A larger talent pool will increase the likelihood of a better show, despite hurdles related to actors’ lack of familiarity with each other.
Previously reserved solely for Advanced Drama Students, the move toward open auditions for theatre production casting will enhance the quality of these shows and the performing arts as a whole. Any talented and hard-working student should have the opportunity to audition, and the repeal of the regulation recognized that right. There was sound reasoning behind the past restriction — theatrical success can be contingent on cast members’ familiarity with each other. However, even with that caveat in mind, the drama department has made the correct decision: a larger selection of potential actors fosters needed flexibility on the stage.
Productions can now deliver a better show, but at a cost. Junior Megan Chandler believes that for casting, the manner in which individuals work together matters more than the quality of the individual actors. Past experience molds future cooperation, and while open auditions may garner more participants, the unfamiliarity between talented cast members may sabotage a play on its own. Grounded in solid reasoning, the argument acknowledges the difficulties staff members must overcome on the path to successful collaboration.
However, this chain of reasoning is disingenuous — it fails to recognize the fetters this “familiarity” has forced upon theatrical flexibility. Of course past experience facilitates preparation, but it does not justify the significant restriction of the pool of potential actors. The actors of our theatrical productions should tackle the issue of familiarity with their own tact. While they may find it a hindrance, they should not find it insurmountable. Performers encounter unexpected challenges at every turn, be they technical difficulties, memorization of lines or scheduling conflicts. Successfully collaboration with a stranger does pose challenges, but, as shows such as SNL have displayed time and time again, they are surmountable.
Open auditions raise the odds for a favorable outcome, granting flexibility for the formation of an effective cast— a prerequisite for a memorable show. Expanded auditions provide a place for the theatrically talented to assemble regardless of their past affiliations. They promote participation in campus productions, which will positively affect public perception of the performing arts at MVHS as a whole. Most importantly, they have the potential to improve future productions, providing quality entertainment for a quality campus, discovering their own potential in the process.