Auditions for the play The Rehearsal, a 17th century comic satire by George Villiers, is set for Wednesday May 9, Thursday, May 10 from 7-9 p.m., and Saturday, May 12, noon to 3 p.m. at Cité des Arts, 109 Vine St.

The Rehearsal is a light and funny play-within-a-play and boasts a lavish display of period costumes of original design.

"It's a play within a play, so you can imagine it's a constant change of scenes — people come off, people come on — it has a lot that's open for hilarity because it is a play within a play," says director Lauren Greene Whyte. "I think this was the first absurdist comedy ever written. I don't think it was intentionally written to be absurdist, but it became titled as such years later."

The comic farce features players who galumph and posture their way through the play, making sport of the social conventions of the time. The Rehearsal is about a playwright who believes he is savvy to the newest trend in everything, including his newest play.

"It's a really outrageous satire of Restoration Theater. The playwright in it is so pompous and he can't stop himself from explaining his brilliance at every turn and all of his visions," says Whyte. "It's just silly. It's a silly thing."

Support for The Rehearsal’s creative group — seamstresses, marketing people, prop builders, et al — is needed, and any contribution will be gladly received. Check and enter “The Rehearsal” under projects.

Performances are set for Cité des Arts July 19, 20, 21,22, 26, 27, 28 and 29. Call 291-1122 for more information.

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