So there are 16 plays in total, which means a lot of juggling when it comes to casting (since there's overlap). They way it worked was we went through the whole list of actors and everybody who wanted the person as their first choice spoke up. If only one person wanted that person, he/she got him. A handful of actors got chosen this way.
I got my first choice for my male actor. I was ecstatic. He was absolutely fabulous in the audition, and he's so damn versatile. I loved him.
My first choice for the female role was not a slam-dunk. Someone else really wanted her. His play is about sisters, and mine has way more flexibility so I conceded and let him have her. But then all but one of the other actresses I had read tonight got cast in other plays. It literally came down to a single actress between me and another director. Hers had an age limit, and nobody who was left fell anywhere near it.
So I conceded. Which meant I had to cast from one of the actresses who hadn't been cast in anything else. Actresses who never read for me.
The woman I ended up getting isn't awful, but I found her a little strident at the auditions the other night. The directors who did see her tonight said she was much better than that, so I'm hoping they're not just trying to make me feel better. She's probably going to think it's weird that she got cast in a play she didn't even read for, but I'll just explain that because of scheduling, I didn't get to hear all the actors I wanted to call back. That is actually true. It just didn't include her. But I don't want her to feel bad about being left at the end, and it scored me MAJOR brownie points with everybody else. In fact, I already called in my chip with the director who got my female actress choice and got him to agree to do the male non-speaking role in my play. :)
But I got my first choice male, who was amazing and I've been wanting to work with for a year since I saw him do something else in last year's festival. So I'll focus on the good for now. And pray that I'm pleasantly surprised by her when we start rehearsing.