Sometimes, in school theatre, I feel like Oprah!
Posting a cast list be like:
“You get a role, you get a role; everyone gets a role!”
I try and have one show each year, or at least every other year, where I cast basically everyone who auditions. Okay, not basically everyone. Literally everyone.
Not everyone may agree with my technique here, but I hate being a heartbreaker! I save heartbreak for our competition team and our performance ensemble groups. But I choose a big show with tons of casting possibilities so that occasionally literally everyone who has the guts to show up makes it onto that cast list!
Well, ya know what—here is a shocking statement.
Not everyone is good at theatre. *mic drop*
But so many people love it!!! Some kids just love being on that stage, belting their little hearts out in some key that actually was never even been written! Those poor babies full of a complete lack of natural talent have an enthusiasm for the stage that some may never feel!
I will always lie (whoops don't judge me) at the first cast/crew meeting by saying, “Well out of 63 who auditioned; I kept 47. So congrats to you guys making the cut.” (There were only 47 that auditioned—have two days of auditions and only allow them to come once...they’ll assume there really was 63).
So, sometimes, I cast all the children. I cast them all because it took guts to show up. It took guts to sing, dance, read, or act in front of their teenage peers. They auditioned looking for fun. They auditioned looking for a place to belong. They wanted a family, and we have the best one. Theatre is the best family I’ve ever had.
You may not cast them all in every show, but those kids will get addicted. They’ll come out and help paint the set for a small show they were not cast in. They’ll sell tickets and concessions. They’ll do anything to take part in our family, and I will not turn them away every time...even if they can’t sing their way out of a bucket. The belting chorus of ensemble members will sing right over all their sour notes anyway.
So, sometimes, pick a show that gives all the kids a chance to be a part of something so magical and incredible. It is okay that sometimes at $8 a ticket…the talent can be described as “well they just had so much fun!”