Ramayana Casting Reflections

With the Ramayana audition process completing, it is appropriate to acknowledge the challenges of casting both for performers and directors. For some, this will not be a big issue, while others may experience disappointment. The key is finding a way to move forward positively. Most of us have heard the statement before – every role is pivotally important – and while a bit of a cliché, it is proven true. Staring at the cast list, you will simply see a character title or group (like Demon Choir, Monkey or Demon) by your name. We may want to quickly categorize our roles as good or bad. Mostly, the criteria seems to concern line or song load, as well as preconceptions about stage time, exposure or importance within the play.

To be honest, since the Ramayana is such a known tradition at our school, lots of prejudgments float about. No matter how the parts have been portrayed in the past, our current version will be very different, mainly because we are different, even if reprising a role previously played. If you are revisiting a role, now you have opportunity to go even deeper in the characterization. Who these characters are, what they will do, what dreams they have, conflicts they experience will be directly connected to who you are right now and discovered further in the span of rehearsal. Usually our roles are much more than anticipated.

If ever there was a play about community, it is the Ramayana, a rich tradition at our school that spans thirty years, this time around involving over 200 performers, as well as the myriad of designers, producers, and artists. Trust the process, trust the directors; 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.

Disappointment is a natural reaction when we don’t get what we want. One of the great lessons for all us in life, adults and students alike, is handling disappointment, making the best of a given situation and moving forward in a positive way.

Friends and families can help greatly by encouraging acceptance and openness. Please avoid angry email or phone tirades to the directing team. We have truly tried our best to do what is right for the play.

Congratulations to all for your dedicated efforts and tremendous investment. Let’s make Ramayana 2011 a memorable experience for all!


The Directing Team-
Sampad, Leah, and Mayana