An ensemble cast is made up of cast members in which the principal actors and performers are assigned roughly equal amounts of importance and screen time in a dramatic production.
1.1 Cinema 1.2 Television
2 See also 3 References
The structure of an ensemble cast contrasts with the popular Hollywood
centralization of a sole protagonist, as the ensemble leans more
towards a sense of "collectivity and community".
Ensemble casts in film were introduced as early as September 1916,
with D. W. Griffith's silent epic film Intolerance, featuring four
separate though parallel plots. The film follows the lives of
several characters over hundreds of years, across different cultures
and time periods. The unification of different plot lines and
character arcs is a key characteristic of ensemble casting in film;
whether it's a location, event, or an overarching theme that ties the
film and characters together.
Films that feature ensembles tend to emphasize the interconnectivity
of the characters, even when the characters are strangers to one
another. The interconnectivity is often shown to the audience
through examples of the "six degrees of separation" theory, and allows
them to navigate through plot lines using cognitive mapping.
Examples of this method, where the six degrees of separation is
evident in films with an ensemble cast, are in productions such as
All-star Polyphony (literature) Supergroup (music)
^ Random House: ensemble acting Linked 2013-07-17
^ Steven Withrow; Alexander Danner (2007). Character design for
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^ a b "Mathijs, E. (2011). Referential acting and the ensemble cast.
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^ Filmsite.org,. (2014). Intolerance (1916). Retrieved 20 June 2014,
^ a b "Silvey, V. (2009). Not Just Ensemble Films: Six Degrees, Webs,
Multiplexity and the Rise of Network Narratives. FORUM: University Of
Edinburgh Postgraduate Journal of Culture & The Arts, 0(08).
Retrieved from http://www.forumjournal.org/article/view/621/906
^ Child, B. (2012). Avengers Assemble disarms the critics. the
Guardian. Retrieved 20 June 2014, from
^ Bean, J. (2011). Joss Whedon talks in depth about the ensemble cast
of 'The Avengers' - Hypable. Hypable. Retrieved 20 June 2014, from
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^ Jenkins, H. (2010). The Survival of Soap Opera (Part Two):The
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^ Campbell, S. (2014). David Cameron: 'I'm a
Game of Thrones