Casting a Movement brings together US-based actors, directors, educators, playwrights, and scholars to explore the cultural politics of casting.

Drawing on the notion of a "welcome table"—a space where artists of all backgrounds can come together as equals to create theatre—the book’s contributors discuss casting practices as they relate to varying communities and contexts, including Middle Eastern American theatre, Disability culture, multilingual performance, Native American theatre, color- and culturally-conscious casting, and casting as a means to dismantle stereotypes. Syler and Banks suggest that casting is a way to invite more people to the table so that the full breadth of US identities can be reflected onstage, and that casting is inherently a political act; because an actor’s embodied presence both communicates a dramatic narrative and evokes cultural assumptions associated with appearance, skin color, gender, sexuality, and ability, casting choices are never neutral. By bringing together a variety of artistic perspectives to discuss common goals and particular concerns related to casting, this volume features the insights and experiences of a broad range of practitioners and experts across the field.

As a resource-driven text suitable for both practitioners and academics, Casting a Movement seeks to frame and mobilize a social movement focused on casting, access, and representation.

chapter |8 pages


ByClaire Syler

chapter |19 pages

The welcome table: Casting for an integrated society

ByDaniel Banks

part I|2 pages

Culturally conscious casting

chapter 1|3 pages

The chasm between

ByAyanna Thompson

chapter 2|13 pages

Playing with “race” in the new millennium

ByJustin Emeka

chapter 3|6 pages

Nevertheless, whiteness persisted

ByBrian Eugenio Herrera

part II|2 pages

Approaches to casting Middle Eastern American theater

chapter 4|3 pages

Casting pearls before authenticity

ByYussef El Guindi

chapter 5|12 pages


A Middle Eastern American casting case study
ByTorange Yeghiazarian

chapter 6|11 pages

Casting Middle Eastern American theater

Cultural, academic, and professional challenges
ByMichael Malek Najjar

part III|2 pages

Casting and disability culture

chapter 7|3 pages

Casting disabled actors

Taking our rightful place onstage?
ByChristine Bruno

chapter 8|12 pages

The difference disability makes

Unique considerations in casting performers with disabilities
ByCarrie Sandahl

chapter 9|13 pages

A great and complicated thing

Reimagining disability
ByVictoria Lewis

part IV|2 pages

Casting and multilingual performance

chapter 10|2 pages

The sea will listen

ByCaridad Svich

chapter 11|14 pages

Setting a global table with multilingual theater

ByEunice S. Ferreira

chapter 12|12 pages

Creating emergent spaces

Casting, community-building, and extended dramaturgy
ByAnn Elizabeth Armstrong

part V|2 pages

Casting contemporary Native American theater

chapter 13|2 pages


ByTy Defoe (Giizhig)

chapter 14|12 pages

Native Voices at the Autry

Casting the room
ByJean Bruce Scott, Randy Reinholz (Choctaw)

chapter 15|12 pages

Decolonial practices for contemporary Native Theater

ByCourtney Elkin Mohler (Santa Barbara Chumash)

part VI|2 pages

Subverting stereotypes

chapter 16|3 pages

Whose story is this to tell?

ByMei Ann Teo

chapter 17|14 pages

Casting, cross-racial performance, and the work of creativity

ByDorinne Kondo

chapter 18|11 pages

Artists of color/cross-racial casting

ByDonatella Galella

part VII|2 pages

Casting across identities

chapter 19|4 pages


ByElaine Ávila

chapter 20|13 pages

Collidescope 2.0

Performing the “alien gaze”
ByPriscilla Page

chapter 21|8 pages

The spatio-temporal logics of Collidescope’s welcome table

ByBrandi Wilkins Catanese

chapter |7 pages


ByDaniel Banks