Open auditions will be held June 2nd, 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm and June 3rd, 11:30am-1:30pm and 6:00pm- 8:00pm

All auditions will be held at Gateway Dance Theatre 315 East 5th St #12, Des Moines, IA 50309. There are roles for 8 women, 8men, and 1 boy aged 8-12. There will also be an ensemble to portray members of the community. No acting or dance experience required. No need to prepare a monologue, actors will read selections from the script. Bring your calendar with any conflicts until July 10.

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Gateway Dance Theatre is proud to bring back its innovative production, Shakuntala, by Kalidasa. It tells the story of a young woman, Shakuntala, who is raised in a secluded abbey and falls in love with a monarch, King Dushyanta, whom she meets in the forest. This classic Indian play was written in 5th Century CE by Kalidasa, who is regarded as the greatest Sanskrit poet and dramatist. Shakuntala is considered his masterpiece. In 1789, it became the first Indian play to be translated into a Western language. Shakuntala’s love story has endured through the ages, spreading through Europe and other continents, with adaptations in various languages as dance/dramas and operas – traditional and contemporary. In 2015, it was staged as a rock opera at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. 

Shakuntala is a perfect example of GDT’s vision, which aims at integrating and enhancing the arts across Iowa. The organization seeks to advance an arts movement in Iowa that encompasses global cultures and supports the sharing of resources and experiences among all communities. 


Performances July 7th-9th, 2022, 7:30 pm

at Jamie Hurd Amphitheater 

4100 Mills Civic Parkway

West Des Moines, 50265 


Shakuntala Characters

In order of appearance:

Menaka:                      (main-uh-kuh)celestial nymph, mother of Shakuntala 

Kanva:                         (Kahn-vuh)adoptive father of Shakuntala

Zara:                            spirit that weaves the story line

Zoya:                           spirit that weaves the story line

King Dushyanta*:          (Do-sh-yawn-th)ruler of the Kingdom, warrior-esque

Shakuntala*:                (Shuh-kun-tah-la; with a short u sound)forest hermitage maiden 

Priyamvada:                 (Pree-yahm-vuh-duh; with a soft uh sound at the end)Shakuntala’s hermitage friend

Anusuya:                     (Ahn-uh-soo-yah)Shakuntala's hermitage friend

Ashram people:            (ah-sh-rum)dwellers of the ashram

Madhavya:                  (Maah-tah-vee-yah)court jester, King Dushyanta's erstwhile companion

Gautami:                     (G-ow-tuh-me)presiding female hermit 

Durvasa:                      (Durr-vah-suh)traveling sage with a bad temper

Sharadvata:                 (Shuh-rahd-vah-th)ashram male

Court Attendant:           court attendant male

Shangarva:                  (Sh-ung-arr-vah)ashram male

Fisherman:                   peasant fisherman

Guard:                        king's guardsman

Matali:                        (maht-lee)heavenly messenger-- Indra's charioteer. 

                                  (Indra Hindu mythological deity, keeper of the heavens, god of rai guardian of the east) 

Child's Attendant:         celestial nymph, attendant to the Boy-child

Boy-Child:                    son of Shakuntala and Dushyanta

*Romantic leads