How do we cast our shows?

Unlike some theatre groups, all LYT students are allowed to be a part of the WinterMix concert and the summer musical.

The casting of specific parts that may be needed in the concert or the summer show, is based upon our annual audition process.

ALL students are given an opportunity to audition and all are encouraged to audition

The annual audition process will always include a vocal and acting audition.  Depending on the show, some years will include an additional movement or dance audition.

All junior students are given exactly the same piece to sing.  All senior students are given exactly the same piece to sing.  All are given the same preparation time and performance time.

Audition pieces are performed in front of the rest of the group so that the process is as transparent as possible.

The casting decision is then made by Philip, Tara and Paula.

Watching auditions is an exciting time.  We are keen to see the progress of each student and to hear any new students.  It is wonderful to see improvement each year from students who once had difficulty keeping in tune or in time with the music, or to hear their volume increasing or their general confidence in performing growing.

Sometimes we are utterly “wowed” by our students, but so as not to discourage anyone, we endeavour to deliver the same positive feedback to all, a simple “well done” and thunderous applause.

When casting a show, many, many factors are taken into consideration, including the following:

The specific requirements of each character, from a vocal, acting and dancing point of view.  Quite simply, can this student perform all aspects of this role to a high standard?

The casting of each character must also be considered in relation to the others.  (For example, will these two students make a believable couple or do these two students look believable as an adult and child?)

The qualities that each student displays in class or in previous rehearsals or productions.  (For example:  Are they respectful to tutors?  Are they respectful to others in the group?  Do they follow directions in class?  Do they follow theatrical directions?  Are they easy to get along with?  Do they work well with others in their group?  How conscientious are they about attending rehearsals?  Are they usually cooperative with LYT arrangements or are they regularly looking for exceptions to be made for them?)

Will this student have the physical and emotional resilience for the commitment of nine performances over three weekends, as well as all the rehearsals between each weekend?

Does this student have the maturity to cope with the intensity of pressure that this quality of production will bring?

Do we have any indication that this student would not have the full support of their parents in order to attend the additional rehearsals?

For these and other reasons, you may well see the same faces used repeatedly during their later years with LYT.  Not everyone in LYT has the ability or qualities mentioned above, and those that do will be used again.  We will not just rotate students so that everyone has a chance at a principal role.  We will never deliberately put someone on stage to perform something that they are not really equipped for.  This could be cruel and humiliating for the student and would be completely out of harmony with our desire to nurture the self-confidence and happiness of each student.  This is not about favouritism, this is about reality.  

Of course we are always keen to find new talent and if this is packaged with the qualities above, we will always share out principal roles as much as we can.  Having said that, there will always be few principal characters in comparison to the chorus, so 90% of the time, being in LYT will mean being in the chorus.

It is worth mentioning that all principal rehearsals are conducted outside of regular class times.  Class time is always used to work with the entire group.  Weekly classes and all on-stage chorus rehearsals and performance times are covered by the weekly fee.  Costumes and make-up are also included.  The chorus are not being deprived of something.  Their LYT experience can be rich and full.

If students are only interested in having a principal part, then they have missed something profoundly fundamental to LYT.  We are a team.  We are like a family.  Our goal is to cast a show in the best way that we possibly can, so that everyone is privileged to be part of something wonderful.  The standard of performance within our choruses is incredibly high and we hope that all students, including those who never receive a principal role, will look back with pride on their years with LYT.

We thank you for your trust and confidence in our ability to continue to produce quality productions with a wonderful chorus of young people and a well-cast front line of principals.