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How To Approach Having One Audition When Casting Multiple Shows

You must be directing a summer series, or maybe you sign contracts with actors for a full season at a time. Regardless of your specifics, you can use Cast98 to manage all of your shows, and it really isn't very difficult to do. It is harder to explain, but let's try it...

Create an extra show and designate it for auditions

For starters, you're gonna want to have a theatre membership because you are going to post all of your shows up front.

After that, the key is to designate a single show that will be your official auditions. You can even name it "General Auditions" or something like that to make it clear that this is the right place to sign up for auditions. It may behoove you to leave the audition form unpublished for other shows, to avoid confusion.

For example, if you have 6 shows in your season, you'll want to post General Auditions as a 7th show and turn on the audition form for this show only. This will ensure that your auditionees sign up in the right place, and you'll be able to assign a separate cast list for each of your _real_ shows later on.

A note about casting decision variations: Some theatre companies choose to cast all of their shows at the same time, while others cast a group of actors as the season's company but postpone casting decisions for each show until it approaches. Either method will work with Cast98.

Have auditions like normal

Now you have seven shows posted, and the one called General Auditions (in our example) is the only one with the audition form turned on. Hold your auditions like normal on this 7th show  with Cast98's audition form and dashboard, and use the cast list as needed for your internal records.

Use the cast list for instructions

It's recommended that you publish a cast list on your General Auditions to inform auditionees whether they've been selected or not.

If you pre-cast all the shows at the same time, resist the urge to identify their exact roles in this cast list. It's just a lot of extra work that you don't need to do. Instead, it's recommended you use the role to assign each actor to one or more of the 6 real shows.

Cast98 enables you to write two messages that will appear alongside the cast list:

  1. The Cast Welcome Message will be visible to anyone who is assigned a role on the cast list
  2. The Cast Sorry Message will be visible to anyone who auditioned but is NOT assigned a role on the cast list.

You can use the Cast Welcome Message to instruct your cast on their next steps.

Have your cast submit an audition for the appropriate shows

You now need to unlock the audition form on each of your real shows, and tell your cast members to go and submit a fresh audition on the shows they've been assigned. This might seem like a painful step, but it is very easy for them because the first audition form saved all of their info to their actor profile for subsequent use.

The audition form on each show is required for two big reasons:

  1. It syncs the actor's conflicts (after they're added to the cast list) into the rehearsal schedule maker.
  2. It protects actor privacy; submitting the audition form is how actors opt-in to sharing private information with the directors of the show.

Once the actors submit their audition form, the director of each show is ready to build their own cast list and start working on the rehearsal schedule.

Additional considerations

This methodology has some great benefits:

  • It accommodates the complex setup required to manage many casts, with minimal extra work.
  • If each show has a different director/stage manager/leadership team, those individuals can be given co-director status on the real show as needed without being bothered by the admin responsibilities for General Auditions.
  • Actors won't need to revisit General Auditions for anything after the initial cast list.

Maybe these hiccups are worth mentioning:

  • The admin who is scheduling rehearsals for one show will not see conflicts related to the rehearsal schedule for other shows, unless an actor or crew member marks those rehearsal conflicts on their conflict calendar. Use the Save & Sync Conflicts feature on the auditionee dashboard to re-sync that individual's conflicts if taking this approach to navigate around another show's rehearsal schedule.

If you still have questions about managing multiple shows with a single audition cycle, please contact support to get answers!

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