to marry Angelo, but he called the wedding off when she lost her dowry in a shipwreck that killed her brother.

Mistress Overdone (15 lines) Mistress Overdone runs a brothel in Vienna.

Pompey (60 lines) Pompey is a clown who also works for Mistress Overdone.

Provost (65 lines)The provost runs the prison and is responsible for carrying out all of Angelo’s orders.

Second Gentlemen (9 lines) A soldier

Duke Vincentio (194 lines) – The other central figure is the Duke, who spends most of his time dressed as a friar in order to observe what is happening in his absence. The Duke is unfailingly virtuous, good, and kind-hearted. He tends to rule a little softly, which is why he enlists Angelo’s help.


Likely doubling of smaller parts:

Abhorson/Friar Peter/1st Gentleman

Barnadine/Elbow/2nd Gentleman

Friar Thomas/Froth/Servant/Messenger


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Please prepare for the audition:

• A monologue from Measure for Measure. A link to the script we are using is

• A contrasting monologue from any Shakespeare show.