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Join us for the H.M.S. Pinafore in 2023!

Audition Information—H.M.S. Pinafore

Audition Information

for the 2023 season

Auditions for principal and chorus roles are now closed.

The auditions submission period is closed.

Should you have any questions, please send an email to

Thank you for your interest!

Rehearsal & Performance Information

Rehearsals begin mid-January, 2023

Rehearsals are held in Hyde Park, near the University of Chicago campus close to the CTA #6 bus & Metra Electric; street parking is available.

In general, principals are called Monday and Wednesday evenings, and the full cast is called Tuesday and Thursday evenings, Sunday afternoons, and every other Saturday. (Subject to change.)

Tech Week:

February 26 – March 2, 2023

Performance Dates:

March 3, 4, 5, 2023

Mandel Hall
University of Chicago
1131 E. 57th Street
Chicago IL 60637

All artists, backstage crew, and staff must comply with vaccination requirements and testing protocols to promote the safety of all visitors to the University of Chicago campus.  Accordingly, all auditioners attending callbacks in person, and all those ultimately cast, will be required to provide proof of vaccination or a valid University of Chicago ID (UCID).

Proof of vaccination can be provided:

• Digitally, using either a photo of the vaccination card or test result or by logging into a verification app used for events or travel (such as Clear to Go, CrowdPass, Verifly, EU Pass, My Bindle, etc.).

• Physical vaccination card.

• Proof of vaccination or COVID test must be in English.

Show Description

The international hit that catapulted Gilbert and Sullivan to stardom, H.M.S. Pinafore sets sail for Chicago audiences this March at the legendary Mandel Hall on the University of Chicago campus. A spirited romp of acerbic wit, glorious melodies, and infectious joy, the Gilbert & Sullivan Opera Company is thrilled to make its return to live performance with one of the most enduring and well-known treasures of the G&S canon.

Auditions for 8 principal parts, 1 cameo role, and a large chorus are being conducted remotely via video submission until 11:59 pm, November 11, 2022.

Please prepare a portion of a song that shows off your voice. Operetta, opera, or classical musical theatre preferred.

Modest stipend for both principal and chorus roles.

For more information, please send an email to

H.M.S. Pinafore Character Descriptions

Captain Corcoran (baritone)
An earnest but quirky leader with a poetic and dutiful heart, the role of Captain Corcoran requires a unique performer who can lend his own offbeat energy and character to an otherwise straightforward role. Solid singing and acting, excellent comedic timing, and very light dancing required.

Sir Joseph Porter (comic baritone)
A traditional “Grossmith” patter role, Sir Joseph is all stuffy formality and airy condescension, with a dash of mildly superficial poetic sensibility that makes him empathetic to, if not entirely comfortable with, the plight of tortured lovers. This role requires an experienced G&S performer and gifted physical comedian, with some very light dancing.

Ralph Rackstraw (tenor)
Ralph (rhymes with “waif”) is considered by his fellow sailors (and himself) to be the most able-bodied seaman aboard the HMS Pinafore. Whether he is or not is a different story – but he certainly looks the part. Handsome, eloquent, and melodramatic, the role of Ralph requires excellent singing and stage presence. Ralph will sing with the men’s ensemble for all but the opening two numbers.

Josephine (soprano)
Captain Corcoran’s daughter, Josephine undergoes a journey from an overwrought youth who relishes the role of the tortured lover, to a truly conflicted woman torn between love and comfort. Outstanding singing and acting and very light dancing required.

Dick Deadeye (bass-baritone)
Our window into the world, Dick Deadeye thought he was joining the actual navy, but ended up on a ship full of singing, dancing human puppy dogs. Unabashedly ugly and eminently practical, Dick Deadeye is NOT a villain; he is simply the only character willing to tell the truth, no matter how little anyone else wants to hear it. This role requires superb character acting and very good vocal skill. No dance required. Dick will sing with the men’s ensemble for all numbers.

Little Buttercup (contralto)
The iconic “Bumboat Woman,” Little Buttercup is gregarious, flirty, and selfless, willing to sacrifice her own happiness for the happiness of others at every opportunity (even when it results in confusion and conflict). Good vocals and acting skills required.

Cousin Hebe (mezzo soprano)
Sir Joseph’s cousin, she is completely devoted to him, and therefore irritates him to no end. Hebe requires a good singer and comedic actress who can add her own creativity and spunk to the role.

Bill Bobstay (baritone)
The Boatswain’s Mate, he is only ever referred to in the show as “Botswain.” Bill is a bundle of energy – a golden retriever in the body of a sailor (both in loyalty and optimism). Requires a good singer and actor. Moderate stage movement. Sings with the men’s ensemble throughout.

Bob Becket (bass)
The Carpenter’s Mate, “Silent” Bob never speaks and is never spoken to, yet forms a duo with the chatty and boisterous Bill in all stage business. An expressive physical actor and solid bass voice is required. Moderate stage movement. Sings with the men’s ensemble throughout.

Women’s Ensemble
Sir Joseph’s sisters, cousins, and aunts. The women dote over Sir Joseph, the lovers, and the sailors. Despite their profound awkwardness and overbearing nature, the sailors are rather captivated by them.

Men’s Ensemble
Crew of the H.M.S. Pinafore. Energetic, loyal, dutiful, and joyous, they are puppy dogs in human form. Incessant and silly stage movement is a trademark of this revered male chorus.

Additional Questions
If you have additional questions, please contact the production team: