Death and the Maiden

Death and the Maiden

Ariel Dorfman

Mon 10th August to Sat 15th August 2015


Claire Wood

Royal Scots Club(map)

Death and the Maiden Audition Information


The plot

As a university student, Paulina Salas was abducted by representatives of the right wing government. For more than two months, she became one of Latin America’s many “disappeared”; she was interrogated, tortured, and raped in an attempt to elicit the name of a leader of the leftist opposition: Gerardo, then her lover, later her husband. 

The play takes place fifteen years later, just hours after Gerardo has been appointed head of the new, democratically elected government’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission. The commission is charged with investigating human rights abuses by the previous government that resulted in death. 

An unfamiliar car pulls up to the couple’s isolated beach house after midnight. The driver, Roberto Miranda, has returned to the couple’s house having earlier given Gerardo a lift home after his car got a puncture. Paulina is gripped with fear, convinced that the unexpected visitor is her kidnapper. Gerardo convinces Roberto to stay the night and Paulina pounces, tying him up while he sleeps and then embarking on her own interrogation. 

The characters


Paulina, approximately 40. Once fearless, her experiences have stayed with her so now she fears shadows. She seeks justice in a country unprepared to give it to her. 


Gerardo, her husband, could be same age or older. Keen to sweep Paulina’s experiences under the carpet in the name of advancing his career in the new government. 

Roberto, the doctor. Script suggests he’s older than Paulina and Gerardo but it’s possibly not necessary. Suave, smart, he’s taken aback by the events that unfold but protests his innocence.

Please come prepared to read the appropriate passages for the character(s) for whom you wish to audition. 

Audition extracts (based on Nick Hern / Royal Court Theatre edition)


Paulina / Gerardo: Act 1, scene 1, pages 5 to 7

Paulina: Act 2, scene 1, first speech

Gerardo / Roberto: Act 2, scene 2, first 3 pages

Roberto: Act 3, pre-recorded speech (pages 46 – 48)

Roberto / Paulina: Act 3, scene 1, pages 51 – 53

Gerardo: Act 3, scene 2 speech


All cast members are required to be members of the Grads for insurance purposes.  Membership fees are £25 and covers the first show in which the member takes part.  If you have already performed with the Grads in 2015, you will be expected to pay a £25 show fee to cover insurances.

Please contact Claire for any more information at or 07876 686 387. Thanks!