Casting

Casting

Cast Size: Medium (11 to 20 performers)
Cast Type: Children
Dance Requirements: Standard

Character Breakdown

Jack

Jack is a young boy. He is bookish, careful and thoughtful, but he is NOT a nerd! Jack has tremendous curiosity about the world around him and loves to take notes about his observations. Jack tends to be very cautious in new situations, and his adventures in the tree house help him develop his confidence. He has a good (and protective) relationship with his younger sister, Annie, though her more impetuous nature often gets on his nerves. This is a big role and requires a strong singer and actor.

Gender: male
Annie
Jack's younger sister and, in many ways, his opposite in terms of personality. She is a risk-taker who often follows her heart instead of her head. She sometimes teases Jack about his careful attitude toward life and often encourages him to be more adventurous. She loves animals of any kind and has a very loving heart. Like Jack, this role requires strong singing and acting.
Gender: female
The Jester
A professional entertainer/performer whose job it is to amuse the Duke and his guests, and he or she is the only person allowed to criticize or make fun of the Duke. The Jester opens the show and is responsible for much of the comedy in "The Apple Song," so consider casting someone who is exuberant, posesses good comedic instints, and relishes the spotlight.
Gender: any
Minstrels
The castle musicians and singers. Their chorus can be as small as a handful of performers or as large as your stage and theatre program can accommodate. The minstrels do not have many spoken lines, so it's better to cast stronger singers than actors, though you might consider casting at least one experienced student or natural leader so that the rest of the minstrels will have someone to follow.
Gender: any
Black Knight
A mysterious figure who sends Jack and Annie on their quest. In the Duke's kingdom, the Black Knight is something of a legend and a celebrity. The Black Knight has very little dialogue and only sings a few lines at the beginning and end of the play, but he must be an imposing and charismatic prescence, capable of acting without words.
Gender: male
Red
One of the main Castle Sentries/Guards. Red is the ringleader, a bit of a braggart, and the most ambitious of the three guards. Although his name suggests he has red hair, you can just as easily put a pair of red boots or a red hat on the actor to suggest the origin of his nickname.
Gender: male
Mustache
One of the main Castle Sentries/Guards. Mustache is a tough guy type and most of what he says and does is done in an effort to impress his boss, Red.
Gender: male
Squinty
One of the main Castle Sentries/Guards. Squinty is more childlike than the others, and his guilelessness helps provide much of the comic relief in their scenes.
Gender: any
Commoners
Sharon the Sheep Shearer, Chandler the Candle Maker, Bartley of the Barley Meadow, Cartwright the Cart Builder, and Tom the Tinker. The common members of the kingdom who try to talk their way into the castle feast so that they can catch a glimpse of the Black Knight. (Think: fans trying to get backstage to meet their favorite rock star). The names of the characters were based on traditional medieval surnames that identified a person's occupation. Feel free to assign additional names to match the number of performers in the cast. Although these children need not be the strongest actors/singers, they should sing well enogh to round out the choral parts throught the show and they should have a foo memory for lines so that their dialogue with the Castle Guards can feel natural, almost overlapping. If these actors are doubling as Suits of Armor or Keepers of the Dungeon, make sure to cast kids who can sing those parts.
Gender: any
Duke
A pompous bully who enjoys being the center of attention and weilding his power. This is a small acting role that requires a strong speaking voice, not necessarily a strong singing voice. This is a good confidence-building role for a shy kid looking to gain some experience without taking on too much responsibility.
Gender: male
Castle Kids

Rikki, Baxter, Yates and the Other Castle Kids are the children of the castle servants. They are spunky and adventurous and highly competetive with one another. Consider casting younger or smaller children so they don't appear physically threatening to Jack and Annie. The Castle Kids do not need to sing, so these are good roles for kids who are getting involved in theatre for the first time. Yates should be the strongest actor of the bunch as he is the one who stirs the pot and gets all of the other kids riled up.

Suits Of Armor
The Suits are housed in the armory and brought to life by the song "To Be A Knight." Although specific lines to sing are given, the lines can be divided amongst more children depending upon the size of your cast. The Suits don't have any spoken dialogue, so look for good singers and condider casting kids who are focused enough to remain physically still for a fair amount of time without breaking character. The Suits tuble like dominoes at the end of the song, so also look for kids who are comfortable enough in their bodies to fllow through on a fairly choreographed fall to the ground. The Suits are not gender-specific.
Gender: any
Keepers Of The Dungeon
The servants of Keenan and Elf who enjoy every moment of their lives in the dungeon. The song, "Welcome to the Dungeon (Part 1)" is written for a minimum of two Keepers, but you can cast as many many kids as your program and stage will accommodate. Feel free to assign names to all of the Keepers. If you need to find more speaking roles for your kids, you will find the Keepers' dialogue easily divvied up amongst more than two actors. These are fairly substantial speaking and singing roles, and much of the comic tone will rest on the Keepers' ability to have fun without stealing focus, so consider casting kids who can memorize lines and follow direction but who aren't the class clowns.
Gender: any
Keenan
Keenan is the head honcho and takes great pride for all things concerning the Duke's dungeon. This role is not gender-specific, but requires a strong actor/singer and someone who is very comfortable onstage. The success of the dungeon scene largely hinges on Keenan's ability to sell the delightfully warped worldview of these particular dungeon masters, so consider casing one of your mature, yet playful actors.
Gender: any
Elf
Keenan's right hand man/woman and another big fan of dungeon life. There is no need to cast a small child for this role - it might even be fun to cast your tallest kid. Cast a performer who is innately interesting and is a strong actor and singer. This is a good role to feature someone who has talent but may not be ready for a larger role just yet. A strange hat or other costume piece might be good for delineating Elf from the other Keepers.
Gender: any
Vagrants
The Youngest Vagrant and the the Oldest Vagrant are prisoners of the dungeon being held for the "crime" of being orphaned. At least two vagrants are needed for the scene, but if you have more actors than you have roles, you can cast as many vagrants as necessary. These kids will have to act without words during the entire "Welcome to the Dungeon (Part 2)" song, so choos kids who can focus. The Vagrant lines can easily be shared with additional Vagrants. If you have to choose, cast the stronger actor as the Youngest Vagrant because he/she hast the largest singing part.
Gender: any
Harry
The Duke's brother and although he has been in the dungeon for forty-seven years, he has retained his quiet dignity and nobility. This role is gender-specific (a girl playing a boy might add comedy where the play needs to be serious), so consider casting on of your more mature boys who has a natural stage presence.
Gender: male