Exit the King
Directed by Jon Ares
Gracie Faust, Production Stage Manager
Performances: March 1, 2, 7, 8, 9, 2024
Performed in the Black Box Studio Theatre
- Initial Auditions: Thursday, January 4, 3:30 (Black Box)
- Callbacks: Friday, January 5, 3:30 (Black Box)
- 1st Rehearsal: Monday, January 8, 3:20 (Black Box)
Rehearsals after school, M-F (to be determined) 3:20 to 5:30
Theater of the absurd:
“Theater that seeks to represent the absurdity of human existence in a meaningless universe by bizarre or fantastic means.”
What is this show about?
Exit the King takes place on King Berenger’s dying day, also, not coincidentally, the last day of the universe. The older queen, Marguerite, and the Doctor tell the king that everything is falling apart – from the walls of the palace to the workings of the solar system – and that he is dying. The younger queen, Marie, exhorts him to live in the moment and not give in to death. King Berenger does not want to die, but his commands to restore order go unheeded. In the end, he concedes that he is dying, and he fades into the ether. The play shows that the human desire to live, and, by extension, to control our universe, is pointless in the end.
In King, This absurdist exploration of ego and mortality is set in the crumbling throne-room of the palace in an unnamed country where King Berenger the First has only the duration of the play to live.
The Theatre of the Absurd finds its roots in Existentialism, a form of philosophical thought that posits human beings do not have any intrinsic purpose other than what they make for themselves.
In 1942, the French-Algerian philosopher Albert Camus published his work “The Myth of Sisyphus,” examining humanity’s desire for rationality and purpose in the face of the inherent irrationality and emptiness of the universe. From this, Camus developed his Theory of the Absurd: that this juxtaposition is something that all free-thinking and honest people must eventually come to accept. According to Camus, human beings should not strive to find purpose where there is none, and that true contentment can only be felt once this is acknowledged. Queen Marguerite tries valiantly to bring King Berenger to this acknowledgement, so he can “move on” to accept the fate before him.
Even with all this “pointlessness,” this play IS a comedy – and a very physical one, at that. Please be aware though, that there is a very heavy line load, particularly for the roles of King Berenger and Queen Marguerite.
Berenger the First, the King. Flippant. Comically egotistical. Completely in denial.
Queen Marguerite, the First Wife. Mature. A realist, and a practical leader.
Queen Marie, the Second Wife. Younger, and clings to fairy tale happy endings.
The Doctor, who is also the Surgeon, Executioner, Bacteriologist and Astrologist.
Juliette, Domestic Help and Registered Nurse. Quite the rough character. Perhaps a Cockney accent?
The Guard, longtime herald and protector of The King. Dutiful. A true follower and champion of the King, his hero.
Preparing for auditions:
For the initial audition, please fill out the audition form, and please prepare one of the monologues* below (memorization is not required.) *If you are reading for Queen Marguerite, you will need to prepare one of the scenes with either Queen Marie or Juliette. You can audition with someone else who is auditioning for Marie or Juliette, or we will provide someone to read with you. **You will need to log in with your school Google account to access these materials.
INITIAL AUDITION SIDES
For Callbacks, please review the pieces below (memorization is not required). At Callbacks, you may be instructed on which pieces to read, and with whom (if anyone). Note that not all roles may be called back, so if you are not called back, that doesn’t automatically mean you are not cast.
Please contact the director, Jon Ares, with any questions! firstname.lastname@example.org