via press release:
DISNEY/ABC TELEVISION GROUP’S CASTING DEPARTMENT
PRESENTS THE ANNUAL DIVERSITY TALENT SHOWCASE ON SEPTEMBER 24
12 Diverse Actors to Perform in New York for a Select Group of Network and Industry Professionals
The Disney/ABC Television Group’s Casting Project will present its 12th year of the Diversity Talent Showcase in an ongoing effort to discover and nurture racially, ethnically diverse talent and actors with disabilities. This year’s New York showcase, taking place at New World Stages on Tuesday, September 24, features 12 talented, emerging actors.
Twelve actors were selected from almost 7,000 candidates who submitted their resumes and approximately 525 hopefuls who auditioned for ABC casting executives in New York. The actors will have the opportunity to perform in one-act vignettes directed by Ted Sluberski and Joe Ward to an audience of industry executives and decision makers. Many of the actors selected were submitted through showcase partners SAG-AFTRA, Actors’ Equity Association and Inclusion in the Arts, as well as many other theatre companies and organizations throughout the country that have an eye for diverse talent. Following the showcase, the twelve actors will work closely with the New York casting executives, who will act as mentors, helping to hone their skills and provide guidance throughout the year. The actors will also audition for ABC Entertainment Group’s current series, future series, and pilots.
The talented actors to be featured at the showcase, which is not open to the public, are as follows:
Miguel Carlos Alves (Livingston, NJ), Annie Chang (Orange County, CA), Andrew Cristi (Glenview, IL), Mark St. Cyr (Lafayette, LA), Selina Michelle Fonseca (San Antonio, TX), Nikki Guevara (The Philippines), Lucas Hazlett (Sacramento, CA), Melanie Kannokada (Buffalo Grove, IL), Illya Konstantin (Toronto, Canada), Anthony Ordonez (Miami, FL), Paulina Singer (Portsmouth, NH) and Chelsea Watts (Malta, MT).
The Talent Showcase is spearheaded by Keli Lee, Executive Vice President, Casting; Marci Phillips, Executive Director; Casting; John Ort, Manager, Casting; Austin Sayles, Director, Casting; Jason Najjoum, Showcase Coordinator, and the Los Angeles Casting Office.
“We have selected 12 talented actors to perform in the ABC Casting Department’s Talent Showcase in New York. I am excited for them to showcase their abilities to the entertainment industry and look forward to their upcoming successes,” said Keli Lee, executive vice president, Casting, ABC Entertainment Group.
ABC’s Los Angeles and New York Talent Showcases have been the launching pad for discovering new talent, including Jesse Williams, who currently stars on “Grey’s Anatomy” as Dr. Jackson Avery, and “Dancing with the Stars” judge, Carrie Ann Inaba.
The Disney/ABC Television Group’s commitment to discovering and nurturing diverse talent is exemplified through many different programs, including the Casting Project, the Disney/ABC Writing Program, the Disney/ABC/DGA Directing Program, The Production Associates Program, and The National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC) Writing Workshop.