University Players-3.png


Sweeney Todd Auditions

Audition Requirements: Please submit a 90 second audition video of either a song from the show or another Sondheim piece. I am looking for strong actors and want to see strong character choices.

Submissions Open: November 1st-11th. Callbacks: November 15th 6-10pm Woodburn Hall Room 003 & November 16th 6-10pm School Of Education Room 1120 Rehearsals: November 21st-February 9th Performances: February 10th-11th

Character Breakdown:

Sweeney Todd (female/non-binary, any race/ethnicity) Vocal Range: E3-G5 A wrongfully imprisoned barber seeking to right the wrongs committed against him. He is Johanna's father, singularly focused on taking bloody revenge on Judge Turpin. Sweeney is charming but hot-tempered, ferocious yet vulnerable. Must be able to whistle. Standard British accent.

Mrs. Lovett (female/non-binary, any race/ethnicity) Vocal Range: G3-G5 An entrepreneurial meat pie shop owner who will do whatever it takes to survive. She falls in love with Todd and turns his desire for revenge into a profitable business venture. She is resourceful, ambitious, charismatic, and has great comedic timing. Cockney accent.

Anthony (female/non-binary, any race/ethnicity) Vocal Range: E3-F5 A naive and youthful sailor returning to London. He helps Todd return to London and unexpectedly falls in love with Johanna. He is idealistic, romantic and a little reckless. Over the course of the show, he awakens to the horrors around him and becomes disillusioned with London. Standard British accent.

Johanna (female/non-binary, any race/ethnicity) Vocal Range: Bb3-A5 Todd's long-lost daughter and Judge Turpin's young ward. Homeschooled and largely homebound. She longs to escape her confinement. Johanna is aware that Judge Turpin isn’t her real father and suspects that he might be a predator. Like her father, she has experienced trauma and possesses a buried capacity for violence. Standard British accent. 

Tobias (female/non-binary, any race/ethnicity) Vocal Range: F#3-F#5 A poor youngster apprenticed first to Pirelli and then to Mrs. Lovett. Uneducated, but innately clever and observant, Tobias responds quickly to the kindness of Lovett but grows increasingly suspicious of Sweeney. Cockney accent.

Judge Turpin (male identifying, white or white passing) Vocal Range: E2-Gb4 A lustful and corrupt public official who portrays himself as a self-righteous authoritarian. He takes advantage of his position to imprison Todd, assault Lucy, and take Johanna in as his ward. The physical embodiment of hypocrisy - he lusts after Johanna even as he professes to keep her innocent. Standard British accent.

The Beadle (female/non-binary, any race/ethnicity) Vocal Range: F#3-C5 A pompous public official deeply loyal to Turpin. He possesses a dry, deadpan sense of humor and enjoys wielding his power. Standard British accent.

Beggar Woman/Lucy (female/non-binary, any race/ethnicity) Vocal Range: Ab3-F5 An eerie, poor soul living on the streets of London. She supports herself by begging and prostituting herself to sailors. The Beggar Woman is Sweeney’s wife, Lucy, who lost her mind after being assaulted by Turpin and taking poison. Cockney accent.

Pirelli (female/non-binary, any race/ethnicity) Vocal Range: G3-C6 An Irish former employee of Sweeney’s who has since developed a public persona as a flamboyant and flashy world-famous Italian barber. Pirelli is charming, calculating, and over-the-top comedic. Will be in the ensemble for the remainder of the show following his death. Speaks in both an Italian and Irish accents.

Ensemble (female/non-binary, any race/ethnicity) Looking for six strong storytellers for the ensemble and featured roles and solos. They are the show’s chief storytellers, taking on the roles of customers, townspeople, police, inmates at the insane asylum, Sweeney’s thoughts, and Sweeney’s victims. They stand in for us and there is a feeling of them always being nearby, watching.

A note on casting: This is an untraditional production of Sweeney Todd with unique casting. My vision for this show is to cast all female identifying/non-binary performers except for Judge Turpin who must be a white or white passing male identifying actor. I want to emphasize what I believe is the most important message of the story, which is that Sweeney Todd is not evil, he is a human who is pushed to do evil things out of desperation and powerlessness. Patriarchy and governmental power are the oppressive evils of the story since Judge Turpin’s abuse of power is the real villain, not Sweeney Todd. I will not be making any changes to the script (pronouns will stay as written) and have changed the keys of many songs to accommodate for gender flexible casting. I find it increasingly relevant to explore themes of feminine rage and rebellion, especially now that we are living in a time where people with uteruses no longer have the freedom of choice over their bodies. Please contact me if you have any questions about my approach to this production. - Hannah Kulawiak: Director (

Content Warning: Sexual assault, violence, and intimacy are key points to the plot of this story. We will be working with a certified intimacy choreographer and fight director. The actors playing the Beggar Woman and Judge Turpin must be comfortable with metaphorical simulation of sexual assault on stage. Everyone in the cast must be comfortable with witnessing sexual assault and violence. Sweeney Todd and Tobias must be comfortable with initiating staged violence. Pirelli, Judge Turpin, the Beggar Woman, Mrs. Lovett, The Beadle, and select ensemble members must be comfortable with staged death. Johanna and Anthony and Anthony and the Beggar Woman will have moments of staged intimacy. Johanna must be comfortable handling a prop gun. It is my mission to create a safe rehearsal space to explore these difficult topics. Reach out to me if you would like a copy of the script to read prior to auditioning. 

Accents: Everyone in the show is required to have either a standard British dialect or a cockney accent. Accents are not expected at auditions but are appreciated if you are comfortable doing so. Everyone will be given resources to work on their accents during the rehearsal process.