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Auditions: Rent

July 2nd, 2022

The Players Club of Swarthmore are holding auditions for the Main Stage production of Rent on Sunday, August 21st @2PM & Monday, August 22nd @6PM – by appointment.
 

Rent
Music, Lyrics, and Book by JONATHAN LARSON
 
Auditions: Sunday, August 21 @2PM & Monday, August 22 @6PM by appointment
Callbacks (by invite only): Tuesday, August 23
Performance dates: November 25-27, December 1-4, & 8-10.
Where: Auditions, callbacks, rehearsals, and performances will be held at the Players Club of Swarthmore (614 Fairview Rd, Swarthmore, PA 19081).
 
Audition Registration: here.
 
We will contact you with a time slot prior to audition night. If you are not able to attend in-person you may make video submission arrangements with the director.
 
Rehearsals are 3-4 evenings a week, beginning September 12th with a full week of technical/dress rehearsals. Most rehearsals* will begin by 6:30 during the weeknights and earlier on Sundays. Some of our rehearsal and performance spaces are only accessible by stairs. Please let us know if you need accommodations.
*Commitment Dates listed on show page here.
 
COVID SAFETY POLICIES AND PROCEDURES: All performers and staff must provide proof of up-to-date vaccination against COVID-19 to participate in a production.
 
If cast, you will be asked to sign a form acknowledging potential COVID risks and agreeing to comply with PCS’s most up-to-date health and safety guidelines through the length of the production. You will also be asked to obtain a free criminal background check and child abuse clearance to participate in the production.
 
The Players Club of Swarthmore and the Rent production team are committed to diversity and inclusion. As such, we encourage performers of all races and ethnicities, gender identities, sexualities, and abilities to audition.
 
Due to the adult nature of RENT, all actors must be over 18 years of age at the time of auditions. No exceptions. Please note this is a non-union, non-paying production.
Transparency and open communication are values that are extremely important to us; if you have any questions, please email the director at annemarie.scalies@gmail.com.
 
AUDITION REQUIREMENTS:
Prepare two cuts of a pop/ rock song in the style of the show. You will be required to sing one, but may be asked to sing two selections. All auditioners must sing. Songs from RENT are allowed. Please choose a song that will showcase your acting abilities as well as your vocal abilities. A piano accompanist will be provided. There will be no dance call during initial auditions.
 
CONFLICTS: Please refrain from auditioning if you have any conflicts with tech week (November 20th) and/or show dates (see above).
 
CASTING BREAKDOWN:
All roles are open. We acknowledge that many roles we list fall on gender binary, but invite transgender and non-binary performers to audition for the roles they most identify with. We are seeking 15-20 energetic, dynamic performers to fill the following:
 

MARK COHEN (early to late twenties)
VOCAL RANGE: Tenor (C#3-G4)
ETHNICITY: Non-specific
Mark is an aspiring filmmaker who narrates the show as he films the lives of his friends. Mark never leaves home without a camera. He is Roger’s best friend and caregiver, and he was once Maureen’s boyfriend (who left him for Joanne). Mark is a little nerdy and quirky. He insists that he can survive the bleakness of his environment through his art. It soon becomes apparent, though, that he is more comfortable viewing the world through his lens than in actively engaging in it. He feels guilty that unlike his friends, he does not have HIV/AIDS. The actor playing this role must be a strong singer and actor. He dances the Tango with Joanne, so good movement skills are also required.

 

ROGER DAVIS (mid-twenties to early thirties)
VOCAL RANGE: Rock Tenor (B2-A4)
ETHNICITY: Non-specific
Roger is a once successful, now struggling musician who discovered he had HIV/AIDS in a note his girlfriend left him before she took her own life. His main goal in life is to write one great song before he dies, but he has not been able to play his guitar in a year, fearing that he has lost his creative energy. He falls in love with Mimi but is too afraid to commit to her, knowing that she also is infected with HIV/AIDS. He is also the roommate and best friend of Mark. He is often depressed and sullen, but he can be expressive and passionate at times. The actor playing this role must be a good actor and an excellent singer with a rock edge. Guitar skills are desired.

 

MIMI MARQUEZ (late teens to early twenties)
VOCAL RANGE: Alto (F#3-E5)
ETHNICITY: Typically Latinx, possibly other POC
Mimi Marquez works in a strip club and struggles with her addiction to heroin, which has resulted in her contraction of HIV/AIDS. She falls in love with Roger, who is unable to commit to a relationship with her. She is also Benny’s ex‐girlfriend. She is extremely sexy, optimistic, and likeable but with dark secrets. Though Mimi has” lived a lot of life,” she still sees the world through the eyes of a young woman. She intends to make the most of every day, as she earnestly expresses in the song “No Day but Today.” The actress playing this role must be a strong singer, dancer, and exceptional actress. She must be able to convincingly portray the struggles of heroin addiction, sexual promiscuity, and HIV/AIDS, while still maintaining the optimism of youth.

 

BENNY COFFIN III (twenties to thirties)
VOCAL RANGE: Tenor (Eb3-F4)
ETHNICITY: Typically African-American, possibly other POC
Benny used to be Mark and Roger’s roommate, but he married Alison Grey, a rich family involved with real estate, and he is now their landlord. He had been letting Roger and Mark live in the apartment for free, but he is now forcing them to pay rent or be evicted. Roger and Mark consider him a yuppie sell-out. He also had an affair with Mimi before she started to date Roger. While in the beginning he is caught up in the lifestyle of wealth and affluence, he ultimately realizes his friends are more important than what money can buy. The actor playing this role must be a good singer and actor.

 

MAUREEN JOHNSON (twenties to thirties)
VOCAL RANGE: Soprano Belt (C4-F5)
ETHNICITY: Non-specific (must contrast ethnically with Joanne)
Maureen is a bisexual performing artist and Mark’s ex‐girlfriend. She left Mark to be with her new girlfriend, Joanne. She is sexy, flirtatious, sassy, and funny. She is bold and speaks her mind, and she is not afraid to take on the establishment and fight for what she believes in. The actress playing this role must be an excellent singer and actress. She must be comfortable with same-sex physical intimacy.

 

JOANNE JEFFERSON (mid-twenties to early thirties)
VOCAL RANGE: Soprano Belt (Bb3-E5)
ETHNICITY: Typically African-American, possibly other POC (must contrast ethnically with Maureen)
Joanne is a lesbian Ivy League educated lawyer and activist. She struggles to not be jealous of Maureen’s flirtatious nature with others. Though she was raised in an affluent, political family, she is committed to helping those less fortunate. The actress playing this role must be an excellent singer and a good actress. She must be comfortable with same sex-physical intimacy. Since she dances the tango with Mark, good movement skills are also required.

 

TOM COLLINS (late twenties to late thirties)
VOCAL RANGE: Bass/Baritone (F#2 – A4)
ETHNICITY: Typically African-American, possibly other POC
Tom Collins is a gay computer genius, teacher, and anarchist who was recently expelled from MIT. In the opening scene he is mugged, reflecting the harsh reality of the world in which the characters live. He is brave enough to allow himself to fall in love with Angel, knowing that since both of them are infected with HIV/AIDS, their relationship will not have much of a future. Tom and Angel’s relationship is the heart of the show, as the genuine love and devotion they have for one another brings hope and inspiration to the entire group. They show the world how to truly live life and not be afraid. The actor playing this role must be an excellent singer and actor who is comfortable with same sex-physical intimacy. He must be able to portray great love and affection for Angel. He must especially be able to convey that love when Angel dies in his arms, and during his reprise of “I Will Cover You.”

 

ANGEL SCHUNARD (early to late twenties)
VOCAL RANGE: Tenor with Falsetto (C3-A4)
ETHNICITY: Typically a POC
Angel is a young drag queen and street percussionist. He meets and falls in love with Collins. He has HIV/ AIDS and dies of the disease in Act II. As a person, Angel is the most generous and selfless character in the show. Angel hands out money to the neighborhood while dressed in Santa drag. Though he has HIV/AIDS, he embraces life and lives it to its fullest. People are naturally drawn to him, and his smile lights up the room. His death is mourned by all of the characters and eventually inspires them to live each day to the fullest. As mentioned in Tom’s character description, Tom and Angel’s relationship is the heart of the show, as the genuine love and devotion they have for one another brings hope and inspiration to the entire group. They show the world how to truly live life and not be afraid. The actor playing this role must be an excellent actor, singer, and mover. He must be able to comfortable with same-sex physical intimacy and a drag queen persona, including dancing in heels. Percussionist skills desired but not required.

 
MINOR CHARACTERS (Ensemble doubles as these characters):

Stage ages: Early twenties to sixties
Vocal Ranges: all vocal ranges sought
Ethnicities: A variety of ethnicities are sought; diversity is the keyword for this show

 

CAROLERS
There are homeless street men and women who appear throughout the show sarcastically singing Christmas carols.

 

MRS. COHEN
Mark’s stereotypical Jewish mother. Her voicemail messages are the basis for the songs Voicemail #1, Voicemail #3, and Voicemail #5.

 

ALEXI DARLING
The producer of Buzzline who tries to employ Mark after his footage of the riot makes primetime. Sings Voicemail #3 and Voicemail #4.

 

MR. and MRS. JEFFERSON
The wealthy parents of Joanne Jefferson, they leave her Voicemail #2. Mr. Jefferson is also one of the a cappella singers in Voicemail #5. Mrs. Jefferson usually sings the female solo in Seasons of Love.

 

MRS. DAVIS
Roger’s confused mother who calls in Voicemail #5, asking continuously, “Roger, where are you?”

 

MRS. MARQUEZ
Mimi’s Spanish‐speaking mother who sings in Voicemail #5, wondering, in Spanish, where she is.

 

MR. GREY
Benny’s father-in‐law who wants to buy out the lot.

 

THE MAN
The local drug dealer whom Mimi buys from and Roger used to buy from.

 

LIFE SUPPORT GROUP
Paul (The man in charge of the Life Support group), Gordon, Steve, Ali, Pam, Sue As notated in the script by Larson, the roles of all of the Life Support members are encouraged to take on the name that someone in the cast (or production) knows or has known to have succumbed to AIDS or other disease.

 

SQUEEGEE MAN
A homeless person who chants “Honest living!” over and over.

 

HOMELESS WOMAN
She gets harassed by police and Mark films it. She first yells at Mark but then asks him for a dollar.

 

WAITER
Waits on the cast and has solo lines in La Vie Boheme.

 
There are also many other non‐named roles such as the Preacher, Seasons of Love soloists, Cops, Bohemians, Vendors, Homeless People. We are looking for a very diverse cast of all ages, ethnicities, shapes, and sizes.
 

The Players Club of Swarthmore is an all-volunteer organization. All roles are unpaid and Non-Equity.

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