Santana rehearses her part as a juror in the play.

Double casting allows for more participants in fall play “12 Angry Jurors”

Sophomore Cynthia Santana, who plays Juror #3 in cast A, reviews her script for a drama rehearsal.

Double casting, or when two actors play the same role in separate productions, was implemented for the drama department’s fall play “12 Angry Jurors” because of an influx of auditioning students and COVID-19 concerns.

After 28 students participated in open auditions held Thursday, Aug. 18, the cast list was finalized with 13 people each on cast A and cast B, meaning that almost everyone who auditioned was accepted. 

“I was really excited to see so much talent. Many were students who hadn’t been involved in theater for a long time, so I was excited to see so many students interested in drama,” drama teacher Jamie Roberts said. “We were in quarantine for so long, and I just wanted to get more students involved. The double cast system allows for more inclusivity.”

The decision to have double casts received mixed reactions among the student actors, with some disagreeing with Roberts’ change from a more selective, one-cast production.

“It’s something new, but, personally, I’m not a big fan because two casts can be a bit messy,” senior Justin Ni, who plays the foreman in cast A, said. “Plus, getting rejected and accepted in auditions is a prime part of acting. [Double casting] seems hard to manage, but I’m happy to try it out.”

However, other students see it as an opportunity to expand the drama program while ensuring the safety of their peers.

“I think [double casting] is a very good idea because it opens slots to get people into drama where normally people wouldn’t be very involved,” sophomore Cynthia Santana, who plays Juror #3 in cast A, said. “I also think, especially with COVID, it’s a good idea to have backups and be prepared in case something happens to one of the cast.”

Despite varying opinions on the double cast system in place this year, being able to hold in-person rehearsals again is something that the students are looking forward to.

“I am most excited about the performance, although I feel like the performance is only one-third of the whole thing. Almost everything about the experience is what happens backstage, like going over the script, watching stagecraft do their thing and practicing with everyone,” Ni said. “Last year [during quarantine] wasn’t ideal, so I think being with everyone will be cool to experience.”

By Cathy Li, Feature editor
Photo by Sofia Majeed