Casting a play is similar to selecting members of an athletic team: there are so very many variables to consider. The things a director will consider vary according to the play, the time of year, talent pool, and sometimes, if the moon even if the moon is full…Yes, the vagaries of casting are many.
We had 31 students audition–a record for us. Initially, I had planned to cast 20 students, but was able to bump it up to 24 because the auditions were stellar! I only wish I could cast everyone–honest, I do.
Unlike many directors, I don’t post a public cast list. There is nothing more disparaging than NOT seeing your name on that list. NOT seeing your name on that list and seeing your best friend’s name–you know, the one you asked to audition with you so you would have a friend to do it with?!
Instead, I ask all auditionees to come back to the theatre typically on a Friday at lunch and get their results. They receive an envelope with a yes/no letter and an evaluation rubric. In addition, I include feedback specific to their audition–the rubric is great and gives kids a quick view of their time on stage, but the written feedback is the key. Yes, writing up feedback for 31 kids is time-consuming. Yet, it’s one of the many things of which I am here to do: to teach. If a kid doesn’t know why they weren’t cast, how can they get better? How will they know to be sure to come back and audition for the next play? Letting student actors know up front that they can ask about my decisions makes me accountable. I can’t post the list and hide! Kids get better when they know what to do next time.
Categories: Production Updates