I'm hungry for those shiny books they have up at Farmville High. I want the page of the Constitution that is torn our of my social studies book. I want a chance at that 'Romeo and Juliet' I've heard about but they tell me I'm not fit to read.
Barbara Johns — Scene 7

Character Descriptions and Casting

Cast your friends. Cast local celebrities or political figures. When casting, try to match readers to the roles they fit best. However, if the fit isn't happening, don't let that stop you! For example, in an all-female book club, a woman can certainly play Thurgood Marshall. In a middle school reading, Charles Houston can be thirteen.


You'll need to cast 8 or more people. Two main characters run throughout the play. The other parts, many of which only have 2 or 3 lines, can be distributed among 5 or more other actors. Plus, you will need one more person to read stage directions.
Note: This list may look long but don't worry! You really can do this play reading with AS FEW AS 8 PEOPLE! We'll help you figure out how to distribute roles -- see Casting Plans below.

* Indicates actual names of people involved at the time.

The Biggest Roles

These legal strategists are present throughout the play:

Good-Sized Roles at the Heart of the Play

The Smallest Roles

These characters have 0-5 lines; may be cameo appearances or double-cast.

Casting Plans

Casting Plan #1

Here's an example of how, in a small group reading, one actor can play more than one role. This casting plan uses 8 actors:

Casting Plan #2

Here is a casting plan using 12 actors:

Casting Plan #3

Cast one person per role! (That's 22 people!)

Of course, these casting plans are just suggestions. You are free to combine roles differently. Get creative with your casting.