PREPARATION: Be prepared for movement, be prepared to read. Reading will be done without movement but sitting at a table. Script is available @ the Arts Center (please do not remove) and sides are noted in the script and available online at the Ojai Arts Center website.
There are many great parts in this play, and we are looking for comedic actors who want to exercise and develop their comic and theatrical talent. Because of the language and the broad presentational nature, rehearsals will begin February 17th with a series of workshops exploring classical commedia dell'arte stock characters, gestures & movement as we simultaneously apply them to the text and story until mid-March.
At that point we will begin putting it onstage before the April 19th opening. Not everyone will be called to every rehearsal. Experience and training is very helpful here, but an availability and willingness to work is most important, this will be a lot of FUN! Please contact Paul if you have any questions!
STORY: The Miser is a classic farce written by Molière, first performed in 1668. It details the story of a wealthy and unpleasant miser--Harpagon--and his children. His daughter Elise wants to marry Valere, (a recent employee of her father), while his son Cleante wishes to marry Marianne, a young woman new to the district. Unbeknownst, Harpagon also wishes to wed Marianne while promising both of his children to others. The play unfolds with a mysterious theft of a moneybox filled with wealth. There is also much plotting and scheming, musical interludes, rascally servants, wealthy gentlemen, mistaken identities and a cop, (not to mention a rainstorm and attack dogs) before this fast-paced comedy ends.
AUDITIONS ARE OPEN TO EVERYONE AND BY APPOINTMENT ONLY. Please call Paul @ (323) 273-7285 for more info or to schedule an appointment!
For Auditions: Please bring a head shot and a resume.
Harpagon – a miserly man, 60 years or older.
Cléante: Harpagon's profligate son (possibly foppish) in his 20s. Cléante is also in love with Marianne. Intending to run away with her, he attempts to procure an illegal loan to provide Marianne and her ill mother with money. Things become complicated when Harpagon has different plans which interfere.
Élise: The daughter of Harpagon also in her 20s. Élise owes her life to Valère, who saved her from drowning just before the beginning of the play. She opposes her father's plans to wed her to the elderly Anselme, who has agreed to take her without a dowry.
Valère: (a young man in his 20s.) Valère has saved Élise from drowning and has come into the employ of Harpagon with intentions to win his daughter Elise. He becomes favored by Harpagon through his flattery and obedience but must thwart Harpagon's plan to marry Elise to a wealthy businessman.
La Flèche: Cleante's servant (male 20's to 50s) chased and chided by Harpagon, and who helps Cléante arrange a clandestine loan through Master Simon. Is he the one who steals Harpagon's fortune?
Frosine: – (a lady in her 40s or 50s) Frosine acts as a go-between to ensure the marriage of Harpagon and Mariane; she convinces Harpagon that Mariane's frugality will outweigh her lack of dowry, and that Mariane loves bespectacled old men
Master Jacques: (male 20s to 50s) a somewhat acerbic cook and coachman to Harpagon. Has an antagonistic relationship to Valere.
Anselme: (A wealthy, gentleman over 50) and suitor to Élise, Anselme is a wandering Napolitan noble who believes his wife and children drowned sixteen years earlier.
Marianne: A young woman (20s to 30s), new to the district who cares for her sick mother and whom Harpagon intends to wed. She is also the woman Cléante intends to run away with.
Master Simon: (gentleman 50s or older. This actor will double as either Chief of Police or Anselme) Appears briefly. A dishonest character, Master Simon tries to arrange a usurious loan between Cléante and his father.
Chief of Police: (gentleman 50s or older) Arrives to investigate the missing money. Who is in charge here?
Paul has worked in the theater as a professional actor, director, teacher and producer around the country for more than 30 years, this is his directorial debut in Southern California. Recently, Paul has been seen onstage in OPAT and OACT productions as Lionel in “Bakersfield Mist”, Bill in “On Golden Pond”, the Doctor in “Grand Hotel: The Musical”, Brindsley in “Black Comedy”, a different Lionel in “See How They Run”, as Peter in “The Zoo Story” with Michael Nader, as Sydney Webb in “Engaging Shaw” at The Elite Theater, and as Claudius and The Ghost in “Hamlet” directed by Jessica Kubzansky at Theater 150 in 2009. In 1993 he co-founded S/C Productions in San Francisco co-producing and directing Harold Pinter's works: “The Dumb Waiter”, “The Pinter Revue Sketches”, (also including “Victoria Station”), “Mountain Language”; and at the New Conservatory Theater Center, “Betrayal” and Peter Nichols' “A Day In the Death of Joe Egg”, acting in all of these productions as well. At the 1996 Fringe Festival in San Francisco “Mountain Language” was awarded “Best of the Fringe” selling out every performance, and Paul also received the Bay Area Theater Critics Circle Award as Jerry, in “Betrayal” which he directed.
Other directorial credits include “Am I Blue” by Beth Henley, and “The Theater And It's Double”, an adaptation of the work of Antonin Artaud performed at the Mabee Theater, north of Kansas City; as well as “The Browning Version” by Terence Rattigan, Michael Frayn's “The Two of Us” and another production of David Chambers' translation of “The Miser” all in the San Francisco Bay Area. He is classically trained, has taught acting at Napa Valley College in the Bay Area, and has performed in over eighty productions around the country, (more than thirty by Shakespeare, including a national tour of “Othello”). In addition to Jerry in “Betrayal”, he has received the Bay Area Theater Critics Circle Award and the Dramalogue Award for leading parts in “The Taming of the Shrew”, “Othello”, and “Hamlet”, and supporting roles in “King Lear”, and “A Flea In Her Ear”, with an additional BATCC award nomination performing as Laurence Olivier in Dakin Matthews' script “The Uncommon Players”.