In an ideal world, every actor who came to your auditions would be a perfect triple threat – but sometimes, that isn’t the case. Sometimes you get incredible actors with good movement sense. You can have great singers, with tentative acting chops. Some dancers may be able to carry a tune. Only occasionally, you get a well-balanced triple-threat. This shouldn’t be discouraging, though! There’s a spot for everyone on stage. It’s just a matter of creating a space with room for different artists.
Selecting the Right Musical
There are plenty of musicals to ponder, depending on the size of your casting pool. Not every musical is dependent on dance numbers or belt-style voices. Sweeney Todd is great for singers with strong acting instincts (and the show requires almost no necessary dancing). Hello Dolly is a fun, older score with manageable music if your cast has natural actors with decent vocal strength. 42nd Street is the ideal show for a dance-heavy cast. If you’re looking for new material, peruse the titles we’ve pulled for different size casts: Small Cast, Medium Cast, Large Cast.
Re-imagine a classic. Shakespeare has lasted hundreds of years because the text can be interpreted in many ways. Staging a piece of classic text can be a fantastic opportunity for education. If you work with a group of students, Shakespeare is a great long-term project, one that cannot be interpreted incorrectly. Let students explore within the older language and determine their own imaginings of the known stories.
Produce New Works for Your Stage
Produce readings of new work on your stage and support new playwrights. These can be pared down productions, with limited staging and actors on-book. Encouraging new authors is imperative to the lasting vitality of the theatre. Providing a safe space to workshop and test these unknown scripts is a good way to engage the community around your theatre. You can experiment with different kinds of theatre, like one-person plays or movement pieces, without the pressure of massive ticket sales. This is a great introduction to new actors, too! Get to know upcoming material and blossoming performers in a relaxed setting.
While it’s easy to get caught up in the desire for cookie-cutter performers and guaranteed blockbuster musicals, make room in your season and your theatre’s space for other kinds of outlets. Get to know the different kinds of talent around you – the talent you may have missed in the classic search for the perfect “triple-threats.” Make room at your table for every kind of performer and test your community’s taste – you may find that your ticket buyers want a more diverse season, too.