Audition Information--Don Quixote, Episode 1
(San Diego Radio Theater Home Page)
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Production Schedule and Logistics
We are recording scenes for Don Quixote using differing approaches to dialect. Scenes are recorded to accommodate actors' schedules. Recording sessions last one to four hours. In some cases, we can record actors telephonically.
Recording procedures: We do a levels and sound envelope test then "walk through" the scene, then we record a rehearsal, listen to it, then record. Sound effects are laid in with music cues after dialogue has been recorded.
Brief Synopsis of the first episode
Don Quijano has lived his entire life on a small country estate he inherited from his parents. He awakens one morning with an outrageous compulsion to attack injustice and declares himself the soon to be world famous, Don Quixote de La Mancha. To the further dismay of his astonished niece and the middle-aged housekeeper, with whom he lives, he announces his pledge of love to a peasant girl, Aldonza Lorenzo (who he has never met), and he names her, Doña Dulcinea del Toboso. He dubs the tired nag in his stable, Rocinante, dons the rusting armor left in the attic by his ancestors and departs on his first sally. To his delight, in his fervor for adventure, he sees possibilities where others see the commonplace. He mistakes a nearby Inn for a castle and begs the innkeeper, who he thinks is its governor, to do him the honor of dubbing him a knight so he may legitimately engage in combat with his peers.
General: Radio focuses on the voice, however, the acting experience in relating to other characters and (imagined) events, is no different from other media. An interesting or attractive voice and range are necessary to entertain the listener and timing is critical. If your character is a rogue, roguish qualities are in your tone and timing. For each character, we have given below some suggestions about how the character may sound, but we're open to ideas. Hispanic accents are appropriate if they sound natural. Ask questions if you have any concerns.
Don Quijano aka Don Quixote is a man in his 50s, never married. His voice and speech pattern has a formal, even Shakespearean quality. Inspired by heroic ideals he has read in books about chivalry, he speaks with a flowery emphasis. But he is authentic in his commitment to service, integrity and honor, and in this regard he is a saint. Although, his perceptions are often delusional, in every other respect he is wise, even brilliant in his thinking and if conservative and religious, still eloquent in his expression.
Antonia, Don Quijano's niece, a girl under twenty years, finds her uncle's behavior surprising, but interesting. She doesn't take things too seriously, and is more amused and interested by her uncle's outrageous behavior. She just isn't a worrier. She may speak with a Castillian accent.
Hortensia, Don Quijano's housekeeper is a proud woman of Basque heritage in her fifties who has faithfully served the gentleman for most of her life. She has always thought him a little strange, but is a devoted servant and maternal and she becomes seriously concerned about his madness. She does not read but she can tell it is the accursed books his face is always buried in that are causing all the trouble. She speaks with a strong, Basque, or provincial accent.
Pedro, Don Quijano's man of all trades is in his fifties and not given to questioning the behaviors of his employer. He would take no more notice if Don Quijano wore a tutu and a cabbage on his head, and would in that case, never presume to judge him. His accent is rural, possibly Mexican rural.
Lorina (30s) and Tolosa (40s) are women "of the game" (to quote Cervantes), prostitutes traveling with mule drivers who are staying at an Inn, which Don Quixote mistakes for a castle (also mistaking the two women for ladies of the court). They are both good-hearted and with a sense of humor spiced by the practices of their trade and their experiences with many men. Their voices may be comically exaggerated and their accents as well.
Tolosa, see above.
Ignacio is a fat rogue and a clever thief who, having avoided the clutches of the law and the Holy Brotherhood (Inquisition) escaped with enough loot to buy the Inn which he uses to exploit his larcenous tendencies by victimizing his guests. He is physically large in all respects, so that his breathing sometimes impairs his speech. His age is indeterminate but most likely in his early 40s, he in energetic for his size, but then tires quickly. But withal, he is extremely clever. His voice is like a Mexican Sydney Greenstreet.
Two mule drivers are men in their 30s. Strong accented. One of them is completely drunk, and the other is completely stupid.
Juan Huldudo, a wealthy, arrogant, sadistic and obsequious farmer in his fifties. He enjoys whipping his young male employees.
Andres, an adolescent employee of Huldudo's, who daydreams when he should be working, but otherwise and honest lad.
Xavier, a silk merchant who, along with several other merchants and their servants and muledrivers, are on their way to trade at a market in Toledo. In Cervantes day, to say a person is in the fabric or clothing business was to say he is a converted Jew because in his time, this was the truth. The historical relevance of this is umimportant to the plot, but could be used to spice the accent of the merchants with a little yiddish.
Maldonado, a burly, loutish foreman of the muledrivers in the silk merchant's employ and a bully who likes playing knock-about for the pleasure of it providing that he has an advantage over his adversary.
Pedro Alonso, a farmer of modest means and small stature, in his 70s. He's a neighbor of Don Quijano, a simple man, very respectful in demeanor.
Dulcinea del Toboso, an incomparable beauty, wise and in all respects, a noble woman. Since she is a creature of Don Quixote's imagination, she is an ideal.
Announcer, A strong, distinct British voice.
Re: Radio Scripts: Actors who haven't been using radio scripts may want to read our notes about radio script notation.
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