Blue Stockings by Jessica Swale
Directed by Eleanore Tapscott
Audition Location and Dates:
Silver Spring Stage
10145 Colesville Rd, Silver Spring, MD 20901
Sunday, August 6, 7 pm- 9 pm
Monday, August 7, 7 pm- 9 pm
Tuesday, August 9 for callbacks (by appointment)
Sign-up for an audition time here.
Please download, complete and bring an audition form and submit a headshot/resume, if available. If you prefer the electronic form, see here. Please list all known and tentative conflicts from August 20-November 12, 2023.
All roles are open and unpaid.
For the audition, actors will cold read sides and do a short improv. For callbacks, sides will be provided in advance.
This production will rehearse and perform at SST. The show will rehearse 3-4 times a week on both weeknights and weekends, depending on cast availability; rehearsal frequency will increase the two weeks before tech week. Tech and dress rehearsals will be October 21-26. Performances will run 3 weekends from October 27 – November 12, 2023. Cast must be available for tech and dress rehearsals, performances, and brush ups. Performances will be Friday and Saturday nights at 8:00 pm, with Sunday matinees at 2 pm. Mandatory brush-up rehearsals will be held Thursday evenings before Friday performances. Cast attendance is required at all rehearsals as called by the director unless a conflict has been previously indicated.
Production note: The play is set in 1896 in England and will be staged within that time period. English accents will be used in this production. The play contains a fight, in which characters are hit and pushed. Two characters (Tess and Ralph) may kiss. The ‘Girton Girls’ dance the Can Can. Student and faculty members sing.
Questions? Reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Play
The year is 1896. Queen Victoria reins, the First Boer War has come to an end and the invention of the film projector is first demonstrated. A man from Kent receives the first speeding ticket for exceeding the two mile an hour limit and Bridget Driscoll becomes the first person to die in a car accident in the grounds of Crystal Palace. In the backdrop of these rapidly changing times, women begin pushing for greater rights, rights to education and to vote. Few universities accept women at all and those that do consider them to be intellectually inferior to their male counterparts. The women that chose to pursue academics are referred to, derogatively, as “Blue Stockings”. And so, we find ourselves at Cambridge University, its doors have opened to a cohort of excited and ambitious young women, but how will the institution adapt? And what challenges will await the men and women trying to work their way through a minefield of career aspirations, the quest for love, dealing with family obligations, and societal expectations of women? Over the course of an academic year, we follow the journey of four of these young women and as they fight for their right to graduate alongside their male counterparts.
Time and Setting
1896.Girton College, Cambridge – home to Britain’s first female university students.
Casting 14/15 actors to play 25 roles. With the exception of the roles of Tess and Mrs. Welsh, some roles will be doubled. There are 10 female roles (ages 20s to 50+) and 15 male roles (ages 20s to 50+). Actors do not need to be the chronological age of the character but should be able to realistically portray that age. This production is committed to expansive casting. As such, we encourage performers of all races and ethnicities, gender identities, sexualities, abilities, and ages, as well as d/Deaf, to audition.
The Girton Girls
Tess Moffat (F, 20s), extremely intelligent and intrigued by science. She is conflicted between wanting to study science and also the desire to have children and get married. She is not afraid to stand up for what she believes.
Celia Willbond (F, 20s), conventional and hard-working. Not a risk taker and much more likely to follow societal rules and norms. Celia has fought hard to keep her place at Girton and will not allow anyone to distract her from her studies.
Carolyn Addison (F, 20s), bohemian, well-traveled and wealthy. Carefree and is much more willing to
break and bend society’s rules.
Maeve Sullivan (F, 20s), intelligent, somewhat secretive working-class girl, who keeps to herself. She Is attending Girton on scholarship and is acutely aware of the socio-economic difference between her and the other students.
The Trinity Boys
Ralph Mayhew (M, 20s), a second-year student at Trinity College and a romantic, and a scientist who falls in love with Tess. Recites a poem in Italian. He is sympathetic towards women studying at Cambridge.
Lloyd (M, 20s), an angry, entitled, change-adverse Trinity second-year student and the most vocal of the male students in his opposition to women gaining the right to graduate. He is scared of the changes that might be coming and of being undermined by the female students.
Holmes (M, 20s), second-year Trinity student from a very privileged background and Lloyd’s sidekick. Has similar views to Lloyd about the female students.
Edwards (M, 20s), a second-year Trinity student who is bit of a clown and unlucky but somewhat friendly to Will and wants to sympathize with the female students. Sings a ballad during an evening out with the lads.
Will Bennett (M, 20s), a second-year student at King’s College and Tess’ friend from home
Elizabeth Welsh, head of Girton College (F, 40-60s), firm, resourceful, and committed to the fight to allow the women to graduate by playing by the rules and maintaining a seat at the table. Views the suffragettes and their movement as a distraction.
Miss Blake (F, 30s-40s), a lecturer in moral science at Girton and former student (30-40). Unmarried, she cares for her students and is supportive of the suffragette movement.
Mr. Banks (M, 30s-40s), a lecturer at Girton and Trinity, progressive and extremely sympathetic to the women’s fight to graduate.
Dr Maudsley (M, 40s-60s), renowned psychiatrist with specific views on societal expectations of women.
Professor Collins (M, 30s-50s), a lecturer at Trinity, interviews Mr. Banks for a tenured position.
Professor Anderson (M, 40s-50s), a lecturer at Trinity who recommends Mr. Banks for tenure. (Possibly played by actor cast as Dr Maudsley)
Professor Radleigh (M, 40s+), a board member at Trinity, interviews Mr. Banks.
Minnie (F, 20s-30s), the housemaid for the Girton students who is fascinated by these girls.
Mr. Peck (M, 40s+), funny and garrulous gardener and maintenance man. (Played by the actor who plays Professor Collins)
Miss Bott (F, 40s+), Girton girl’s chaperone who has a deep understanding of young minds and hearts.
Billy Sullivan (M, 20s), Maeve’s hardworking brother who comes to visit her at Girton following a family tragedy.
Mrs. Lindley (F, 30s-40s), owns the haberdashery whose clientele are the students from Trinity and Girton (played by the actress cast as Miss Bott).
Lady in cafe (F, 20s-30s+), smug married who does not think favorably on suffragettes and the women students. (Played by actress who plays Minnie or ensemble member)
Man in cafe (M, 30s+), her husband, possibly with the same attitude. (Played by male ensemble)
Waiter in the cafe (M, 20s+), overworked and overwhelmed. (Played by the actor who plays Billy Sullivan)
Librarian (M, 20+), loves books, the students not so much. (Played by male ensemble)
Ensemble (2 F 20s-30s, 2 M, 20s-30s) – guests in café, students
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