Events Calendar | Wicked Local - Holliston

Auditions for King Lear at Vokes Theatre

Sun, Feb 26, 2017 7:00 pm - 9:30 pm

Additional Times

  • Mon, Feb 27, 2017 7:00 pm - 9:30 pm
DIRECTED BY: John Barrett

AUDITIONS: Auditions will be held at Beatrice Herford's Vokes Theatre, Route 20, Wayland, MA by appointment
Sunday, February 26 7:00-9:30
Monday, February 27 7:00-9:30
Other times available upon request

Please prepare a monologue, two-minutes or less; the monologue need not be classical, but should demonstrate an ability to handle language of some complexity

TO SCHEDULE APPT: Please see the instructions at the end.

REHEARSALS: Begin March 5

PERFORMANCES: May 4 through 20 (Thursday - Saturday Evenings;
Matinees Saturday, May 13 & May 20)

About the play (as I see it).
King Lear is an exceptionally rich play, even by the standards of classical tragedy. There are a wealth of themes to explore.

I am particularly interested in the interplay between the epic and the domestic. The characters operate in a world of grand scale and international consequence, with crowns and countries at stake, and armies and intrigue as weapons. But also, at all times, in a familiar and familial world of children (from two families) dealing with aging parents, and all the other complications that arise in family dynamics, so that the fate of a nation literally rests on, "Whom does Daddy love best?"

At auditions, I will be looking for this duality, the epic confrontation with a crown (or fortune) at stake, but with a sense of the history with each other that these characters carry with them.

A word on casting:
I am reluctant to go into much detail here. I am far more concerned with putting together a strong company than whether a candidate for any given role is tall/thin/brunette/baritone/40s/whatever.
Please treat anything that follows as only a suggestion. Ages of family members can easily slide one way or another, depending on the rest of the cast, and (except in very rare instances) physical descriptions are unimportant in this case.

That said, here’s a brief scorecard:



GONERIL – Authoritarian, aggressive, sexually predatory, the real power in her marriage and true general of her armies – a force -30s to 40s

REGAN – Very much cut from the same cloth as Goneril – a match for her sister in every important aspect – slightly younger

CORDELIA - Youngest daughter - highly principled (perhaps to an extreme) – her choice of substance over appearance sets the entire play in motion – loyal, true, brave


LEAR - In this production still vital, but weary – wants to give up the responsibilities of King, but expects somehow that the privileges and deference will continue – expects to be loved without truly loving (obviously paragraphs more, but let’s leave it at that for auditions).

FOOL – Lear’s jester – the only character given the medieval license to speak truth to power, albeit often in riddles and foolspeak – as with Kent and Cordelia, loves Lear in spite of Lear – a suggestion - would be nice if he and Lear were close to of an age, that they’ve been together a long time

KENT – a nobleman by birth and a noble man by character – shares the Fool’s willingness to speak the truth to Lear, out of love, but without the Fool’s license to do so, goes through some hard times because of his bluntness

GLOUCESTER – The Earl of Gloucester whose story parallels Lear’s in many ways – principally in that he makes the wrong choice of which of his children to trust – ultimately, his sin is innocence, taking too much at face value rather than adequately examining what he is told – would be nice if his age were close to Lear’s

EDGAR – Gloucester’s legitimate son – early on seems weak and ineffectual, due largely to sharing his father’s weakness of thinking the best of people – grows to a figure of great resolve and resource during the course of the play

EDMUND - Gloucester’s illegitimate son – charming, brilliant, ruthless – should be sexually attractive (the object of both Goneril and Regan’s lust)

DUKE OF ALBANY – Goneril’s husband – begins by going along but ultimately his conscience comes to the fore and leads him to break with her, to do the right thing.

DUKE OF CORNWALL – Regan’s husband – contrast to Albany, all in on the conquering and pillaging – an outright sadist

THE KING OF FRANCE – Cordelia’s husband – sees what Lear cannot, Cordelia’s purity of heart beneath her surface obstinacy – a force for good

This is a Shakespeare play – there are many, many more men, all types and ages –
probably a lot of doubling to keep everybody busy


If you are unable to make the scheduled times, please contact me about setting up a special time. This is a magnificent play and I don’t want to miss out on anyone because of a minor scheduling glitch.


Please go to:

and select Find a Sign Up in the upper right corner

On the next screen, if you are not a member of Sign Up Genius, you can join for free or access the search by putting in my email under Search by Email:

then click on King Lear and follow the instructions

If you have any difficulty in booking, or have any question at all, please email me at the address above or leave me a message at the theater 508-358-2011.

Thank you,
John Barrett

97 Boston Post Road
Wayland, MA 01778

Auditions for King Lear at Vokes Theatre image