Macbeth Casting Call

Play casting director, with every star at your disposal!

Introduction: Every year, students surprise me with their casting choices. As a theatre director, I find casting to be one of the most engaging parts of the whole process. What better way, then, to immerse students in a Shakespearean text? Of course, I try to present the project in a creative way, just to get them inspired!

Text: William Shakespeare's Macbeth

Grade: Sophomores

Difficulty: Simple (good for basic level students)

Applications: I've done this same project with juniors for Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman, and I could imagine you could adapt it to nearly any play.

For Immediate Release:

(Name of teacher) of (name of town) has recently announced his/her intention to direct a production of Macbeth off-Broadway. Due to his/her immense talent and recent success, s/he has managed to convince (name of famous actor) and (name of famous actress) to team up and underwrite all costs for the production. S/he is looking to hire a casting director. Creativity in selection is both encouraged and applauded, and s/he will accept recommendations regardless of age, race, gender, or fame.   

Though the casting director has a wonderful job, it is also a difficult one. As there are many roles in the show, at this point, I would like to see only your first choice for the following roles: Macbeth, Lady Macbeth, the First Witch, and two other roles of your choosing. Because of the connections to the production, we feel certain we could hire almost any performer you might suggest, whether stars of stage, screen, or music. However, for each actor you intend to hire, you must include a small photograph and a one-page, double-spaced write-up of the reasons why you think they would be right for the role. Please consider such issues as hiring actors who could handle the language of Shakespeare as well as the diversity of the roles. Be specific about scenes you think they would do particularly well in; I’ll be more convinced by hearing what they’d do well in Macbeth than by hearing about what they’ve done in the past. Please note: Often little-known actors are the most interesting ones. Feel free to cast outside of the lines, suggesting actors I may not even know—or ones no longer living—if you strongly feel they would be right for the part.

(One good resource for finding actors’ past history is However, you should not just list everything they’ve done; this is not a research project, but a creative project about a literary text: Macbeth.)

ONE FINAL NOTE: If a casting director were to steal the concepts of another production of this play, they would immediately be disqualified from consideration for the position.