I've been cast in two shows at UH: ARCADIA (Jelleby, the butler), which is being done on the mainstage, and TRESTLE AT POPE LICK CREEK (Drey, the father), a graduate directing student's show. Both roles are small, but Drey is also a good part, and right in my strike zone. Some of my fellow graduate students didn't get cast at all, at least not this round.
It must be said that the casting at UH seems problematic, this fall, and is possibly the product of intra-departmental turf wars, as the department as a whole struggles to adapt to new priorities and performance standards, for which the new MFA class is supposedly raising the bar. With performance standards perhaps unclear, some roles have been filled with undergraduate actors demonstating more uncontrolled instinct than technique or experience--though, of course, I hasten to add that I DO see the argument for favoring untamed instinct over other tempering qualities, especially in a pedagogical setting. We're all interested to see not only the final performances that result from the autumn casting, but also how the rehearsal process goes. The undergraduates at UH appear to have developed a lot of bad habits--e.g., a lot of 'acting at' rather than 'with' scene partners--which were manifest during auditions. Potentially, the rehearsal process will teach me as much about acting training as about acting itself.