Auditions Announced for HEDDA GABLER at Dayton Theatre Guild

DTGOpen audition notice for HEDDA GABLER, adapted by Christopher Shinn

Auditions will be held Mon & Tue, Mar 20 & 21, 2023, starting at 7:00 pm both nights.

Production dates: Jun 2-18, 2023

Rehearsals with begin March 23 and will run generally Mondays-Thursdays thereafter, subject to the schedules and conflicts of the cast and staff.

The Dayton Theatre Guild at the Caryl D. Philip TheatreScape
430 Wayne Ave, Dayton OH, 45410
937-278-5993 —

Directed by David Shough
Produced by Rick Flynn & Christina Tomazinis

THE PLAY: Hedda Gabler (now Mrs. Tesman), newly married but not wisely, and facing a diminished future, an unwelcome past, and a smothering present, struggles to find the one decisive, beautiful act that will help her feel alive.
This production will be set in the very late 19th century with some anachronistic elements to make clear the story it tells is not time-bound. Actors should use a neutral, non-British, non-regional accent.

Casting Requirements:

  • A Note about Age: The four younger characters ‐‐ Hedda, Thea, Tesman and Løvborg ‐‐ are written as in their late twenties or early thirties, but the complexity of the role of Hedda may mean that a somewhat older actor is best for the role, and I will consider actors well into their forties if they otherwise meet the role’s needs. If that is the case, the ages of the actors for the other “young” characters may need to balance the Hedda actor, so I will consider somewhat older actors for those roles as well.
  • You need only attend one night, but are welcome at both. If you cannot attend either audition date, contact the director at or 937-626-2674, and we will make time.
  • Audition selections will be available for download beginning mid-February. Familiarity with (but not memorization of) the selections will be a good thing at audition; cold readings demonstrate your ability to read; I would like to see something of your ability to create a character. In the meantime, another translation of the play is available online at, if you want to start early exploring the story and the characters
  • Please bring a a résumé. A photo is helpful if the director doesn’t know you, but not required. Director’s note: I have cast actors I don’t know in every show I’ve directed; always looking for new folks.
  • Please be prepared to list all conflicts, including weekends, between Mar 22 & Jun 18, 2023.
  • All cast and crew are required to be vaccinated for COVID-19

Hedda Gabler (Heh-dah, Gah-bler):
(plays 29 years old) Beautiful, strong, controlling, demanding, but step by step losing control of her life and future; daughter of a prominent military officer, newly married to an unremarkable academic. Ibsen titled the play with her maiden name to indicate she “as a personality, is to be regarded rather as her father’s daughter than as her husband’s wife.” Indeed, she seems to be at war with everyone and everything around her, for which her favorite possession ‐‐ her father’s set of dueling pistols ‐‐ serves as more than a metaphor. This is one of the most complex and powerful roles for women in the age of modern drama.

Jørgen Tesman (Yur-gen Tess-mahn):
(plays 33 years old, or a few years older than Hedda) Naïve academic; a student of the past excited about his future, and more fascinated with things like his books, his old slippers, and his work, than with his new wife; according to Hedda, he spent most of their six-month honeymoon trip studying dusty manuscripts in old libraries. He has been described as a “ninny” but must not appear as a fool. Therefore, it’s a challenging, nuanced role.

Eilert Løvborg (Eye-lert Louv-borg):
(same age as Tesman): A scholar, like Tesman, but otherwise unlike Tesman in every way: handsome, impulsive, romantic, perhaps alcoholic, on the edge. An ex-flame of Hedda’s, now in something of a relationship with Thea. He has returned to town to attempt to rebuild his reputation after a scandal. The right actor will make him a character the audience cannot stop watching

Thea Elvsted (Tay-eh Elv stehd):
(a couple years younger than Hedda): At first appearance, weak submissive and fearful, but she is stronger than she first appears. A former schoolmate, but not school friend, of Hedda’s, she has come to Tesman and Hedda seeking help regarding Løvborg, whom she likely loves. Many levels for the actor to explore.

Judge Brack (rhymes with clock):
(plays 45, or clearly older than Hedda) Handles Tesman’s business affairs, and seems to be seeking a different kind of affair with Hedda. Lascivious, scheming, but the actor cannot go so far as at make him odious; this is not melodrama.

Juliane Tesman:
(60s or older) Tesman’s maiden aunt; she raised Tesman and now cares for her dying sister. Smart, practical; not above throwing back an insult, though in the nicest way.

Berte (Bear-Teh):
(60s or older). Maid to the young Tesmans; formerly maid to Tesman’s aunts. Competent; afraid of Hedda.

For more information please contact Director David Shough at or 937-626-2674

The show runs weekends Jun 2-18, 2023
First Weekend: Friday 8pm, Saturday 8pm, Sunday 3pm
Second & Third Weekend: Friday 8pm, Saturday 5pm, Sunday 3pm

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