Auditions: The Mystery of Edwin Drood

January 30, 2022 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm
Atonement Lutheran Church
116 W Glen Ave
Syracuse, NY 13205

Director Abel Searor is seeking to fill all roles for our May 2022 production.

Auditioners should prepare 16-32 bars of standard musical theatre repertoire. There will be no dance call. Auditioners may be asked to read a side or learn a piece of music from the show. Callbacks will be held Sunday, February 6th if necessary. Video submissions are welcome and must be submitted by Monday January 31st at 7pm to be considered. Same requirements. Videos may be sent to

Any actors cast for The Mystery of Edwin Drood must be prepared to show vaccination proof by the first rehearsal.


Character Descriptions

Chairperson/Mayor Thomas Sapsea: The leader of the music hall troupe. The Chairperson carries the majority of the dialogue and must be quick with a joke and able to improvise. S/he is in charge of keeping the pace of the show moving. Unexpectedly fills in as the Mayor character in Drood when another actor fails to show up. This part can be played by either a man or a woman, and can be any age over 40ish. Baritone/Low Alto (D#3 – F#4 – can pop octaves if needed).

Stage Manager: A non-singing role, male or female, who helps to keep the Chairperson on track throughout the play.

John Jasper:  In Drood, he is the baddie. Choirmaster of Cloisterham Cathedral, and uncle of Edwin Drood. In love with Rosa Bud. Madness lurks beneath smooth exterior. Strictly speaking, a suspect, but didn’t do it. 35-50ish. Bari-tenor (A2 – A4).

Edwin Drood:  Must command the stage. As Edwin Drood, she is an attractive, rich, and popular young man who has everything. The victim. 25-45ish. Mezzo (B3 – E5).

Rosa Bud: The not-so-innocent ingenue portrays the love interest of Drood, the young, beautiful and apparently fragile Rosa Bud. She is betrothed to Edwin Drood, the only man who isn’t in love with her. A suspect in his murder. 16-30ish. True soprano (A3 – B5), with a high B natural that can’t be avoided.

Princess Puffer:  As the mysterious Princess Puffer, Madam, opium dealer and general purveyor of vice of all kinds, she is glamorous in her ruin. A suspect. Over 50. Serious low alto (F3 – D5) – must have a big chest voice and lots of rapport with the audience.

Helena Landless:  The mysterious Helena Landless who hails from a British colony (India.) Another suspect. 25-50ish. Mezzo (G3 – D5 [optional E5]), strong ensemble singer.

Neville Landless:  Neville is Helena’s brother and hails from a British colony (India.) Falls for Rosa Bud, falls out with Edwin, and is therefore another suspect in the murder. Very passionate and often angry. 25-50ish. Bari-tenor (C3 – G4), strong ensemble singer.

Reverend Crisparkle: This troupe member is a bit of an open book who plays an archetypal vicar, who is also a bit of a lurker, and was in love with Rosa’s mother. A suspect. Must be significantly older than Rosa. Baritone (C3 – G4), strong ensemble singer.

Bazzard: Devotee of the theatre, the everlasting understudy, who finally gets his moment. May have quite a major part if the evening turns out that way. A sad sort of clown. Bazzard is often an audience-favorite suspect. Very capable of stealing the whole show. Any age. Bari-tenor (A2 – Eb4 [opt G4 or Bb4]).

Durdles:  makes the most of every line and plays the drunkard sexton in Drood. Gets to announce the murderer. Over 30. Baritone or Tenor (B2 – F4) – ensemble singer.

Deputy: Boy or girl, any age younger than Durdles. As the Deputy, lowest in the pecking order, and very funny. Any voice range – ensemble singer.

Wendy and Beatrice: Drawn from the company, these characters are contemporaries of Rosa Bud who sing a fabulous quartet with Rosa and Helena in Act I as well as participating in the rest of the company goings-on. (C4-D5)

Company Members: Takers of small parts in Drood, but along with other non-suspects, these will be important characters throughout, taking much of the responsibility for making the audience participation work, and working individually with sections of the audience. In addition, these characters are vital in creating the atmosphere of the touring theatre company. Lots of scope for creation of individual characters.