Open Forum

Casting the 2 young children for South Pacific question.

  • 1.  Casting the 2 young children for South Pacific question.

    Posted 27 days ago
    We are doing the iconic musical South Pacific this spring, and I am wondering about how to cast Emile de Becque's two young children Ngana and Jerome in the play.

    The plot deals with prejudice and is based on award winning James Michener's Tales of the South Pacific. My problem is the prejudice is directed against people of the Pacific. So do I cast dark haired Asian children for Emile's mixed race children?

    If you produced this play, how did you approach casting for these roles, as well as Bloody Mary and her daughter LIat?
    Part of the casting issue I will be facing is that the high school is mostly caucasian, and there is very little variety in the theatre program.  One hopes that more students will join, but because theatre is a pay-to-participate extra curricular, I am lucky to have as many students as I do.

    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated, as I have a couple of months before auditions begin.
    Thanks,

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    Valerie Farschman, Drama Director
    MLS Theatre Company, Troupe 1422
    Marion L Steele High School
    Amherst, Ohio
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  • 2.  RE: Casting the 2 young children for South Pacific question.

    Posted 21 days ago
    While this is not a direct answer for you, there are plenty of past threads that relate to this topic that might help you make a decision:

    Racial Casting in South Pacific

    Racism or Not

    Racism Concerns in Millie




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    Ginny Butsch
    Community Manager
    Educational Theatre Association
    Alexandria KY
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  • 3.  RE: Casting the 2 young children for South Pacific question.

    Posted 21 days ago
    I'ts been a long (long!) time since I've seen South Pacific, so I can't speak to the casting issue - and you know better what works for your community. Would it work in your situation to cast younger students from a feeder middle school? That may allow you to find actors who appear to fit the character descriptions and it could open up better roles for your high schoolers. Perhaps you could waive the fee for them, since they would be in middle school.

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    Ken Buswell
    Drama Teacher
    Peachtree City, GA
    http://mcintoshtheater.org/

    Theater kills ignorance
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