Thursday, 5 December 2013

Large Cast Productions

I've been looking at the plays of Caryl Churchill, most of which have large casts - 16 parts being an average. In all cases these parts have been divided amongst 5 / 6 actors. This saves costs and it must be easier to co-ordinate 6 actors rather than 16. 

Large Casts enable multi viewpoints and brilliant challenges for actors. However, the costs involved with putting on productions often result in writers and producers opting for fewer roles.

There are some cases when a large cast is needed. My Story Quilt (The Horse's Quilt) has 20 characters. This figure could be swelled to include more people, in schools for example, by having stage crew and musicians. 

I'm thinking of writing another large cast drama piece for community settings and have looked at those produced by other companies and writers. They vary from the sublime to the banal.

What large cast plays have you seen. Who is known for writing plays with vast casts?

Have you any ideas for such a thing. Jot down some ideas and see if it inspires something you haven't thought of before.

Caryl Churchill