BriarRose is the age-old story of a fairytale Princess banished by an evil Queen, with a twist: the “Princess” is actually Briar, a young trans man just discovering his identity.Performing June 24 & 45 at Theatre Off Jackson

About the Show

If you’ve been wandering through the woods searching for the mirror that truly reflects you - you found it! Welcome.

Content & Accessibility

Information about the content of the show and performer accessability measures & accommodations.

Audition Process & Accessibility

Information on what to expect at auditions, as well as our accessibility measures & accommodations.

About Us

Magpie Artists’ Ensemble is a collective of Queer artists who are passionate about collaboration, representation, accessibility, and creative storytelling.Mission: Our artistic mission is to push the boundaries of print and performance mediums, bringing diverse stories to life in exciting and accessible ways.Vision: Magpie will create a community of intersectional Queer artists and audiences, connecting them across all barriers. We will give Queer stories a voice, and give visibility to those who have not seen themselves represented before.History:
We originally came together through various theatrical productions (a queer outdoor version of Camelot, the workshop process for trans fairytale musical Briar/Rose, and the Qabaret: A Queer Cabaret series).
When COVID hit, we were inspired to find new ways to keep making art despite our usual medium being cancelled. This birthed the Phoenix Rising Project, a hybridized art book/script/poetry zine featuring work by nine visual and theatre artists from across the globe. Inspired by the process and success of that project, the creative team made the decision to start Magpie as a way to organize future endeavors and keep our momentum going.Subsequent projects have included Kickstarter "Project We Love"/"Featured Publishing Project" Sealed with Honey, a workshop of the Queer/Feminist Shakespearean revenge thriller RUST, and filmed generative theatre festival The Myth Cycle.

About the Show

a young man with curly blond hair and a red shirt stands in front of a frame. behind him is a background of briars, and in front of him a hand reached out from a pile of roses.

BriarRose is the age-old story of a fairytale Princess banished by an evil Queen, with a twist: the “Princess” is actually Briar, a young trans man just discovering his identity. With help from budding sorceress Ellen, Briar is able to magically transform into his true self, and together they make a new life for themselves deep in the enchanted woods.But when dashing Prince Alister and Lady Knight Brunhilde appear after Ellen casts a seemingly harmless charm, Briar and Ellen’s simple lives are suddenly much more complicated - and the Queen still casts a long shadow over what should be a happy ending.Join this cast of familiar characters as they explore a world where magic can unlock what lies inside your heart - for better or for worse…

Performs June 24th and 25th

Content & Accessibility

The 70-minute production is inspired by Grimm's fairytales and Slavic folklore, with songs set to traditional Celtic tunes. There is no intermission. Restrooms are accessible; however, patrons who require an elevator to access the venue itself, or may need other accommodations, should contact Theatre Off Jackson directly.While appropriate for ages 10+ with adult guidance, BriarRose is a complex story geared toward adult audiences and deals with themes of transphobia, internalized homophobia, and child/domestic abuse. There are also some instances of mature language and veiled sexual references.For more specific information on content and accessibility, email us at [email protected]

Audition Process & Accessibility

The Audition Process

  • Submit the Audition Form (now closed) by Midnight Tuesday, February 28th

  • We will confirm your audition time within 24 hours of submission

  • Arrive at the audition location ~15min before your audition time

  • Sign in with the stage manager

  • When you are called, the SM will come get you and bring you into the audition room

  • Slate (name, pronouns, and song and/or character(s))

  • Start with your song(s), then read any scene(s) you’ve prepared with a member of the creative team

  • We may give you notes and ask you to perform your song and/or scene again

  • The creative team will inform you of our decision by March 10th, regardless of whether you have been cast or not

What to Bring

Please come masked - we ask that all auditioners remain masked while waiting to audition, and auditors will be masked.You do not need to bring a headshot or resume; just fill out the audition form (now closed) and you’re all set!

Finding Audition Materials

Briar/Rose’s music is largely simple Celtic folk melodies. We recommend auditioning with a folk song so we can hear how well you sing songs in the style of the show. If you’re having trouble finding a song, check out these artists/shows:

  • Celtic Woman (band)

  • Celtic Thunder (band)

  • Malinda (singer)

  • Nati Dredd (singer)

  • Once (musical)

  • Still not sure what to sing? Go with part of “The Parting Glass,” which is featured in the show.

Audition Info


  • Request a slot by midnight Tuesday, February 28th

  • Confirmations will be sent within 36 hours

  • Auditions: Friday, March 3rd 6-9pm & Saturday, March 4th 11am-2pm

  • All auditioners will be informed of our decision by March 10th

Rehearsal Schedule

Rehearsals will be April 2nd-June 18th; Sundays 6-10pm at 2nd & University, and Mondays 6-8pm at TPS. Not all performers will be called every day.Tech Week will be June 19th-22nd at Theatre Off Jackson, with a preview/invited dress Friday, June 23rd.Performance dates: June 24th & 25th.


Each role below has the character name, age, gender identity, and vocal type, as well as any skills (singing, dancing, stage combat, etc.) the character uses onstage. If you think you would be a good fit for a character but don’t have training/experience for one of the skills listed, please check out the “Equity & Performer Training” section under “Content & Accessibility” and still consider auditioning.Additional roles (including Briar, Queen Alba, Ellen, and Prince Alister) are pre-cast with performers from the canceled 2020 production.

Pay: $100 honorarium + an equal share of any profits

Audition Info - Rose/Young Briar

Rose/Young Briar Late teens - 20s, trans masculine, white, 5’5” or shorter, soprano | skills: singing, dancingThis role has more specific casting requirements in order to match the performer playing Young Briar to the performer playing Briar, who has already been cast.Quiet yet defiant, imaginative, sweetA young trans man just discovering his identity, he defies his mother the Queen to live as his true self, with the help of his friend Ellen.This role may be played by any performer who identifies with the transmasculine experience (trans men, trans masc nonbinary people, etc.) and is comfortable wearing a dress and long hair for several scenes. The performer joins the Storyteller ensemble for the second half of the show, and may wear either pants or skirt for that portion; they will also sing and/or play an instrument.

Audition Requirements

Rose/Young Briar & Lady Brunhilde

Audition Form

Audition Info -
Lady Brunhilde

Lady Brunhilde 20s, female, any vocal range, any race/ethnicity | skills: singing, dancingBrash, outgoing, deeply loyal
Prince Alister’s half-sister, and a skilled Knight in her own right; she acts as an advisor to her brother while accompanying him on his adventures
This performer is a member of the Storyteller ensemble for some scenes/songs, and may sing and/or play an instrument during those times.

Audition Requirements

Rose/Young Briar & Lady Brunhilde

Audition Info - Crows

Crows any age/gender/race/range | skills: singing OR instrument, dancingTwo members of the Storyteller ensemble who occasionally use simple flying puppets and choreographed movement to portray the Crows, the Queen’s minions.

Audition Requirements

Storyteller Ensemble (The Crow; Bandit; Storytellers)

  • 32 bars of a song, sung a capella, AND/OR

  • 32 bars of a song, played on an instrument

Audition Info -
The Guard

The Guard any age/gender/race/range | skills: singing OR instrument, stage combat, dancingA member of the Storyteller ensemble who is featured as one of the Queen’s minions for a few scenes

Audition Requirements

Storyteller Ensemble (The Crow; Bandit; Storytellers)

  • 32 bars of a song, sung a capella, AND/OR

  • 32 bars of a song, played on an instrument

Audition Info - Storytellers

Storytellers any age/gender/race/range | skills: singing OR instrument, dancing (if not playing an instrument)Ensemble members who sing and/or play instruments in group numbers, do simple choreographed dance/movement, and welcome the audience into the world of the play.Looking for:
- singers
- guitar
- fiddle/violin
- percussion
- flute
- mandolin

Audition Requirements

Storyteller Ensemble (The Crow; Bandit; Storytellers)

  • 32 bars of a song, sung a capella, AND/OR

  • 32 bars of a song, played on an instrument

Content & Accessibility

Content Notes

Briar/Rose deals with themes of transphobia, homophobia, and child abuse by a parent, as well as other difficult familial dynamics. There is one instance of physical domestic violence involving Rose/Young Briar, and one short stage combat sequence (swords) involving the Bandit. One of the Crows dies onstage, with no physical contact between the person killing them and the actor using the puppet. There is also a magical/non-explicit onstage death involving one of the characters that has already been cast.The story has a happy ending for all queer characters, and is considered appropriate for audiences 10+ with parental guidance. The creative team will help build all-cast “exit strategies” to ensure emotional health for all involved. Stage combat and intimacy coordinators will be present during rehearsals.

Performer Accessibility


We welcome performers with any and all disabilities to audition. Blocking and choreography for the production will be tailored to the cast, so performers should not be concerned about whether accommodations can be made.
Those with dynamic disabilities (e.g. chronic pain, PMS) will be accommodated within the process using flexible in-rehearsal participation and recordings for reference outside of rehearsal - which may also be useful for those with memory or processing difficulties.
We do our best to ensure that rehearsal and performance spaces are as accessible as possible, although some barriers may be present due to circumstances beyond our control. We will be sure to communicate any limitations clearly, and find ways to work around them.We will collect information on accessibility needs upon confirming casting, and plan according to the needs of the cast. Performers are also encouraged to communicate with stage management regarding any unexpected or evolving needs.

Equity & Performer Training

Magpie understands that an artist is a perennial student. We see every project as an opportunity to learn - about ourselves and about the artform we are working in. We also know that every artist has a different path, which includes their education; we hold space for artists of all experiences and backgrounds, and are committed to making art accessible by investing in training and learning from our collaborators.We do not expect performers to have a degree or formal training in the performing arts, nor will we base our casting decisions on resumes (or lack thereof). Anyone with demonstrated ability to act/sing/play music will be seriously considered, and our creative team will assist with developing specific skills to performance-ready levels by the end of the process. We encourage performers who have not had access to training, or who may feel “out of practice” after the pandemic, to audition - especially for ensemble roles.