Audition Update: Native Voices Adaptation of Measure for Measure

Hello Everyone,

Shakespeare in LA is still on hiatus until December 15 but I wanted to let you know about an audition notice for Native Voices at the Autry’s upcoming production of Off the Rails, an adaptation of Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure by Randy Reinholz. Similar in structure but with re-imagined plot twists and a new setting in the American West, the play is Shakespeare meets Blazing Saddles. All auditions will take place at the Autry, 4700 Western Heritage Way, Los Angeles, CA 91914 unless otherwise noted.

Open Call: Friday & Saturday Dec. 12 &13, 2014 (Noon – 4:30 pm)

Callbacks: Sunday, Dec. 14 (location TBA) and Monday, Dec. 15, 2014 at the Autry (Noon – 4:30 pm)

Equity Auditions: Saturday, Jan. 3, 2015 (9:00 – 5:00 pm)

Equity Callbacks (if needed): Sunday & Monday Jan. 4 & 5, 2015
(10:00 am – 4:30 pm)

Rehearsals: February 3-24 (Tuesday-Sunday);
Previews: February 25-26;
Run: February 27-March 15 (Thursday-Saturday 8pm; Saturday-Sunday 2pm)

Please prepare two contrasting monologues – 3 minutes (include Shakespeare for the roles of Angelo, Isabel, Momaday, Madame Overdone, General Gatt, McDonald, Alexie, Elbow, Sheriff). All characters will sing. Mariana and Caitlin must be legit singers. LEGIT SINGERS prepare 16 bars a cappella. Please bring 2 copies of your headshot and resume. Breakdown

Madame Overdone (Native American to play Lakota): 35-50 year-old, keeper of a saloon/brothel. A mature woman of considerable charm, personal power, and beauty. She is commanding, sexy, and a little like Rick from Casablanca. Even though the Indian Wars are raging, she aims to make money and earn the respect of those around her. She has a great sense of humor and knows how to handle a difficult situation. Must be able to handle Shakespearean text.

Pryor (any ethnicity): 35-45 year-old, bartender for Madame Overdone, a fast-talking clown/a wild-west character. Funniest person in town – any race – or “every race” might be better. Sure of himself around women and quick with a joke. He aims to always have a good time.

Cowboy (African American): 20-30 year-old, a la Cowboy Curtis from Pee Wee’s Playhouse, a campy cowboy in an era when being a “cowboy” can be rough. He has a great sense of style and loves being over the top.

Sheriff (African American): 35-50 year-old, mature, a good-hearted person in a bad job. He knows being a black sheriff in the old west is not safe but he loves the wide-open spaces. Was a Buffalo Soldier. Must be able to handle Shakespearean text.

Mariana (Caucasian): 30-40 year-old, she is the jilted fiancée of Angelo, who she met in the Dakota territories where her family died in the Indian wars. Five years later, now a dance hall girl, she still hopes the love of a good woman can save a bad man. MUST SING/LEGIT VOICE

Alexie (Native American to play Creek): 30+, a tribal chairman’s son who should be moving on to a college education, but loves living in this small town with Indians from everywhere. A smooth-talking eccentric in dress and behavior. He is a bit like Prince Hal from Henry IV– he should be thinking about being a leader, but for now, he loves to play the fool, drink, and gamble. Must be able to handle Shakespearean text.

General Gatt (Caucasian): 50+, a Brigadier General and Mayor of Genoa. His name is meant to refer to Richard Henry Pratt, who founded the Indian Boarding School System and coined the term, “Kill the Indian, Save the Man.” Gatt is an amalgamation of frontier opportunists and politicians: he hopes to make a fortune “out west” and return to the “east” as a concurring hero. Must be able to handle Shakespearean text.

Elbow (Cockney English): a deputy plagued by malapropos, a sober person who is otherwise like Dogberry from Much Ado About Nothing. An officious person who always wants to please, but is so frustrated deep down, he can’t help himself. Must be able to handle Shakespearean text.

B’Stard Abhorson (French): a wild looking executioner, with a strong French accent and a sincere dedication to his profession.

James McDonald (Native American to play Choctaw): 40-50 year old, Princeton educated, counselor to General Gatt. A former soldier/scout from the unit Pratt commanded. Looks out for those people less fortunate than himself, i.e., the children in the boarding school. He hopes to change the “system” from the inside out. Must be able to handle Shakespearean text.

Angelo (Caucasian): 35-40 year-old, Captain in the Army, treaty scholar, and a near do well from back east. He is currently the superintendent of the boarding school. At the beginning of the play, he becomes the town authority, charged with imposing “law and order.” He sees himself as the new ruler of Genoa during Gatt’s absence. Must be able to handle Shakespearean text.

Momaday (Native American to play Pawnee): 16 year-old, who is in love with Caitlin, the young Irish girl he met in town. Since it was hard for them to be together, they married in the old Lakota way and she became pregnant. Because the marriage wasn’t Christian, and he is an “Indian” he is sentenced to death. Will cast 18+ to play younger. Must be able to handle Shakespearean text.

Caitlin (Irish): 16 year-old Irish girl, speaks and sings in Gaelic, whose mother died in childbirth and father died working on the railroad. An orphan, she was taken in by the boarding school, until a family in Genoa took her in. Then she fell in love with Momaday. Will cast 18+ to play younger. MUST SING/LEGIT VOICE

Isabel (Native American to play Lakota): early 20’s, Momaday’s older sister, finishing Normal school where she will soon be appointed a teacher. The smartest person in the territory, causing men to swoon for her, she has pushed hard to become a respectable person. She has the education and intellect to truly understand the deep hatred the new immigrants have for Indians. She sees education as salvation. Must be able to handle Shakespearean text.

SYNOPSIS: Set in Genoa, Nebraska in 1886, where an off-reservation boarding school is poised to become the Carlisle of the West. Beyond the school and westward expansion schemes, Genoa’s most successful enterprise is the Stewed Prunes Saloon, a brothel owned by a madam named Overdone, the bar is populated with a wild cast of show folks and Indians preparing auditions for Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show. Though the school prohibits Native language or dance, images of Indians are presented to the public in dime novels and circus-like performances of grunting savages, the equivalent of the vampire and zombie images of today – it’s just entertainment.

Across town, a young Pawnee student has been sentenced to death for impregnating an Irish girl. Madame Overdone, her working girls, and saloon patrons hatch a plot to rescue him. Key to his salvation is the fully assimilated Isabel, the boy’s older sister, a graduate of the boarding school system who is about to become a schoolteacher. If her brother is to be spared, Isabel must win the affections of Captain Angelo, the new superintendent of the school. Angelo’s Victorian rules for life are threatened by his primal lust when the women in town combine forces to challenge his brief authority and save Momaday.

For more information, contact or call (323) 667-2000 x 299.

Equity Auditions:

Open Call:


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  1. Trackback: Audition Update: Native Voices Adaptation of Measure for Measure | The Shakespeare Standard

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