Hershey Area Playhouse Announces Auditions for The Mystery of Edwin Drood

Hershey Area Playhouse is holding auditions for its 2019 fall show, The Mystery of Edwin Drood.


General Auditions will be held on Tuesday, August 6, and Wednesday, August 7, starting at 6PM.  Please arrive to register at 6PM on your preferred date (you need only come to one evening).  All coming to audition should be prepared with a 16 to 32 bar piece of music.  (Please, no songs from Drood, but any and all classic musical theatre, Music Hall, and Vaudeville era songs are encouraged!  Please be prepared to use our accompanist -- please, no tracks or a capella singing.) 


Please also come ready to move in a short dance combination taught by our production's Director/Choreographer.  As the show requires standard RP British dialects, as well as some other regional dialects, you may also be asked to read a short piece for us as well.  If necessary, callbacks will be held on the evening of Thursday, August 8th.


Directed by Eric S. Mansilla, The Mystery of Edwin Drood is based on Charles Dickens’ final unfinished novel, this hilarious whodunit invites the audience to solve its mystery by choosing the identity of the murderer. The tale is presented as a show-within-a-show, as the Music Hall Royale – a delightfully loony Victorian theatre company – presents Dickens’ brooding mystery.  (description from


For this production, we are looking for big personalities who are ready for anything!  This production is bound to be a lot of fun for both us and our audiences, so bring your talents, senses of humor, a sizeable thirst for adventure, and join us!  


Principal Roles - (4 female; 7 male)


Mr. William Cartwright, Chairman of the Music Hall Royale — doubles as Mayor Thomas Sapsea

He is our host -- accessible, authoritative, but always with a glint of humor in his eye; comic baritone.  He is pressed into service, pulling double-duty as an actor as well as Chairman because of an actor who has gone M.I.A.  Charming, light-patter, character singer, leads a lot of the full-company songs; various degrees of RP accent when in and out of character. (Playing age: 35-50s+)

John Jasper — doubles as Mr. Clive Paget

Mr. Paget is a handsome ham of an actor with a glorious voice. He plays 'John Jasper,' our presumed villain, and the man with the most motivation to kill his nephew -- Edwin Drood. He is a "pious" man with a dark secret.   Dramatic tenor, RP accent.  (Playing age: 30s-40s)

Edwin Drood — doubles as Miss Alice Nutting

Miss Alice Nutting is England's leading male impersonator and a great star, gracing the Music Hall Royale with her presence -- and is, perhaps, a bit of a diva.  She plays 'principal boy' Edwin Drood (a la the tradition of Peter Pan), a bright, cheerful, and strong-willed young man.  Alto with a solid and healthy mix/belt, RP accent.  (Playing age: 20s-30s)


Rosa Bud — doubles as Miss Deirdre Peregrine

Miss Peregrine is an attractive soprano at Music Hall Royale, specializing in ingenue roles.  She plays the young Rosa Bud, a young woman woman and songbird student of John Jasper, who is betrothed to Edwin Drood, and (much like her counterpart) admired by all of the men who encounter her.  Soprano, RP accent. (Playing age: 18-20s)


Neville Landless — doubles as Mr. Victor Grinstead

Mr. Victor Grinstead is the newest member of the Music Hall Royale.  He plays 'Neville Landless,' a hot-tempered man from India who has fallen in love with Drood's fiance, Rosa Bud.  Dramatic baritenor with a hint of an Indian accent.  (Playing age: 20s-30s)


Helena Landless — doubles as Miss Janet Conover

Miss Conover is a force to be reckoned with as an actress, described as "unpredictable" and a "fiery spirit" by our Chairman.  She plays 'Helena Landless,' twin sister and fierce protector of her brother Neville.  Dramatic alto with a hint of an Indian accent.  (Playing age: 20s-30s) 


Princess Puffer — doubles as Miss Angela Prysock

Miss Prysock is the "grande dame" of the Music Hall Royale.  Mature and full of wisdom, humor, and a good dash of bawdiness.  She plays the mysterious 'Princess Puffer,' owner of the local opium den.  Character alto, cockney accent.  (Playing age: 35-50s+)


Reverend Crisparkle — doubles as Mr. Cedric Moncrieffe

Mr. Moncrieffe is a steady professional at the Music Hall Royale.  He plays 'Reverend Crisparkle,' caretaker of Neville and Helena Landless, who once was in love with Rosa's mother.  Character baritone, RP accent. (Playing age: 35-50s+)  


Bazzard — doubles as Mr. Phillip Bax and as Waiter

Mr. Bax has lived a life in obscurity, playing small, thankless roles in every show the Music Hall Royale does.  He plays 'Bazzard,' Reverend Crisparkle's assistant, and he "longs to play a larger part."  Sweet, sincere, but decidedly character baritenor, possibly Yorkshire accent (RP or cockney will do). (Playing age: 30s-40s)



Durdles — doubles as Mr. Nick Cricker

Mr. Durdles is the "Clown Prince" of the Music Hall Royale and fancies himself something of an amateur insult comic, especially when harassing the Chairman.  He plays Durdles, a grave-digger.  Comic, character baritone, cockney accent.  (Playing age: 30s-50s)


Deputy — doubles as Master Nick Cricker

Young Master Cricker is Nick Cricker's son.  He plays Deputy,assistant to Durdles.  Light singing, mostly ensemble, cockney accent.  (Playing age: 15-18)


Ensemble (Various Roles)

In addition to the principal roles, we are looking to cast an able, flexible, and energetic ensemble of six to eight, equal parts men and women -- no specific ages.  These ensemble members will weave in and out of the story in various guises and be featured vocally and in dance numbers throughout the show.  We are looking for performers who are comfortable interacting with the audience to either get the audience excited and rowdy or set the mood for dramatic moments.  Ensemble will be asked to help with set changes and run the all-important VOTING process in Act II.


Performances of The Mystery of Edwin Drood will be held October 3-6 & October 10-13, 2019.  Additional audition information is available under the “Get Involved” drop-down menu on the Playhouse’s website,