MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING CHARACTER LIST AND DESCRIPTION FOR AUDITIONING (in no particular order)
Beatrice - FEMALE - Ages 20 - 40's Beatrice is a strong willed woman, with a sharp wit and spirit. Our Female lead must deliver a well rounded character with honesty and intellect. She wages a war of wits against Benedick and often wins the battle. At the outset of the play, she appears content never to marry, however, she is in love with Benedick, just unwilling to admit it. Chemistry with the male lead in paramount.
Benedick - MALE - Ages 30 - 40's Our Male lead...must be able to deliver a three dimensional character full of energy, humor and honestly. Benedick is a soldier recently returned from the war along with with Don Pedro and best friend Claudio. Benedick is quite charming, always making jokes and puns and carries on a “merry war” of wits with Beatrice. Chemistry with female lead is paramount.
Claudio - MALE Ages 20 - 30's A young soldier who has recently returned from war. Claudio falls in love with Hero upon his return to Messina. He is easily manipulated., wears his heart on his sleeve, and too quick to believe rumors, and reacts emotionally without enough thought.
Hero - FEMALE Ages late teens - 30's The beautiful young daughter of Leonato and cousin to Beatrice. Hero is lovely, gentle, and kind. She also needs to have a well rounded character. She has the lead in the prank that is played on Beatrice, she is scorned by her betrothed, and the actor who wins this role must be able to portray a wide range of emotions through the course of the play.
Don Pedro - MALE Ages 30's through 50's An important nobleman, sometimes referred to as “Prince.” Don Pedro is a longtime friend of Leonato, Hero’s father. Don Pedro is generous, courteous, intelligent, and loyal to his friends. He is the most politically and socially powerful character in the play. This character needs to be very charismatic.
Leonato - MALE (COULD BE CAST FEMALE AS LEONATA) Ages 40 - 50's A well-to-do, elderly noble. Leonato is the father of Hero and the uncle of Beatrice. As governor of Messina, he is second in social power only to Don Pedro.
Don John - MALE (COULD BE CAST FEMALE AS DON JEAN) ages 20's - 40 The illegitimate brother of Don Pedro; sometimes called “the Bastard.” He is the villain of the play; his actions are motivated by his envy of his brother’s social authority, (or jealousy if cast as a female).
Margaret - FEMALE Ages late teens to 30's Hero’s serving woman, who unwittingly helps Borachio and Don John deceive Claudio into thinking that Hero is unfaithful. Margaret is lower class, full of life and a bit sassy. She unwittingly becomes involved in Don Johns plot.
Borachio - MALE ages 20's - 30's An associate of Don John. Borachio is the lover of Margaret, Hero’s serving woman. He conspires with Don John to trick Claudio and Don Pedro into thinking that Hero is unfaithful to Claudio. His name means “drunkard” in Italian.
Conrad - MALE (COULD BE CAST FEMALE) Ages late teens to 30's One of Don John’s close associates, entirely devoted to Don John.
Dogberry - MALE (COULD BE CAST FEMALE IF SOMEONE SOLD ME ON IT) Any age The constable in charge of the Watch, or chief policeman, of Messina. Dogberry takes his job seriously, but isn't the sharpest tool in the shed. Middle class, with a desire to appear higher, which creates great humor in his choice of words. Comedic timing is a must with this role.
Verges - MALE (COULD BE CAST FEMALE) Any age. The deputy to Dogberry. Equally bumbling.
Sexton - MALE (COULD BE CAST FEMALE) Any age Leads the trial against the villians.
Antonio - MALE (POSSIBLY FEMALE) Ages 40's - 50's Leonato’s elderly brother and Hero's uncle. He is Beatrice’s father.
Balthasar - MALE (POSSIBLY FEMALE) any age A waiting man in Leonato’s household and a musician. Balthasar flirts with Margaret at the masked party and helps Leonato, Claudio, and Don Pedro trick Benedick into falling in love with Beatrice. Should be able to sing.
Ursula - FEMALE Ages Late teens to 30's One of Hero’s waiting women.
Friar Francis - MALE Any age The priest who married the lovers, and is the voice of reason in the show. Compassion, patience, (humor) and stability are keys to his character.