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Audition Announcement

Video submission deadline extended** to Wednesday, January 27, 2021 by 12:00 pm (noon)

**Please note that we are updating the link (below) previously provided to submit auditions for Mother Courage and Her Children because it did not function properly. We will be sending out a new link on Monday, January 25 in the afternoon. To accommodate this inconvenience, we are extending the submission deadline to Wednesday, January 27 by 12:00pm (noon). 

We apologize for any confusion this error has caused. If you have any questions please contact Fritz Bennett ( 

by Bertolt Brecht
Directed by Ann M. Shanahan
Rehearsals begin: March 8, 2021*
Performances: April 16 – 18, 2021*
*note that rehearsal, performance dates, and modalities are subject to change


We will be conducting auditions for this production via video submission. For tips on creating a video submission, see here.

Generals: By video submissions due by Tuesday, January 26 at 5:00 pm.

The NEW link to submit your audition is here.

Callbacks: In-person on Friday and Saturday, January 29 & 30. Actors will be notified via email no later than Thursday evening, January 28. 

Purdue Department of Theatre Acting Majors and Acting Certificate Students**: Please prepare one modern or contemporary 1-2 minute monologue (comedic or dramatic) and 8-16 bars of singing (recorded accompaniment recommended, acapella option). Total length: 3 mins

Purdue Department of Theatre Majors, Theatre Minors, Theatre Design and Production Majors, and Non-Theatre Majors**: Please prepare one modern or contemporary 1-2 minute monologue (comedic or dramatic) and of 8-16 bars of singing (recorded accompaniment or acapella). If you do not have material prepared, you may choose to prepare one of the monologues provided here and on the Callboard (electronic and in PAO) in addition to 30 seconds of acapella singing. Provided monologues do not need to be memorized. Total length: 3 mins

Purdue Department of Theatre Acting Graduate Students**: Please prepare one modern or contemporary 1-2 minute monologue (comedic or dramatic) and of 8-16 bars of singing (recorded accompaniment). Total length: 3 mins

**Notes: 1) For video: actors should set the frame so the entire body is visible in front of a neutral background. Please be aware of forward or backward movement that may take an actor out of the frame. 2) For monologue selection: a suggestion to choose material that connects to a social theme that you feel passionate about. 3) For the singing, don’t worry if you are not a trained singer. “Sell” the song and have fun!

Scripts: For a perusal copy, limited scripts are available for check out in the Theatre Office (72 hour quarantine) or electronically through Purdue Libraries.

A Note on Staged Intimacy: All staged contact will be led in rehearsals by a consultant trained in staging intimacy. All instances of staged intimacy for the characters required of the script are noted in parentheses in the character description below. If actors prefer not to be considered for characters because of staged intimacy or have questions they will be given an option to indicate this on the online audition form.

A Note on Staged Violence: All staged contact will be led in rehearsals by a consultant trained in staging violence. All instances of staged violence for the characters required of the script are noted in parentheses in the character description below.

** Important Note on COVID-19: Please note that with social distancing and safety considerations related to COVID-19, staging, including intimacy and violence may be curtailed, abstracted, or cut.

Enrollment Requirement: Student actors cast in this production must register for 2-3 credits of THTR 536 Rehearsal and Performance.


MOTHER COURAGE - The play’s antiheroic protagonist, a businesswoman with three children; she sells provisions in wartime from her wagon. Mother Courage seeks to protect her children from the violence of war, but again and again her business interests trump her efforts at saving their lives. (Sings, scripted slap in the face to Eilif; smokes a pipe)

KATTRIN - Mother Courage's kindhearted daughter. She loves children. She is mute. Kattrin finds a voice of sorts at the end of the play and is the only character that shows real courage. (Scripted suggestion of sexual assault; dies by gunshot)

EILIF - Courage’s brave son. Eilif enlists as a soldier; makes a name for himself by killing villagers and stealing their livestock to feed his starving regiment. He is executed during peacetime for performing similar acts. (Sings; scripted slap to his face)

SWISS CHEESE - Mother Courage's honest son; dies because of his honesty and lack of intelligence and savvy.

THE RECRUITER - A disheartened officer who struggles to recruit soldiers to the war.

THE SERGEANT - The cynical officer, partner to the recruiter, who haggles with Mother Courage over a belt buckle while the recruiter persuades Eilif to enlist.

THE COOK - Darkly ironic, he serves as the comic relief. An aging would-be-lover, the cook has considerable charm, having seduced many women, including Yvette. (Sings)

THE GENERAL - Eilif’s commanding officer; loves to eat. Commends him for his murder of the peasants and theft of their livestock during the war.

THE CHAPLAIN - The chaplain lacks true religious conviction. A Protestant, he disguises himself as a Catholic to save his life. (Sings)

THE ARMOURER - In charge of military ammunition, the armorer sells stolen bullets to Mother Courage at a discounted rate. Plans to profit by selling them back to the army.

YVETTE POTTIER - Yvette Pottier survives by working as a sex worker during the war. She marries a rich colonel. (Sings, scripted kissing the Colonel)

THE ONE WITH THE EYEPATCH - A spy searching for Protestants after the Catholic army successfully captures the Finnish regiment; discovers that Swiss Cheese is the regiment's paymaster.

ANOTHER SERGEANT - Sergeant who arrests and interrogates Swiss Cheese.

THE COLONEL - Elderly, rich colonel, agrees to buy Mother Courage's wagon before Swiss Cheese's execution. (Scripted kiss by Yvette)

A CLERK - The clerk employed by an officer, pragmatic; advises Mother Courage to refrain from making a complaint about her vandalized cart.

A YOUNG SOLDIER - With complaint against the captain for stealing reward money; the young soldier is advised to refrain from making any trouble with a complaint.

AN OLDER SOLDIER - Advises the younger soldier not to make a complaint against the captain, for concern that his punishment might be worse than any reward money.

THE YOUNG MAN WITH MATTRESS - Impoverished, tries to sell mattress to Mother Courage

THE OLD WOMAN - Comes with young man to sell the mattress.


THE FARMER AND FARMER’S WIFE - Farmers whose farm is sieged at the attack of Halle. Kattrin is killed as she tries to save them.

THE FARMERS’ SON - Son of the farmers; helps Kattrin warn the city (Scripted to be beaten)

REGIMENTAL SOLDIER (Scripted shoving a soldier)

SOLDIERS - In multiples scenes throughout the play; Protestant and Catholic (Sings; scripted beating of The Young Farmer; shoved by Regimental Secretary)

A VOICE - Unseen; sings a lullaby from an isolated house on the highway.

**Casting for all roles is open to actors of any race, ethnicity, gender, and size **

Please send any questions to Ann Shanahan at and Fritz Bennett at