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Center REPertory Company of Walnut Creek employs both Equity and non-Equity actors. Inquiries regarding Center REP casting may be directed to Jennifer Perry by email to email@example.com Include your headshot and resume. Auditions are by invitation only except as noted.Directions to the Actors' Center
Mistress of the Inn
April 3 - May 2, 2015
Love, Seduction and Chocolate.
By: Carlo Goldini
Literal Translation by: Lisa Gottreich
Adapted and Directed by: Timothy Near
At the heart of the story is the feisty Mirandolina. The death of Mirandolina's father left her the sole proprietor of a successful, high-end inn. Her prosperity, confidence, unpredictability and independent spirit, have every man she meets wanting her as his exclusive hostess. Each thinks he has something to offer her, but whether that something will meet her need to be "stirred, cherished, adored and respected" (as well as retaining her freedom and independence) is another matter and the arc around which the plot revolves.
The chief competitors for Mirandolina's affections are the Marchese di Forlipopoli and the Count of Albafiorita. The first trades on his aristocratic background to compensate for his lost youth and wealth, the second tries to buy her love with gifts (as he's apparently also bought his title). A third boarder, Cavaliere di Ripafratta is an avowed woman-hater and thus would seem to be no suitor at all. A letter from someone offering to find him a wife has him declaring "A wife?! I'd sooner have malaria!"
Not surprisingly, the Cavaliere’s misogynist attitude towards women is a challenge to Mirandolina. She's a modern eighteenth century woman, and she can’t let him leave until she changes his attitude. And so she goes to battle: "If he's not in love with me by tomorrow may my nose fall off."
There's also her right hand man at her inn, Fabrizio. Without title or money, but deeply loyal. He is, like Mirandolina, a pragmatist who knows that "sometimes you have to look the other way and let a few things slip by”. He respects her and loves her and is trying to be a modern guy and is in love with his boss.
Two delightful actresses arrive at the Inn. They are escaping from their commedia dell'arte troupe and Mirandolina finds a way for them to use their talents to help her with her plan to give the Cavaliere an attitude adjustment.
But the Cavaliere is an obsessive man and when he shifts his dislike for all women to the love of a single woman, his shift is extreme and Mirandolina finds herself in hot water. The characters in the play learn that obsession is dangerous and the goal is to find balance. Mirandolina has to decide if she can be a free, independent business woman and also have love in her life.
Unlike Molière (who whose stock characters inspired Goldoni to replace the masked characters of conventional commedia dell'arte with more naturalistic comedies about ordinary people), Goldoni loved women and saw them as a miraculous force. For Goldoni, women were the very heart of Italy. Mirandolina may be a bit of a schemer, but her creator viewed her with affection. Her very name translates into "The Little Miracle".
PERIOD, LOCATION, STYLE: We will be setting the play in 1750s at an Inn on the outskirts of Florence. The text will include occasional Italian words and phrases and should be spoken with good Italian pronunciation. The character of The Marchese may have an Italian accent. The rest of the character will speak Standard American. This play is Goldoni’s move away from the Commedia form. There are certainly a number of nods to commedia in this play, especially in the roles of Ortensia and Dejanira and the Cavaliere’s Servant but Goldoni was very interested in writing real people with real feelings and motivations. The “asides” are occasionally to oneself, but can also be used as very intimate direct address to audience. The monologues are to the audience.
The Innkeeper. She is The Mistress of the Inn. A mature late 20’s early 30’s. Her father recently died and she has taken over the running of this Inn on the outskirts of Florence, Italy. She is confident. Independent. Ambitious. Sharp as a whip. Loves a challenge. She has a smooth elegance that appeals to her patrons who are mostly men from the upper classes. She loves her work, loves being in charge and she’s good at it. She is ruler of her domain. She is a charming hostess and if a patron flirts with her, she will flirt back enough so as not to embarrass him. She wants her clientele to be happy. She does this well, but it is a balancing act. She is obsessive in her need for control and personal freedom. ..but she has a special feeling for her most trusted staff member who she has known for years: Fabrizio.
The Cavaliere di Ripafratta
The Cavaliere is a Knight in his early 40s. A confident businessman who has always been in control. Gracious, pleasant, balanced, calm, intelligent. Has a wry sense of humor. He likes to be in control of his emotions and does so with ease. He has earned his title. He was knighted for his accomplishments in business. Married once in his youth in an arranged marriage. It was a bad match and turned him off all women forever. Now he is a confirmed bachelor. Content to be so. Enjoys his freedom. Lives in Sienna but travels often on business. He is on his way to Livorno. He and his Servant have been at the inn for 3 days.
The Count d' Albafiorita
A dashing, passionate hothead in his mid 30s. Earnest. Arrogant. Positive. Sure of himself. Life is great. He comes from a family who has made great wealth in Naples. He believes in the power of money and loves to spend it. He is first generation rich and he has bought his title. He has been staying at the Inn for awhile. He can’t marry a common innkeeper (Mirandolina) but enjoys bestowing gifts on her. His dream: If she marries then he could be her lover. Perfect! He’s quite smitten.
Count & Marchese
The Marchese di Forlipopoli
An attractive Venetian gentleman, around age 50-55, born of nobility but has lost all his wealth as the world changes and the rich middle class takes over. Elegant and desperately poor. He covers his poverty well by using his title to get credit and loans. He lives in a world marked by the gracious manners of the privileged and the entitled. He is romantic and poetic. Oddly, he seems sort of an innocent in that he is always surprised and disturbed as to why his blue blood no longer gives him automatic power and respect. He is blind to the fact that the world has changed and is leaving him behind. He is all the best and the silliest of his dying class. He was born into his title.. He has been living at the Inn for awhile. He is in love with Mirandolina. He offers her his “protection” but he doesn’t realize the idea of “nobility offering protection” is a dying concept.
Count & Marchese CALLBACK
Handsome butler and trustworthy right hand man at Mirandolina’s inn. In his late 20’s to 30’s. Could be slightly younger than Mirandolina. Hard worker. Smart. Twinkle in his eye. Serves the customers but doesn’t see them as better than himself. He gets paid but he also depends on tips. He is in love with Mirandolina. He is dependable and is a rock for her. He is patiently waiting for a time when she will say yes. Sometimes his confidence is shaken because she is so fiercely independent and she’s his boss and she’s distracted by her work. He is both confident AND not sure where he stands with her. In this production he may sing and play guitar. This is not decided yet.
An actress in her 40’s. Flamboyant and worldly. A member of a traveling Commedia theatre troupe. She has temporarily broken away from the troupe in order to travel in high style and stay at a nicer hotel than the company housing provided by the theatre. She brings Dejanira and her little dog with her.
An actress in her early 20’s working in the Commedia theatre troupe. She has also temporarily broken away from the troupe and is traveling with Ortensia. It’s all very daring and exciting for her. As an actress she usually plays a soubrette so she’s a little out of her league playing a grand lady at Mirandolina’s Inn. She has a problem with getting the giggles when under stress.
A little dog that likes to do tricks in exchange for a treat. Will need his/ her owner on site for Act I.
The Cavaliere's Servant
A pleasant fellow. Late 40s/early 50s. He has been with the Cavaliere since his first marriage and knows how the Cavaliere doesn’t like women. He is extremely competent and knows how to handle Cavaliere’s moods. He adores Mirandolina. It would be useful if the actor who plays this role has had some experience and training in Commedia.
A Boy Servant (INTERN)
He works at the Inn. May speak one line. This role will participate in the setting up of scenes. Needs to be energetic and move well as well as being a scene shifter. The shifts will be staged and in the period of the play. He will wear a costume. Rehearsal is required.
A Girl Servant (INTERN)
She works at the Inn. Has no lines. This role will participate in the setting up of scenes. Needs to be energetic and move well as being a scene shifter. Will wear costume. The shifts will be staged. Rehearsal is required.