Double casting: Director and actors opinions
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This spring, RBHS will be trying out double casting for the first time in the musical, Annie. Double casting is when two actors play the same character on different nights.
New musical director, Aubrey Prince, brought this idea over to RB because of a previous directing experience.
“The first musical I ever directed was The Wizard of Oz and on the second show night, our Dorothy had no voice whatsoever,” Prince said. “I had to actually sing from the orchestra pit her part while she was onstage acting.”
For junior Taner Guzeldereli, who is double casted as Oliver Warbucks, Annie is his first double casted performance.
“I’m for it, it opens a lot of opportunities for more shows, and it puts a little bit less stress on me personally,” Guzeldereli said. “Since they’ve done a phenomenal job casting, both parts will be good either way and now we have 6 shows. It’s great so people can see more of what we have done.”
Other cast members, such as junior Lidija Kutlesa who is double casted as Grace Farrell, are familiar with double casting.
“I have been double cast in two other shows. They are very helpful because you and your double get to know each other a lot better and they always have your back and they’ll be on stage doing something and you’ll like it so you borrow the idea from them,” Kutlesa said.
Both Kutlesa and Prince agree that having a second version of the character helps to highlight the acting strengths of the cast.
“It seems, to my knowledge, to be pretty positive. I’ve seen a lot of really good, collaborative relationships happening with the double casted characters. It’s also really nice because you always have somebody watching you and they can help critique each other and learn,” Prince said.
Some cast members were initially doubtful or confused on how the process would work.
“I wasn’t originally sure about the idea. We had never done anything like it before, but I was definitely open to the idea. I think [that] if you get the right group of people, it can definitely work really, really well. It depends on the director and the actors who are involved. Honestly, I thought the experience was really good,” senior Derek Johnson, who plays Franklin Delano Roosevelt, said.
Switching casts during scenes can be difficult but overall, people are willing to work twice as hard to play the best character they can.
“I really haven’t found much of a downside to double casting in my experience because I really feel like it breeds positive competitiveness,” Prince said.