The Friends of Kent County, Maryland War of 1812 Committee is proud to announce auditions for its upcoming productions of “The Burning of Georgetown and Kitty Knight” and “Mitchell Becomes a Prisoner.” Both productions are being developed by the War of 1812 Committee as integral components of the Maryland Star Spangled 200 Celebration.
In support of its mission to create awareness and inform residents, students, and visitors about the history of the War of 1812 in Kent County, the Committee is developing scripts to commemorate these two pivotal events. Auditions will be held on Friday, Feb. 1 at 6 p.m. All interested actors and re-enactors are asked to meet at the Kent County Historical Society’s future Bordley History Center at 301 High Street in Chestertown. The Committee will be casting a total of 31 male and female actors and re-enactors for both productions, as well as looking for technical crews for both events.
“The Burning of Georgetown and Kitty Knight” commemorates Kitty Knight’s successful campaign to save the Pearce home during the spring of 1813 British invasion of the Chesapeake Bay shores in Maryland. The Kitty Knight House is one of the structures that survived the May 6, 1813 British attack on Georgetown. Kitty Knight successfully saved the home by pleading with the British troops to spare the structure because of its elderly female occupant. A cast of 14 male and female actors is needed to depict this event which will be staged with two performances on Sunday, May 5.
Kitty Knight, aged 37 during the battle, is described as tall, with hazel eyes and raven hair. She never married and numerous accounts refer to her sharp tongue and fiery temper. In addition to Kitty Knight, at least three female actors are needed to portray villagers of all ages (these are non-speaking roles). Three male actors are needed to fill speaking roles. Leading the British effort and the campaign against Georgetown, was 41-year-old Rear Admiral Sir George Cockburn, who started the Chesapeake campaign in April by taking possession of and neutralizing the bay islands. Captain Henry Byng, aged about 35, was noted by locals as displaying more civility than his naval counterparts. The events will be narrated by Dr. Edward Scott of Georgetown Crossroads. At least two male actors are also needed to portray villagers of all ages, and at least five male re-enactors are needed to portray British Soldiers.
“Mitchell Becomes a Prisoner” depicts the plundering of the plantation home of Joseph Thomas Mitchell on Sept. 3, 1813. It was on this day that Lieutenant Henry Crease landed with a small party of marines and sailors and made their way to the Mitchell farm located between present-day Tolchester and Caulk’s Field, plundering the farm and even shooting Mitchell’s horses. A cast of 17 male and female actors is needed to depict this event which will be staged with two performances on Sunday, Sept. 1.
Male speaking roles include 39-year-old Joseph Thomas Mitchell, merchant and farmer who came to Kent County from Charles County; and 29-year-old Lieutenant Henry Crease who was 1st Lieutenant, second in command, of the Menelaus and who led a small company to Mitchell’s house, abducted him, and imprisoned him aboard the Menelaus. Non-speaking male parts include 10-year-old Robert Mitchell, at least four farm-hands/servants of any age, and four British sailors. The only female speaking role belongs to Anna Maria Mitchell, Joseph’s 29-year-old wife. Non-speaking female roles include 12-year-old Louisa Mitchell and at least three farm-hands/servants of any age. This production will include a narrator who may be portrayed by a male or a female actor.
Those interested in portraying speaking and non-speaking roles, re-enacting, or being technical workers are encouraged to come to auditions which will consist of cold readings from the scripts on Friday, Feb. 1 at 6 p.m. at the Kent County Historical Society building located at 301 High Street. The Friends of Kent County, Maryland War of 1812 Committee encourages anyone who is interested, regardless of experience, race, gender, or personal beliefs, to audition. The Committee endeavors to cast new faces and fresh talent through standard and/or non-traditional means to promote involvement. All roles, unless otherwise announced, are open to anyone auditioning without pre-casting or exclusion.
The Committee asks that auditioners please bring all rehearsal conflicts covering mid-February until the end of April for the May production of “The Burning of Georgetown and Kitty Knight” and covering mid-July until the end of August for the September production of “Mitchell Becomes a Prisoner.” For further information, please contact the Kent County Tourism and Economic Development at 410-778-0416 or email@example.com.