An International Success: Typecast

Written by Lindsay Price

TYPECAST: To cast a performer in a role that requires characteristics of physique, manner, and personality similar to those possessed by the performer.

In the comedy Typecast by Amanda Murray Cutalo, students have all mysteriously been cast in the “wrong” roles. However, it was definitely the right play for the talented student performers at Tsumeb Gimnasium in Tsumeb, Namibia. Translated into Afrikaans as “Roltomtalie”, and under the direction of Petri van Wyk, this incredible team brought their own international flair to their production of Typecast.

The auditions for an upcoming production of Cinder White are underway and Ms. Thespis, the drama teacher, is greeted by a small group of students, each with a particular “look” and personality – the “diva,” the “quiet girl,” the “nice girl,” to name a few. To Ms. Thespis, casting this show seems like a no-brainer. However, when she comes down with a case of appendicitis, Ms. Ball, the gym teacher, needs to step in and direct the show, mostly because she feels guilty for balding Ms. Thespis’ pet ferret.

The other snag is that the students have all mysteriously been cast in the “wrong roles”- the “nice girl” is now the villain, the diva only has 2 minutes onstage, and the quiet, almost inaudible, “ensemble” girl is now playing a leading role with actual lines! As these characters awkwardly venture into unknown territory, they are forced to see themselves as more than their “type” and learn to, in the words of Ms. Ball, “play the roles they’re all totally wrong for.”

Congratulations, Tsumeb Gimnasium!

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About the author

Lindsay Price