Behind the Casting Table: How the Alley Casts a Show

Casting is an art form at Alley Theatre that brings characters to life. Behind this process is the Alley’s Associate Producer & Casting Director, Brandon Weinbrenner.

“At the core of Alley Theatre’s mission and vision is the Resident Acting Company (RAC),” Brandon shares. “Our season planning process revolves around how we want to use the Resident Actors. We like to disperse their roles throughout the season. We give them leading and supporting roles that challenge and showcase them. Roles that keep our audience seeing them both on the Neuhaus and the Hubbard. We plan well in advance what shows the Resident Acting Company is in and their specific roles.”

This approach ensures a wide range of characters the RAC portrays across various productions. 

Resident Acting Company members in A SERVANT OF TWO MASTERS
Resident Acting Company members in A SERVANT OF TWO MASTERS

Casting doesn’t end with the RAC, though. The Alley’s commitment provides opportunities to Houston actors, tapping into the local community’s incredible talent pool. “I first consider who we have locally that can play these roles,” Brandon explains. The Alley wants to provide a space for local actors to share their craft. 

Jacqueline Guillén, José José Arrieta Cuesta, and Jesse Castellanos

The next phase involves joint discussions with each show’s director. Brandon meets with the director to understand the production’s vision and determine roles beyond the Resident Acting Company. “I will tell them about their local options for the remaining roles and suggest auditions if we need them,” Brandon notes.

“We might decide that a specific character would best be cast from out-of-town,” Brandon says. The Alley’s commitment to excellence means considering talent nationwide to ensure the perfect fit for each role. 

As the submissions pour in, the Alley’s casting team diligently reviews each one, selecting actors for callbacks. These callbacks are a crucial phase, often held in iconic theater hubs like New York. Brandon explains, “There are actors that we may invite straight to the callbacks without an initial audition. We then compare the actors and select the best actor for the role.”

Brandon shares, “We are committed to the best actor for the role, regardless of where they live.”