Musical Theater Guild Casting and Interview Policy
Jennifer Braun, Welkin Pope, and the MTG Managing Board
Updates by Nicolina Akraboff, Matthew Ciborowski, Cristina Thomas, et. al.
Passed Monday, September 24, 2007
This by-law supersedes all previous Casting and Interview Policy by-laws.
- The Casting and Interview policy will be based upon the
following definitions. Note also that if a person falls under two
separate definitions, he is considered part of the group with the
higher casting priority.
In this bylaw, ``show term'' is the period during which the majority of the rehearsal and production period will take place: the Fall Term, the Independent Activities Period (IAP), the Spring Term, or the Summer Session.
1's MIT undergraduate and graduate students (full-time, part-time, cross-registered, exchange and special) who are taking a class or doing research towards a degree in the current show term or the term previous to the current show term. In the case of a student on academic leave, a student is a 1 for the show term prior to his/her continuation at MIT.
Current members of MTG, current members of the MIT Community, any person ever enrolled as an MIT student, and Wellesley undergraduate and graduate students (full-time, part-time, cross-registered, exchange and special) who are taking a class or doing research towards a degree in the current show term or the term previous to the current show term. In the case of a Wellesley student on academic leave, a student is a 2 for the show term prior to her continuation at Wellesley.
Anyone else (including Wellesley alumnae, students of other schools, etc).
- In all casting decisions, 1's will be given consideration over 2's. 3's may not be cast in a role unless no 1's or 2's who are capable of performing in the role audition.
- If, after auditions, there are still roles left unfilled, the director may request to hold another round of auditions. The CRB has the right to deny this request for additional auditions. In addition, the CRB also has the right to call an additional audition, even if the Director does not request one, if it feels that doing so will attract MIT students capable of playing the still-empty roles, and give them an opportunity to audition.
The Managing Board (MB) has a number of responsibilities that it must complete to the best of its abilities. It is the responsibility of the President, and in his absence, the Treasurer, to make sure these are carried out.
- Through the interview process, the MB should find a Producer for each show in a timely fashion. All members of the Managing Board help select the producer, regardless of their intent to interview for production staff positions, with the exception of a MB member who wishes to interview to produce. The Managing Board may choose to allow people in appointed position to sit in on interviews and deliberations for Producer as non voting members if it is deemed necessary.
- The Producer should then select the Interview Board (IB) and the Casting Review Board (CRB) for all Round I production staff. The IB and CRB should be approved by the Managing Board.
- All members of the Managing Board who are not interviewing for production staff positions should be on the IB. To fill the remaining slots on the IB, members should be chosen from past Managing Board members, past Directors, Music Directors and Producers, and other members of past production staffs. Should this be impossible, other knowledgeable current MTG members may be substituted with MB approval. All members of the IB must be current MTG members in good standing. The Producer must form the interview board such that at least 4 members of the IB will be able to attend each interview. The IB will consist of no more than 10 members, including the Producer and Director (once selected). The IB members are the only ones who may vote on the decision to offer an individual a production staff position. Not all IB members need to be present at every interview. The intent of this direction is that the interview process will be as consistent as possible over the course of a show.
- The Producer should lead the IB through the interview process for all production staff positions. Should there not be a Producer at the time the Managing Board decides Round 1 selection is necessary, the Managing Board will take over the responsibilities of the Producer until one is found.
- Once selected, the Director and Producer should be voting members of the Interview Board.
- The IB, led by the Producer, will interview and select the Music Director, Technical Director, Stage Manager and Choreographer (if necessary).
- The Music Director, Technical Director, and Stage Manager are then added to the already established Interview Board and become voting members for all Round II positions. As such, the Interview Board may now consist of up to 13 members.
- All interviews are closed to everyone except for IB members, the interviewee and relevant production staff. Once selected, production staff members not on the IB may sit in on interviews and deliberations for positions which affect their role in the show (for example, once the Lighting Designer is selected they may sit in on the interview for Master Electrician.) Only actual IB members may vote on a position.
- Four members of the IB must be present to hold an interview. At the end of the last interview for a particular position, IB members present at that interview should discuss the candidates and decide to whom the position should be offered. A majority of those present is sufficient to select the candidate. Immediately following the decision, the Producer should ensure that a summary of the discussion and the decision is emailed to all IB members. IB members then have 24 hours to comment on the decision before the Producer officially offers the position to the candidate. Based on timely comments, the Interview Board may decide that more discussion is necessary, the time of the official offer can be postponed, and/or a different candidate may be selected, or more interviews can be held.
- All members of the Managing Board not auditioning for the show and not holding production staff positions which are involved in casting should be on the CRB. To fill out the 7-person CRB, members should be drawn from past Managing Boards as well as from past Directors, Music Directors, and Producers. Should this be impossible, other knowledgeable current MTG members may be substituted with Managing Board approval. All members of the CRB must be current MTG members in good standing.
The Producer has a number of responsibilities that must be completed to the best of their abilities, in addition to those responsibilities normally associated with the position of Producer. It is the responsibility of the President, and in his absence, the Treasurer, to make sure the Producer carries them out.
- The Producer must organize and coordinate the Interview Board to interview and select all production staff positions. It is the Producer's responsibility to find applicants for these positions. The Producer should deal with the Guild Publicity Director in publicizing interviews.
- The Producer must organize and coordinate the IB and the CRB, making sure that there are enough people on each board and that their meeting times are set and publicized.
- The Producer must hold interviews for all Round 1 production staff positions and any production positions for which there are multiple candidates. If auditions have been held and any prod staff positions remain unfilled, the Producer may appoint people without a formal IB interview but with the approval of the Managing Board.
- The Producer must make sure that the IB, and the CRB are completely familiar with the policy contained in this document.
- The Producer should ensure that the Director has read this document, understands MTG's casting preference policy, and understands fully the advice given in the `directions to Directors' section of this document.
- The Producer must make sure the CRB-representative meets with the Director before auditions to make sure the Director fully understands the policies of the CRB and how they will understand the items contained in this document.
- The Producer is in charge of enforcement of the policies contained in this document. If the Producer feels the letter or spirit of this document has been infringed upon, he or she must take the matter up before the President of the Guild, who may take appropriate action with the support of the Managing Board.
The whole casting priority system can be very intimidating to most Directors. As long as these things are done, however, the whole process can occur smoothly with the least amount of pain.
- Read this entire document. It is designed not only to help the IB and CRB, but also to help you understand them. Pay special attention to the section on the casting policy of the Guild, and the directions to the CRB.
- Keep a record of which auditionees are 1's, 2's, and 3's.
- Cast 1's over 2's over 3's. 1's must be given consideration over 2's, and 3's may not be cast in a role unless no 1's or 2's who are capable of performing in the role audition.
- Come into the CRB meeting with second and third choices for roles, in case the first choice declines the role when it is offered to them. It is not acceptable to cast a 1 in a role, not have a second choice for the role approved by the CRB, and, because the 1 declines, cast a 3 without CRB approval.
- Be honest. The CRB really wants to approve your cast as is as long as it feels you are being honest with it. Make an effort to give priority to MIT students without seriously jeopardizing the quality of the show, and the CRB meeting will be quick and painless.
The Casting Review Board should read this entire document. Its members must try, to the best of their abilities, to follow the tenets contained within this document, whether they themselves agree with them or not. If a member feels he or she cannot uphold the policy of the Guild as written in this document, he or she should resign from being a member of the CRB.