How to Set up a Casting Call

Whether you are looking for actors to fill roles in large-scale or community theater productions, television shows or movies, it is essential that you know how to set up a casting call. Getting the right actors and actresses for any size production is crucial, so knowing how to find potential candidates and get them to your auditions is key.


  1. Image titled Set up a Casting Call Step 1
    Decide on a venue for the auditions.
    • Before you begin searching for possible casting call locations, be certain of your budget. Knowing exactly what you can spend for venue rental will help you to avoid embarrassment or disappointment. It will also save you time; knowing how much you can spend will help you rule out venues that have more costly rental fees.
    • You will definitely need a location with two separate rooms, so before you commit to a space, be sure it has them. Also look at the size of the rooms; it is essential that the room in which the actors will prepare has ample space so they are not crowded together. Likewise, the room in which the actual auditions will be held should be spacious enough to allow for free movement.
  2. Image titled Set up a Casting Call Step 2
    Advertise the auditions to get the turnout you need.
    • It is imperative that you get the word out about your casting call, and there are a number of ways to accomplish this. Depending on the size of the production, consider sending information about your auditions to casting agencies and newspapers. For smaller auditions such as community theater, local newspapers often offer free advertising for community events, so be sure to check into that. Additionally, many newspapers have websites, which means information about your casting call will reach an even wider audience. Call local theater groups or colleges and ask for the names and email addresses of local thespians so you can send personal invitations.
    • Be sure any information you submit to media outlets has thorough descriptions of all parts you are looking to cast. If your show has no children's roles, it would be a waste of time for everyone involved for children to come to the casting call. Include the ages, genders, body types and ethnicities of the characters you are casting. If you are casting a large number of children, send notices of your casting call to area school district offices.
    • If the casting call is for a film, television show or commercial, consider sending the information about the auditions to your local or state film commission. Film commissions have websites where they post upcoming casting calls.
  3. Image titled Set up a Casting Call Step 3
    Choose audition scenes for readings at the casting calls.
    • Try to select scenes that will allow actors to show a range of emotions. Audition scenes should be relatively short, and when possible, choose scenes that include several actors and actresses. This will allow you to see what those who are auditioning will look like together on stage and how well they interact.
  4. Image titled Set up a Casting Call Step 4
    Make a firm schedule.
    • Give actors and actresses time slots for their auditions, and notify them ahead of time if possible. Be sure to make the time blocks ample enough to allow for mistake correction and to allow the actors to try doing scenes in a couple of different ways.
  5. Image titled Set up a Casting Call Step 5
    Create information sheets to distribute to the actors who come to the audition.
    • On one of the sheets, clearly outline the days of the production and the rehearsal schedule to give to those actors who make the cut. This will allow the actors and actresses you select to let you know right away if they have any scheduling conflicts.
    • Make an additional information sheet on which the actors will provide you with their contact information including mailing addresses, home and cellular telephone numbers and email addresses.


  • If at all possible, secure a video camera to record the auditions. If you are having trouble deciding on who to cast, being able to watch the auditions again can be very helpful.
  • Auditions can be stressful for actors and actresses. It is imperative that the atmosphere at your casting call be organized and calm, as this will allow those who are auditioning to give their best performances. Being well-prepared will help to quell any chaos on the day of auditions.
  • If funding for your casting call is tight, consider less expensive venues such as hotels, community theaters or churches. You should never use someone's home as an audition venue; doing so is unprofessional.
  • Give yourself a deadline for casting and stick to it. Don't leave the actors and actresses dangling. Let them know as soon as possible whether or not they have been cast, as this will allow those who were chosen to start working on their roles and those who were not chosen to audition for other shows.

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Categories: Acting