Join the cast of the 2020 Bristol Renaissance Faire
Open Auditions take place on February 29 and March 1, 2020. Registration opens on January 27, 2020. Check back on Jan 27 for the registration link.
Basic Audition requirements: 45-second monologue, 16 bars any song, group improv exercises. See below for more information.
The Bristol Renaissance Faire (BRF) has a variety of opportunities for people with a wide range of performance experience and skills. Please note: The Bristol Renaissance Faire is a high sensory environment where our cast and audience experience musket, cannon and black powder fire, possible extreme weather conditions as well as long hours outdoors and large crowds. There are some stipend positions available for experienced performers, many positions available for volunteers, and a few internship positions for qualified college students. BRF encourages performers of all ethnicities and backgrounds to audition.
Audition note: ****Audition note: In order to be a member of the Entertainment Cast you must be at least 16 years of age by the beginning of the Faire season (July 11, 2020). You must be at least 18 years old to be cast in By the Sword, Denizens, and Pub Crawl. Families with younger children are encouraged to audition as a group – children younger than 16 may be on cast if a parent is also on cast.****
The 2020 Schedule for Cast Members:
Bristol Academy of Performance Arts: Saturdays June 6- July 4, 2020
Rehearsal Days: Sundays June 7 – July 5, 2020 (additional rehearsals required depending on the specific cast)
Faire Performance Days – Saturdays, Sundays and Labor Day Monday: July 11th through September 7th
Strike – Dates vary by cast but fall between September 8th and September 20th
AUDITIONS ON FEBRUARY 29 AND MARCH 1, 2020:
Have the following information ready before scheduling an audition session time:
Your full name, full address, phone and email address
Your full birth date
The troupe, guilde, or position you wish to audition for (See below for troupe descriptions). You may choose “general audition”; you don’t need to choose one in the list.
NOTE: If you wish to audition for By the Sword you must do so in the Saturday morning session. If you do not mention that you wish to be considered for By the Sword then you will not be considered.
We will have a wait-list at the audition location for walk-in auditions. We will make an effort to see walk-in auditions, but there is no guarantee that we will be able to see walk-ins. Everyone wishing to audition must complete the form to schedule a date and session.
What to Bring to your Audition (Standard Requirements):
a head-shot (or a recent picture of your face)
a performance resume
a copy of your photo identification
a sense of humor: we love positive attitudes and the willingness to improvise
We will keep the headshot, performance resume and copy of your ID for our files. Be prepared to spend up to three hours at the audition location
Click the chart below for a larger PDF version of the requirements.
“X” means required. “E” means Encouraged.
WHAT TO EXPECT AT AUDITIONS:
Arrive at least 30 minutes prior to your audition session. When you arrive, you will sign in and hand over your resume, head-shot, and copy of your photo identification.
All those auditioning are directed to a general waiting room where you may warm up. Please be considerate of your fellow performers. If your warm-up includes singing or running through a choreographed fight, you will be directed to a space to prepare – it may be out of doors. The Bristol Renaissance Faire is an outdoor theatrical venue, so it’s never too early to rehearse outdoors!
Performers will be escorted one at a time, by a staff member, to see the panel of Directors. Auditions occur in the order in which you signed in/appointment timeslot. After you present your audition pieces, you will be asked to remain for group exercises: movement and improv. Again, plan to be with us for up to three hours. Therefore, it’s a good idea not to plan to be anywhere else for the rest of the morning, afternoon or evening you are scheduled to audition.
Please do not bring in any food or beverages into the audition other than bottled water. A water bottle is permitted.
The Bristol Directors
There may be up to 15 people on the panel – this is due to all directors possibly needing your talent or skills. This may sound scary – but remember, every one of them wants your talents and your skills for their group. Sidenote: They might look funny but they are kind and talented and look forward to seeing your talents!
WHAT HAPPENS AFTERWARDS?
The Directors will discuss each and every auditionee as a group and determine where your special skills and talents are needed. The Directors look at the needs of their particular group, and the needs of the entire faire as a whole. You will be contacted within two weeks with a casting decision. If you are cast, you will receive a package of information that will guide you into the rehearsal process.
Please understand you will receive only ONE offer to be part of the cast. If you decline that troupe then you will not be part of the 2020 cast but are welcome to audition in future years.
If you have questions about any of these performance opportunities at the Bristol Renaissance Faire, please feel free to contact the Audition Email Address: Bristolauditions@gmail.com.
BRISTOL ACADEMY OF PERFORMING ARTS: BAPA
All new cast members become a part of the Faire’s training program, the Bristol Academy of Performing Arts (BAPA).
B.A.P.A. is taught by a faculty of professional performers, historians, and arts educators. Classes include Street Theatre, Improvisation, Dialects, Customs and Manners, Movement, Country Dance, and a variety of Elizabethan History and Performance classes. In conjunction with Faire rehearsals, the 5-week BAPA program prepares our cast for performance at the Faire. There is no fee for participation in this program and you may qualify for college credit or high school service hours. BAPA is required for all new cast members.
BAPA classes are all day on Saturdays beginning June 6, 2020, and run the 5 Saturdays prior to the opening day of the Faire, including Saturday, July 4, 2020.
Rehearsals are all day on Sundays beginning June 7, 2020, and run the 5 Sundays prior to the opening day of the Faire, including Sunday, July 5, 2020.
BRISTOL TROUPE DESCRIPTIONS:
STAGE MANAGEMENT ~ IT TAKES A VILLAGE… to run our village! Want to be involved at Bristol, but performing’s not your style? Consider joining our Stage Management team. No experience? That’s ok! If you can be responsible, we’ll do the rest. You’ll get to take classes in the history and culture of the time period, receive all the training you need from industry professionals, and spend an amazing summer working closely with nationally touring and local entertainers, expanding your skill set, and making lasting memories with new friends and teammates as a part of one of the most integral groups at the faire. Contact Production Stage Manager Casey C. Adams today at email@example.com for more information. We can’t wait to hear from you!
General audition ~ If you are interested in more than one group, you can do a general audition. Make sure you include anything for a specific group (like bring an instrument if you wish to be considered for a BBF musician or a movement piece for one of the movement groups.) **All Auditionees should prepare the standard audition requirements.
Bristol Buskin Frolic ~ Dressed in their most colorful garb, this cast can only be described as the zany life of the party! Found at the Maypole and all over the streets of Bristol, they dance, sing, perform short plays, play games, fawn over the royalty, and most importantly, they JINGLE. **Especially seeking Irish Step Dancers and musicians to play Renaissance country dances. We are seeking characters who love to sing, dance, frolic and play all day.
The Bristol Court ~ (The Court of Queen Elizabeth) In portraying the Court of Queen Elizabeth Tudor, the Bristol Court seeks to bring you into the Elizabethan Renaissance, a time of great splendor, royal intrigue and a greater appreciation of the arts. Many of the persons portrayed lived and left their mark during the reign of Queen Elizabeth – as her Privy Councillors, Maids of Honor, high-ranking peers and household.
By the Sword ~ Noble heroes and nefarious villains bring explosive street fights, scripted and improvised street scenes, and one on one interactions to the audience.
Both male and female actor-combatants are encouraged to audition, all roles available. A choreographed fight scene is required for consideration: choreography must be created by the auditioning performer(s). By the Sword performers must be 18+ and available to perform all 19 days of the Faire season.
(photo: Ivan Phillips)
The Denizens of the Street ~ The Denizens of the Street is a home for fun, dynamic individuals looking to bring a character to life on the streets of Bristol. You will work with your Director and your fellow cast-mates to create and inhabit one of the many interesting and offbeat people living in the port-town of Bristol. Characters in the Denizens cast mostly operate solo, but you’ve always got a whole village there to support you. Prior performing experience not necessarily needed; if you enjoy meeting and talking to interesting people, then the Denizens of the Street is the place for you. We’re also looking for stilt walkers and performers to manipulate Body Puppets throughout the Faire.
The Danse Macabre and the Dregs Guild ~ Have the chance to play two roles at Bristol! During the day, you are a member of the Dregs Guild; portraying the working folk of Bristol that have a somewhat loathsome job. The Dregs are strong street characters with distinctive appearance, physicality, and prop work. We provide an ambiance of a living city combined with dynamic patron interactions.
~ Then, as the shadows grow, take to the streets as the Danse Macabre; aka the Dance of the Dead. The Danse Macabre are a character driven movement based performance that remind patrons that regardless of their station in life we are all united in the end.
Fantastikals ~ The Fantastikals bring magic, wonder, and surprise to the town of Bristol! The Queen’s visit loosens the boundary of the enchanted realms, and fairies, elves, elementals, and spirit archetypes materialize, their supernatural energy swirling through the town, and manifesting a magical forest right at the heart of everyday Bristol. Humans both young and grown who are gifted with “second sight” (maybe just for this one special day) may find themselves seeing and even communicating with these wordless beings– be ready for goosebumps! We are seeking actors with: strong movement skills, imagination, love of nature (both earth and human), lots of stamina, positive attitude and team spirit and excitement for a completely unique performance opportunity.
Guild of St. Lawrence ~ (Cooking Guilde/English Middle Class) The Guild of St. Lawrence portrays the common citizens of Bristol – citizens who live and work at the Dirty Duck Inn. At the Inn we live the history of England, preparing meals as the Faire’s food co-op, interactively demonstrating the daily life of the middle and lower classes, and bringing the outside visitor into our world. We sing, we dance, we play. We cook, we work, we feast. Ultimately, we celebrate the arrival of Queen Elizabeth to Bristol and we share our joy at her arrival with Bristol’s visitors.
Guild of St. Michael ~ (English Military) Be one of the few, the proud, the Guild of St. Michael! Become a middle class citizen of Bristol and wear armour, swing a sword, wield a 16 foot pike, shoot a matchlock musket, look dashing and live to tell the tale! Whether its working with weapons and armour in camp our patrolling the streets interacting with our guests, the military uses historical re-enactment and performance as its vehicles to entertain and educate the guests of the Faire. The Military welcomes military and civilian characters as part of its cast.
Instrumentalists and Vocalists ~ Seeking both instrumental and vocal musicians, especially musicians who play recorder, violin, and other Renaissance instruments or are willing to learn. High School/College Band, Choir, and Orchestra students encouraged to audition. Note reading ability desirable, but we can work with strong “by-ear” musicians.
Musicians should prepare one musical piece, not to exceed one minute, preferably a Renaissance-era piece in addition to the standard audition requirements. Musicians, instrumental and vocal, may be asked to sight-read. Instrumentalists should be prepared to sing and all musicians should be prepared to do some acting improvisation exercises. This area includes both volunteer and paid performance opportunities.
Kids Kingdom ~ Rediscover your inner child! Find your home in Kids’ Kingdom where children teach you as much as you have to teach them. Bring a storybook character to life before a child’s brightening and wondering eyes, while leading treasure hunts, performing on stage, teaching games, and preparing for the Knighting Ceremony. This area includes both volunteer and paid performance opportunities and we seek folks that LOVE performing for our younger audience.
Pub Crawl ~ HAAAAIL PUB CRAWL! Bristol’s only mobile, R-rated show is looking for performers with musical talent, great comedic timing and improv skills, who can play well with others and embrace adult humor! Pub Crawl is seeking for both female and male performers to join the McGuinness/Belle clan and help lead the boisterous and bawdy Crawls from pub to pub, while singing tavern songs and cracking jokes. Pub Crawl contains R-rated material – Pub Crawl cast members must be 18 years of age or older. Bartending experience is a plus, and must be comfortable with a more mature content of performance. Be prepared to pull out a bawdy joke during your audition if requested! Sláinte!
Queen’s College ~ Calling all artists, crafters, historians, educators or otherwise fanatics! Are you looking for a different way to entertain? Is a more intimate, personal interaction with an audience more your speed? Then Queen’s College needs you! QC is an opportunity to educate the public in hands-on, interactive crafts or historical information. We want your creative ideas! Some of our past classes: weaving, heraldry, basket weaving, Renaissance spies, illumination, knot tying, knitting, dyeing, leather work, Renaissance language, maille, blackwork, candle making, Tudor Vocal Music, brewing, dance, and MUCH more!
RenQuest™ ~ Performers willing to create a deep NPC and connect with our players on the streets will, with their storytelling, role playing, and gaming experience, portray characters that build our audience into the fantasy heroes of their dreams. The roles include mostly volunteer opportunities. Those auditioning for RenQuest should be prepared the do character and improvisation exercises.
Variety Artists ~ Jugglers, magicians, sword-swallowers, etc., to play the streets and/or the stages of the Faire. This area includes both volunteer and paid performance opportunities. Variety Artists should prepare a demonstration of their skills, preferably with patter, up to two minutes in length. In addition, variety performers may be asked to participate in group improvisation exercises. Troupes or performers with an established act may also audition via DVD. Please forward promotional materials to the Faire.