Friday, March 9, 2012

Kingship Acting Company Matrix

*UPDATE 4/23/12* - It's come to my attention what a useful tool this Matrix is for others and that all our hard work is totally up for grabs here on the interwebs. Since this Matrix represents dozens of hours of work, I am going to take the images of it out of the post. If you are interested in using it for production, you may contact me at Thanks!

Whenever it is time to look forward to the next batch of productions, I get really excited to think about doubles (or sometimes more accurately, triples, quadruples, and so forth -- what's nine?). It's fascinating to consider roles that seem to fit naturally together, though much more often I like to disrupt those kinds of doubles. For me, they seem too easy and therefore less challenging and interesting -- for both the actor and the audience member.

Casting for the Kingship Cycle are (I'm already certain) the most difficult maps I will ever put together. So much so that I decided I can't call it a map. Too simplistic. So it's a matrix instead. This bit of stuff took eleven or twelve hours to put together, and that was only so "short" because Patrick and I have already laboriously made out the character maps (or French scenes as they are sometimes called) for each of the four plays in Part 1 of the Kingship Cycle.

I love putting together different versions of the character tracks for each play, experimenting with different doubles. I'm limited by the number of actors and, of course, by who's on stage when. The Kingship Matrix quickly became even more insane than usual, because I really want to have the same actors continuing through each character's entire journey across the plays. Margaret is the only character to appear in all four plays -- what a survivor. Hard-favored Richard appears for the first time at the very end of 2 Henry VI, and we follow his play for and rise to power through 3 Henry VI and Richard III. What a fascinating journey for the actor and the lucky audience members who get to see these shows!

In some ways I suppose I'm a glutton for punishment. As much time as it takes to get this matrix "just so," when I walk out of the audition room from hours of callbacks, I will come right back to this matrix and shift things around. So trust me that this matrix is not going to be exactly what you read in the program next fall. But maybe you will start getting as excited about some of these pairings as I am!

Images removed by author. Below is a sample from the Matrix.

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