17
Oct
09

Breakin’ It Down

Dear actors,

Pref sheets are due to StuCo on the 3rd floor of Norris by midnight Sunday!

Dilemma: StuCo asks that I break down the parts into lead / supporting / ensemble roles so that you are empowered to choose the creative experience that will most benefit you, which I totally believe in. The pref sheet will give you something like this to check off:

___ As You Like It

____ Lead

____ Supporting

____ Ensemble

But, I believe AYLI is an ensemble show, and breaking things down into lead-supporting-ensemble doesn’t really do it justice.

Solution: I’m breaking down the roles in AYLI practically…

  • “Leads” are those parts that don’t really allow for doubling.
  • “Supporting” roles allow for minimal, non-speaking doubling (ie, Audrey + a non-speaking Lord of the court).
  • “Ensemble” roles are rife with opportunity but brief enough that actors may even be tripled (ie, Adam/William/Jacques de Boys is a possibility)
    • Full disclosure: All ensemble roles will at least double (hello, city-country duality) and everyone will speak, but it has nothing to do with “titled” versus “untitled” roles. Lords and Pages are untitled but speaking roles, so combinations like Lord/Page/Forester or Lord/Forester are a possibility.

Thus:

  • Leads: Rosalind, Orlando, Oliver, Celia, Touchstone
  • Supporting: Audrey, Silvius, Phebe, Jacques, Amiens, Duke Frederick, Duke Senior
  • Ensemble: William, Charles, Le Beau, Corin, Sir Oliver Martext, Adam, Jacques de Boys, Lords, Pages, Foresters (Arden natives and/or Duke Senior’s exiled court)
    • More disclosure: I’m interested in Duke Senior’s “band” of exiled courtiers being a literal band that accompanies Jaques and Amiens’ songs, underscores scenes, and harkens the audience back from intermission with a mini-concert. If you listed musical experience on your resume, you may be up for this opportunity. I’m not thinking of it as a substitution for the speaking role each actor will have. There will be folks in the show who are non-speaking musicians – they’re being cast separately as creative team members though they will be working with us in the rehearsal room. If after casting Monday you’d like to be involved in the show in this capacity (possible if you end up in a show happening elsewhere in winter quarter), please let me know!

Last note: If you feel really strongly, you can even write-in your preferences of individual characters across shows. For example, you could pref (1) Rosalind in As You Like It, (2) Captain Hook in Peter Pan, then (3) Touchstone in As You Like It.

“Okay, awesome, Kelby. But are you considering me for lead, supporting, or ensemble roles right now? Am I up for Rosalind before Touchstone?” I want to be transparent about this process, and honestly, part of the process is that I do not know what will happen in the casting room. I don’t want to make any seeming or unwittingly false promises.

Do know that (1) I’m considering actors for many roles and many combinations of roles and (2) you may be cast in a part you did not read for. The beauty of the pref system is that if certain roles are important to you, you can express that regardless how complicated my answers to “what am I up for?” might be. I say, while you are welcome to contact me about roles or anything, you might as well assume you’re up for everything.

Okay, actually last note: To put all possibilities on the table for ensemble members to shine, male characters that I can see being played by a male or female actor are Dennis, Adam, Corin, Sir Oliver Martext, and Jacques de Boys. The possibility is real though less likely than casting the unisex characters of Le Beau, Amiens, Lords, Pages, and Foresters as male or female.

And that’s what you need to fill out an informed StuCo pref sheet!

Obviously, I hope you’ll agree with me about the ensemble nature of this show and truly be up for everything, Lead-Supporting-and-Ensemble (what I’ve said about anyone being able to steal this show is true – I’ll never forget the Corin from the first AYLI I saw), but: the pref system is in place so that you can have an active role in determining how, who, and with what you’d like to end up working. To this I say…

More power to you!

kS


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