Casting Director

Get insights from Casting Director Anne McNulty

“It really is about the dialogue with the director and finding a way to collaborate about choosing actors who are right for roles in a play.”

Anne McNulty


A Casting Director works closely with the director of a production to suggest actors to play the various characters in a play, creating a list of potential candidates for each of the roles and liaising with the actors’ agents to discuss their actors and organise auditions.


  • Attending performances, including drama school showcases
  • Reading the scripts to be cast
  • Liaising with directors to create character descriptions/breakdowns
  • Drawing up lists of potential actors
  • Liaising with actors’ agents

Key Skills

  • Excellent people and communication skills to understand and relay exactly what a director is looking for
  • An instinct for talent – knowing who has the right abilities and qualities to play a certain character
  • Very good memory to maintain a working knowledge of the many actors you’ll encounter over the course of your career
  • Patience – it can take time to find the right actor for a role and you don’t want to be hurried into making the wrong decision, which can seriously jeopardise the ultimate success of the production


There is little formal training to become a Casting Director. Many people start by working as an assistant/associate to an established Casting Director such as Jessica Ronane or David Grindrod or in prominent casting departments like the National Theatre and Royal Shakespeare Company.

You can begin preparing for a career by familiarising yourself as much as possible with current actors, especially emerging talent. Skills are largely developed on-the-job while gaining useful industry contacts, which are vital for securing future work. Watching productions and reading plays is also a vital part of the job.

Further Research

Further Reading

  • The Casting Handbook by Suzy Catliff, 2013
  • Confessions of a Casting Director by Jen Rudin, 2014
  • The Casting Directors’ Guild’s guide to ‘Becoming a Casting Director’ View