Algonquin Arts


A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum

An Algonquin Arts Theatre Production

Directed by Gary Shaffer
Music Direction by Mark Megill

Algonquin Arts Theatre, 173 Main Street in Manasquan.


Monday, May 14, 2018: 7 p.m. - 9 p.m. - Open Call
Tuesday, May 15, 2018: 7 p.m. - 9 p.m. - Open Call
Wednesday, May 16, 2018: 7 p.m. - 9 p.m. - Call Backs

If the callback is a conflicting time, please indicate this on your audition form which will be given at the initial audition.

Audition requirements for all participants:

  1. Recent head shot or recent color photo and resume.
  2. Wear comfortable clothes and shoes.
  3. Prepare 16 bars of an upbeat standard Broadway musical selection, preferably comedic. Bring sheet music in correct key. Accompanist provided.
  4. Review provided sides and be prepared to read for various roles.


6 Performances:
Friday, August 10, 2018 - 8 pm
Saturday, August 11, 2018 - 8 pm
Sunday, August 12, 2018 - 3 pm
Friday, August 17, 2018 - 8 pm
Saturday, August 18, 2018 - 8 pm
Sunday, August 19, 2018 - 3pm

Please be prepared to list all rehearsal period conflicts. It is mandatory for actors to be available for all scheduled tech rehearsals/ performances. Conflicts will not be accepted after the cast has been announced.

To begin immediately. Weeknight rehearsals begin after 6:00PM. Weekend rehearsal hours will vary. Exact rehearsal schedule will be set once the availability of all actors known.

August 5-August 9t 2018. Evening tech rehearsals, to be scheduled after 6 p.m.

A hilarious, fast-paced farce based on the ancient plays of Plautus, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum is set in ancient Rome, in front of three houses: 1. The brothel of Lycus; 2. The house of Senex and his wife Domina and son Hero; 3. The house of Erronius who constantly grieves the unsolved long-ago kidnapping of his son and daughter.

Pseudolus, a slave to Senex, is anxious to obtain his freedom. To do so, he will resort to all kinds of trickery, abetted reluctantly by fellow-slave Hysterium. Pseudolus, a conniving and quick-witted rascal, convinces Hero to give Pseudolus his freedom if he can help him win Philia, a beautiful courtesan-in-training. Hero's aging father, however, lecherously has his eye on Philia, too. Pseudolus must also try to give him what he wants. Finally, as the ultimate complication, Philia has already been sold by Lycus to Miles Gloriosus, a soldier momentarily absent from Rome.

Forced to foil all the males who are after the lovely but not-too-smart Philia, Pseudolus maneuvers with resourcefulness and agility, but his schemes get him ever deeper into a mire of deception, entangling everybody who comes near. In the end it is discovered that the real Philia and Miles Gloriosus are long-lost brother and sister, the kidnapped children of Erronius. Since they are siblings, Miles Gloriosus voids his contract for Philia, and she is found of sufficient high birth to become Hero's bride. And, of course, the scheming Pseudolus wins his freedom.


Pseudolus: A Roman slave, owned by Hero, who seeks to win freedom by helping Hero win the heart of Philia. The name Pseudolus means "Faker".

Hero: Young son of Senex who falls in love with the virgin, Philia.

Philia: (Greek for "love") A virgin in the house of Marcus Lycus, and Hero's love interest. Her name is also a homophone of the Latin word "Filia," which means daughter. This foreshadows her status as the daughter of Erronius.

Hysterium: (Latin for "Hysterical", or "Anxious", the suffix "-um" makes the name neuter, and the character's gender is often mistaken throughout the piece) The chief slave in the house of Senex.

Senex: (Latin for "old man") A henpecked, sardonic Roman senator living in a less fashionable suburb of Rome.

Domina: (Latin for "mistress") The wife of Senex. A manipulative, shrewish woman who is loathed by even her husband.

Marcus Lycus: A purveyor of courtesans, who operates from the house to the left of Senex. (Name based on Lycus, the pimp in Plautus's Poenulus.)

Miles Gloriosus: ("boastful soldier," the archetype of the braggart soldier in Roman comedies) A captain in the Roman army to whom Marcus Lycus has promised Philia.

Erronius: (Latin for "wandering") Senex's elderly neighbor in the house to the right. He has spent the past twenty years searching for his two children, kidnapped in infancy by pirates.

Gymnasia: A courtesan from the house of Lycus with whom Pseudolus falls in love.

Tintinabula: (Latin for "Bells") A jingling, bell-wearing courtesan in the house of Lycus.

Vibrata: (Latin for "Vibrant") A wild, vibrant courtesan in the house of Lycus.

Geminae: (Latin for "Twins") Twin courtesans in the house of Lycus.

Panacea: (Greek for "Cure All") A courtesan in the house of Lycus. A face that can hold a thousand promises, and a body that stands behind each promise.

Proteans: Choristers who play multiple roles (slaves, citizens, soldiers, and eunuchs).