The Mystery of Edwin Drood
- Monday, May 8 @ 7:00pm
- Tuesday, May 9 @ 7:00pm
- Overbrook Presbyterian Church
6376 City Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19151
Director Barbara Burke Sherman and Musical Director Raquel Garcia are seeking a large cast with improvisational skills to participate in this award-winning Broadway musical. The show features murder, intrigue, audience participation, singalongs and hundreds of possible combinations of endings!
Rehearsals are Sunday, Monday and Tuesday nights at 7pm beginning in early September. (Note: There may be a few vocal rehearsals prior to September for specific characters, more details to follow)
All Parts are open. Please familiarize yourself with the music by going to youtube.com and reading about the show prior to arrival. Please bring sheet music. Prepare 16-32 bars showing your best range. Accompanist will be provided. No acapella singing or pre-recorded music will be allowed.
Headshots and resume as welcomed, but not required. Be prepared for cold readings from the script.
A note on accents, except for Neville and Helena, we will not be using any. Most characters will just speak with a “air of sophistication”.
It is highly encouraged that if you are auditioning for Jasper, Rosabud, Puffer or Drood that you sing the following songs: (We will have the sheet music for these songs for the accompanist)
- Jasper – A Man Can Go Quite Mad
- Rosabud – Moonfall
- Puffer – The Wages of Sin
- Drood – The Writing on the Wall
For any questions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Description of Characters:
Note: Ages listed below are approximations. Ages could be skewed depending on those auditioning.
John Jasper — doubles as Mr. Clive Paget – Male, Age 35 to 50, Bari-tenor, (A2-A4) Wrongly accused. The Royale’s male lead, a devilishly attractive cad, and he knows it. In Drood, he is the baddie. Choirmaster of Cloisterham Cathedral, and uncle of Edwin Drood. In love with Rosa Bud. Madness lurks beneath his smooth exterior. Strictly speaking, the main suspect, but didn’t do it.
Mr. William Cartwright — Chairman of the Music Hall Royale; doubles as Mayor Thomas Sapsea – Male, Age 40 and up, Baritone, (D#3-F#4) – Our host for the evening. He has a quick wit and his dialogue keeps the show moving. He must speak clear and crisp as he spends much of his time narrating the story for the audience.
Neville Landless — doubles as Mr. Victor Grinstead – Male, Age 35 to 45, Bari-tenor, (C3-G4) – A suspect. A stranger from Ceylon, (an Island south of India, now known as Sri Lanka). He is new to Cloisterham and he is taken with Rosa Bud. He has a questionable past. Neville must have a somewhat ignorant interpretation of an East Asian accent. As described in the script, both Neville and Helena should have an accent with an Eastern feel comprised of Oriental clichés and is “somewhat geographically untraceable.”
Reverend Chrisparkle — doubles as Mr. Cedric Moncrieffe – Male, Age 40 to 60, Baritone, (C3 – G4). A suspect. Local clergyman who was once in love with Rosa Bud’s mother. At first, he seems reverent and yet sometimes he borders on just a little creepy.
Edwin Drood — doubles as Miss Alice Nutting – Female, Age 30 to 45, Mezzo (B3-E5) – The victim. Edwin is played by Ms. Alice Nutting, London’s leading male impersonator. Drood is Jasper’s nephew. He is also Rosa Bud’s intended. Drood must command the stage with equal parts of youthful exuberance, ego and charm. This character plays 3 different roles (1 Female and 2 male).
Rosa Bud — doubles as Miss Deirdre Peregrine – Female, Age 20 to 35, High Soprano, (A3-B5) A suspect. – The not-so-innocent ingénue of the Music Hall Royale, Deirdre portrays the love interest of Drood, the young, beautiful and apparently fragile Rosa Bud. She is betrothed to Edwin Drood, the only man who isn’t in love with her.
Princess Puffer — doubles as Miss Angela Prysock – Female, Age 40 to 80. Low Alto, (F3-D5). A suspect. Angela has been a favorite of London audiences forever, a staple of the stage. As the mysterious Princess Puffer, Madam, opium dealer and general purveyor of vice of all kinds, she is glamorous in her ruin. Serious low alto. Must have a big chest voice and lots of rapport with the audience.
Helena Landless — doubles as Miss Janet Conover – Female, Age 25 to 40, Mezzo, (G3 – D5/E5) A suspect. Neville’s sister, also from Ceylon, a newcomer with a mysterious past. She becomes good friends with Rosa Bud. Like Neville, her accent must have a somewhat interpretation of an East Asian accent. As described in the script, both Neville and Helena should have an accent with an Eastern feel comprised of Oriental clichés and is “somewhat geographically untraceable.”
Wendy — Female, any age (C4 – D5) Opium den dancer and citizen of Cloisterham; Sings Moonfall quartet with Rosa and Helena.
Beatrice — Female, any age (C4 – D5) Opium den dancer and citizen of Cloisterham; Sings Moonfall quartet with Rosa and Helena.
MALE OR FEMALE ROLES
Bazzard — doubles as Mr. Phillip Bax and as Waiter – Male or Female, Age 30 to 50, (A2 – Eb4, option G4 or Bb4) – A suspect. Devotee of the theatre, the everlasting understudy, who finally gets his moment. May have quite a major part if the evening turns out that way. A sad sort of clown. In his role as Bazzard, he is often an audience-favorite suspect. Very capable of stealing the whole show.
Durdles — doubles as Mr.Nick Cricker – Male or Female, Age 25 to 50, Tenor/Alto, (B2 – F4). Local drunk and cemetery caretaker.
Deputy — doubles as Master Nick Cricker – Male or Female, Age 18 to 30. Durdle’s sidekick a street-wise boy learning about life through Durdles’ eyes.
Throttle – (Male or Female) Music Hall Royale’s stage manager. A reliable sort, (s)he’s always at the ready to keep the show running smoothly.
ENSEMBLE: Townspeople, opium den customers, dancers, servants, police, street vendors, mob, etc. All ensemble members require a great deal of improvisation as they are responsible for joking with the crowd to warm them up and for tallying the hand votes for their designated section of the audience.