Auditions for William Shakespeare’s Land of The Dead

Join us for the first show of our British Invasion season: a play in which the British of Queen Elizabeth’s era are invaded by a plague of the undead.  Patrick DuLaney will direct.  Auditions will be held on August 10 and 11, from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the Coralville Library (Schwab Auditorium).  If callbacks are needed, they will be held on August 12, same time and place.

The play tells the tale of a zombie plague in Elizabethan London, just as Shakespeare is premiering his play, Henry V, at the newly constructed Globe Theatre, which is the only building strong enough to keep out The Afflicted. Yes, it is a mash-up of Shakespeare and zombies, and it has humor, but is played very straight.

The entire script is online here.

The show goes up October 16-18, which includes a Friday matinee for students.  Please let us know on your audition sheet if you cannot be available on the afternoon of October 16 for the Friday matinee.

To audition, fill out an Audition Form.  Once it has been submitted, our producer will let you know your audition time.  Actors may walk in and audition without an appointment, but scheduled auditions will take priority.

Auditions will consist of cold readings from the script.  If you wish to prepare a monologue, you may. Optional monologues should be no more than 1-2 minutes in length, and show ability with language. English dialect (standard RP or Cockney) is preferred, but not necessary.

Cast Breakdown

William Shakespeare (30’s) – At the peak of his talent. A superstar. Smart, sensitive, funny, brooding, sullen. Think Hamlet.

Richard Burbage (30’s-40’s ) — Shakespeare’s leading actor. Plays kings. A born leader. Warm, generous, courageous, simple.

Will Kemp (30’s – 40’s)- A clown. Shakespeare’s foil. Clever, funny, the center of every room, larger than life, vain, insecure.

Kate: (Age open) – The attiring woman. Earthy, honest, practical, been around. The sometime concubine and muse of Shakespeare – and others.

Francis Bacon (30’s-50’s) – A lawyer and nobleman. Clever, self-possessed, calculating, dangerous, but a sycophant. Excellent swordsman.

Queen Elizabeth – (50’s-70’s) – Ruler absolute. The smartest person in the play. Shrewd, funny, does not suffer fools. Very much in the vein of Judi Dench in Shakespeare in Love.

John Rice – (teens-20’s) – A young actor, apprentice to the players, smart, sensitive, curious, heroic. Will spend the play dressed as the French Princess from Henry V, in keeping with historical accuracy.

Sir Robert Cecil (30’s-50’s) – Elizabeth’s right-hand man. A killer. Humorless, smart, calculating. The best swordsman on stage.

Doctor John Dee (40’s – 70’s) – Elizabeth’s astrologer and mathematician. Brilliant, eccentric, borders on manic at times.

Soldier #1 (teens-20’s) – Very green. Young, inexperienced, brave, earnest.

Soldier #2 (20’s-40’s) – Experienced, grim, ruthless. A good fighter.

Additional players/soldiers as needed.

Please note:

  • The director will consider gender-blind casting of any/all roles.

A NOTE ON ZOMBIES (or The Afflicted, as noted in the script)

We will be casting two specific groups. The first will be a core group of actors known as ACTION ZOMBIES – These roles will be the featured undead, will do the bulk of the stage combat and get the great deaths. Make no mistake, these are who the audience came to see. The second group will be known as WARM BODIES – this group will require far less rehearsal, and be in the largest group zombie sections at the end of the play. All zombies will receive training in stage makeup, and will have the opportunity to participate in movement workshops as part of the rehearsal process.  Please let us know on your audition form if you are willing to play a zombie. If you have a preference between the two, please state that as well.