The Play That Goes Wrong
by Fredericksburg Theater Company

Feb. 20

Described as “a gut-busting hit!” by the New York Times, The Play That Goes Wrong is a glimpse of a horrible opening night for an amateur theatrical troupe, the Cornley University Drama Society. Their latest production, an original mystery entitled The Murder at Haversham Manor, quickly goes from bad to utterly disastrous. This 1920s whodunit has everything you never wanted in a show—an unconscious leading lady, a corpse that can’t play dead, and actors who trip over everything (including their lines). Nevertheless, the accident-prone thespians battle against all odds to make it through to their final curtain call, with hilarious consequences! Part Monty Python, part Sherlock Holmes, The Play That Goes Wrong was an enormous Broadway hit and an Olivier Award–winner.

Auditions have been extended for FTC’s spring comedy, The Play That Goes Wrong. The added audition date is Monday, February 20, 2023 at 6:30 p.m. at the Steve W. Shepherd Theater, located at 1668 Highway 87 South in Fredericksburg.

For this extended audition, only actors interested in the male roles will be considered. Auditions will be held by reading scenes from the script. Actors may be asked to participate in some movement and physical fight choreography. Please dress accordingly for the movement portion of the auditions. Scripts are available to be checked out from the FTC Box Office. If you have any questions, you can email the theater office at with the subject line “Play That Goes Wrong Auditions.” 

Anyone considering auditioning should make note that The Play That Goes Wrong is a physically demanding show. Some of the roles will require varying amounts of crawling, climbing, lifting, running, and/or falling. There is also a sword fight and some hand-to-hand combat. A fight choreographer will be on hand to ensure that all the physicality is done safely and properly.

Schedule: Rehearsals are typically Monday through Friday, 6:30 pm to 9:00 pm. Some weekends may be required to choreograph the physical needs of the show. A more detailed rehearsal schedule will be available once the show is cast. April 17 through the 20 are Technical/Dress Rehearsals. For the production's success, attendance at these rehearsals and at all performances is mandatory for the entire cast and crew.

Performances:April 21 through the 30, Fridays and Saturdays, at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2:00 p.m.

Roles To Be Cast: 

Trevor - Male. The company lighting and sound operator. He simply wants to get on with the show. Curmudgeonly and doesn’t care for actors. He is easily distracted and does many things he shouldn’t, including engaging with the audience. When things go really sideways, he is forced to act in the play. He hates acting.

Chris - Male. The head of the company. High-status clown. Rigid, uptight, everything really matters. He is the director of the play and plays Inspector Carter, the esteemed local inspector. this is the biggest day of his life. Everything is riding on this. It is a nerve-wracking and exciting night. His pain is evident, and every time someone laughs, the pain deepens. He has equal amounts of contempt for his fellow actors and the audience watching the play.

Jonathan - Male. A member of the company. He plays Charles Haversham, the deceased. A bit bland but sees himself as a James Bond type. Excited and having fun, but not naïve. He technically has to drive the show. He cares about the play, but not to the same extent as the others. Very physical role.

Robert - Male. A member of the company, plays Thomas Colleymoore, Charles’ old school friend. Wants to be Richard Burton, as evidenced by his declamatory style. He is, however, not a parody of a bad actor. He is unaware of others around him. He does not feel bad when things go wrong and never learns from his mistakes. There is a power struggle between Robert and Chris to be president of the Cornley Poly Drama Society (a position that matters a great deal to Robert). Has real vocal power.Dennis - Male. A member of the company, plays Perkins, Charles’ butler. He has no real desire to be involved in the theatre, he just wants to make friends (of which he has none). He believes that if he does well in the show, he will be more successful socially. Laughter from the audience is agony for him. He may be slightly oblivious but understands when he gets things wrong. The laughter is a personal tragedy/failure.

Max - Male. A member of the company, plays Cecil Haversham, Charles’ brother, and Arthur the Gardner, the gardener at Haversham Manor. He has never been on stage before. He learned his lines and does exactly what he’s told to do. He has zero connection with any of the other actors, but when he gets a laugh, he breaks the 4th wall to engage with the audience. Childlike and naïve. His mistakes are fundamental. he doesn’t think anything through, just looks for approval.