From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
An ensemble cast is a cast in which the principal performers are assigned roughly equal amounts of importance in a dramatic production. This kind of casting became more popular in television series because it allows for flexibility for writers to focus on different characters in different episodes. In addition, the departure of players is less disruptive to the premise than it would be if the star of a production with a regularly structured cast leaves the series.
Some films have ensemble casts, usually ones that revolve around one large theme, such as The Lord of the Rings or Star Wars movies, or ones that revolve around interrelated themes persistent throughout individual subplots of the characters such as The High and the Mighty, Love Actually, or Crash.
The only known major film awards regarding ensemble casts are the Best Cast from the National Board of Review and the Screen Actors Guild's award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture.
Examples of plays with ensemble casts
Examples of television series with ensemble casts
Examples of movies with ensemble casts
- The High and the Mighty (1954)
- Reservoir Dogs (1992)
- The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)
Examples of operas with ensemble casts
- Le Nozze di Figaro (1786)
- Cosi Fan Tutte (1790)
- The Barber of Seville (Il Barbiere di Siviglia) (1816)