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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 11:53 am (UTC)

Re: Que?

But I'm an old-fashioned sucker for first reading the plays one wishes to read through with others, and I wouldn't find a purely numerical analysis of the structural metadata useful, as against what I thought about the play and the readers.

Me too, but when you're casting eight different plays, some of which have forty, fifty or sixty characters (something I do once a year), the numerical analysis is a vital aide memoire to supplement the more qualitative analysis.

In that scenario, since the people with big parts will only have one of them, those with minor parts will often have five or six, all called things like "third senator", "fifth citizen". Storing in your head which of these interact with which others, and doing so for several plays simultaneously, takes way more than "a bit of knowledge of how the play[s] work[s]"!

There are extra problems when you're doing something like a television series, where the same characters appear in more than one episode. And extra extra problems with Jacobethan history plays where that applies and also there are lots of people with the same name, and some people who change titles (and therefore character names) between or within plays, and you have to grapple with the fact that Shakespeare (at least) has a tendency to merge more than one historical person into a single character.

[On a tangent, I've done two or three person history play readthroughs, and think they're ace, but I'm probably very strange, and they tend to be something that arises when some people are drunk rather than being planned or cast in advance.]
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