As You Like It & Cherry Orchard – Audition

OTG had initially planned on staging The Cherry Orchard at the Oxford Playhouse in April 2020. The production was postponed due to COVID. The new dates proved to be impossible with current COVID restrictions and so the decision was taken to stage it outdoors this summer in a season alongside As You Like It. Because of the changing dates, we are having to recast certain roles – and those are what we are auditioning for over the
coming days. 

Click here to drop down to As You Like It audition information.

Click here to drop down to The Cherry Orchard audition information.

As you may expect, auditions are having to run in a slightly different way due to current restrictions and so it is necessary for you to book a specific audition slot and to complete an electronic audition form.

As You Like It

William Shakespeare

Director Alex Brinkman-Young

Dates – Summer 2021

Venue – TBD

About the Production/Synopsis:

Set amongst the trees, Oxford Theatre Guild, is pleased to announce their summer garden show: Shakespeare’s As You Like It.

Last summer, we were lucky enough to be able to film a version of this production (check out the film on Oxford Theatre Guild’s Youtube channel) but are looking to recast a few major roles and are excited to reimagine the production for a live audience!

Rosalind and her cousin Celia are well-bred young ladies some time in the reign of George III who have perhaps read a few too many Romantic novels. Following a family row, they do what any young person with a Romantic sensibility would do and escape into a nearby forest where they find Orlando, Rosalind's love. Disguised as a boy shepherd, Rosalind has Orlando woo her under the guise of "curing" him of his love for Rosalind. Rosalind reveals she is a girl and marries Orlando during a group wedding at the end of the play (think Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility). And while our production is set in Regency England, its universal themes of love and redemption seem to resonate in any time period.
Additionally, Rosalind is one of Shakespeare’s most active female parts - she drives the action of the play and is always a joy to explore as a director or actor. This production will highlight the brave, rebellious young women and their relationship which is at the centre of the play. Finally, the idea of escape and the ability to use the surrounding trees and greenery in an outdoor setting means this play is a natural fit for a summer garden show.

Important Dates

First Round auditions:

Saturday 1 May 11-1pm
Monday 3 May 2-4pm
Recall audition (by invitation only):
Sunday, 9 May 3-6pm

Dress Rehearsals, Get-In and Performance Dates (exact dates TBC)

July 10th - August 1st (performances running in repertory with OTG’s The Cherry Orchard)

About the director

A secondary school English teacher by day, I have been directing plays (mostly Shakespeare) for the past sixteen years, both in the US (where I am from and where I went to school) and in the UK (where I currently live with my husband, himself an avid producer and stage manager). My approach as a director is supportive and collaborative and I am very much looking forward to embarking on this escape to the Forest of Arden with OTG.

Roles Available

The below three roles are available along with a few other supporting roles to
be determined during the audition and recall process (please feel free to email for more

Rosalind (F - playing age 18-late 20s) has been allowed to stay on in her former home as a companion to her cousin Celia. With a keen imagination and love of novels, she feels things deeply and is desperate for an adventure like the ones she reads about in novels and to take control of her own destiny. When she disguises herself as Ganymede—a handsome young man—and offers herself as a tutor in the ways of love to her beloved Orlando, Rosalind is both aware of the foolishness of romantic love and delighted to be in love. She teaches those around her to think, feel, and love better than they have previously.

Mistress Touchstone (F - playing age flexible) is the amusingly loveable (albeit slightly embarrassing and bawdy) chaperon and poor relation of Rosalind and Celia’s who loyally follows them into the forest and joins Rosalind in her cross-dressing escapades and forms an unexpected friendship with Jacques in the forest - think a wittier Miss Bates type, comedic female role.

Orlando (M - playing age 20-30s) is the youngest son of Sir Rowland de Bois, a neighbouring English aristocrat and younger brother of Oliver. Under his brother’s neglectful care, he has been denied a gentleman’s education or training. Regardless, he considers himself to have great potential, and his victorious battle with Charles proves him right. Orlando cares for the aging Adam in the Forest of Arden and later risks his life to save Oliver from a hungry lioness, proving himself a proper English gentleman.

The playing ages and genders are indicative rather than prescriptive – you don't need to limit yourself because of the numbers or gender and please let us know at auditions which roles you would like to be considered for. As the RSC and Globe have done in the past few years, I welcome the possibility of gender-blind casting.

Feel free to audition in your natural accent (especially as we really don’t know what people over 200 years ago sounded like, but they were unlikely to sound like a BBC announcer!)

If you have specific questions about the characters and what is involved, please contact the director and she will be happy to help.

Audition Process

There will be 2 first round audition sessions and then recalls by invitation only. In the first round, I will ask you to read a monologue and possibly a duologue (with other actor or
reader) from another Shakespeare play, you are also welcome to come with any Shakespearean pieces you already have prepared as long as they are not from As You Like It. I will then give you a few notes and I will ask you to take these on board and perform the piece/s again. The duologues and monologues are available to download and you may print them out or read them from your phone or other device.

AYLIT - Audition Sides (Monologues and Duologues)

The entire process should take about 10 minutes. Please note that the Auditions will take place outside and will be socially distanced.

You will not be required to prepare anything in advance. Our aim is to assess your potential rather than to immediately consider you for specific characters. It will be a relaxed and informal process – so please try not to get too anxious. Easier said than done, of course!

If invited to the recalls, you will be sent a small number of scenes from As You Like It to look at. You won’t be required to learn them – just become familiar with them. This is the point that we will be looking at specific characters and combinations. Seeing different combinations of actors is one of the key aims of the recall process, exploring the chemistry in all the key relationships.

We will be aiming to timetable this to enable us to see as many combinations as we can – and, of course, give you as much time as possible to shine.

Accessibility concerns

If you have any specific needs with regards to access or any other issues, please do get in contact with us and we will help if we can.

What if I can’t make those dates and times?

If you are interested in auditioning, but are unable to come to any of the given dates, please contact the director at and we will try to see you at another time, if possible.

All OTG auditions are run according to the OTG audition policy and harassment policy.


Rehearsals will be quite intense and start as soon as the week of May 10th as these roles are
significant - but we will work to accommodate outside commitments as much as possible.
Rehearsals will most often be outdoors (exclusively outdoors until the next round of government relaxation announcements) and in the late afternoons and evenings on weekdays as well as weekend afternoons. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch -

The Cherry Orchard


Anton Chekhov

Director Simon Tavener

Dates – 15-31 July 2021

Venue – TBD

About the production

The Cherry Orchard is one of the great plays of world literature. It is very much a play for actors. All of the characters are clearly written and richly textured. We will be focusing on exploring each character in depth as well as looking at the historical and social background of the period.

We will be using a translation by Julius West. If you would like to read it in advance please email

The play is a delicate blend of the comic and the tragic, the farcical and the melancholic. Creating and sustaining that balance will be our key to creating a satisfying and engaging production.

Important Dates

First Round auditions

Saturday 1 May    2pm to 4pm    75 Bainton Road, Oxford, OX2 7AG
Monday 3 May    11am to 1pm    75 Bainton Road, Oxford, OX2 7AG

Recall audition (by invitation only)

Sunday 9 May    11am to 2pm     75 Bainton Road, Oxford, OX2 7AG

Key Production Dates

Get In – Saturday 10 July
Get Out – Sunday 1 August


6 to 8 performances between 15 July and 31 July (in a season with As You Like It)

Please note that the venue has not yet been signed. Details will be published as soon as they become available. It will be a large open air space surrounded by trees.


The Cherry Orchard describes the lives of a group of Russians, in the wake of the Liberation of the serfs. The action takes place over the course of five or six months, but the histories of the characters are so complex that in many ways, the play begins years earlier.

The play opens in May, inside the cherry orchard estate; friends, neighbours, and servants are preparing for the long-awaited return of Madame Ranevsky, the mistress of the house, and her daughter Anya. Madame Ranevsky has two daughters. She had fled the cherry orchard five years before, after the deaths of her husband and young son. She is now returning from France, where her abusive lover had robbed and abandoned her. She has accrued great debts during her absence.

Lopakhin begins by telling the story of his own success: born a serf, he has managed to make himself a fortune. Another former serf, Fiers, readies the house during Lopakhin's speeches. Fiers has maintained the same post he always has, despite the Liberation. Dunyasha confesses a potential romance between she and Epikhodof, but no one is interested.

Finally, Madame Ranevsky returns. Her friends and family are overjoyed to see her. Act I introduces many subplots: a romance between the tutor Trofimov and Anya, another hopeful romance between her sister Varya and wealthy Lopakhin, a love triangle between the servants Dunyasha, Yasha, and Epikhodov, the debt of the neighbour Pischik, the class struggles of Lopakhin and Fiers, the isolation of Charlotta, etc. The main intrigue of the play, however, hinges on Madame Ranevsky's debt. Neither she nor her brother Gaev have money to pay the mortgage on the cherry orchard estate, and unless they find a solution, the estate will be auctioned off in August.

Lopakhin suggests that Madame Ranevsky build villas on the estate. She can lease them and use the money to pay the mortgage. Madame Ranevsky and Gaev object to the idea, and prefer to work something out on their own. However, as spring passes into summer, Madame Ranevsky only finds herself more in debt, with no solution in sight. Strange romances between Anya and Trofimov and Dunyasha and Yasha continue, while nothing develops between Lopakhin and Varya and Dunyasha and Epikhodov. Fiers' health is declining. Madame Ranevsky is receiving letters from her lover, and Gaev begins to consider a job at a bank. Pischik takes out loans from Madame Ranevsky, whose own funds are dwindling away to nothing.

On the night of the auction, no solution has arrived. Madame Ranevsky holds a ball. Charlotta performs, and guests and servants alike dance. Madame Ranevsky and Trofimov have a serious conversation about Madame Ranevsky's extravagance; not only does she continue to run up debts, but she is now considering returning to her abusive lover in France. Madame Ranevsky is nervous about the outcome of the auction; she is still hoping for a miracle.

Finally Gaev and Lopakhin return: Lopakhin has bought the cherry orchard. Varya is furious, and Madame Ranevsky is devastated. Lopakhin, however, cannot hide his happiness: he has bought the estate where his family lived as serfs. Ironically, he encourages the party to continue, even though the hosts are no longer in the mood to celebrate.

Act IV shows Madame Ranevsky leaving the estate for the last time. Lopakhin has bought champagne, but no one except the uppity servant Yasha will drink it. Lopakhin and Trofimov share a tender farewell: Trofimov will return to the university. Charlotta complains that she no longer has a position; Epikhodov has a new position with Lopakhin. Pischik is able to pay off some of his debts. Gaev has a job at a bank, Varya a position as a housekeeper, and Yasha will stay on with Madame Ranevsky, who is returning to France. Many characters try to confirm that Fiers has been sent to the hospital. Lopakhin misses his last chance with Varya, and Dunyasha cries that Yasha is leaving.

Madame Ranevsky and Gaev share a nostalgic moment alone before leaving on a relatively optimistic note. In the last moment, we hear axes cutting down the orchard, and Fiers stumbles on to stage, forgotten, locked in the house. He lies down to rest...

Roles available 3F 3M

Anya – (F. Playing age 17) Ranevsky’s daughter and only surviving biological child returning home with her mother with whom she has been spending some time. She is a wide-eyed innocent who has a visceral reaction against Ranevsky’s conspicuous consumption in Paris. She is receptive to Trofimov’s revolutionary sentiments with whom she is besotted.

Charlotta – (F. Playing age – 30s upwards) Anya’s governess. Very quirky and very much her own person. Enjoys mocking others. A ventriloquist and amateur conjuror. Possible German accent.

Dunyasha – (F. Playing age – 18-21) Maidservant to estate. In love with Yasha but already ‘loosely engaged’ to Epikhodov.

Gaev – (M. Playing age - 50s) Ranevsky’s brother. Left to look after the estate but made a bad job of it. An eternal optimist (and dreamer/fantasist that a solution will magically appear) until those terrible moments where reality come crashing in. Has a curious verbal tick where he speaks in billiards metaphors. He is dapper, occasionally prissy. An eternal bachelor.

Epikhodov – (M. Playing age Mid-20s/mid 30s) Highly strung, morose and clumsy clerk. Nicknamed ‘Million Miseries.’ In love with Dunyasha who has returned his affections – until she meets Yasha. Plays guitar (or can fake it)

Yasha – (M. Playing age Late 20s – early 30s) Ranevsky’s manservant with a talent for teasing and imagining himself better than he is. He can be a dreamer. However, he does show a vulnerable side in Act Three where he begs Ranevsky to be kept on when she returns to Paris.

Audition Process

There will be 2 first round auditions and then recalls by invitation only.

In the first rounds, we will be working on speeches and scenes related to but not drawn from the script of The Cherry Orchard. You will not be required to prepare anything in advance.

Tthe texts can be downloaded here:

Cherry Orchard Audition Scenes - First Round

Please bring them with you to the auditions in whatever form you prefer.

The auditions will last no longer than 10 minutes. Please note that the auditions will take place outside and will be socially distanced.

If invited to the recalls, you will be sent a small number of scenes from The Cherry Orchard to look at. You won’t be required to learn them – just become familiar with them.

Accessibility concerns

If you have any specific needs with regards to access or any other issues, please do get in contact with us and we will help if we can.

What if I can’t make those dates and times?

If you are interested in auditioning, but are unable to come to any of the given dates,  plesae contact the director at and we will try to see you at another time, if possible.

All OTG auditions are run according to the OTG audition policy and harassment policy.


Rehearsals will start no later than May 17. They will be a combination of outdoor and indoor sessions in and around central Oxford. They will be run in line with all relevant COVID regulations. OTG standard rehearsals take place in the evenings on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays and on Sunday afternoons. The schedule will be drawn up according to the availability of cast members.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch -