Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Casting Inside the Circle

A theatre company is its ensemble. The mentality that I have developed as a Casting Director for Red Tape Theatre Company is that we are nothing without the support of a core group of talented and respected artists. Red Tape is truly as exciting as ever, now adding to our ensemble after the successful production of The Love of the Nightingale. From my own point of view, this makes the casting process a more fruitful experience. I am able to continually work with our core group of actors to create a wonderful jumping off point in casting a production. Our ensemble’s reputation allows me to pull experienced outside actors, who have really honed the craft and see art the way Red Tape does. Red Tape encourages humility, hard work, and imagination. These values beat in the hearts of our ensemble.

The good thing is that I work with a lot of amazing artists, however from a Casting Director’s standpoint it can be quite difficult. There is no question that each production should have ensemble member in it. There is so much talent that it is sometimes hard to nail it down! Fortunately, collaboration between James Palmer, the ensemble, the director, the playwright and myself cuts a clearer path. Usually, in the beginning stages of choosing a play for the next season it is pretty clear of who is appropriate for what role.

An importance to the development of Red Tape is the artistic growth of each individual ensemble member. Upon joining Red Tape, I was surprised to hear that this was a responsibility of the company. I thought that it should be the ensemble’s responsibility to ensure the growth of the company. I quickly realized that artistic development of the ensemble parallels the successful development of a theatre company. This is one of the most significant aspects in casting an ensemble member.

I feel this sets us a part and makes our company special. When a role is appropriate for an ensemble member and stretches their skill level it benefits the individual while promoting the company’s mission to engage our audience in new ways and transcend the traditional.

Paige Sawin
Casting Director

Obscura runs Sep 23-Oct 23.
Tickets are available on our website!

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