After dwelling on some casting choices, I spoke with Royston and he helped me come to a final decision. I explained my concerns about the cast being too much “to type” and he reassured me that giving department actors more opportunities to stretch themselves was not my responsibility as a student director, and I should go with the group that best fits my needs; i.e., who fits the roles best in accordance with my vision of the play and how well I feel I can work with them.
Given those considerations, I now feel more comfortable with my preferred cast list:
Charlie – Dan W.
Grace – Kirsten S.
Madeleine – Evelyn B.
Joe – Andrew H.
Walter – Chris D.
Adam and I then discussed it and we will be posting the list tomorrow.
One major point that impacted the makeup of this list had to do with Emily H.. Adam and I both agreed that she read the part of Grace extremely well. Moreover, I have directed Emily in my last two productions here and she is an absolute pleasure to work with. She is a textually sensitive, “thinking actor” and I feel like I can really trust her instincts and insights. Though all of these things would seem to stack the deck in Emily’s favor, there were some big reasons that we felt she just couldn’t be used as our Grace. One of the most glaring of these has to do with Dan. Because Dan seemed to be the only actor who really fit the bill for Charlie, we had to cast a number of the roles around him, including Grace. One point that Adam and I considered was the fact that Emily and Dan had just played opposite one another in The Three Sisters last semester, and we were weary of pairing the two up again in this play. I felt that we might have to spend a lot of time moving away from what they had done in The Three Sisters and that might encumber us and ultimately become an unnecessary distraction in the end.
As far as the rest of this cast goes, I am very excited about working with them. I feel that the strength of our cast will be a huge asset to this show. With the exception of Evelyn, I have worked with every one of these actors in one form or another in the past, and I know that they all have a solid work ethic. Additionally, they are all actors with solid instincts, and I feel that I can trust them on stage. This is an important issue for me, as I am a big believer in the idea that rehearsal atmosphere affects what happens on stage. I try my best to keep things light and comfortable, but when its time to work, we can’t afford having people goof off in rehearsal. Therefore, I need actors who can respect that dichotomy and be ready to get down to work when I need them to, while still maintaining a comfortable atmosphere. Additionally, I feel that this will give me the luxury of spending some more time on Evelyn, whom, as I mentioned, I have not worked with before.