Musical Theater Guild Casting and Interview Policy

Andrew Q. Kraft

Passed Sunday, February 6, 1994

1 Purpose of This Document

This document sets the policies of the MIT Musical Theatre Guild regarding casting and production staff interviews. It is designed as a set of instructions as to what is and isn't expected of the Managing Board (MB), Interview Board (IB), Casting Review Board (CRB), as well as the Directors and Producers of each show.

2 What the Constitution Has To Say

2.1 Purpose of the MIT Musical Theatre Guild

1.2 The purposes of this organization shall be to produce and present musical theatre productions, to engage in related activities, and to promote fellowship among the membership.

2.2 The MIT Affiliation Casting Preference Policy

2.1 A full awareness of the Musical Theatre Guild's affiliation with MIT will be maintained. In filling cast and production positions, priority will be given to members of the MIT community, and in particular to MIT students.

2.3 In the constitution, `MIT student' will mean any full-time student officially registered at MIT.

2.4 In the constitution, `MIT community' will comprise MIT students, faculty, alumni, full-time staff and employees, registered part-time students, the immediate family of MIT students and faculty, and full-time Wellesley students.

2.5 Each segment of a production will include a significant portion of MIT participants, in particular MIT students. Production and casting decisions will not result in the rejection of a disproportionate number of MIT students in favor of other participants.

2.3 The Casting Review Board

2.6.1 There will be a Casting Review Board for each production. The purpose of the Casting Review Board shall be to represent, in all casting decisions, the interests of the Musical Theatre Guild, particularly those itemized in Section 2.1. Before notification of any casting decision is made, the decision must be approved by the Casting Review Board.

2.6.2 The Casting Review Board shall be a 7-member committee, composed of as many members of the Managing Board as possible. The Producer and the Director of the production may not sit on the Casting Review Board, nor may anyone who auditions for, or is otherwise under consideration for, a cast position. The membership of the Casting Review Board must be approved by the Managing Board prior to the first meeting of the Casting Review Board, If any member of the Casting Review Board subsequently becomes the Producer, one of the Directors, or comes under consideration for a cast position, his position on the Casting Review Board shall remain unfilled.

2.6.3 The Casting Review Board shall meet with the Producer and the Directors prior to the holding of any auditions. At that time they shall discuss the requirements of each cast part, taking into account as many aspects as possible. They shall also discuss the costs of not meeting those requirements, and to what extent the production would be willing or able to meet those costs. The Casting Review Board will also indicate any additional criteria it deems relevant to the casting process.

2.6.4 The members of the Casting Review Board may attend auditions or callbacks only at the expressed consent of the Director.

2.6.5 Following the holding of scheduled auditions, the Casting Review Board will meet with the Producer and the Directors to discuss the auditionees. At no time will any audition information be withheld from the Casting Review Board.

2.6.6 Callbacks may be held at the discretion of the Director; additional auditions may be held at the discretion of the Casting Review Board.

2.6.7 The Directors shall cast the production in accordance with sections 2.1 and 2.5. Following casting, the Casting Review Board, the Producer, and the Directors will meet to review the proposed cast, keeping in mind the requirements previously established as per section 2.6.3.

2.6.8 The Casting Review Board may choose to approve alternate castings of a role, to be offered in the event of a candidate's inability or refusal to accept and complete that role. If no approved alternate exists, the Casting Review Board must reconvene to approve recasting.

2.7 Before selecting Directors, the Managing Board will make certain that each candidate understands fully the provisions of section 2 of this constitution.

2.8 The text of paragraph 2.1 will be included on all audition forms.

4.3.4 The Managing Board will serve on the Casting Review Board for each show under the provisions of section 2.6.

2.4 Production Staff

4.3.3 The Managing Board will choose the Director and the Producer for each of these shows. The Managing Board will, with the advice of the Director and Producer, fill major design and production positions.

3 Policy of the Managing Board

3.1 General

The following points are the basis of the new Casting and Interview Policy.

  1. The Casting and Interview policy will be based upon the following definitions. Note also that if a person falls under two separate definitions, they are considered to be part of the group with the higher casting priority.
    1's Currently registered MIT undergraduate and graduate students (full-time, part-time, and special) and those who were such within the previous 6 months.
    2's Current members of MTG and current members of the MIT Community (including currently registered Wellesley students, those who were such within the previous 6 months, family of MIT students/alumni, current members of the MIT staff/faculty, and those married to, engaged to, or similarly tied to MIT students/alumni).
    3's Wellesley alumnae, students of other schools, and anyone else.
  2. 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.
  3. Only 1's and 2's are initially permitted to audition for MTG productions. If, after auditions, there are still roles left unfilled, The director may request to hold another round of auditions. In this further round, 3's are permitted to audition, as well. 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.
  4. Prior to interviews, the Interview Board must receive from each directorial candidate a written proposal which includes his/her conceptual, casting, and design ideas for the show.
  5. Classwork in the appropriate theatrical field should be taken into account in cast and production staff positions.

4 Directions to the Managing Board

The 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.

  1. The MB should find a Producer for each show as soon as it is chosen. The MB should not wait until the interviews are about to be held, but should find someone as soon as possible. A simple vote of the board can choose a Producer.
  2. Interview for the positions of Director and Music Director significantly in advance of the other interviews. In this way, the Director and Music Director can meet with the Producer, decide what is wanted in the rest of the production staff, and when the interviews are held for those other positions, the Director can better have an idea as to what type of ideas are compatible with his own.
  3. The Director and Producer should be voting members of the IB. This way, the Director and Producer can help guide the show into a coherent whole by helping choose who they have to work with.
  4. All members of the MB who are not interviewing for production staff positions should be on the IB. If the Director, Music Director, or Producer are on the MB, they too should be on the IB. The IB should also include past Directors, Music Directors, Producers, and other members of past production staffs. All members of the IB must be current MTG members in good standing. The IB will consist of 7 members, including the Director and Producer.
  5. All members of the MB not on the production staff and not auditioning for the show should be on the CRB. The Director, Music Director, and Producer, may not be on the CRB even if they are on the MB. To fill out the 7-person CRB, members should be drawn from past MBs as well as from past Directors, Music Directors, and Producers. All members of the CRB must be current MTG members in good standing.

5 Directions to Producers

The Producer has a number of responsibilities that must be completed to the best of his or her 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.

  1. The Producer must organize and coordinate the MB to interview and choose the Director and Music Director. It is the Producer's responsibility to find applicants for these positions.
  2. 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 should deal with the Guild Publicity Director in publicizing interviews.
  3. The Producer must make sure that the IB, as well as the CRB is completely familiar with the policy contained in this document. This is accomplished by actually reading the document at a meeting of the IB and CRB before they actually begin commencing their individual duties. This way, the Producer is assured that this document has been read recently by the entire IB and CRB.
  4. Make sure 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.
  5. The Producer must make sure the CRB 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.
  6. 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 will have the right to remove a member from the IB or CRB with the approval of 3 other MB members. Note a full board meeting need not be called in this situation, only the requisite 4 votes, including the President's vote, which the President may collect in any manner most convenient.

6 Directions to Directors

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.

  1. Read this entire document. It is designed not only to help the IB and CRB, but also to help you understand them. Especially read the section on the casting policy of the Guild, and the directions to the CRB.
  2. Keep a record of which auditionees are 1's, 2's, and 3's.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

7 Directions to Casting Review Board

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.

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