- We are committed to always doing what is best for each of our students, to the extent that is possible.
- We are committed to prioritizing what is best for each of our students FIRST, ahead of any desire to impress audiences or donors.
- We will keep cast sizes small whenever possible, in order to give every student adequate opportunities to learn, grow, and shine.
- We will strive to give equal opportunities to all of our students.
- We will cast students based on their natural personalities first and foremost, rather than on external metrics. We provide a unique audition/casting process, taking place over the course of our first week or two, which enables all students with equal opportunities, regardless of whether or not they have prior experience or training, and regardless of how comfortable they are in new situations. We believe in helping students to feel comfortable, safe, included, etc, and we use a variety of activities to make that happen. This process allows the natural personalities of our students to emerge, which helps us to decide how to cast them.
- We believe in the fundamental principle of theatre, which is that of people being given the opportunity to play characters who are different from who the actors are in real life. This gives people unique opportunities to learn and grow, and to empathize more with people who are different from them.
For example, thousands of non-Jewish people all over the world have gotten the opportunity to portray Jewish characters in various productions of Fiddler On The Roof, thereby learning a lot about historical Jewish culture and traditions, which helps them to be more understanding and respectful of Jewish people.
We believe that breaking with this tradition in favor of literal casting would be a tragic loss of extremely valuable and unique learning opportunities that young people are in need of now as much as ever.
Beyond that, literal casting is often not possible in youth theatre, especially with small cast sizes. So we believe the best approach is to stick with the fundamental principle of casting people however the director deems best, while being as sensitive and respectful as possible, and trusting our staff to help our students learn how to portray the characters they are playing as authentically and respectfully as possible. This may require us to prioritize producing shows that allow for flexible casting.