This is oddly controversial. Be warned...
I believe that there is enough rejection in one lifetime. And I believe that some of the hardest rejections start young, especially in the average life of a student. That boy. That girl. That group of boys or girls that outright refuse to let you sit at the lunch table.
So, my philosophy is simple: Everyone gets a part. I write inclusive large cast productions for middle school and high school plays, starting at 50+ students.
Already, I can hear it. The Sports Dads and Stage Moms are up in arms! “But that’s not right!” “That’s not fair!” “That’s not how it works in the real world!” “How will they know the value of hard work?!” “What's next? Participation trophies?!"
How will they know the value of hard work? They learn the value of hard work on the stage. And how do they get on the stage without a part? They don't. By my view, the part is only a chance, not a reward, or an accomplishment. It’s an opportunity to work hard and be a part of a bigger production. A chance to find where you just might belong.
As parents and teachers, we taught our kids to play nice, play fair. But as directors, we know the play itself can be “not nice.” And the casting is rarely fair. (How can it be fair, when things like gender, height, and costuming size HAVE to be considered...) When things are not nice, and not fair, we can only do what is right. The right thing is to cast your show according to need and talent, while still giving every kid a chance. Every kid get's a part, no matter how small. (And let's get real. No kid is going to get an unearned ego from a small part ... I told you folks, controversial.)
The audition may be where you find out what character you will play, whether it’s the lead, or the chorus, or the one-line walk on, but the play— the play is where you build the character you will keep for the rest of your life.
My philosophy is there is a part for everyone. I also believe in participation trophies.
I said, what I said.