FLAGLER PLAYHOUSE AUDITION INFORMATION FOR SWEENEY TODD

The Flagler Playhouse is holding open auditions for Sweeney Todd—The Demon Barber of Fleet Street on Sunday, June 3rd and Monday, June 4th at the Playhouse from 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm. Please use the CAST DOOR Entrance located between the Playhouse and the Annex entrance.  There are roles in this musical for approximately 10 adults and numerous Ensemble roles, ages 18 and older.  There are no roles for children.

The Broadway premiere of this Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler production received 8 Tony Awards—one for Best Musical.  Sweeney Todd has a rich and challenging music score, so the audition process will focus primarily on singing.  There will be no dance auditions.

One of the big rules about auditioning for a musical is never sing something from the musical.

Sing something you CAN sing. As important as it is to showcase your ability, it is more important that you don't screw it up. lol. Do something you know and are comfortable with. This doesn't mean it has to be easy. You are the only one that knows what you can sing well.

Please plan on attending ONE of these auditions on June 3 or June 4, 2018.
These auditions are for anyone who wants to be considered for any role in the show. Please bring sheet music for a song you have prepared as well as a CD or Track accompaniment for the song you have selected.

The music for “Sweeney” is difficult, so prepare a song that demonstrates your vocal training, range, and stamina. An accompanist will NOT be available. Please be prepared to sing a minimum of 16 bars (or 16 measures) of the song you have chosen. You may be asked to sight read a portion of music during the Audition.

AGE LIMIT: Participants for this production must be at least 18 years old.

Director's Casting Note: The music is difficult and borders on operatic, so vocal training and stamina is
essential. There will be minor choreography and musical staging.. As long as you “move well" you should be fine. Everyone in the production needs to be a singer-actor.

One-minute monologues will be provided for the following characters:   Sweeney Todd, Beadle Bamford, Judge Turpin, Mrs. Lovett, The Beggar Woman, Pirelli and Johanna.  Please take a monologue marked for that character when registering for auditions if interested. It will be important to know the difference between Standard British Accent and Cockney Accent.

Ensemble: A wide variety of roles will come from the ensemble. Ensemble members must have strong voices and good musicianship. They must also be able to demonstrate a strong concentration, intensity, and the ability to play “characters”. There will be a specific number chosen to be a part of the ensemble. Not everyone auditioning will be cast. Those auditioning for Leads will also be part of the ensemble at times.

Sweeney is a very ‘grounded’ piece. Get your feet on the ground. Be solid. Have faith in simple things.

Finally, don’t think of it as an audition. It’s a chance to perform. Become just as engaged in it as if you had a full house on Broadway.

SWEENEY TODD – CHARACTER DESCRIPTIONS

THE MEN

SWEENEY TODD/BENJAMIN BARKER: English accent not necessary. His determination for revenge twists him into something violent and evil. However, in auditions and performance, his vulnerable side should be in play: it is what transforms him. Killing is an attempt to assuage his very visible pain, to heal himself.

ANTHONY HOPE:  Standard British accent (RP). Idealistic, not yet corrupted by the world. Romantic. He believes people are mostly good at heart. He is the model English hero, who, in reality, is powerless to achieve the perfect world. He quickly surrenders to feelings of "true love."

TOBIAS RAGG: Cockney accent. Simple-minded but clever, he responds easily and quickly to the kindnesses of his elders, especially Pirelli (his "father") and Mrs. Lovett (his "mother"). He is very suspicious of Sweeney, however. Like many in this play, he is on the edge of insanity, but is basically well-intentioned. Stares.

ALDOLFO PIRELLI/DANNY O’HIGGINS: An Irish con man pretending to be Italian (so, 2 accents). A flashy showman with a big voice and dramatic gestures, he sells fake medicine and collects as much money as he can.

JUDGE TURPIN: Standard British accent (RP), a conservative judge without much compassion. Embodies Puritanical hypocrisy: lusts after his ward Johanna, even as he professes to keep her innocent and safe from "vile young men." Licks his lips or has other disgusting mannerisms.

BEADLE BAMFORD: Standard British accent (RP) or Cockney, jovial and boisterous assistant to the Judge, yet has a scheming nature. Will break the law to keep people in line. His corruption makes him blind to true good and evil. A respected citizen not worthy of respect. The Beadle's character is a carbon copy of Judge Turpin. He, however, has less power than Judge Turpin, and so must carry out the crimes against others, which he does with great relish. His brutality emerges as he breaks the neck of the bird that Anthony has bought for Johanna.

JONAS FOGG: (non-singing role, will be part of Ensemble) The proprietor of London's asylum for the criminally insane.

 

THE WOMEN

MRS. NELLIE LOVETT: Cockney accent, energetic, talkative, has a crush on Sweeney. There is a very slight edge of insanity to her and a streak of larceny--she is motivated by desire--for money, for love, for popularity. She is all bright eyes and smiles, but kills cockroaches and chops meat like a pro.

JOHANNA BARKER: Sweeney's daughter. Standard British accent (RP). Her family seems easily pushed into madness. She is pretty, sweet, and delicate and the beginning; after her confinement in the asylum and until her rescue, she may be on the edge of insanity. A damsel in distress.

BEGGAR WOMAN/LUCY BARKER: It's hard to see through her filthy rags to determine her age, but actually about 40, Cockney accent. She is more of a major character than she appears to be (there is a surprise at the end of the play). She's lewd, vulgar, and in constant physical and psychological pain. Sweeney does not discover that the desperate and miserable Beggar Woman is his wife, Lucy, until after he has killed her. She appears throughout the play, initially as the illustration of what poor, destitute women in Victorian London were often reduced to. After Sweeney refuses her pleas for money, she lewdly propositions him. Later, she becomes the harbinger of doom as she haunts the street in front of the pie shop, trying to draw attention to the "stink of evil" within.

ENSEMBLE/CHORUS: This is the real backbone of the show. Various types of freakish carnival people and ragged poor, they wear their rags like finery--as if they know it's a costume. Many have a twinkle in the eye--a lurid enjoyment of horrifying the audience with violence. There are many specific singing roles within the Chorus, and there is a feeling of them being always nearby and running the show. Accents not necessary.

Note: All lead roles may be members of the Ensemble at various times in the production.