KINGSTON, R.I. — Feb. 1, 2017 — The University of Rhode Island Theatre Department is calling for actors to audition for its spring 2017 production of “The Great Gatsby.” The auditions are open to the public. To register, call the URI Theatre Department at (401) 874-5921 or visit the theatre office on the second floor of the Fine Arts Center, 105 Upper College Road, Kingston.
“The Great Gatsby,” F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic American novel, has been adapted by Simon Levy for the stage and will be directed by URI Theatre Associate Professor Bryna Wortman, who has also directed productions such as “Good People,” “In the Next Room,” “Seminar and “All My Sons.” This play, set in the Jazz Age of the Roaring 1920s, reveals the careless callousness of the very wealthy on the East end of Long Island, N.Y., and their disregard for others. Gatsby centers around the mysterious, enigmatic millionaire, Jay Gatsby, and his love for the beautiful, married, money-voiced Daisy Buchanan, the wife of Tom Buchanan, who is embroiled in an infidelity with Myrtle Wilson, the wife of a garage mechanic in Queens, N.Y. The result of the frenetic partying – the drinking, the dancing, the fast driving – cannot be anything less than a horrific crash.
Though “The Great Gatsby” is not a traditional musical, Simon Levy has written it in cinematic style and requests it be treated as such. Given budget and talent, the play will be performed as potentially one frenetic party – the haves and the havenots with musical transitions.
The Theatre Department seeks 15 to 20 actors, to audition in G Studio of the Fine Arts Center, 105 Upper College Road in Kingston on Feb. 7 and 8. Members of the cast of “The School for Lies,” will audition from 5 to 6:15 p.m. on Feb. 7, while singers and dancers (Charleston, foxtrot and tango are preferred) will perform from 6:15 to 8:30 p.m. Singers may solo, pair or trio either acapella or they may bring in 32 bars of sheet music (jazz age, roaring ’20s style only). Time slots are open to all academic years and community members. Juniors, seniors and community members will audition from 8:30 to 11 p.m.
Freshmen and sophomores will audition Feb. 8 from 7:30 to 10:30 p.m.
Call backs will be held in the Robert E. Will Theatre of the Fine Arts Center on Feb. 10, with singers and dancers performing from 5 to 6 p.m., and all others from 6 to 11 p.m.
Actors are required to read the play, as well as to choose a 1- to 2-minute contemporary monologue (1917 – 2017) with no harsh, foul or slang language. Actors should demonstrate command over words and emotions of wealthy, educated people with awareness of subtext, and attempt to convey thoughts and feelings. Some play sides may be read at auditions. Sides will definitely be read at call backs.
The URI Theatre Department will be casting actors to fill the following roles:
Jay Gatsby, Enigmatic, wealthy, charming, a romantic idealist
Daisy Buchanan, Southern, with a voice that sounds like money.
Mercurial, bipolar, the center of attention
Nick Carroway, Midwestern, Daisy’s second cousin, a kind, gentle man
Tom Buchanan, Daisy’s wealthy husband from Chicago business
background conveying power, even cruelty
Jordan Baker, Daisy’s friend, golf champion. emancipated, self-assured
Myrtle Wilson, Tom’s girlfriend, from Queens, N.Y., sensual, temperamental
George Wilson, Myrtle’s husband, Queens, N.Y., spiritless and anemic
Meyer Wolfsheim, Elderly Broadway gambler, probably Gatsby’s shady
McKee, Tom’s New York neighbor, snobby
McKee, Tom’s New York neighbor, silly, stupid
Michaelis, Owner of Queens, N.Y. diner near Wilson’s garage
Saxophone player, Must be able to play jazz, blues, 1920s style
The first read through of the play will take place Feb. 25 from 12:30 to 5:30 p.m. and rehearsals will begin March 7 from 6 to 10 p.m. Rehearsals will generally take place Tuesday through Friday each week from 6 to 10 p.m., with the main cast also rehearsing Saturdays and Sundays from 1 to 5 p.m. Understudies will rehearse Sundays from 6 to 10 p.m. There will be no rehearsals during Spring Break, from March 11 through March 19.
Performances of “The Great Gatsby” will run April 20 to 22 and April 27-29 at 7:30 p.m. with additional performances April 23 and April 30 at 3 p.m. “The Great Gatsby” will be performed in the Robert E. Will Theatre of the Fine Arts Center at 105 Upper College Road on the Kingston campus.
URI Theatre is committed to an environment of inclusion and diversity. Auditions are open to any student, staff member, or faculty member of The University of Rhode Island, as well as any member of the community. Non-traditional and equal-opportunity casting is encouraged.