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The St. Louis Shakespeare Festival is now accepting auditions from equity and non-equity members for the 2021 Shakespeare in the Park production, King Lear, written by William Shakespeare and directed by Carl Cofield.

Rehearsals start May 1, performances June 2-27th (excluding Mondays).

Performers of all abilities, genders, races, ethnicities and backgrounds are encouraged to submit.

Steps to submit an online audition:

  1. Review the character breakdowns below.
  2. Prepare the appropriate side (see attachment links) for the desired role.
  3. Record audition on your phone from the waist up and upload it to YouTube as an unlisted link.
  4. Fill out the form below and attach a headshot, resume and link to your video. Click submit.

The deadline for submissions December 4. Callbacks will be held via Zoom on December 11-12.

Submit Your Audition


*Please note, most characters will be BIPOC. All performers must have an excellent command of language. Looking for actors who play percussion instruments.*

Lear: (Male identifying 50’s-65) The aging king of Britain and the protagonist of the play. Lear is used to enjoying absolute power and to being flattered, and he does not respond well to being contradicted or challenged. At the beginning of the play, his values are notably hollow—he prioritizes the appearance of love over actual devotion and wishes to maintain the power of a king while unburdening himself of the responsibility. (Sides Lear #1 or Lear #2)

Cordelia: (Female identifying 20’s) Lear’s youngest daughter, disowned by her father for refusing to flatter him. (Sides Cordelia #1 or Cordelia #2 )

Goneril: (Female identifying 30’s) Lear’s ruthless oldest daughter and the wife of the duke of Albany. She challenges Lear’s authority, boldly initiates an affair with Edmund, and wrests military power away from her husband. (Sides Goneril #1 or Goneril #2)

Regan: (Female identifying 30’s) Lear’s middle daughter and the wife of the duke of Cornwall. Regan is as ruthless as Goneril and as aggressive in all the same ways. In fact, it is difficult to think of any quality that distinguishes her from her sister. When they are not egging each other on to further acts of cruelty, they jealously compete for the same man, Edmund. (Sides Regan #1 or Regan #2)

Gloucester: (Male identifying 50’s-60’s) A nobleman loyal to King Lear whose rank, earl, is below that of duke. Father of Edmund and Edgar. (Sides Gloucester #1 or Gloucester #2 )

Edgar: (Male identifying 20’s-30’s) Gloucester’s older, legitimate son. Edgar plays many different roles, starting out as a gullible fool easily tricked by his brother, then assuming a disguise as a mad beggar to evade his father’s men, then carrying his impersonation further to aid Lear and Gloucester, and finally appearing as an armored champion to avenge his brother’s treason. Edgar’s propensity for disguises and impersonations makes it difficult to characterize him effectively. (Side Edgar #1)

Edmund (Male identifying 20’s-30’s) Gloucester’s younger, illegitimate son. Edmund resents his status as a bastard and schemes to usurp Gloucester’s title and possessions from Edgar. He is a formidable character, succeeding in almost all of his schemes and wreaking destruction upon virtually all of the other characters. (Sides  Edmund #1  or Edmund #2)

Kent (Male identifying 40-60’s) A nobleman of the same rank as Gloucester who is loyal to King Lear. Kent spends most of the play disguised as a peasant, calling himself “Caius,” so that he can continue to serve Lear even after Lear banishes him. He is extremely loyal, but he gets himself into trouble throughout the play by being extremely blunt and outspoken. (Sides Kent #1 or Kent #2)

Albany (Male identifying 40’s) The husband of Lear’s daughter Goneril. Albany is good at heart, and he eventually denounces and opposes the cruelty of Goneril, Regan, and Cornwall. Yet he is indecisive and lacks foresight, realizing the evil of his allies quite late in the play. (No side, prepare monologue)

Cornwall (Male identifying 40’s) The husband of Lear’s daughter Regan. Unlike Albany, Cornwall is domineering, cruel, and violent, and he works with his wife and sister-in-law Goneril to persecute Lear and Gloucester. (Side Cornwall)

Fool (Male/Female 20-50) Lear’s jester, who uses double-talk and seemingly frivolous songs to give Lear important advice. Must have superior facilities with language and be able to sing. (Side Fool #1)

Oswald (Male 30-40’s) The steward, or chief servant, in Goneril’s house. Oswald obeys his mistress’s commands and helps her in her conspiracies. (Sides Oswald #1)

6-7 Ensemble: (M/F 20-30’s) Must be able to pick up rhythm and movement. (No side, prepare monologue)