Auditions and Interviews are done. The company list will be or has been posted. For better or worse, your students will find out if they made it this time.
Our mission at Thoreau reaches beyond just putting up shows or creating good actors. We hope that the actors come away having a greater sense of themselves, buoyed by a healthy self-esteem. We hope they feel comfortable expressing themselves, and trust that their ideas are important and worthy of being heard. We hope they feel strong and brave enough to take risks on stage and in the world. We hope they can work well in an ensemble with humility, while retaining their sense of individualism. We hope they can learn from others, and respect them as creative beings. And when they hear the applause, along their life journeys, we hope they can take a moment to revel in their success, and then smile and thank their audience for supporting their efforts.
We hope this helps smooth out any bumps that could arise during casting time. We want everyone to have a great time here at Thoreau Middle School and to know that there is a method to this casting madness, as well as the best of intentions behind every decision.
After reading our On Casting letter, and our FAQ page, you know that casting is a careful and thoughtful process. Our goal is to place a large number of students into a small number of roles, serve the integrity of all the shows and make everyone happy. We hope this helps to give you some context for when the cast list is posted, as well as some guidance on how to support your student as we head into rehearsals.
What to tell your student when they are upset because they didn’t get cast in the role they wanted
THE AUDITION OR INTERVIEW
Speak with them about how they felt their auditions went. Talk about possibly preparing better or taking more creative risks the next time. Make sure they also think about what they did well at their audition – about what went well! Remind them that auditioning is a skill, and actors get better at it each time they do it! Students are welcome to ask the director about their audition too!
Point out that their busy schedules also affect casting. You must be able to rehearse the show, and to be in it. This means attending the scheduled rehearsals.
NO SMALL ROLES
Emphasize that we look out for all the actors, no matter how “big” or “small” their role may be. Just because they don’t have lines does not mean they won’t have plenty to do or that they won’t have a great time during the process. We work to feature everyone in the result, but it is the process that is most important. Actors cannot possibly know based on casting what the process is going to be like – they have to experience it to know how much fun it will be! And the truth is that the amount of fun an actor has in a show has absolutely nothing to do with the size of his part.
Talk about what is good about their role…a new challenge, a great director, friends in the cast. Find the “known” positive aspects of the casting and focus on those—the “unknown” positives will reveal themselves throughout the process. Remind them that just because they may not have gotten the role they wanted does not mean they weren’t great or right for the role. There are many ways to cast every part…Holding onto that artistic integrity throughout all of the shows influences the casting.