Casting might be the most challenging part of what we do as instructors. Our theatre style is unique and far more goes into the process than simply who would do better at what role. It’s a strange concept but for the majority of E.D.G.E.s production, the last thing in consideration is “talent”. It doesn’t mean we don’t care about talent but we care about other principals far more. Let me illuminate:
• EFFORT- How hard will this person try? How hard have they tried in the past? Will they see the part through the weeks or months of the process?
• OPPORTUNITY-Is this their first E.D.G.E. show? If it is will this role be daunting or exhilarating? If it isn’t their first show did they have a large role last time or a supporting character? Is it time to let someone else shine? (This concept is huge for us.)
• TEAM PLAYER- Can this person be in a team? Can they lead a team? Would they be better on their own?
• CHALLENGE- How would this role challenge this actor? Would this role bring out traits that would enhance this actors skill level or social skills? Is this a good time to let an actor explore something that may not be part of their everyday scope?
• WISHLIST- Is this role a dream role? Can we manifest that dream? In all of our casting we keep our name pneumonic in forefront: Esteem Development through Greater Expectation. We want our actors to feel empowered. It’s always the goal. We don’t always succeed but we always strive for that.
TECHNIQUES IN CASTING
Our young people write down particular parts they are interested in on our read through day 1, and we try to line them up with hopefully one of those roles. Most the time it works out, sometimes people get cast in roles that they are unsure but I’ve not seen a child fail to rise to meet the challenge yet.
This is when we split a lead into two actors who then perform on different nights. We do this if the show only has limited featured roles or if the ensemble is massive and we’d like to try to feature more actors.
Similar to dual casting but when a colossal role is segmented to more manageable parts. Example when we did Richard the 3rd, Richard was played by 5 actors.
When we need to feel out a new group, check in on the progress of a base of actors, or when we are doing musicals, we do a traditional audition. This allows us to gauge skills and passion of the actor to a certain project. Most of our traditional auditions involve a 30-60 second monologue, a 60 second song and some reading from the script.