Blithe Spirit Audition Notes
from Director, Karen Shields
British Accents not required. If you’ve got one, I may ask to hear it, but I will be looking for fast-paced, highly articulated, heightened diction. What I might call “1940’s Movie Star Speak.” Here are some movie clips of the kind of speech I will be listening for:
Cary Grant and Katherine Hepburn: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Jm9EUvwFj4
Trailer to The Women: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I8WsqaN4izs
Be Prepared. One of the keys to Noel Coward plays is a pacing. This is a 1940’s high brow comedy. Read the sides here ahead of time. A cold read will not serve you well, in most cases. Click Here for the Sides
Please be open and honest about your schedule conflicts. Our rehearsal time frame spans Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s. Of course, everyone will have commitments.
Knowing them ahead allows me to schedule wisely. I will try not to pull you unless needed. Also, this is a “break time” for people (like me) who work at schools. It might be possible to do a day rehearsal with a few people, if your schedule allows.
I really would like this to be a fun experience for the whole cast and crew. It’s a hilarious play, and I hope to knock the socks off the audiences. Let’s all be team players and work hard and play hard. Please plan on a first read through with everybody on Tuesday, Nov. 19th.
Thank you for interest. I can’t wait to meet and see each of you!
BLITHE SPIRIT CHARACTER DESCRIPTIONS
Charles Condomine- Charles Condomine, a novelist. Charles is bright, sophisticated, articulate, and debonair but somewhat at the mercy of his wives, past and present. His interest in spiritualism as a subject for a novel leads Charles to ask Madame Arcati to dinner and a séance. He is skeptical but becomes a believer when the ghost of his first wife appears—and stays.
Ruth Condomine-Ruth Condomine, Charles’s second wife. Like her husband, Ruth is witty and sophisticated, and she is quite the society matron. Ruth is a bit stuffy and a little predictable. She is convinced that Charles has lost his mind when Elvira appears. Ruth acts as a concerned wife, trying to restore Charles to normalcy.
Elvira-Elvira, the ghost of Charles’s first wife. Only Charles can see or hear her. In life, Elvira was spirited, outgoing, wild, and carefree. In death, she is no different; she socializes with Genghis Khan. She does love Charles, if somewhat casually, and is jealous of Ruth.
Madame Arcati-Madame Arcati, the local spiritualist and medium. Elderly but spry, Madame Arcati comes into the play talking to an eight-year-old contact on the other side. She truly is in contact with the other world and inadvertently is the “medium” through which Elvira is called back to this one. She is eccentric, effusive and boisterous.
Dr. George Bradman-Dr. George Bradman is a good friend of the Condomines who is invited to dinner and the séance. He is entirely skeptical of anything to do with the occult but tries his utmost to go along with the proceedings for the sake of Charles’ research.
Violet Bradman-Violet Bradman is Dr. Bradman’s wife. Simple and naïve, she is quite excited about being in the presence of the medium, whom she finds fascinating.
Edith-Edith is the Condomine’s new maid. She is nervous and tears around at breakneck speed trying to do things right and make a good impression.