August 2018

DIRECTOR: Nicolas Aliaga Garcia • CONDUCTOR: David Drummond

Wacky, irreverent, and as entertaining today as it was when it first opened in 1879, Gilbert & Sullivan's The Pirates of Penzance spins a hilarious farce of sentimental pirates, bumbling policemen, star-crossed young lovers, self-possessed wards, and an eccentric Major-General, struggling with the often-ridiculous dictates of honor and duty. Peppered with unforgettable melodies and tongue-twisting songs such as “I Am the Very Model of a Modern Major-General” and “Poor Wand’ring One”, The Pirates of Penzance is one of the most popular operettas ever written. The humor is rollicking and the music infectious, and the stage director and music director are looking for performers who can sing and act with the passion this grand opera spoof requires. We are looking for strong singer/actors for the roles listed below. Experience in Gilbert & Sullivan is not necessary if you can sing and act the role. We specifically welcome diversity in casting. Some roles may be double-cast or understudied.


FREDERIC: Tenor – Young (just turning 21) and naive, a pirate apprentice (by mistake) and an absolute “slave of duty.” Seeking redemption from his infamous past. Has never seen a woman besides his nursemaid, Ruth.

MABEL: Soprano – Beautiful ward of Major-General Stanley. Shares Frederic’s sense of duty and love of singing high notes. She even decorates her own name with cadenzas.

RUTH: Mezzo/Contralto – Frederic’s hard-of-hearing nursemaid and the pirates’ “maid-of-all-work.” Her passionate devotion to Frederic changes to a bit of bloodthirstiness in Act II.

MAJOR-GENERAL STANLEY: Patter-Baritone – A wealthy widower raising his wards alone. “The very model of a modern major-general” – fast-talking, upper-class, terribly pleased with himself.

THE PIRATE KING: Baritone – Swashbuckling, fearless, and not terribly bright.

SERGEANT OF POLICE: Bass-Baritone – The bumbling leader of the police. Dutiful but terrified of actual combat with pirates.

SAMUEL: Baritone – The Pirate King’s fearless lieutenant.
EDITH: Soprano/Mezzo – Mabel’s sister – a strategist, following in the major-general's footsteps.
KATE: Soprano/Mezzo – Mabel’s sister – adventurous and athletic.

ISABEL : Mabel’s sister – A curious and imaginative young lady. 


As with most Gilbert & Sullivan shows, the chorus is a very important part of the action, and has much stage time and wonderful music. We need 6 to 8 each sopranos, altos, tenors and basses.

Tuesday, March 6 from 7:00 to 10:00 PM
Wednesday, March 7 from 7:00 to 10:00 PM
Thursday, March 8 from
7:00 to 10:00 PM

AUDITIONS ARE HELD at the Lamplighters Rehearsal Hall, 469 Bryant Street (between 2nd and 3rd Streets in the South of Market section of San Francisco).


AUDITION FAQs: Please come to the preliminary audition with two contrasting songs in English, preferably from opera, operetta or classical music theatre, that you feel will show off your voice well. You may only be asked to sing one song. An accompanist will be provided. Bring your music in the key in which you will sing it. Also bring your headshot and resume, and your calendar so that you can give us any conflicts that you may have during the rehearsal period. Please also fill out this form, either at the audition or ahead of time. If you are needed for a callback, you will be notified.

CALLBACKS ARE SCHEDULED FOR Monday March 19 by appointment only, Time TBA.

(subject to change):

Lesher Center for the Arts, Walnut Creek
Friday 3rd August 2018 - 8 pm
Saturday 4th August 2018  - 2 pm & 8 pm
Sunday 5th August 2018  - 2 pm

Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts
Saturday 11th August 2018 – 2 pm & 8 pm
Sunday 12th August 2018 - 2 pm

Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Theater, San Francisco
Friday 17th August 2018 - 8 pm
Saturday 18th August 2018 - 2 pm & 8 pm
Sunday 19th August 2018 - 2 pm

Bankhead Theater, Livermore
Saturday 25th August 2018 – 2 pm & 8 pm
Sunday 26th August 2018 - 2 pm

REHEARSALS will begin on or around June 11th and will be held Sunday – Thursday evenings. Some Friday and Saturday rehearsals may be scheduled as opening night approaches. A tentative schedule will be available at the auditions, and more detail will be provided as soon as available. We will take breaks for the major holidays, but will probably not be able to cast people with extensive holiday travel plans.

THE VOCAL SCORE is available at music stores is available at music stores or online services such as We use the G. Schirmer edition. Cost is around $20.

PLEASE NOTE: As with any period production, cast members may be required to provide special undergarments that may be necessary (e.g. women, Merry Widows; men, dance belts), as well as tights and footwear. Also, it may be necessary for men to alter or eliminate facial hair. Cast members may be asked to donate a few hours to help with costumes, sets, mailings, etc.

Non-Equity; Non-AGMA; Some Pay
Stipends for leads will range from $200 - $750, depending on size and difficulty of role and whether double-cast. All chorus singers will be offered expense reimbursement up to $200 to help offset costs such as purchasing tights and footwear, voice lessons and coaching, travel and lodging, etc.

click here to sign up on our audition mailing list

Iolanthe 2006