Casting Values

Casting is by its very nature a subjective process. We hope these guidelines give you some insight into the things that you may not realize play a part in our casting decisions. Please remember that after any audition you are encouraged to request feedback from the faculty member for whom you auditioned.

What we value when casting:

o We have an open casting policy. This means that we cast people of all races, nationalities, colors, backgrounds, gender-identities, religions, body types and sexual preferences. However, we do not cast blindly. We use bodies to tell stories, and sometimes the stories we tell speak to a specific experience. In these cases, we need to make sure we are telling the correct story by casting mindfully.
o Productions in the Department of Theater, Dance & Film Studies aim to include students with a variety of life experiences
•We strongly encourage students from disciplines outside the department to participate in productions

o To the show
• We expect our cast to prioritize the production as they would any other class. A production is an academic course.

o To the department
• Taking classes in the department or declaring a major or minor does not guarantee casting. However, many department classes, masterclasses, and special events are intended to teach you skills that will improve your chances of getting cast. In addition, faculty will provide feedback on auditions at the request of any student who auditions.

• NOTE: Classes teach a set of skills. A good grade in a class may represent a student's active participation, genuine effort, and thorough comprehension, as well as skill acquisition. For this reason, a good grade in a department class does not necessarily reflect your chances of getting cast.

• Collaboration
o We prize those who respect and work well with others, and who are active and generous collaborators, in every aspect of their work.
o Frequently, casting decisions are based on creating a balanced ensemble that will work well together, rather than simply casting the most talented individuals.

• Discipline
o The department appreciates and acknowledges the efforts of students who are diligent in continuously pushing themselves to increase their knowledge of and abilities in all the areas that make up the performing arts.
o We expect our casts to be on time and show up prepared for the rehearsal.

• Risk
o Making art is a constant pushing of oneself to go beyond expectations and to take creative leaps. We look for cast members who are willing to push boundaries and risk artistic failure in order to make great art.

• Ability
o Please note that while this is on our list, it is at the bottom. Nonetheless, creating art requires a combination of ability and skills, and many students come to W&L with experience and training. We do take both into consideration when casting.