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Measure for Measure - Audition Sides

May 7, 2018

 

Here are the five audition sides that actors will be asked to read from, regardless of which character he/she would like to play.  There is no need to memorize for the auditions!

 

1 ANGELO & ISABELLA


ANGELO
The law hath not been dead, though it hath slept:
Those many had not dared to do that evil,
If the first that did the edict infringe
Had answer'd for his deed: now 'tis awake
Takes note of what is done; and, like a prophet,
Looks in a glass, that shows what future evils,
Are now to have no successive degrees,
But, ere they live, to end.
ISABELLA
Yet show some pity.
ANGELO
I show it most of all when I show justice;
Your brother dies to-morrow; be content.
ISABELLA
O, it is excellent
To have a giant's strength; but it is tyrannous
To use it like a giant.
Could great men thunder
As Jove himself does, Jove would ne'er be quiet,
For every pelting, petty officer
Would use his heaven for thunder;
Nothing but thunder! but man, proud man,
Drest in a little brief authority,
Most ignorant of what he's most assured,
His glassy essence, like an angry ape,
Plays such fantastic tricks before high heaven
As make the angels weep;
ANGELO
Why do you put these sayings upon me?
ISABELLA
Because authority, though it err like others,
Hath yet a kind of medicine in itself,
That skins the vice o' the top. Go to your bosom;
Knock there, and ask your heart what it doth know
That's like my brother's fault: if it confess
A natural guiltiness such as is his,
Let it not sound a thought upon your tongue
Against my brother's life.
ANGELO
I will bethink me: come again tomorrow.

 

2 ISABELLA & CLAUDIO
 

ISABELLA
Be ready, Claudio, for your death tomorrow.
CLAUDIO
Yes. Has he affections in him,
That thus can make him bite the law by the nose,
When he would force it? Sure, it is no sin,
Or of the deadly seven, it is the least.
ISABELLA
Which is the least?
CLAUDIO
If it were damnable, he being so wise,
Why would he for the momentary trick
Be perdurably fined? O Isabel!
ISABELLA
What says my brother?
CLAUDIO
Death is a fearful thing.
ISABELLA
And shamed life a hateful.
CLAUDIO
Ay, but to die, and go we know not where;
To lie in cold obstruction and to rot;
This sensible warm motion to become
A kneaded clod; and the delighted spirit
To bathe in fiery floods, or to reside
In thrilling region of thick-ribbed ice;
To be imprison'd in the viewless winds,
And blown with restless violence round about
The pendent world; or to be worse than worst
Of those that lawless and incertain thought
Imagine howling: 'tis too horrible!
The weariest and most loathed worldly life
That age, ache, penury and imprisonment
Can lay on nature is a paradise
To what we fear of death.
ISABELLA
Alas, alas!
CLAUDIO
Sweet sister, let me live:
What sin you do to save a brother's life,
Nature dispenses with the deed so far
That it becomes a virtue.

 

3 ESCALUS, POMPEY, ELBOW & FROTH
 

ESCALUS
Now, sir, come on: what was done to Elbow's wife, once more?
POMPEY
Once, sir? there was nothing done to her once.
ELBOW
I beseech you, sir, ask him what this man did to my wife.
POMPEY
I beseech your honour, ask me.
ESCALUS
Well, sir; what did this gentleman to her?
POMPEY
I beseech you, sir, look in this gentleman's face.
POMPEY
Nay; I beseech you, mark it well.
ESCALUS
Well, I do so.
POMPEY
Doth your honour see any harm in his face?
ESCALUS
Why, no.
POMPEY
I'll be supposed upon a book, his face is the worst thing about him. Good, then; if his face be the
worst thing about him, how could Master Froth do the constable's wife any harm?
ELBOW
O thou caitiff! O thou varlet! O thou wicked Hannibal! I respected with her before I was married
to her!
ESCALUS
Master Froth, I would not have you acquainted with tapsters: they will draw you, Master Froth.
Get you gone, and let me hear no more of you.
FROTH
I thank your worship. For mine own part, I never come into any room in a tap-house, but I am
drawn in.
ESCALUS
What's your name, Master Tapster?
POMPEY
Pompey.
ESCALUS
What else?
POMPEY
Bum, sir.
ESCALUS
Troth, and your bum is the greatest thing about you

 

4 DUKE & LUCIO


LUCIO
Why, what a ruthless thing is this in him, for the rebellion of a codpiece to take away the life of a
man! Would the duke that is absent have done this? Ere he would have hanged a man for the
getting a hundred bastards, he would have paid for the nursing a thousand: he had some feeling
of the sport: he knew the service, and that instructed him to mercy.
DUKE VINCENTIO
I never heard the absent duke much detected for women; he was not inclined that way.
LUCIO
O, sir, you are deceived.
DUKE VINCENTIO
'Tis not possible.
LUCIO
Who, not the duke? yes, your beggar of fifty; and his use was to put a ducat in her clack-dish:
the duke had crotchets in him. He would be drunk too; that let me inform you.
DUKE VINCENTIO
You do him wrong, surely.
LUCIO
Sir, I was an inward of his. A shy fellow was the duke: and I believe I know the cause of his
withdrawing.
DUKE VINCENTIO
What, I prithee, might be the cause?
LUCIO
No, pardon; 'tis a secret must be locked within the teeth and the lips: but this I can let you
understand, the greater file of the subject held the duke to be wise.
DUKE VINCENTIO
Wise! why, no question but he was.
LUCIO
A very superficial, ignorant, unweighing fellow.
DUKE VINCENTIO
Either this is the envy in you, folly, or mistaking: the very stream of his life and the business he
hath helmed must upon a warranted need give him a better proclamation. Let him be but
testimonied in his own bringings-forth, and he shall appear to the envious a scholar, a
statesman and a soldier. Therefore you speak unskilfully: or if your knowledge be more it is
much darkened in your malice.
LUCIO
Sir, I know him, and I love him.
DUKE VINCENTIO
Love talks with better knowledge, and knowledge with dearer love.
LUCIO
Come, sir, I know what I know.
DUKE VINCENTIO
I can hardly believe that, since you know not what you speak.

 

5 DUKE
 

DUKE VINCENTIO
Be absolute for death; either death or life
Shall thereby be the sweeter. Reason thus with life:
If I do lose thee, I do lose a thing
That none but fools would keep: a breath thou art,
Servile to all the skyey influences,
That dost this habitation, where thou keep'st,
Hourly afflict: merely, thou art death's fool;
For him thou labour'st by thy flight to shun
And yet runn'st toward him still. Thou art not noble;
For all the accommodations that thou bear'st
Are nursed by baseness. Thou'rt by no means valiant;
For thou dost fear the soft and tender fork
Of a poor worm. Thy best of rest is sleep,
And that thou oft provokest; yet grossly fear'st
Thy death, which is no more. Thou art not thyself;
For thou exist'st on many a thousand grains
That issue out of dust. Happy thou art not;
For what thou hast not, still thou strivest to get,
And what thou hast, forget'st. Thou art not certain;
For thy complexion shifts to strange effects,
After the moon. If thou art rich, thou'rt poor;
For, like an ass whose back with ingots bows,
Thou bear's thy heavy riches but a journey,
And death unloads thee. Friend hast thou none;
For thine own bowels, which do call thee sire,
The mere effusion of thy proper loins,
Do curse the gout, serpigo, and the rheum,
For ending thee no sooner. Thou hast nor youth nor age,
But, as it were, an after-dinner's sleep,
Dreaming on both; for all thy blessed youth
Becomes as aged, and doth beg the alms
Of palsied eld; and when thou art old and rich,
Thou hast neither heat, affection, limb, nor beauty,

To make thy riches pleasant. What's yet in this
That bears the name of life? Yet in this life

Lie hid more thousand deaths: yet death we fear,
That makes these odds all even.

 

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