Roles for Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare, directed by Keith Oberfeld
Note from the Director: What follows is some simple information on the characters. I would recommend reading the play, it will give you far better insight. Please note some of the characters have wide age ranges, as we may cast the whole show younger or older depending on who arrives at auditions. Finally, don’t take the ages as cutoffs – if you think you are right for something, audition for it. Also note – there are two dances and possibly some songs. Lack of dancing experience is not an issue, but be prepared to learn
Don Pedro, prince of Arragon
A soldier and a gentleman. Age 30-55.
Don John, his bastard brother
One of Shakespeare’s nastiest villains in a comedy. A truly dislikeable man. A great role to let out your inner bad guy.
Claudio, a young lord of Florence
A young soldier, unwise in the ways of the world. In love (soon after the play begins) with Hero.
Hero, daughter to Leonato
A beautiful, young and unworldly young woman. In love with Claudio.
Age 17-27 (ish)
Benedick, a young lord of Padua
Another sometimes soldier, and the show’s male lead. Witty, bright, and a lover (at least in his own mind), but NOT a marrying man. Age 28-55.
Beatrice, niece to Leonato
Rapier wit coupled with intelligence and occasional windows of charm. A long history with Benedick (of some sort). They are verbal sparring partners. Another disdainer of marriage. Shakespeare’s greatest female character (in my view)
Leonato, governor of Messina
Beatrice’s uncle and Hero’s father. A good man of worth, and honor. A sense of humor and down to earth though a powerful man.
Antonio, his brother
His older brother, past his prime but still in the game
Balthasar, attendant on Don Pedro
A good manservant, and he should be able to sing
Conrade, Borachio, followers of Don John
The villainous sidekicks, they play a very large part in the action.
Ages late 20’s to 40
Margaret, Ursula, attendants to Hero
Female servants who have been around. They play a large part in the tricking of Beatrice. Kind of the nicer counterparts of the bad twins above.
Of somewhat loose virtue.
The voice of reason and understanding.
Dogberry, a constable
The clown. A truly wonderful mangler of language and meaning. Self Important but ultimately the hero of the play, in a way.
Verges, a headborough
Dogberry’s sidekick and worshiper.
Messengers, Watch, Attendants, etc.