The Wyldewood Players

The Sterling Renaissance Festival, now in its 46th season, is a 35-acre wooded site containing Renaissance style buildings and open-air wooden amphitheaters.  It is a whimsical re-creation of an Elizabethan town; Warwick, circa 1585. The core company of interactive actors, The Wyldewood Players, brings the town to life by portraying the rogues, vagabonds, and townspeople of Shakespeare’s day.

Town characters as well as Queen Elizabeth’s court, roam the lanes and environments of the festival, including the audience in this very unique form of theatre. Other entertainers provide music and period acts. All of this, combined with food, crafts, and games help create an exciting, comic history of the old English trade faire.

Actors portray a given village character throughout the 9-hour performance day through interactive improvisation in the lanes and environments and take part in pre-rehearsed scenarios and plays on stages.

Roles and Benefits for the 2022 Season

Casting 16-20 roles of various ages and types.  Ten-week contract, nine pay periods. (Two weeks rehearsal stipend of $250/wk., and seven weeks performance pay of $500/wk.) Housing is provided.  NYS Workman’s Comp and NYS Unemployment Insurance provided as salaried employment. Current COVID protocols for Wyldewood Players company will be available for review at audition. 

The Commitment

The contract commitment runs from June 8th to August 15th, applicants must be available for full-time work, and arrive on-site on June 7th.  

All rehearsals take place on at festival grounds upon open-air stages at: The Sterling Renaissance Festival, 15385 Farden Rd., Sterling, NY. 13156.

There are 4 weeks of intensive rehearsals and 7 performance weekends. Brush up rehearsals are scheduled throughout the performance run.

  • Performances are Saturdays and Sundays only from 10 AM to 7 PM.
  • Between performance weekends, actors will have between two and four days off each week with the remaining weekdays used for brush-up rehearsals. Actors may be scheduled for promotional outings at any time.
  • Rehearsals will vary according to how you are cast - and may include rehearsals for scenarios, plays, or other scheduled events during a performance day.
  • Rehearsal days run on a 5-day week from 9am-6:30pm, with scheduled 10 to 15-minute breaks & a 90-minute lunch break.
  • Rehearsals will include master class workshops in:
    • Ensemble Improvisation and freeing the imagination
    • Interactive character development
    • Interactive performance technique
    • Shakespearian Dialect and language
    • History, Customs and manners of the Elizabethan period
  • Actors have no required technical duties, other than care of their housing facilities.
  • Some supplies and reference materials purchase will be required, as well as some reading or memorization prior to arrival.
  • Transportation and expenses for promotional outings will be provided.
  • No other transportation is provided or reimbursed


Housing is provided for all cast members.  Festival housing meets all State and local fire and safety codes and takes the form of lofts above Festival buildings and stages (with electricity and separate access to hot and cold running water, showers, bathroom and cooking facilities). Rooms will be single occupancy only, and lockable.  Having a car for transportation is best, but shared rides among the cast are often arranged.

New York Audition

Headshots and resumes with professional acting credits are required. Minimum age for applicants is 21 years old.  Full vaccination is required for work.  Auditions will be scheduled in groups of 4 or 5 per 30-minute audition.  You must fill out an audition application before auditioning.  The audition monitor will tell you when to enter the audition room. These will be improvised auditions; no monologues will be required.  Please be quiet and courteous as you wait, only auditionees are allowed in waiting area, dress to move, and keep the audition monitor informed of any scheduling conflicts. There are no follow-up audition dates planned. Since this is an improv ensemble, Actor’s Equity has no jurisdiction, therefore both Union and Non-Union actors may apply.  

Casting - What We Are Looking For

We are looking for actors with professional experience and excellence in one or more of these skills: comedic acting, Shakespeare, comedy improv, sketch comedy, street performance, interactive and immersive theatre performance. We need strong, confident, sociable and self-directed actors with the desire and ability to rehearse and perform in outdoor venues, and to be a positive and resourceful part of a close-nit ensemble of creative performers. 

Casting will take place within two weeks of audition with final calls out no later than March 30th under normal circumstances. Casting by Jay Manning and Gary Izzo.  If you are not called or offered a role by March 30th, please accept our thanks for your time and interest; and don’t count us out for next year. We often have far fewer roles than qualified actors with whom we would love to share the summer.

We will sometimes call first alternate candidates if an actor who has been offered a role needs some time to decide. Please respect our request for a prompt answer and know that other actors may be waiting as alternates.