Casting at Yale (Casting Cycles & Casting Days)

SEPTEMBER CASTING CYCLE 2022

September is a big Casting Cycle at Yale! By virtue of being the first Casting Cycle, it is usually quite busy. This year, the YDC worked with the Singing Group Council (or SGC) to make sure that theater auditions do not overlap with a cappella rush. There are multiple Casting Cycles throughout the year!

The September 2022 Casting Cycle dates are as follows: 

Season Preview: August 28, 2022 (Time TBA - production teams gather to pitch their shows to the community!)

Auditions and Callbacks: August 29, 2022 - September 7, 2022

Casting Day: September 11, 2022

Some additional rules to accompany the new schedule: 

  1. Auditions should not start before Season Preview and cannot take place after September 7. Really!! Treat September 7 like the next day is Casting Day! Use 9/8-9/10 to rest and compile your casting trees.

  1. Try not to schedule auditions in the late evening of 9/3 or 9/5 to avoid conflicting with the big a cappella Jams (or at least, make sure auditionees doing both theater and a cappella are not put in a stressful/awkward position when scheduling those nights).

WHAT IS CASTING CYCLE?

What happens if an actor signs up for two shows performing on the same day? Or back-to-back? What happens if two shows have incompatible rehearsal schedules and mutliple actors in common? In short, these kinds of conflicts can create huge problems for both actors and production teams, and they can prevent the theatermaking process from being the healthy, fun, and fulfilling environment it is supposed to be. 

As the Yale Drama Coalition, our goal is to make sure anyone who wants to get invovled with Yale theater can do so in a healthy, fun, and fulfilling way. One way we do this is by running Casting Cycles and Casting Days for all undergraduate theater productions. 

“Casting Cycle” refers to the process as a whole, including auditions, callbacks, and Casting Day. “Casting Day” refers to the actual day of casting. More info below!

Casting Cycles seek to reduce the stress of the casting process and enable actors to make more educated and timely decisions, while maintaining each productions’ control over its respective casting. In short, a Casting Cycle is a way of organizing casting to avoid the kinds of conflicts we mentioned earlier. Throughout the process, the YDC is present to help actors and production teams make decisions that are best for the health and wellbeing of everyone invovled. There are multiple Casting Cycles per semester. 

At the end of each Casting Cycle, the YDC organizes a Casting Day, in which all productions offer roles to actors (again, in one place at one time). Actors cannot be contacted with offers of parts until the designated call time on Casting Day. For all Casting Cycles after the September Casting Cycle, auditions and callbacks can happen at any point in the days or weeks before Casting Day. 

The full text of the YDC Casting Cycle Policy can be found here.

A document highlighting recent changes to the Casting Cycle Policy can be found here.

HOW MANY CASTING CYCLES AND CASTING DAYS ARE THERE?

There are multiple Casting Cycles throughout the year, each culminating in its own Casting Day! That means there is no rush to get invovled with Yale theater. You can join at your own pace on your own terms!

This year, the September Casting Day is September 11, 2022. The rest of the Casting Days are tentative: 

  • Tentative October Casting Day: October 16, 2022
  • Tentative November Casting Day: November 13, 2022
  • Tentative December Casting Day: December 11, 2022
  • Tentative January Casting Day: January 29, 2023
  • Tentative February Casting Day: February 19, 2023

WHO CAN CAST WHEN?

September Casting Cycle: Any productions going up in the fall semester can start holding auditions and casting their shows.

October Casting Cycle: Any productions going up before spring break or musicals going up in the spring semester can start holding auditions and casting their shows.

November-February Casting Cycles: All other productions can hold auditions and begin casting.

What does this mean? If you’re putting up a musical in April, you may not cast until the October casting cycle. If you’re putting up a play in February, you may not cast until October, etc. etc. These guidelines have been put together over the past few years through town halls and community feedback with the goal of protecting everyone involved!

If you have any questions or would like to apply for an exception due to special circumstances, please direct your emails the YDC President and Vice Presidents. 

HOW DO I SIGN UP FOR AUDITIONS?

It’s easy! Sign-up/Log-in to this website (Yale College Arts). You don’t need to write a bio or upload a picture, but you can if you would like. Then, go to Shows and Screenings. There, you will find all the shows going up at Yale! When you click on a show, they will have a place to sign up for auditions.

HOW DO I SIGN UP FOR A PRODUCTION TEAM?

On each show’s Yale College Arts page, there should be a contact for the show (usually the Producer, sometimes the Director or Stage Manager). Send them an email letting them know you want to get invovled with their show! Usually, a production team needs all the help it can get. 

HOW DO CASTING DAYS WORK?

On the designated call day, the YDC will reserve a block of classrooms, one for each show to make calls in. If roadblocks arise, production teams can confer directly with other teams, and request the aide of un-biased YDC Board members to keep things fair. This will enable productions to offer roles nearly simultaneously to a given actor, who in turn can make a more informed and timely decision, allowing production teams to move forward in the casting process. In order for this to work, teams must be present and making calls in the building that the YDC has reserved for such purposes.

Auditions and callbacks may be held at the production team’s convenience, but actors may not be offered roles until the start of the Casting Call Day. On Casting Day, impartial YDC facilitators will be available if any casting conflicts arise. If actors are offered or pressured to accept roles before the given call date in a cycle, or are not given a reasonable grace period in which to make a decision, they can and should contact the Yale Drama Coalition Board. 

This process greatly eases the tension associated with casting through streamlined and increased communication. Actors will be able to make faster and more informed decisions by being presented with all of their options at one time, and will not be pressured to accept roles without having heard from all the shows for whom they auditioned. The YDC’s facilitation of freer communication between production teams helps alleviate stalls in the call tree process.

CASTING CYCLES ARE MANDATORY FOR PRODUCTION TEAMS: 

All productions that wish to be listed on the YDC website and use YDC resources such as ticketing, gels, gobos, newsletter announcements, etc., must participate fully in these casting procedures or receive the permission of the YDC Board to make alternate arrangements. All productions wishing to utilize the YDC resources must fully participate in the casting cycle, need to contact the current YDC President, and post their show on the YDC website at least one full week before the scheduled start time of the casting call.

ACTORS, KNOW YOUR RIGHTS!

If actors are pressured to accept roles before the given call date in a cycle, or are not given a reasonable grace period in which to make a decision, they can and should contact the Yale Drama Coalition Board.

Please direct any questions regarding casting to the current YDC President.