A Note on Casting Principal Principle

If you've accessed this page, you are perhaps considering producing Principal Principle. I'm always excited for the play to find a new audience and to find interpretive life in the hands of a new team of artists.

Given the play's production history, I want to discuss casting. Please note that the racial requirements as noted on the character list page are not flexible. In the past I've had to ask directors to correct casting after the fact, which is a bummer for all parties involved.

Notably, Banerjee/Wei has been the role that has been trickiest to cast, and more than once directors have given up and attempted to put a white actress in the role. Apart from the artistic demands of the script, I am a stickler about this because of the numerous Asian-American actress friends of mine who came to theatre after having pursued careers in more traditionally-prestigious fields (medicine, law, business, etc.). All of them wished someone had reached out to them with a role like this when they were in school, even if they hadn't been fully invested in theatre at that point in their lives. This is why I think it's critical to find an Asian-American actress for the role, even at smaller institutions like high schools, colleges, and community theaters.

In the original production we cast an Indian-American actor, and during the play's development the role of course grew with the actor playing it. Though it's never explicitly stated in the dialogue, this actor often expressed how she felt the role in the play-as-published reflects a particularly Asian-American upbringing -- in many ways, Banerjee fits the archetype/stereotype of an anxious overachiever under pressure from parental figures. This actor, and others, have expressed appreciation for that.

If you have questions about casting requirements or anything else in the play, please feel free to use me as a resource. You can contact me via this form. Thanks so much for your interest in Principal Principle.