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Automation of casting matrices - Sally's Journal
October 18th, 2009
10:31 pm


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Automation of casting matrices

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Date:October 19th, 2009 09:45 am (UTC)
I think it would be more useful for all the purposes I can think of to have a list of who's on stage together rather than who talks directly before or after one another. Even if it's just a talky readthrough, it's really confusing when you're imagining someone being on stage as two different people at the same time.

For Bardcamp I just do who's in each scene, though that might not be good enough for readthroughs/plays with tiny casts.

Sometimes people speak to one another but not directly before or after one another, and sometimes people are really important in a scene but don't say much. Or anything. It would be really irritating to have to 'come in' as Messenger when you're busy tragically bleeding at everyone as Lavinia.
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Date:October 19th, 2009 09:57 pm (UTC)
Thinking on this more, it would be useful to have both, but directly talking to each other seems more amenable to automation (because it's far more Stuff to Count, whereas lists of who is in approx. 20 scenes is easier to do by hand). I think for small readthroughs I'd want to try to definitely avoid adjacent lines (unless it turned out to be Impossible), whereas I'd want to make a carefully thought through decision about shared scenes. Clearly this is a case where necessary is not the same as sufficient (the Lavinia point is a good one, but I think that _does_ come under 'a bit of knowledge of how the play works')
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Date:October 20th, 2009 03:19 pm (UTC)
I don't see how you could get stats for 'directly talking to each other' - it isn't the same as adjacent lines. In many cases it isn't even nearly the same as adjacent lines. Counting adjacent lines just seems pointless and messy. (Though perhaps my anti-mess prejudice is making me dislike it more than is rational?)

What I do find a casting pattern that avoids people being two different characters in the same scene insofar as possible, then manually adjust if (a) there aren't enough actors or (b) I particularly want someone to play two different characters who appear in a scene together. The only time-consuming part of the process is working out who is in which scene. The actual casting is very quick and simple, and yes, that applies even when I don't have the luxury of 22 actors.

I don't see what having an 'adjacent lines' analysis, or even a 'who speaks to whom' analysis (if such a thing were possible) would add.
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