So I was whining about what to do with all these actor friends when we put up a show without upsetting or offending anyone. I thought, "Surely they realize that there's just not enough room in a small, personally funded show for everyone we've ever come into contact with. How could they not realize that?" And then I found out that while some dear friends realize it, others get upset that you called someone else instead of them, even if the role was for a man and you didn't ask a woman to play that part.
Here's my solution: Be completely honest. Okay, maybe not completely. Mostly honest. I think we're going to post for casting for Sonny on the casting websites. We'll probably send out an email to all of our actor friends and acquaintances announcing the show and the roles, but I think it will say, "We're only auditioning people who would best fit these roles at this time. If you submit and we don't call you in, it isn't because we think you're untalented; it's just that we don't have enough time to audition everyone we know when we're looking for very specific qualities in the actors that fill these roles. We may have general auditions for our upcoming productions later, so don't get your panties in a knot." If there are personal acquaintances that we REALLY want to see for certain roles, I think those people will get a "Hey, we don't know exactly what we're looking for but I'd love it if you'd audition for us."
I know some people are going to get their panties in a knot no matter what we do, but this should handle the borderline panty-knotters. Casting is a tough process. You have to have the supporting cast complement the leads. Can't hire a seven-foot tall black man (no matter how much we like him or how good an actor he is) to play my father since I'm pale as milk toast. Ain't gonna happen. There are scheduling things to consider, availability, work ethic, how one relates to other people, chemistry, blah blah blah. So I think my statement just might work.