Current Auditions:

EDUCATING RITA

Coming Soon:

  • Love from a Stranger
  • Gypsy

Want to be involved but don’t want to act? There’s always plenty to do backstage – see our membership page for details.

Non-members are welcome but please read the notes on this page.

Membership Commitment – as part of your membership we expect all members to support the theatre by assisting with our Front of House Operations when the theatre is open for performances by either Stewarding, working on the Bar or Coffee Bar. We term this as a “Duty” and members are expected to do eight “Duties” per membership year.

New Members will be asked to do three duties before the run of any production they are cast in. Existing members should ensure that they have fulfilled their quota of duties before auditioning or they may not be considered for a production. All members should do a minimum of three duties within a four month period.

The Crescent Theatre is committed to the promotion of equal opportunities within the theatre, and affiliated projects, through the way we manage the venue and provide services to the community. No person should experience discrimination or lack of opportunities on the grounds of gender, race, religion, age, sexual orientation or disability. In the provision of services and in regards to the membership and visiting companies, the Crescent Theatre is committed to promoting equal opportunities for everyone.  Click here for our Statement of Commitment on Equality, Diversity and Inclusion. If you need any reasonable adjustments to enable you to access an audition, you can let us know in advance by filling in an online audition form.

Please note

While auditions are intended for members, non-members are welcome to attend on the understanding that, if successful in reading for a part, you would be expected to become a member of the theatre. This entitles you to take part in all theatre activities and to concessionary ticket prices. In return you will be expected to attend all rehearsals and performances and to undertake your required allocation of front of house duties. Your membership subscription must be paid by the end of the second rehearsal. Membership fees for a year are £60 (£25 if unwaged). More details on Crescent Membership can be found in the membership pages.

Unless stated otherwise, the venue for all readings and auditions is the Crescent Theatre.

EDUCATING RITA

Saturday 24th February 2024 – Saturday 2nd March 2024 [performance times 7.45 [evenings] 2.45 [matinees]]

Educating Rita is the story of the relationship between a young working-class woman, Rita, who enrols on an Open University English literature course and her alcoholic, disenchanted lecturer, Frank. Written by Willy Russell in 1979 it was first performed in 1980, a time when Britain was in grave economic decline, poverty of opportunity for working-class people was becoming increasingly entrenched and sexual politics were complicated.

Russell sets his play in a university in the north of England: the time is the present. Because the play will therefore be set in 2024, much of the language used by Frank to Rita now presents us with more challenges. The university setting in 2024 is a space of political sensitivity, particularly around gender and identity politics. I aim that my version of this play, while still being fore-grounded in the beautifully-written witty interplays between Frank and Rita, will challenge audiences to question how much patriarchal attitudes and power structures and systems still penetrate literature, psychology, and politics.

[A word about accents. In every production of this play that I have seen, Rita has spoken with a broad Liverpudlian accent. There are some geographical references and dialect phrases that do suggest this but the setting in the text is “the north of England” so please do not be dissuaded from auditioning if you find a Liverpudlian accent difficult.]

The play is a two-hander. I am looking for inventive actors who can build their own biographies, understand the things within them that connect and repel the characters to and from each other, and be playful with the relationship that emerges.

Rita is a young working-class woman who is hungry for freedom from the life her mother and husband have planned out for her. She works as a hairdresser, takes the Pill in secret and attends classes at the university in her own time. She wants to know “everything” and this curiosity gives her a special energy. I am looking for an actor who can embody a dynamically changing character and bring their own ideas about how she develops agency in her own life.

Frank in the script is “early fifties” but I may cast age-blind depending on how pairings work. He is a functioning alcoholic yet occupies a position of power with complete ease. In the past he has written poetry. He has been working at the university for some time but is disillusioned. He uses misogynistic language to Rita and his wife. His dynamic changes have a less positive energy and by the end of the play he is in a very vulnerable state. I am looking for an actor who is keen to explore the internal turmoil of this character and the fascination that increasingly binds him to Rita.

The only scripted physical contact is in the final scene when Rita touches Frank’s hair. Depending on the way actors choose to play scenes, there may be some physical contact. This will be discussed BEFORE any physical contact occurs and negotiated and agreed by all parties. There will be no physical contact during the auditions.

 

Auditions

Sunday 26th November 2023, Cumberland Room: 11am – 1.30pm

Thursday 30th November 2023, Cumberland Room: 7.30pm – 10pm

Callbacks if needed: Sunday 3rd December, Cumberland Room: 11am

I will ask you to perform short sections of the play and we will do some grouped character-based and movement activities. We will work together as a group: there will not be individual auditions. You don’t have to learn the audition pieces by heart, just familiarise yourself with them.

TO SIGN UP FOR AN AUDITION PLEASE CLICK HERE

 

Rehearsals

Rehearsal schedule will be Sundays, 11am – 1.30pm, Tuesdays, 7.30pm – 10pm and Thursdays 7.30pm – 10pm.

Rehearsals will begin on Sunday 10th December.

If you are unable to make any of the audition dates I will try to accommodate you.  Please let me know by emailing me at rita@crescent-theatre.co.uk

Fi Cotton

Director

rita@crescent-theatre.co.uk

 

Audition Pieces