Auditions for Trial By Jury and Singing Competition: So You Think You Can Sing G&S

By W.S. Gilbert and Sir Arthur Sullivan
Directed by Paige Fossheim
Music Direction by Winnifred Hume
Presented OUTDOORS and ONLINE June 17 – 27, 2021

Can you sue someone for breaking off an engagement? In Gilbert and Sullivan’s courtroom farce Trial by Jury, it’s a very serious crime! The fickle defendant, Edwin, has fallen in love with another woman and has jilted the plaintiff, the beautiful Angelina. Unfortunately for Edwin, all of the members of the jury (and the judge) have fallen for Angelina themselves. Edwin proposes that in order to solve the conflict, he “marry this lady today and the other tomorrow,” which, naturally, Angelina objects to. This delightfully ludicrous one-act is a bite-sized portion of Gilbert and Sullivan’s signature witty lyrics, catchy tunes, and ridiculous plotlines. Unlike most Gilbert and Sullivan shows, there is no spoken dialogue.

Scroll down for details on the Singing Competition

CHARACTER DESCRIPTIONS:

The Learned Judge (50+, male, baritone) Pompous, manipulative, and not terribly serious about his job. He is struck by Angelina’s beauty, and ultimately resolves the entire trial by offering to marry her himself. The Judge also delivers the signature Gilbert and Sullivan patter song in this show: “When I, good friends, was called to the bar,” which will require great breath control and rapid-fire, clear diction.

The Plaintiff, Angelina (female, soprano) The beautiful Angelina is suing Edwin “for breach of promise of marriage.” Melodramatic, flighty, high-strung and all too aware of the power of her looks, Angelina is a bit of a gold-digger. She claims to love Edwin passionately, but also claims that he is a terrible person, and she certainly isn’t above trying to sue him for every penny he’s worth.

The Defendant, Edwin (male, tenor) Bigoted and simpering, Edwin isn’t a terribly likeable character and is considered a “monster” by the jury, but he is still a Victorian gentleman.

Counsel for the Plaintiff (any gender, tenor) The most formal member of the courtroom and takes their job very seriously, and often seems to be the only member of the cast to actually have their head squarely on their shoulders.

Usher (male, baritone) The Usher is the coordinator of the courtroom, giving the jury their instructions to listen to the case without bias. He acts occasionally as a sort of narrator for the court proceedings.

Foreman of the Jury (male, bass) He acts fatherly and protective toward Angelina, offering his chest for her to cry on, but this could also be a bit of a ruse, as he is as taken with Angelina’s beauty as everyone else. It is his job to speak on behalf of the jury, and also to keep them in line.

First Bridesmaid (female, soprano) Angelina’s Maid of Honor, serving as her sidekick. Lovely and prim, she makes a grand entrance into the courtroom before Angelina does and attracts the attentions of the judge and jury—that is, until the Plaintiff arrives and wins them all over.

Ensemble (male and female, various) The chorus consists of Angelina’s Bridesmaids, Gentlemen of the Jury, Barristers, and Attorneys.

Morpheus Theatre encourages individuals of all genders, ethnicities, and abilities to audition. All performers should be at least 18 years old.

Trial By Jury will be presented along with a number of Gilbert and Sullivan’s popular songs. These will be assigned to best feature all cast members.

Audition Requirements:

  • Auditioners are asked to prepare a Self-Tape audition with a short song either from G&S or a similar style (2 to 3 minutes).
  • Auditioners are also asked to complete an audition form, with an acting resume and headshot.
  • Selected auditioners will be requested to attend an online callback to read with other performers on March 28th.

Rehearsal and Performance Requirements:

  • The first five weeks of rehearsals will take place online (April 11 – May 13).
  • The second four weeks will take place at the Morpheus Rehearsal Centre in Parkdale (May 16 – June 16).
  • Cast members, the director and stage manager will need to follow provincial health requirements.
  • Members of the cast and crew will be asked to commit to being part of only this production during the time of the rehearsals and performances, and limit other in-person extracurricular activities.
  • Production team members will remain masked when meeting in-person.
  • Performances will take place outdoors – live and in-person – at the Pumphouse Theatres.

Self-Tape Audition Tips:

SINGING COMPETITION:

So You Think You Can Sing G&S

Morpheus Theatre is pleased to announce a fun singing competition to encourage an interest in the music of Gilbert & Sullivan, promote individual artists that have not had a leading musical theatre role (outside of school), and win a spot in our production of Trial By Jury.

  • Interested participants must meet the requirements below, and submit an audition tape of them singing a Gilbert and Sullivan Song by 5pm on Monday March 22nd.
  • Our judges will select the top ten entries, which will be announced on Friday March 26th.
  • The top 10 will then need submit a new song for Wednesday March 31st.
  • Our judges will announce the top 3 on Friday April 2nd.
  • A final song will be due by Wednesday April 7th.
  • The competition winner will be announced Friday April 9th.

Competition Requirements:

  • Participants must have never performed in a leading role in a musical theatre or operatic production, outside of school (e.g. community or professional theatre).
  • Participants must be able to prepare and submit audition tapes according to the schedule above.
  • All songs must be from Gilbert & Sullivan.  If you require suggestions please see below.
  • Participants may also submit to audition directly for Trial By Jury.
  • Participants must be able to commit to the Trial By Jury rehearsal and performance schedule.
  • Participants must be willing for their audition tapes to be shared with both the judges, but also publicly if they make it to the top 10 spots.
  • Participants shall enter the competition using the Trial By Jury Audition Form and completing the section for Singing Competition.

Suggested Songs:

You do not need to use these songs, they are only provided for consideration.

Soprano

  • Love Is a Plaintive Song – Patience
  • If Somebody There Chanced to Be – Ruddigore
  • A Lady Fair of Lineage High – Princess Ida
  • Poor Wand’ring One – Pirates of Penzance

Mezzo

  • When a Merry Maiden Marries – Gondoliers
  • I’m Called Little Buttercup – HMS Pinafore
  • To a Garden Full of Posies – Ruddigore
  • When Frederic Was A Little Lad – Pirates of Penzance

Tenor

  • A Maiden Fair to See – HMS Pinafore
  • Take a Pair of Sparkling Eyes – Gondoliers
  • Oh, Is There Not One Maiden Breast – Pirates of Penzance
  • A Wand’ring Minstrel I – The Mikado

Baritone

  • When I Was A Lad – HMS Pinafore
  • Willow, Tit Willow – The Mikado
  • When All Night Long – Iolanthe
  • Oh, Better Far to Live and Die (Pirate King Song) – Pirates of Penzance

Sheet music for most of the G&S songs can be found online.  If you have any questions, or require assistance with finding music, please email info@morpheustheatre.ca

Audition Form

Open auditions for all roles will take place via Self-Tape Audition or Singing Competition.

Deadline to submit your Audition Self-Tape is Monday March 22, 2021 (5:00pm)

Callbacks will take place on Sunday March 28th from 1:00 to 4:00pm, on Zoom.

Rehearsals will take place from April 11th (possibly 18th) through June 16th.  Rehearsals will be Sunday afternoons, Monday and Wednesday evenings online, then switch to Sunday afternoons, Tuesday and Thursday evenings in-person. Morpheus Theatre requires that auditioners come prepared to commit to the rehearsal and performance schedule.

Note: Morpheus Theatre is a volunteer theatre company.

Please complete this Audition Form if you would like to audition.

Audition Form

Call 403-246-2999 or send an e-mail for more info.

You should receive a confirmation email after you submit your form.  If you do not, please check your junk email box, or contact Morpheus Theatre.