Auditions for Bard in the Valley

Upcoming production of Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare

Auditions will be held Sunday, March 18 and Monday, March 19, to cast Bard in the Valley’s (BIV’s) 2018 production of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, directed by Jacq Ainsworth. The audition does not require an appointment but if you would prefer to book a time, please contact director Jacq Ainsworth at

Actors wishing to audition without an appointment are asked to arrive at the Douglas Park Recreation Centre, 20550 Douglas Crescent, on Sunday, March 19 at 12:30 p.m. or on Monday, March 19 at 7:30 p.m. to hear an outline of the production, performance expectations, rehearsal commitments, and to complete the audition form.

Callbacks are on Wednesday, March 21 at 7 p.m.

Everyone auditioning will be asked to do a cold read from the script and will be given time to prepare with a scene partner. Some will be asked to read for specific roles. Do not send digital head shots or resumes. Bring a printed hardcopy headshot and resume to the audition to be turned in with the audition form.

Auditioners with musical talent are encouraged to bring an instrument to play, and/or to prepare a short song to sing (no longer than one minute). Those wishing to perform together will be accommodated. Auditioners will be asked to follow a short martial arts-style workout routine, so please dress accordingly.

This is a non-equity production. Everyone is welcome. For more information, contact producer Diane Gendron at

Rehearsal dates: The read-through is on Sunday, March 25. Rehearsals begin on Monday, March 26. Rehearsals are on Sunday afternoons and Monday evenings (rehearsals on holiday Mondays will be rescheduled for location and/or time) along with a possible additional weekday rehearsal of smaller groups of actors, the timing of which will be mutually agreed upon by the participants.

Performance dates will be Friday, June 29, Saturday, June 30 and Sunday, July 1 (as part of Fort Langley’s Canada Day Celebrations). All performances begin at 7 p.m. on the lawn in front of Fort Langley’s historic community hall.

Also performances on July 6, 7, 8, 13, 14 at the Township 7 Winery in Langley. The Sunday performance is a matinee and begins at 2 p.m. Evening performances begin at 7:15 p.m.

Additional performances on July 19, 20, 21, 22, 26, 27, 28, 29 on the outdoor Spirit Square Stage in Douglas Park in Langley City. The Sunday performances are matinees and begin at 2 p.m. Evening performances begin at 7 p.m.

The play will be directed by Jacq Ainsworth. Jacq has been a member of the BIV team from the beginning. She was on stage in the first show in 2010, and was an acting coach for Twelfth Night. She has also had roles in The Tempest, MacBeth and Comedy of Errors with Bard on the Bandstand and directed Homechild for Surrey Little Theatre. She is a UBC English Literature major with a minor in Theatre. In 2016, Jacq earned the World Champion title in Taekwondo sparring and brings with her a wealth of knowledge of martials arts which she will be drawing on to create the cultural climate of Romeo and Juliet. Jacq’s version of this Shakespearean classic will have an international flair with martial arts fight scenes accompanied by a taiko drum band.

Summary of Romeo and Juliet: Three hundred years in the future, the polar ice caps have melted, the climate has changed dramatically and the supercontinent of Asia no longer contains the flooded out coastal countries. There has been mass emigration from Japan, India, Indonesia, Korea and coastal China, with the result that multicultural communities have been forced to live together and work together to survive. Many wars and territorial skirmishes over the centuries have reduced the population to a near-feudal state again. This is where we find that one town, Verona, has been placed under strict martial law with curfews and patrols to keep the citizens from open warfare in the street. It is a city trying to make its way forward amidst deeply rooted traditions in conflict. Capulet, a majority land owner in the area, tries to lead by example: strength in solidarity. His household still feels protective against the encroaching Montague family, who won many allies through its ingenuity in battle and fierce joy and discipline in its barracks. The two heirs of these families, Juliet and Romeo respectively, meet accidentally and realize that love, regardless of race and tradition, has a power greater than that of hate to drive change.

List of principal characters: 14 principal actors, 6-8 supporting characters/martial artists/dancers. Five of the roles will be men; Four of the roles will be women. The other characters can be played by either men or women. We are looking for the best actor to play the role, not necessarily a particular gender. We encourage actors of all backgrounds to audition.

The Overlord/Matriarch The ruler of Verona and surrounding lands. Wants the population to learn to live together in peace. Has seen too many countrymen fall and rise and fall, and is ready for a settled state.

Capulet The principal land owner in Verona, earned this position through carefully avoiding the most glorious (hopeless) battles and annexing neighbouring lands as they became weak.

Lady Capulet His wife, and heir to a long tradition of strong women who put family honour first.

Tybalt Orphaned by the war, became Capulet’s ward. Hasn’t had many opportunities to earn honour since in the new “peace”.

Juliet The Capulets’ true heir, cousin to Tybalt. A master of weapons and unbeaten in the sparring ring.

Nurse Loyal servant of the Capulets, but tied historically to Lady Capulet’s line, primarily responsible for raising Juliet in her mother’s traditions.

Peter The Nurse’s body man. Probably in love with her, but who knows. Poor beleaguered Peter.

Montague Relative newcomer to Verona, earned prestige and allegiances in the wars by clever tactics and skilful negotiations rather than brute force.

Lady Montague His wife, who probably secretly wishes they could have stayed where they were, where all her family was, before they relocated to Verona.

Romeo The Montague heir, friend to all, mostly kept out of the fighting by his mother.

Benvolio Romeo’s friend and conspirator in all things fun.

Mercutio The Overlord’s/Matriarch’s cousin, drawn to Romeo’s youth and innocence. Has seen much blood shed in Verona.

Paris Foreign lord of great beauty, but little power. Needs to marry well if he’s to gain sufficient honour to claim his inheritance.

The friar/monk Honoured sensei to many warriors, this religious martial arts leader wants nothing more than for the wars to end so the community can rebuild stronger.

Members of the household (speaking roles with one scene each), martial artists, dancers

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