Audition for H.M.S. PINAFORE!

H.M.S. Pinafore, Gilbert and Sullivan’s first smash hit, is about to take to the seas once more!  Her sails filled with laughter, this saucy ship and crew have entertained and delighted audiences with the antics and absurdities of the Royal Navy and its adoring ladies for over a century.

Sign up for an audition appointment here.

Character Descriptions

We are looking for strong singer/actors with a sense of play for the following roles. Experience in Gilbert and Sullivan is not necessary if you can sing and act the role.  We welcome performers of all ages (10 years and older) and value cast diversity. Performers of all ethnicities are encouraged to audition.

Principal Roles

RALPH RACKSTRAW Tenor – young, passionate and noble-minded romantic lead.  In love with Josephine but reluctant to reveal himself.  Strong operatic singing to a high B flat.

SIR JOSEPH PORTER Baritone – First Lord of the Admiralty who rose to this exalted position by “never thinking for himself at all.”  Good comic skills and excellent diction (patter song).

CAPTAIN CORCORAN Baritone – Captain of the Pinafore with an appreciation for “the plump and pleasing” virtues of Little Buttercup.  The father of Josephine whom he would like to see well married – to Sir Joseph Porter.

DICK DEADEYE Bass – Cynical sailor on the Pinafore. Although his looks are not in his favor, he voices the conscience of the play.

JOSEPHINE CORCORAN Soprano – romantic lead. Strong operatic singing to high C. Passionate, and conflicted over her secret love of Ralph.

MRS. CRIPPS (Little Buttercup) Contralto – A working class woman who peddles her wares onboard ship. Beloved by all, but in possession of a game changing secret.

Supporting Roles

COUSIN HEBE Mezzo-soprano – Sir Joseph’s cousin, who’d like to be his wife.

BILL BOBSTAY (Boatswain) Baritone – a sailor, a leader among the men.

BOB BECKET (Carpenter’s Mate) Chorus Bass with a solid low “E” – sings in a trio with Ralph Rackstraw and Bill Bobstay.

CHORUS OF SAILORS and SISTERS, COUSINS & AUNTS – The chorus is an important part of the action in H.M.S. Pinafore.  It has a lot of staging and business and wonderful music to sing. We are looking for 6-8 each:  sopranos, altos, tenors and baritone/basses with a willingness to move and a sense of fun. Movement, tumbling and comic skills a plus.

Performance Dates

Lesher Center for the Arts, Walnut Creek
August 3, 2019 2:00 PM
August 3, 2019  8:00 PM
August 4, 2019  2:00 PM

Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts
August 10, 2019 2:00 PM
August 10, 2019  8:00 PM
August 11, 2019   2:00 PM

Yerba Buena Center for the Arts
August 17, 2019  2:00 PM
August 17, 2019  8:00 PM
August 18, 2019  2:00 PM

Bankhead Theater, Livermore, CA
August 24, 2019  2:00 PM
August 24, 2019  8:00 PM
August 25, 2019  2:00 PM

Audition Dates

Monday, April 1 from 7:00 PM – 10:00 PM
Tuesday, April 2 from 7:00 PM – 10:00 PM
Wednesday, April 3 from 7:00 PM – 10:00 PM

Audition Information

AUDITIONS ARE HELD AT THE LAMPLIGHTERS REHEARSAL HALL, 469 Bryant Street (between 2nd and 3rd Streets in the South of Market area of San Francisco).  Please follow this link to book your audition time. No phone calls or emails, please!


Please come to the preliminary audition with TWO contrasting songs in English, preferably from opera, operetta or classical music theatre, that you feel will show off your voice well. You will probably be asked to sing only one song. An accompanist will be provided. Bring your music in the key in which you will sing it.

Also bring your headshot and resume, and your calendar so that you can give us any conflicts that you may have during the rehearsal period. If you are needed for a callback, you will be notified.



REHEARSALS will begin the week of June 9. and will be held Sunday – Thursday evenings. Some Friday and Saturday rehearsals may be scheduled as opening night approaches. A tentative schedule will be available at the auditions, and more detail will be provided as soon as available.

THE VOCAL SCORE of H.M.S. Pinafore is available at music stores and online sources. Cast members are required to purchase their own scores. Cost is around $15.

PLEASE NOTE: As with any period production, cast members may be required to provide special undergarments that may be necessary (e.g., women, Merry Widows; men, dance belts), as well as tights and footwear. Also, it may be necessary for men to alter or eliminate facial hair. Cast members may be asked to donate a few hours to help with costumes, sets, mailings, etc.

Non-Equity; Non-AGMA; Stipends for leads will range from $200 – $700.00, depending on size and difficulty of the role and whether double cast. All chorus members will be offered expense reimbursement up to $150 to help offset costs such as purchasing tights and footwear, travel and lodging, etc.

Production Staff

DIRECTOR: Ellen Brooks
CONDUCTOR: Baker Peeples

Volunteer for the Lamplighters!

There are many ways to get involved with Lamplighters Music Theatre: from singing on stage to helping us load into the theatre; from sewing costumes, to helping in our office. Whether you want to become a volunteer, a donor, an intern, or part of our pool of performers, designers, and crew—whatever your skill set or needs—we’re likely to have a spot for you. Please join us—we love building the Lamplighter family!

Send your resume and letter of intent to us at or, in the more traditional manner, to:

469 Bryant Street
San Francisco, CA 94107