Audition/Casting Call

"Farewell my Concubine" Reading

Whitley Theatrical

Open Jar Studios, 1601 Broadway 11th floor
New York, NY 10019




Nov 29, 2023

Open Jar Studios

Producers: Rob Minkoff, Philip Lee
Director: Moisés Kaufman
Book: Kenneth Lin
Based on: The novel “Farewell My Concubine” by Lillian Lee
Composer/Lyricist: Jason Robert Brown
Music Supervisor: David Lai
General Management: RCI Theatricals
Casting Director: Benton Whitley, CSA, Micah Johnson-Levy of Whitley Theatrical
Audition: Self Tapes ASAP
Reading Dates: February 26 – March 4th, 2023
Rate: AEA 29-Hour Reading, $225 stipend
Location: New York

“Farewell My Concubine” seeks performers to be part of an ensemble that ethnically and racially reflects the historical accuracy of 1920s-70s Beijing. Some tracks require Beijing Opera performance and acrobatics. In all tracks, they are seeking very strong singers. “Farewell My Concubine” tells the passionate and powerful story of two stars of the Beijing Opera – Duan Xiaolou and Cheng Dieyi - and Juxian, the woman who comes between them. Originally published in 1985 by best-selling author Lilian Lee, “Farewell My Concubine” is a fiercely intimate, nuanced love triangle that spans over 50 years, from the aftermath of the Qing Dynasty through the Japanese occupation, from the early days of the Republic to the rise of Mao Zedong, and finally the devastation of the Cultural Revolution. “Farewell My Concubine” was adapted for the screen by Chen Kaige in 1993 to immense acclaim, winning the 1993 Palme d'Or, Cesar Award for Best Foreign Film, and Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language Film; in subsequent years, it has been named one of the “100 Best Films in Global History” by TIME Magazine and is widely considered to be one of the most powerful Chinese motion pictures ever made.

CONTENT ADVISORY - “Farewell My Concubine” contains mature content including but not limited to violent situations, mature language, sexuality, weapons, and drug use.

[JUXIAN] Female, 20-30. Very versatile voice, belting and soprano. The object of Xiaolou’s desire, she is the most sought after courtesan in all of Beijing. But, she’s also a cunning survivor in a world that is coming apart at the seams. PRINCIPAL.

[DIEYI] Male, 20-39. Very strong high tenor with strong falsetto, perhaps countertenor. He has a single minded devotion to his art. He is equally devoted to his stage partner with whom he is in love. PRINCIPAL.

[XIAOLOU] Male, 20-39. Strong high baritone in contemporary and legit styles. He has also spent a lifetime in training, but unlike Dieyi who is focused on his craft, Xiaolou seeks satisfaction in the world beyond the theater. PRINCIPAL.

[MASTER GUAN] Male, 50-60. Strong singer. A master of the craft, he is a demanding teacher at a threadbare Beijing Opera school, and is consumed by carrying on its traditions. PRINCIPAL.

[ADULT LAIZI] Male, 20-30. Strong high baritone/tenor. Carries the training he received as a young opera singer in his body, but that is tempered by the life he’s spent on the streets as a young revolutionary. Has raised a child while fighting for the future of China. Knows that he will not survive long enough to see his son become a man. Doubles as XIAOSHI, Laizi’s son, in Act Two. PRINCIPAL.

[YUAN SHIQING] Male, 30-40. Tenor. A handsome, wealthy aristocrat. He is an opera fan, and Dieyi is the culmination of his lifetime of searching for perfection in the art. PRINCIPAL.

[LITTLE BEAN] Male, 8-12. Unbroken voice, high, very strong singer. Should be able to play a range from prepubescent to mid-teens. He is assigned to the role of the Dan, portraying the female roles. He grows to be a renowned Dan who is said to blur the distinction between the opera and reality.

[LITTLE STONE] Male, 8-12. Tenor range. Partially broken voice, also very strong singer– the masculine yang to Little Bean’s yin. Has acrobatic abilities.

[CHILD LAIZI/LITTLE LION] Male, 8-12. Unbroken voice, high. Laizi plays the Dan at the opera school until his voice begins to break. Will also play Little Lion, a former child soldier who comes under Dieyi and Xiaolou’s tutelage.

[YANHONG] Female 20-30. Lyric soprano. Little Bean/Dieyi’s mother; a countryside peasant who travels to Beijing to find a better life for her son.

[GENERAL AOKI] Male, 30s-40s. Baritone. An imperious leader in the Japanese army, and an opera fan. He demands a performance from the opera troupe before the invasion of Beijing.

[HONG AN] Female, late teens-early 20s. A young woman who questions the ways of the old society, and sees opportunity for growth as the cultural landscape is changing. She becomes a leader in the Red Guard.

[MADAME BLOSSOM] Female. 50s-60s. Mezzo/Alto. A well-traveled and powerful courtesan.

[ENSEMBLE] All genders, 20s-50s. Strong singers to play opera performers, patrons, soldiers, vendors, and other citizens of Beijing.

Application Instructions

For all inquiries and self-submissions, please send your headshot, resume, and performance reels to



Experience Level



Music, Theater

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