Congratulations to all for your vibrant participation in the audition process so far. After Friday comes the next step, casting of the play. As we know, casting can be challenging for both performers and directors alike. Often, casting is not a true measure of how we as performers took risks of involvement, faced fears, expanded talents and perhaps discovered internal nourishing pools of creativity. That is why it is important no matter what role assigned we allow ourselves positive reflection about our own growth within the process.
If all goes well, the cast list is to be posted on Saturday, February 29 by 12:00 pm, on the MMS Homework Website. (If we’re delayed, our apologies; we’ll put out a notice informing when the list is to be posted) On that cast list by your name will be a character title or group (like Demon Choir, Monkey or Demon). Monkeys are named. Demon names you can create! Since the Ramayana! is such a known tradition at our school, both prejudgments and experiential memories float about concerning our roles. Many of us may end up playing a role we’ve inhabited before. We cannot deny the challenge in finding new angles to parts previously played. As we hopefully know, usually our roles are much more than anticipated, dependent, of course, on our attitude and approach.
No matter how the parts have been portrayed in the past, either by us or by others, our current version will be different, mainly because we are different from what we were last year or years prior. Remember, the purpose of the rehearsal process is two-fold: first, the personalization of the assigned characters, finding out what makes them tick, what feelings percolate under the surface and allowing their reality to channel through us. The second part of the process are the dynamics created in combination with others sharing stage with us. That interaction is what truly enables us to deepen and broaden our characterizations and keeps things fresh.
As to our reactions to our casting, disappointment is a natural reaction when we don’t get what we want. One of the great lessons in life, for adults and students alike, is at times making the best of a given situation and moving forward in a positive way. Friends and families can help cast members greatly by encouraging openness. Please avoid angry emails or phone tirades to the directing team. We have tried our best to do what is right for the play. Please also refrain from social media rants against fellow actors cast in roles coveted. This jeopardizes our sense of safety as a community. Instead, believe and focus on possibility, on community and collaboration; let us enjoy our time spent together.
In a broader sense, if ever there was a play about community, it is the Ramayana!, a rich tradition at our school currently entering its 42nd year. The play involves nearly 200 performers, as well as the cavalcade of designers, producers, and artists. We then get to perform in a professional theatre in front of sold out houses. It is all rather exciting, really. So, in moving forward, trust the process, trust the directors and trust the nature of the play. Take advantage of the opportunity, embrace your character and enjoy the creative exploration. A positive attitude not only builds community, but also enables expansion of our own talents because we are willing to invest of ourselves.
Congratulations to all for your dedicated efforts and tremendous investment in the audition process. Let’s make Ramayana! 2020 a memorable experience for all!
Sampad, for the Directing Team – Charleigh, Erin, Gitanjali ( and Sampad)