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Station Theatre announces auditions for 33 Variations

From a Celebration Company at the Station Theatre announcement: 

Auditions for Moise Kaufman’s touching and lyrical play, 33 Variations!

Auditioning 7 roles (3 women and 4 men) in this thought-provoking and critically praised play. The production is under the direction of Thom Schnarre.

Auditions will be held from 2-5 pm on November 15 and from 4-6 pm on November 16 at the Station Theatre. Auditioners will read excerpts from the script.

The play simultaneously examines the creative process behind Ludwig Von Beethoven’s composition of The Diabelli Variations, his last completed major work before he became deaf, and the journey of a musicologist, Dr. Katherine Brandt, who is writing potentially her final paper on Beethoven’s Variations, attempting to discover the motivations behind his seeming obsession with writing thirty-three distinct compositions imspired by a simple waltz by a minor music publisher. The progression of Katherine’s Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) and her attempt to finally reconcile her relationship with her flamboyant, free-spirited daughter, Clara are also depicted in this time traveling piece where the present and the historic merge as the play examines our deep human need to create and work productively, even as our mortality takes its toll upon us.

The action takes place both in Beethoven’s time period and the present, switching back and forth between the two. However, at certain key points, characters from both time periods appear on stage to deliver lines simultaneously, emphasizing the parallels between the exploits of both sets of characters and blurring the timeline of the two periods.

33 Variations will be performed with live piano accompaniment by Stephanie Swearingen from January 22 through February 7. Rehearsals will begin shortly after auditions with ample considerations for holiday breaks throughout the process.

The roles available are:

The Present:

Dr. Katherine Brandt: 50s-60s, a strong and driven academe who expects all around her to be equally driven. Her conflicts with her daughter and her connection with Beethoven stem from this drive and passion. She has a dry sense of humor and has lived a life of order and control that is being disrupted by her progressing deterioration from ALS.

Clara Brandt: 20s-30s, her free-spirited daughter. A theatrical and artistic soul, who drifts through a series of related career paths to the great annoyance of her mother. She is constantly aware of her mother’s disapproval of her choices and that disapproval has alienated them. She sees her mother’s life as lacking excitement and finds her free-wheeling path more satisfying and genuine.

Dr. Gertrude Ladenberg: 30s-60s, a no nonsense German academic and librarian/historian, aiding Katherine with her research in Bonn. A stoic woman with a great deal of humor and empathy after you get to know her. She herself has a history with ALS and that colors her professional relationship with Katherine and her family.

Mike Clark: 20s-40s, a nurse/physical therapist assigned to Katherine’s case. A funny guy who Clara finds appealing. He is immediately smitten with her from the moment they meet. Katherine is not initially enamored with the pairing.

The Past:

Ludwig Von Beethoven: 40s-60s, a quirky genius fighting a battle to maintain his craft as his hearing fails. Surprisingly contemporary and vulnerable at times. He uses his eccentricity to get what he wants. He is a funny and frustrating genius at the end of his creativity.

Anton Diabelli: 30s-60s, the foppish composer/publisher who starts this challenge to get composers to write variations on his minor waltz…and to make a buck or two. He is all about profit and Beethoven’s genius process frustrates him.

Anton Schindler: 20s-40s, Beethoven’s devoted servant and pupil. He is quite devoted to his irritable and frustrating “master.”

A note from the director: This is a story of the human condition more than a historical drama, and thus race and age are flexible with many roles, especially the gentlemen.

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