A Conversation about the History of Casting

How did contemporary casting practices come into being? How did actors become freelancers? Do you know the sordid history of the headshot? How has casting changed in the internet era? Why do casting controversies figure so prominently in discussions about race, gender and sexuality in contemporary theatre? Drawing upon his ongoing research for his book-length study of the topic (Next! A Brief History of Casting), award-winning performance historian Brian Herrera will invite questions from those assembled to guide a lively interactive discussion about the history of casting in US popular performance. This conversation aims to press the critical, creative and historical understanding of casting beyond familiar zero-sum measures of good/bad, success/failure or right/wrong so as to cultivate an appreciation of casting as a dynamic repertoire of performance techniques, practices and conventions ripe for experimentation, innovation and revision.