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Posting cast list.

  • 1.  Posting cast list.

    Posted 12-17-2021 09:07
    So my LEAST favorite thing is to post cast list...
    I truly hate disappointing people who are so brave and come out to audition for our shows.

    Do any of you have a note/preamble that has very wise words to help soften the blow when posting???

    Erika Trahan
    Kaplan High School

  • 2.  RE: Posting cast list.

    Posted 12-17-2021 12:16
    Hey Erika,

    I wish I had some wise words, but here are somethings I do:

    1) I tell everyone auditioning that if they can't take a "No" then they are not prepared to audition. I sort of frontload the possible disappointment by telling them to come in an be proud of what they do, and not to let my decision take away the pride in what they did.
    2) I got the idea from this community years ago to send letters ahead of posting the cast list, as I the years have progress I have started to use mail merge and excel to send everything electronically. Here is how it goes.  
       A) I send emails out to the students who don't make it encouraging them to join the crew, try out again, etc. I also give them one thing to work on for next time, tailored to their audition and helped by my spreadsheet(parents have praised this small nugget of feedback)
      B) I send emails out to the students who make it, but only with their specific role. I give them a note about something they did well. I also tell this group to be humble because not everyone made it. This leaves students only knowing the part they got. The phone trees light up and they start putting it together. I send these emails while students are at home(in the evening).
    C) Sending the notes in the evening allows everyone to have a private moment of celebration or disappointment.
    D) I post the cast list later the next day.  By this point everyone has had sometime to at least know if their name is there or not.

    I love this system so much more than the big cast list reveal and I NEVER thought I would. I clung to the tradition of posting all together for a while, but this is a much more graceful way of doing things...and when you think about it a professional show doesn't just post a list-- folks get phone calls one on one, etc. 

    Harvey Stone

    J. Harvey Stone
    Jamestown High School Theatre
    Williamsburg, VA

  • 3.  RE: Posting cast list.

    Posted 12-17-2021 12:22
    I always post some variation of this at the top of the cast list, which I post online via social media and our website, usually on a Friday night. It will also be posted outside my classroom for them to see on Monday morning.

    "A huge thank you to everyone who came out to audition! Kamiakin has an extremely talented group of actors; the casting process was very, very tough. It was incredibly difficult to leave some folks out of the cast. If you were not cast, it doesn't mean that you had a bad audition or that you are not talented, it just means there wasn't a part in THIS show for you. PLEASE STILL AUDITION FOR FUTURE SHOWS!!!! Also, it is possible that if someone drops, I may call upon you…"

    Christopher Hamilton
    Drama Teacher
    Kamiakin High School

  • 4.  RE: Posting cast list.

    Posted 12-17-2021 12:50

    My experience is that they won't read anything associate with the list but it does make me feel better to write something tailored to that show. 

    Good luck to you,

    Ken Ware

    Kenneth Ware

  • 5.  RE: Posting cast list.

    Posted 12-17-2021 15:58
    Thanks! Gave me a few ideas!

  • 6.  RE: Posting cast list.

    Posted 12-18-2021 09:36
    I have taken to posting it at night via social media and on Remind so the kids have time to process their excitement or disappointment in the evening and not have the shock of seeing it at school in the morning in front of their peers … and the kids truly appreciate this. But I LOVE the letters suggestion with the feedback !! I think I might give this a try if I ever get to the point of having to make serious cuts again. Numbers are still pretty low after the last two years …

    Toni Thomas
    English Teacher, Theatre Director
    Ogemaw Heights High School

  • 7.  RE: Posting cast list.

    Posted 12-18-2021 10:00
    I always tell them that I am putting together a very difficult puzzle that needs very specific pieces.  Then I explain that they may be the perfect piece in my puzzle, but they also may be the missing piece to complete a different puzzle.  The one they fit is just as beautiful as the one I'm putting together, but you can't mix pieces from different puzzles and have a finished product that works.

    Amy MacCord
    Musical Theatre Teacher
    Westwood Middle School

  • 8.  RE: Posting cast list.

    Posted 12-18-2021 10:20

    We just posted our cast list last night, for Xanadu.  At auditions, we speak very frankly about how casting works, and really emphasize the value of every opportunity that the show can offer.

    We always post to our Google Classroom, and always on a Friday, with a statement that we won't discuss the show for a couple of days. If there's disappointment, they gotta reconcile that a bit before having a meeting to discuss anything. Also, we don't cut. 

    Here's the language I put in the notice.  We also say some version of this in person at auditions:

    "Casting a show is a very complicated process, with many facets.  Basically, it's like a large puzzle:  we audition you, and then see how you best fit into the overall picture of the show in terms of ability, temperament, and personality. We work very hard to provide you with opportunities that will best fit your particular abilities and serve this particular show. Truth be told, we think we're pretty good at it.  Contrary to popular belief, the "principal" roles do not automatically go to older students. All casting decisions are final.

    If a student - or parent - has questions about casting, it is our practice to speak with the student first, then, if necessary, speak with the parent and student together. This is not negotiable. We acknowledge that these are young people, but part of growing up is learning how to express yourself and ask questions about a lot of things, even if the conversation is difficult.

    Additionally, we will not answer any questions related to Xanadu until December 26."

    It's a bit blunt, but we've always found it helpful to be direct, rather than to dance around the concerns (should there be any).  It's also helpful to remember that if there's a storm, it will pass (but that doesn't make it any less traumatizing!).

    Good luck!

    Eric McNaughton
    Theatre Director
    Marist School

  • 9.  RE: Posting cast list.

    Posted 12-19-2021 09:59
    I also post my cast list on a Friday evening--it does help diffuse the disappointment.  I also address casting at our Musical Interest meeting and let the students know that this is my vision of the production and while they may believe themselves or others to be a perfect fit for a role, it may not line up with my interpretation.  We also score each audition.  For the musical there are three: vocal, acting, and dance.  I share these with the students after the show is cast but I do not discuss casting decisions.  I used to do this and it ended up being a cry-fest for some.  Students need to trust in my ability to cast the show accordingly.  This change has been huge and I no longer receive emotional emails.  Students get their scores and they know what they need to focus on next time.

    Laura Russo
    Teacher/Director of Theatre Arts
    Chatham High School

  • 10.  RE: Posting cast list.

    Posted 12-20-2021 13:36
    Years ago I took the advice from a very wise friend of mine about casting. This technique can be time-consuming, but it saves so much anguish!
    Before I posted the cast list, I called every person who I had cast and told them what role I'd cast them for. This worked beautifully, and, naturally they shared their news with everyone possible. I posted the cast list the day after I'd talked to the cast members. 
    I also developed a few short "rejection" notes, generally 3-5 sentences long. They all said essentially the same thing, and included varying general tips for improvement. In the notes I thanked the person for auditioning, found something to complement them on (based on the audition sheet), and included a tip for improvement (again based on the audition sheet). I then had the notes delivered to the students the day I posted the cast list, or the day after. My beginning students LOVED to deliver notes-of any kind.
    This method worked wonderfully and it validated all the students who'd come to auditions.

    Happy holidays!
    Nancy L. Bernhard
    retired from Salinas High School, Salinas CA

  • 11.  RE: Posting cast list.

    Posted 01-07-2022 09:47
    I like all of the suggestions here and admire those who make individual phone calls.  I don't make calls, but I do have everyone auditioning join a private on-line group like BAND.  That is where I privately announce the cast list.  I attach a cast list so that they have to read the post (hopefully) before they open the attachment. The message is short: " Please open the attached link to the cast list with grace and maturity. If you were cast in the role you wanted please celebrate privately with your family AND NOT ON SOCIAL MEDIA until rehearsals are at least a month underway. Below please find links to the cast list and permission slip for the show. The permission slip must be signed and returned at the first cast meeting. If you have any questions please email me at [email address]."  I also audition students in small groups so that they don't cast it themselves. Prior to auditions, I announce the expectation to stay off of social media (and to tell their parents this too).  By setting these expectations, I have not received any angry phone calls from parents or witnessed students crying in the hallways. There might be talk behind my back, but at least I don't know about it ha,ha!

    Marla Blasko
    Director/Teacher Theatre Arts
    Long Reach High School
    Columbia, Maryland

  • 12.  RE: Posting cast list.

    Posted 01-07-2022 12:08
    I love that you include a reminder to open it with "grace and maturity" and the request to celebrate privately and not put all out on social media is very apropos and something I will add to my repertoire when posting a cast list.  Thank you for sharing!

    Amy MacCord
    Musical Theatre Teacher
    Westwood Middle School

  • 13.  RE: Posting cast list.

    Posted 01-11-2022 15:04
    Good afternoon,

    I have enjoyed reading these. I agree that most of the time that they just look for their name, and their role. Other's not so much about their role but who got the leads. Usually it's not the day the cast list is posted but the days that follow where kids drop the show, or you get the calls from the parents as to why this kid always gets the part. 

    In my current role, I am not a part of the casting but frequently get approached for advice or to provide an ear. I always challenge them as to their motivation. Are they only auditioning to get a lead or to be a part of something bigger? Sometimes I challenge them by saying, so you didn't get the role you wanted, so be the best in the role you received.

    Crit Fisher
    Lighting/Sound Designer
    New Albany High School