Audition for OSMaD's CHESS

Music by Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus
Lyrics by Tim Rice
Based on an idea by Tim Rice
BY ARRANGEMENT WITH ORiGiN™ THEATRICAL ON BEHALF OF SAMUEL FRENCH LTD

Production team

  • Director: Alan Burrows
  • Musical Director: Martine Wengrow
  • Choreographer: Di Crough
  • Costume Designer: TBC
  • Set Designer: David Dare
  • Lighting Designer: Tom Willis
  • Producer: Richard Beveridge
  • Associate Producer: Ros Turnley
  • Production Manager: Keith Stubley
  • Stage Manager: Katherine McDonald

Chess is a musical regarded as the most popular fictional portrayal of chess ever created - based on an idea and with lyrics by Tim Rice and music by Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson, of ABBA fame. Chess is the story of a love triangle between two grandmasters - one American, one Russian - and a woman who serves as a manager to one of the players but falls in love with the other.

As Tim Rice notes, although the protagonists were not intended to represent any specific individuals, the character's personalities are loosely based on those of Victor Korchnoi and Bobby Fischer. The oddity of the Merano championship in the musical is based on the similar oddities which occurred during the 1978 World Championship between Korchnoi and Anatoly Karpov.

Following the pattern of Jesus Christ Superstar and Evita a concept album was recorded and released in 1984, before any stage production was underway. A single from the album, "One Night In Bangkok", became a worldwide smash and reached No. 3 on Billboard Hot 100 chart, while the duet, "I Know Him So Well" held the number one spot on the UK singles charts for 4 weeks in 1985

Lead characters

Florence Vassy

Rock belter F3-E5 [G#5 preferable]. Mid-thirties
Born in Hungary, separated from her father presumably captured or killed during the Hungarian Revolution of 1956 and since then has been brought up in America [US version] or England [British version]. She is clever, theatrical, touching, vivacious, volatile. Frederick's chess "second" and possible lover. Florence feels strained by Freddie's brashness and falls in love with Anatoly, eventually becoming his mistress.

Freddie Trumper

Rock tenor [B2-C#4]. Mid-thirties
An American chess champion. A cross between Bobby Fisher and John McEnroe. Arrogant and temperamental, a self-absorbed, fame-and-fortune-seeking, short-tempered, bad-boy - but a genius; his chess playing revolutionary. We need to see his artistry along with his danger and his obsessiveness. American Grandmaster

Anatoly Sergievsky

Baritone [F2-B4]. Early forties
"The Russian". A Russian chess champion and Grandmaster. Unexpectedly charming. He doesn't seem a romantic hero at first, but becomes one through his personality. An intelligent, feeling, passionate man. A troubled husband (and father, in the British version) who despises the propaganda and politics of the tournament, eventually deciding to defect from his homeland, even at the cost of deserting his family.

Alexander Molokov

Bass [F#2-E4]. Fifties
Not a fake, comic, stage Russian. Intellectually formidable. Seemingly a father figure to Florence. Anatoly's conniving second who is apparently also a manipulative KGB agent. An actor who sings well. Head of the Russian Delegation.

Svetlana Sergievskaya

Mezzo-Soprano [F3-E5] belt. Late thirties
Anatoly's estranged wife who, under Molokov's machinations, tries to persuade Anatoly to return to his homeland and family; although upset at Anatoly's betrayal, she also understands that Florence has given Anatoly something she cannot herself. Domestic, wholesome, homey. A dramatic contrast to Florence - not a contemporary cosmopolitan woman.

Walter de Courcey

Bass-Baritone [G#2-E4]. Fifties
Head of the American Delegation A financial administrator in Freddie's delegation and seemingly a secret CIA agent; also a marketing agent. Seemingly respectable, substantial, trustworthy. An actor who sings well.

Arbiter

Rock high baritone/tenor [B2-A4]. Thirty to early forties
International businessman. Smooth, but with a quick temper. The coldly objective, no-nonsense referee of the championship tournament and also (in the British version) the president of the International Chess Federation.

Ensemble

Other named roles plus Citizens of Merano, Reporters, Delegates, Civil Servants, Press, etc etc.

Dance requirements

All cast members should have the ability to move well. We are also seeking male and female featured dancers with strong jazz ability (classical training an advantage).

Audition dates and location

Monday 5th JuneSlots from 7:00pm to 10:00pm
Wednesday 7th JuneSlots from 7:00pm to 10:00pm
Friday 9th JuneSlots from 8:30pm to 10:00pm
Auditionees may be asked to attend a dance/movement audition at 7pm
Please wear loose, comfortable clothing
Wednesday 14th JuneCall backs - evening
All Auditions and call backs will be held at:

Scotch College - James Forbes Academy (the Music Department)
Corner Fordholm Rd and Morrison Sts
Hawthorn VIC 3122

Booking an audition

There are 2 important and easy steps:

  1. Book an audition appointment at the bottom of this page:
    You will be able at the same time to complete the Audition Application form and choose an Audition time slot. If you wish to change your audition arrangements, you will also be able to do that at any time
  2. Send a CV - and headshot by email:
    To Richard Beveridge at rbevo@bigpond.net.au

If you have any queries, contact Richard Beveridge preferably by email (with contact details) at rbevo@bigpond.net.au or ring 0414 413 013. For further information or expressions of interest email the producer Richard Beveridge at - rbevo@bigpond.net.au.
Applications for production support roles are also naturally welcome.

Audition information

  • Auditions are open - anyone interested is encouraged to audition.
  • Auditions are by appointment only and will be of approximately 6-10 minutes duration.
  • For the audition, please prepare a cut of two songs: one pop/rock style in the style of the show but not from Chess, and one 'legit' or classical song.
  • A pianist will be provided, so bring legible and manageable sheet music in the key you wish to sing. Backing tracks and a capella performance will not be permitted. You may not be asked to perform a second piece.
  • Auditionees may be asked to attend a dance/movement audition on June 14th at 7.30pm. Please wear loose, comfortable clothing.

Rehearsal information

  • Rehearsals will commence Tuesday 18th July and be held on Tuesday and Thursday evenings, and Sunday afternoons.
  • We will have one rehearsal weekend on the 23rd and 24th September.
  • Cast are expected to attend at least two working bees for set building, painting or costume making and to help with bump in and bump out.
  • One of the conditions of our usage of Scotch College rehearsal and performance spaces is that all cast and crew should have a current Working With Children Check (WWCC). If you do not have a WWCC, you will be expected to obtain one within the first two weeks of rehearsal. Volunteer WWCCs are free and easily obtained from an Australia Post Office. They remain current for 5 years.

Season Information

There will be eight performances from 19th October to 28th October 2017 in the Geoffrey McComas Theatre, James Forbes Academy, Scotch College Campus, Morrison St. Hawthorn.
This is not a Scotch College school production

  • Thursday 19th October, 7.45pm (Preview)
  • Friday 20th October, 7.45pm (Opening)
  • Saturday 21st October, 7.45pm
  • Sunday 22nd October, (Matinee) 3.00pm
  • Wednesday 25th October 7.45pm
  • Thursday 26th October, 7.45pm
  • Friday 27th October, 7.45pm
  • Saturday 28th October, 7.45pm

Book an Audition Now

For more information: Contact Richard Beveridge rbevo@bigpond.net.au or call 0414 413 013