Program in Classical Studies
Plautus's Menaechmi at ECU

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From the people who brought you
last year's Lysistrata . . .


 Twins and a Courtesan

in Ancient Rome


The Brothers Menaechmus

a Comedy by Titus Maccius Plautus

in a translation by Douglass Parker

directed by John Given

January 28, 29 and 30, 2011

at the Recital Hall of the Fletcher Music Center (School of Music)

on the campus of East Carolina University

co-sponsored by the Program in Classical Studies

and The Center for Student Leadership & Civic Engagement


Friday, November 19, 2010 from 12:00 to 2:00 p.m. 

The Recital Hall in the Fletcher Music Center

See below for complete information.

Anyone unable to appear at the scheduled auditions should contact the director immediately and make alternate arrangements.

To be involved . . .

We will need many, many people to make The Brothers Menaechmus successful. If you are interested in appearing on stage, please see the Audition Information below. Besides actors, we will also need: a pianist, costume designers and makers, a stage manager, stage hands, a props master, an advertising manager, an advertising designer, a house manager, light operators, ushers and still more. If you are interested in volunteering for any of these positions or just looking to help out in any way, big or small, please contact the director by e-mail ( or phone (252-328-6538).

Roman Masks
Audition Information

Auditions for The Brothers Menaechmus are open to all members of the ECU Community, although a slight preference will be given to students in the Classical Studies Program.  No acting experience is necessary.

Auditions will take place on November 19, 2010 from 12:00 to 2:00 p.m. in the Recital Hall on the first floor of the Fletcher Music Center (ECU School of Music).  Walk-ins will be welcome at the auditions, but the director would prefer that you inform him that you intend to try out.  (Email:  Anyone wishing to audition may come prepared with a monologue of two to three minutes in length, but this is not required.  The monologue should be memorized, or at least should be very familiar to the actor.  Actors will also be asked to read from The Brothers Menaechmus itself.  

Several roles feature singing.  Anyone interested in a singing role should be prepared to sing Nat King Cole's "Unforgettable" and Frank Sinatra's "My Way."  Sheet music will be provided, if necessary, and can be obtained from the director in advance, upon request.  

Auditioners should plan to remain on hand for the entire two-hour audition period, if possible, as we may read in pairs or groups.  If an actor is unable to attend the auditions at all, please contact the director to arrange a separate reading.

Rehearsals.  We will have a couple of rehearsals before the end of the fall semester to build characters and work on preliminary staging.  Intensive rehearsals will begin the first full week of classes in January.  All rehearsals will take place in the evening (usually 7:00 to 9:00 p.m.).  The director will allow some flexibility for students' schedules, and will inform actors in advance when they need to be present.  Successful auditioners, however, are expected to commit fully to the rehearsal schedule as well as the performance dates.  The performance dates are non-negotiable, as we do not expect to cast understudies.

Auditioners should review the list of characters below and be prepared to indicate what role(s) they are auditioning for.  For most of the roles, the director expects to use gender-blind casting, and so you may audition for roles of the opposite gender.

Menaechmus One and Two. Our two leads, twin brothers, constantly mistaken for one another. Menaechmus One believes he is the world's greatest lover, though he may be the world's greatest dupe.  He has a brief song near the beginning, and must be an able reciter of rhymed poetry.  Menaechmus Two is earnestly in search of his long-lost brother, but can't see the truth staring him in the face.  He is much more prosaic than his brother.

Diddley.  Menaechmus One's hanger-on, always on the lookout for a good meal. Sizable role, especially in Act One.

Smug. Menaechmus Two's slave.  As in all Plautus plays, the slave is the problem-solver, the smartest man onstage.  He has a big song that will bring down the house.

Dovey.  Menaechmus One's wife, alternately furious and self-pitying that her husband is playing the field.

Loveykins.  The neighborhood's classy prostitute.  A shrewd flirt.  Beautiful but tolerant of less than handsome men—so long as they can pay.

Spatula.  The chef of Loveykins's brothel, hailing from Brooklyn, with a penchant for fancy food and language.  Just two scenes near the beginning, but a good chance to make 'em laugh.

Skivvee.  The maid of Loveykins's brothel.  She has just one brief scene.

Antiquides.  Dovey's aged father, sympathetic to his daughter but thinking she should be tolerant of a wandering husband.  We need a good physical comedian.  Only appears in Act Two, but has substantial stage time.

Dr. Klyster.  Antiquides' physician sidekick, equally old and slow, until danger presents itself.  Also only appears in Act Two.

Prologue.  The one who gets us started.  A tad pompous, but a good storyteller.

Silent characters.  Assorted maids, sailors, porters and orderlies.