Casting

Casting

Cast Size: Flexible
Cast Type: Children
Dance Requirements: None

Character Breakdown

Reciter
The story's narrator and historian. He moves the story along and provides information on background and cultural customs. Often assumes the outer or inner voice of other characters throughout. An all-knowing presence who also portrays SHOGUN and GOBLE.
Gender: male
Age: 35 to 45
Vocal range top: G5
Vocal range bottom: A3
Lord Abe
First Councilor to the Shogun who later becomes the Shogun himself. Like the other Councilor's below him he is bossy, but lazy. Menacing and with a strong air of authority. Japanese.
Gender: male
Age: 40 to 60
Vocal range top: G5
Vocal range bottom: C4
Mother
The Shogun's mother. She tries to warn and provoke him to action when the Americans arrive, but with no results from him she poisons him. Japanese.
Gender: male
Age: 35 to 50
Vocal range top: G5
Vocal range bottom: C4
John Manjiro
A fisherman who was once taken prisoner and sent to America. Later becomes wise to them, however, and pretends to be the Shogun's Lord Councilor to intimidate the American sailors. Wise and experienced in the world. Japanese.
Gender: male
Age: 30 to 45
Vocal range top: G5
Vocal range bottom: C4
Kayama Yesaemon
A previously unimportant samurai. Is named Prefect of Police by the Shogun against his will, and must tell the Americans to return home. Clever, brave, proud and dutiful. Ultimately buys into the American way of life. Japanese.
Gender: male
Age: 25 to 40
Vocal range top: G5
Vocal range bottom: G3
Fisherman
A man lying out the nets for the day's fishing. He is the first to spot the American ships sailing in.
Gender: male
Age: 20 to 35
Vocal range top: G5
Vocal range bottom: C4
Thief
A petty thief who breaks into people's home while they are sleeping to steal their possessions. Thinks that the barbarians will steal things from people if he doesn't. Japanese. Optional Doublings: Russian Admiral, Sailor, Soothsayer, Warrior.
Gender: male
Age: 30 to 50
Vocal range top: G5
Vocal range bottom: B3
Madam
Runs a whorehouse. Gentle but very firm, she instructs and teaches the girls how to behave with the barbaric guests to the country. Trying to survive life. Japanese.
Gender: female
Age: 35 to 50
Vocal range top: G5
Vocal range bottom: C4
Warrior
A man who claims to have been hiding underneath the floor of the Treaty House the day the Americans came ashore at Kanagawa as an emergency aid if the Americans posed a threat. A loyal, proud man. Optional Doublings: Russian Admiral, Sailor, Soothsayer, Thief.
Gender: male
Age: 30 to 50
Vocal range top: G5
Vocal range bottom: A3
Old Man
A man who claims to have been hiding in a tree as a young boy when the Americans came ashore at Kanagawa. Excited and spirited. Defied in his age by his body. Optional Doubling as SECOND COUNCILOR and FRENCH ADMIRAL.
Gender: male
Age: 50 to 70
Vocal range top: G5
Vocal range bottom: A3
Young Boy
A boy who claims to have been hiding in a tree and spying when the Americans came ashore at Kanagawa. Proud of his accomplishment and cleverness. Energetic and youthful.
Gender: male
Age: 8 to 12
Vocal range top: G5
Vocal range bottom: A3
American Admiral
Comes to Japan from America with orders to open or spread trade with Japan. Pushy and jealous. Overly faux cheeriness. Optional Doublings: First Observer, Mother, Merchant.
Gender: male
Age: 35 to 50
Vocal range top: A5
Vocal range bottom: A3
British Admiral
Comes to Japan from the United Kingdom with orders to open or spread trade with Japan. Pushy and jealous. Overly faux cheeriness. Optional Doublings: Madam and Physician.
Gender: male
Age: 35 to 50
Vocal range top: G5
Vocal range bottom: B3
Dutch Admiral
Comes to Japan from the Netherlands with orders to open or spread trade with Japan. Pushy and jealous. Overly faux cheeriness. Optional Doubling as SHOGUN'S COMPANION.
Gender: male
Age: 35 to 50
Vocal range top: G5
Vocal range bottom: B3
Russian Admiral
Comes to Japan from Russia with orders to open or spread trade with Japan. Pushy and jealous. Overly faux cheeriness. Optional Doublings: Sailor, Soothsayer, Thief, Warrior.
Gender: male
Age: 30 to 50
Vocal range top: G5
Vocal range bottom: F3
French Admiral
Comes to Japan from France with orders to open or spread trade with Japan. Pushy and jealous. Overly faux cheeriness. Optional Doublings: Second Councilor and Old Man.
Gender: male
Age: 30 to 40
Vocal range top: G5
Vocal range bottom: C4
Ensemble
Townspeople, First And Second Officers, American Sailors, Prostitutes, Marching Band, Enlisted Men, Old Men, People Of Modern-Day Japan