Casting might be the most exciting thing in theatre to happen off-stage. Actors, agents, directors, producers, and outside observers are keenly interested in who plays a given part. In a professional space, casting seeks to ask, "Which performer is the best fit for this part?" But what happens when an educational theatre director instead asks, "Which role will best enable the learning of this performer?" This thesis explores the process of casting in an educational theatre space as being distinctly different from casting in a professional theatre space. By examining theoretical underpinnings of casting through literature and reflexive practice, I question what factors should be considered when casting youth performers in educational theatre productions. This thesis considers concepts such as thin-slicing, cultural capital, and student-centered pedagogy as means of transforming casting from a production focused practiced to a performer focused one. This thesis examines existing literature about casting as a practice as a means of understanding the theoretical ideas behind casting. I then survey current theatre practitioners in educational theatre spaces to define current trends and practices when evaluating young people's auditions in educational theatre. Finally, I develop and test a tool for measuring young actors in auditions, which I apply and analyze through the casting in a youth production of 101 Dalmatians KIDS. The thesis reflects the practitioner's practice as research and considers both challenges to casting as a pedagogical practice and casting issues unique to educational theatre. The reflection also considers practices to help make casting a more student-centered process in educational theatre spaces.
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Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.)
College of Arts and Humanities
Theatre; Theatre for Young Audiences Track
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Savage, Scott, "Casting as a Pedagogical Practice in Educational Theatre Spaces" (2020). Electronic Theses and Dissertations, 2020-. 130.