The Carriage House Arts Center presents
“Chess” (UK Version)
By Benny Andersson, Tim Rice, Bjorn Ulvaeus
Directed by Joel Fenster
Music Direction by Ruth Lettera
Choreography by Caitlin Roberts
Orchestrations & Tracks by Eric Johnston
Auditions are Wednesday, March 6 and Thursday March 7 @ 7pm at The Carriage House (Callbacks on Thursday February 28 @ 7pm if needed)
Performances are June 7 through June 22 (8pm Fridays and Saturdays, 4pm Sundays)
Please prepare 16 measures of both an upbeat Rock “Style” Song and a Rock Ballad (you may not be asked to sing both). Songs from “Chess” are acceptable as audition pieces.
This highly acclaimed musical develops the ancient and distinguished game of chess into a metaphor for romantic rivalries and East-West political intrigue. The principal pawns form a love triangle: the loutish American Grandmaster, the earnest Russian champion and the Hungarian-American female chess second, who arrives at the international championships with the American but falls for the Russian. From Tyrol to Thailand the players, lovers, politicians, CIA and KGB make their moves to the pulse of this monumental rock score.
All roles open.
Freddie Trumper (“The American”)- Rock tenor (to C). The American chess champion, a cross between Bobby Fisher and John McEnroe. Arrogant and temperamental, but a genius; his chess playing is revolutionary. He is dangerously obsessed with his art. Male of any ethnicity, around 30.
Anatoly Sergievsky (“The Russian”)- Baritone (to G sharp). The Russian chess champion. Unexpectedly charming. He doesn't seem a romantic hero at first, but becomes one through his personality. An intelligent, feeling, passionate man. Falls in love with Florence, but is married to and has two children with Svetlana. Must decide two things: 1) Is his duty to his country, or to himself? 2) What does he love more: the game, or the women in his life? Male, between 35 and 45
Florence Vassy- strong belt voice (to E). Hungarian-born. She is clever, theatrical, touching, vivacious, volatile. Frederick's chess second. She’s worked very hard to become the cosmopolitan woman she is today, and sometimes she tries a little too hard. Falls in love with Anatoly. Starts by focusing on the game (and Freddie), ends focusing on her heart (and Anatoly). Female, around 30
Alexander Molokov- Bass (down to F sharp). Anatoly’s second—and a KGB agent. Not above manipulating others to further his political aims. Intellectually formidable and fiercely patriotic. Must use Russian accent. Male 40 and up
Svetlana Sergievsky- strong belt voice. Anatoly's wife. Domestic, wholesome, homey, but still effortlessly elegant. Loves her husband, but knows that she’ll never be able to combat his flaws and obsessions. Female 35 to 45
Walter de Courcey- Bass-Baritone (down to G sharp). A marketing agent. Seemingly respectable, substantial, trustworthy—but secretly a manipulative CIA agent. Male of any ethnicity 35 and up
The Arbiter- rock high baritone (up to A). International businessperson. Smooth, but with a quick temper,they are the chess tournament’s referee. Male or Female of any ethnicity 35 and up
Lenoid Vigand-Tenor. Anatoly’s Russian opponent in Act Two, a “machine” of a chess player. Male 25 to 30
Ensemble: Looking for 8 people to play various other roles such as Reporters, Civil Servants, etc…any age, gender or ethnicity. Ensemble will be doing some dancing and movement. There will be opportunities for standout bits and there will be lots of stage time.
+ What should I prepare?
Examine what the audition notice has requested and prepare appropriately. For example, if it asks for classical musical theater, do not bring a song from RENT. You should prepare something that suits you well and with which you are comfortable. We want to see you at your best!
+ Where are auditions held?
Generally auditions are held at the Carriage House Arts Center at 390 Grumman Ave in Norwalk, CT. However, always check the audition listing to make sure.
+ What should I wear?
Wear what you feel & look best in. Don't wear anything too distracting. You will do best in neutral tones and unpatterned pieces. If there is a dance component to the auditions, bring a change of clothes in which you can move easily. If you do not have official "dancewear," don't sweat it! Any gym clothes will do.
+ What should I bring?
If you have a headshot and a resume, great! But you do not need one to be considered. A smile goes a long way inside the audition room and out.
+ Who will be watching me?
The answer to this varies by production, but expect at least 3-4 people in the room: the director, the producer(s), the stage manager, and, if it's a musical, the choreographer and the musical director.
+ What happens in the audition room?
FOR A PLAY: Generally, you will be given "sides," or a section of the script, to read from, either with another actor or with a reader selected by the production team. FOR A MUSICAL: You will enter the room and, if you have sheet music, bring it to the accompanist. At this point you can discuss tempo and feel if you wish, and then make your way to the stage. If there is an X or a marker, walk to that spot; if not, as a rule, stand in the center of the stage. Introduce yourself to the people who are watching, and introduce your piece(s). Once you have completed your audition, thank the room, grab your music from the accompanist and thank him or her as well, and then exit the room.
+ What happens after the audition?
If there is no dance component to the audition, you may leave once you have completed your song or monologue. If the production team needs to see more from you, they will bring you back for callbacks.
+ What happens at callbacks?
This varies by production, but generally you will be called back to audition for a specific part in the production. If the production is a musical, you might also be taught a section of a song from that show or a specific dance combination.
+ What does it mean if I didn't get a callback?
Not getting a callback does not necessarily mean you are not going to be cast. It simply means the production team saw enough from you at your initial audition to make a casting decision about you.
+ When will I find out if I'm cast?
This varies, depending on the calendar of the production, but generally the production will be officailly cast within a week of callbacks. We do contact everyone who auditions (whether they are cast or not) as soon as we can.
+ What does it mean if I'm not cast?
If you are not cast, it does not reflect on your talent or ability. Production teams are looking for a very specific quality and look for each character, and that is out of your control! You should not take rejection as a value judgement on you, but rather as a opportunity to audition for another show.