AUDITIONS: Blue Stockings
Audition Notice-Blue Stockings
by Jessica Swale
Playing Dates: 3rd – 11th April 2020
Director – Aisling Tigwell
Sunday 27th October 2019 3pm at The Stables Theatre
Set over the academic year of 1896 to 1897, ‘Blue Stockings’ takes place in and around Girton College Cambridge. Girton, was the first college to admit women in 1869. However, whilst their male counterparts could graduate the women cannot. The women face the stigma of being called a ‘Blue Stocking’ an unnatural educated woman and not one that any man would want to marry. ‘Blue Stockings’ follows four young women and their teachers as they fight for their right to graduate alongside their male counterparts. They face prejudice, the class divide and the pressure to conform to society’s expectations of women.
There will be a read through in December before rehearsals start in full in January. I would encourage people of any racial or ethnic background to audition for these roles. If you have any questions about the auditions or cannot make the audition date, please contact the director, Aisling Tigwell, on firstname.lastname@example.org
The Girton Students
Tess Moffat – playing age 20- 30 Audition pages: 42-44, 46-48, 49-53, 102-103
Tess is the central character of the play. The audience see the action of the play through her eyes. She is conflicted between wanting to study science and also the desire to have children and get married. She is also not afraid to stand up for what she believes in. For example, she questions Dr Maudsley’s views around hysteria in women.
Celia Wilibond – playing age- 20-30 Audition pages: 46-48, 102-103
Is the most conventional of the four Girton Girls in terms of what the Victorian stereotype of what a woman should be. Celia is not a risk taker and much more likely to follow the rules of the society set for her. Celia has fought hard to keep her place at Girton and will not allow anyone to distract her from her studies.
Carolyn Addison – playing age 20 -30 Audition pages: 46-48, 73-75
Is the most eccentric and bohemian of the Girton students. She is well travelled and frequently mentions her travels when talking to the others. She is relatively carefree and is much more willing to break and bend society’s rules. She is most affluent of the four Girton girls.
Maeve Sullivan – playing age 20-30 Audition pages: 46-48 and 60-62
She keeps herself to herself and is probably the most naturally intelligent of all the Girton students. She does not come from an affluent background and is at Girton as she has a generous benefactor. When tragedy strikes Maeve her family background is revealed and provides an emotional end to the first half of the play. It would be nice to see a regional dialect for Maeve.
The Male Students
Ralph Mayhew – playing age 20-30 Audition pages: 49-53, 95-99
A second year student at Trinity College, Ralph is a romantic and a scientist who falls in love with Tess. He does have sympathy towards women studying at Cambridge but ultimately he bows to pressure from his father in deciding who to marry.
Will Bennett – playing age 20-30 Audition pages: 42-44, 95-99
Tess’s friend from childhood, he feels very protective of her. He is initially not very supportive of the women’s cause but by the end of the play is one of the few men who support a woman’s right to a degree. He eventually confesses his love for Tess. He is a second year at King’s which makes him more of an outsider to the other male students and is treated as such.
Lloyd- playing age 20-30 Audition pages: 86-89, 95-99
A second year student at Trinity, he is the most vocal of the male students in his opposition to women gaining the right to graduate and is cruellest to the girls. He is scared of the changes that might be coming and that he might be undermined by the female students.
Holmes- playing age 20-30 Audition pages: 22, 86-89, 95-99
Another second year student at Trinity, he comes from a very privileged background. He expresses some similar views to Lloyd but is maybe not quite as fearful and cruel.
Edwards – playing age 20-30 Audition pages: 22 86—89, 95-99
He is a little bit more welcoming to Will and shows glimpses of being more sympathetic to the women but he is shut down by Lloyd and Holmes.
Elizabeth Welsh – playing age 40+ Audition pages: 58-62, 67 and 113
One of only two characters in the play who actually existed, Elizabeth Welsh was mistress of Girton college. Mrs Welsh is an interesting character who is committed to the fight to allow the women to graduate and thus views the suffragettes as a distraction and discourages the girls from attending any suffragette meetings.
Mr Banks – playing age 40+ Audition pages: 69-72
The most sympathetic of all the male characters to the women’s fight to graduate. He ultimately pays the price with the establishment for choosing to educate the Girton women.
Miss Blake – playing age 35+ Audition pages: 58-62
One of the teachers at Girton, she has committed her life to the pursuit of education and has remained unmarried. She is sympathetic to the suffrage movement and is ultimately made to choose between Girton and fighting for the vote.
Minnie– Any age 16+ Audition pages: 47-48
The Maid of Girton College she looks after all of the Girton Students.
Roles which will have a Double
Dr Maudsley/ Professor Anderson – playing age 50+ Audition pages: 14 and 69-72
Dr Maudlesy is the other character in the play based on a person who actually existed. He was a leading psychiatrist of his time. He comes to Trinity to deliver a lecture and clashes with Tess over hysteria in women. Professor Anderson is the a Cambridge Professor who recommends Mr Banks for Tenure.
Miss Bott/ Mrs Lindlay – playing age 45+ Audition pages: 73-75 and 86-89
Miss Bott is the girl’s chaperone she may at first seem like she is a stickler for the rules but there is more to her than that. Mrs Lindlay runs the haberdashery shop.
Professor Collins/ Mr Peck – playing age 40+ Audition pages: 69-72 and page 81
Professor Collins is one of the professors who interviews Mrs Banks to get the job at Trinity. Mr Peck is the groundskeeper at Girton. Has some funny moments with Carolyn.
Professor Radleigh/ librarian and the waiter. – playing age 40+ Audition pages: 69-72
A professor who interviews Mr Banks about the full time position at Trinity.
Billy Sullivan – Audition Pages: 58-59
Maeve’s brother who comes to visit Girton following a family tragedy. This role will be played by one of the actors playing Lloyd, Holmes or Edwards.