Directing Teaching Drama

Branson High talks casting

I talk to Branson High School students about their unique experience with the casting process.

Transcript

 

Hello, this is Lindsay here and I have right in front of me the cast, say hello cast –

Hello!

This is the cast of The Egg Carton and Shaving Cream Solution which is play number four in Somewhere, Nowhere, a brand new play that I am currently writing, working on. And these guys are workshopping the fourth play and they’re going to perform it at the Missouri State Thespian Festival on Thursday. So, are you guys excited?

Whooooo!

Nervous? No. So the reason we are talking to this cast is that I was talking to the director and she said when they were putting the play together, she laid it upon these students to cast the play themselves. Which is something that seems a little bit unique. And I’m like, I’m all about whenever I hear anything unique, I’ve got to put it on video and share it with our Theatrefolk customers. So, the first thing I want to know is what was your first reaction when you heard you had to cast the play. I’m going to go by character names because I’m completely forgotten – Ms Bright, what did you think?

Well, we were all nervous, we were kind of panicked about it. But it was ok.

It was ok? Gemma, what were you?

I was excited, I think a lot of people were too.

Have you done this before? No? That’s cool. Ok, so tell me what was your audition process like? What did you do in the audition?

Personalty. We really characterized each personality – like Jenna is really sarcastic sometimes.

So you were looking for actors who fit the roles. Did you have any roles which were hard to fill? Who was hard to fill?

Not all of our girls here are really ditzy but in the script…..

Brenna’s ditzy.

We took turns reading from the script and reading the different roles and seeing who sounded better and who’s voice fit the part. It really came together.

As a group did you decide, or did someone come out and say “I think so and so and so and so should be this? Or as a group did you decide?

We kind of did a vote at the end. We asked everyone, “ok who thinks who should play this role.” We raised our hands and then whoever got the most votes, got the part. And then we discussed it if there were any contradiction.

Did anyone not like their part?

I think everyone did.

Yes? No? Ah, you wanted a bigger part right!

At first I was, I was going to be this weird? But then I looked in the mirror.

Awwww no!

When we did the character vote everything was pretty unanimous.

Yeah.

I think Hannah/Ms Bright kind of stuck out – she wasn’t Josie but she wasn’t another character. So I said, does anyone else see Hannah as Ms Bright? And everyone said ‘Oh yeah!’

Everyone got the opportunity to see what character they were interested in. We made a decision and it worked. It was equal and fair for everyone to get their chance.

Did your opinion change on the casting process and what it’s like? Yes? Dakota what changed for you?

At first I didn’t know what I was getting into, and kind of hated Jim. I didn’t know how I felt about it. But now he’s me. We’re just alike. I like that fact that you can find a character even when you think you’re furthest from it.

Welcome to acting!

I was glad we were given the opportunity to step into the leadership role. I personally was going to let the seniors and upperclassmen see, since it’s their senior year, what they wanted. No, I’m serious. I really think everything fell into place, perfectly.

Did you think it was harder? Easier? About what you expected?

Smoother. Cause we knew right then. We didn’t have to wait.

There was no nervous wait.

The three week wait.

You guys basically knew right away.

Yep, right away!

But it was kind of harder. Because us three cheerleaders, we’re not cheerleaders.

Not at all!

But we got to experience a new character. It’s really fun.

So, the next time that there’s a show, now you know what Mrs Corbin has to go through. It’s so funny that it came very smoothly. Sometimes, particularly if you’ve got two actors good for the role, you go – Who do I go with, and you have to take that leap and hope that everyone does just as Dakota did. You go with the role you got and you do it for all it’s worth. Cool. Awesome. Thank you very much. Break a leg, break a leg!

About the author

Lindsay Price