AUDITIONS HAVE CONCLUDED FOR THIS PRODUCTION.
ALL EMPLOYEES OF GINGOLD THEATRICAL GROUP MUST BE FULLY VACCINATED BEFORE THE FIRST DAY OF REHEARSAL.
ALL COVID SAFETY GUIDELINES WILL BE FOLLOWEDEMC actors to be considered as possible understudies.
All actors must have a comprehensive facility with language-driven work and a British accent suitable to their character, as specified.
CHARACTER DESCRIPTIONS and MONOLOGUES
MRS. WARREN / 40-50ish / British accent: able to put on ‘posh’ but from a working-class background. / Mrs. Kitty Warren is a charismatic, proud, and highly accomplished businesswoman, which means that she’s adept at playing any role required to triumph in a male-dominated society in the early part of the 20th century in England. She has learned about life the hard way, from the ground up. Refusing to accept the defeatist structure imposed upon her, she has crafted the veneer of a ‘respectable woman’ while running a highly profitable string of elegant brothels in Europe. She has been supporting her daughter, who is now 20 and excelling in college, from afar, and surprises her during her summer holiday. During this visit, they get to know each other for the first time, and the encounter forces them both to confront all aspects of their lives and who they wish to be. In the course of this summer holiday, Mrs. Warren articulates her own past, aloud, for the first time, and realizes how much she has accomplished in life and how much it has cost her. She has been fighting every moment of her existence and now, looking into the future, she tries to imagine what it would be like to really share who she is with someone, hoping it might be her daughter. She can transition from an aggressive take-no-prisoners business woman into a flirtatious teenager on a dime, and enjoys the many roles she gets to play in her carefully constructed world.
What sort of mother do you take me for! How could you keep your self-respect in such starvation and slavery as I’d had? And what’s a woman worth, what’s life worth, without self-respect! Why am I independent and able to give my daughter a first-rate education, when other women that had just as good opportunities are in the gutter? I’ll tell you: Because I always knew how to respect myself and control myself. Now, of course, dearie, since you ask, yes: it’s only good manners to be ashamed of it: it’s expected from a woman. Women have to pretend to feel a great deal that they don’t feel. But I can’t stand saying one thing when everyone knows I mean another. What’s the use in such hypocrisy? If people arrange the world that way for women, there’s no good pretending it’s arranged the other way. No: I never was a bit ashamed really. I consider I had a right to be proud of how we managed everything so respectably, and never had a word against us, and how the girls were so well taken care of. Some of them did very well: one of them married an ambassador!
VIVIE WARREN / 20ish / British accent: RP. / Vivie has a quick and facile mind. She is fiercely independent and has sublimated her emotional life into her world as an award-winning academic. Never having any family connections, supported by her mother whom she barely knows, she has excelled in mathematics and plans to become a businesswoman having graduated from the famous women’s college, Newnham. While on summer holiday in the English countryside, her mother appears for a brief visit and they learn about each other for the first time. Vivie discovers that her entire life has been financed by her mother’s great success as the manager of high-class brothel hotels in Europe, which forces Vivie to make decisions about who she wishes to create her own future.
Mother: I know very well that fashionable morality is all a pretense, and that if I took your money and devoted the rest of my life to spending it fashionably, I might be as worthless and vicious as the silliest woman could possibly be without having a word said to me about it. But I don’t want to be worthless. I shouldn’t enjoy trotting about the park to advertize my dressmaker and carriage builder, or being bored at the opera to show off a shop windowful of diamonds. Wait a moment: I’ve not done. Frankly, I am not going to stand any of your nonsense; and when you drop it I shall not expect you to stand any of mine. I shall always respect your right to your own opinions and your own way of life. Everybody has some choice, mother. People are always blaming circumstances for what they are. I don’t believe in circumstances. The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and, if they can’t find them, make them.
FRANK GARDNER / 20ish / British accent: RP. / Frank is a skilled opportunist and manipulator, used to getting his way by using his easy charm and an overt sexual energy designed to impact both men and women. He’s boyishly adorable and he knows it. He had created a life among artists and aristocrats in London, having escaped the numbingly conservative confines of small-village life with his father, who is a Reverend. Having dried up all financial possibilities, he has returned to his father’s house, enduring the constant sermons about respectability, to make plans for returning to London and the high life. While in the village he has befriended Vivie Warren, finding solace as the two imagine themselves to be innocent and uncomplicated children.
How can you imagine I should be amazed by this revelation about dear Mrs. Warren? No, not in the least. I feel she’s perfectly accounted for at last. But what a facer for me, Praddy! I can’t marry my sweet adorable little Vivie, now: it’s not the moral aspect of the case: it’s the money aspect. I really can’t bring myself to touch the old woman’s money now. I haven’t any money, of course, nor the smallest turn for making it. But, look at all this! I made all this yesterday in an hour and a half. But I made it in a highly speculative business. No, dear Praddy: after the governor dies I shall have only four hundred a year. And he won’t die until he’s squeezed every bit of hope out of his life: he hasn’t originality enough. I shall be on short allowance for the next twenty years. No short allowance for Viv, if I can help it. I withdraw gracefully and leave the field to the gilded youth of England. So that settled. I shan’t worry her about it: I’ll just send her a little note after we’re gone. She’ll understand.
PRAED / 40-50ish / British accent: RP. / He is the younger son from an aristocratic British family, meaning he was not the heir but has a guaranteed income. He has a naturally sweet, loving, and forgiving nature: fascinated by the world and human nature. He views himself as an artist, more through appreciation than creating, and travels the world with gusto. Along his life’s path, probably while quite young, he befriended Mrs. Warren and has always felt parentally protective of her and his ingrained image of her as an impressionable younger woman. He has always longed to meet her daughter, Vivie, and is thrilled to finally be with her on a summer’s holiday weekend.
Oh, Miss Warren, how I wish I could persuade you to come with me. To try Italy, for instance, to saturate yourself with beauty and romance. You will cry with delight at living in such a beautiful world. Oh, I assure you I have cried—I shall cry again, I hope! At your age, Miss Warren, you would not need to go so far as Verona. Your spirits would absolutely fly up at the mere sight of Ostend. You would be charmed with the gaiety, the vivacity, the happy air of Brussels. There’s no use looking at me like that, Frank! I would talk about some other topic, if I could, but I’m afraid there’s nothing else in the world that I can talk about. The Gospel of Art is the only one I can preach. I know Miss Warren is a great devotee of the ‘Gospel of Getting On’; but we can’t discuss that without hurting your feelings, Mr. Frank Gardner, since you are determined not to get on.
SIR GEORGE CROFTS / 40-50ish / British accent: upper-class RP. / The eldest son of a prominent British aristocratic family, he views the world as a series of pragmatic negotiations that he will always win. He is the prime example of the male-dominated British Empire: entitled without apology, a bit sociopathic in not feeling responsible for anything other than his own needs, vain, and unprincipled. Having quickly gone through his family fortunes, he has become the respectable frontman for the string of upper-class brothels he has created with Mrs. Warren, who manages them. These brothels are exceedingly successful, which allows George to continue moving in the appropriate social circles, but society also expects him to have a wife, so he has come with Mrs. Warren on a summer holiday to visit her daughter in the English country-side as a possible bride.
SIR GEORGE CROFTS.
I’m quite aware that I’m not a young lady’s man. No; and to tell you the honest truth I don’t want to be either. But when I say a thing I mean it; and when I feel a sentiment I feel it in earnest; and what I value I pay hard money for. So, come, Miss Vivie: you needn’t pretend you don’t see what I’m driving at. I want to settle down with a Lady Crofts. I’m a good deal older than you. I shan’t live forever; and I’ll take care that you shall be well off when I’m gone. I’ve always been a good friend to your mother: ask her whether I wasn’t. She’d never have make the money that paid for your education if it hadn’t been for my advice and help, not to mention the money I advanced her. There are not many men who would have stood by her as I have. And just think of all the trouble and the explanations it would save if we were to keep the whole thing in the family, so to speak. Ask your mother whether she’d like to have to explain all her affairs to a perfect stranger. By the way, you’ll keep it to yourself, won’t you? Since it’s been a secret so long, it had better remain so.
REVEREND SAMUEL GARDNER / 40-50ish / British accent: RP / He is the Reverend of a small church in a small village in England, and determined to maintain his place as a spotlessly respectable family man and representative of the Church of England. He was the younger son of an aristocratic family, so was not the heir. As a young man, he was living on a fixed income and proceeded to overspend and live the high-life in London until his family stepped in and forced him into the role he now, rather uncomfortably, plays as the religious leader of the community. He had known Mrs. Warren during his wilder years and is shocked and dismayed to suddenly find her in his domain. He has tried to keep his colorful past hidden from his son, who is clearly determined to follow in his past playboy ways, but the Reverend has little control over his son. Encountering Mrs. Warren again forces him to realize how unengaged he has been with his own life.
REVEREND SAMUEL GARDNER.
Now I urge you to pay strict attention to me, my boy. I have advised you to conquer your idleness and flippancy and to work your way into an honorable profession and live on it and not upon me. And, as for your insisting on holding my past indiscretions over my head, for Heaven’s sake! You are taking an ungentlemanly advantage of what I confided to you for your own good. Frank, my boy when I wrote those letters I put myself into that woman’s power. When I told you about them I put myself, to some extent, I am sorry to say, in your power. She refused my money with these words, which I shall never forget. “Knowledge is power” she said; “and I never sell power.” That’s more than twenty years ago; and she has never made use of her power or caused me a moment’s uneasiness. You are behaving worse to me than she did, Frank. Oh, dear! Oh, here they come! How do I look? Am I presentable?
EPA SUBMISSION INSTRUCTIONS
(EMC understudy submissions acceptable)
On video, please clearly state your name and role, perform one listed character monologue as provided, no more than 3 minutes total. Please upload your video to YouTube, Vimeo, Dropbox, or other third-party platform; please do not send your audition video as a file attachment. Please email the link to your audition video NO LATER THAN AUGUST 4, 2021. Please include Picture & Resume in your email as attachments. Send to: MrsWarrenCasting21@gmail.com / In email subject line: MW Auditions, + your name / In body of email, include which one character you are auditioning for.
ALL EMPLOYEES OF GINGOLD THEATRICAL GROUP MUST BE FULLY VACCINATED BEFORE THE FIRST DAY OF REHEARSAL.