Disney/ABC Television Group's Casting Project will host its 28th showcase as part of its ongoing effort to discover and nurture culturally and ethnically diverse talent and actors with disabilities. The presentations will take place at the El Portal Theatre Center for Performing Arts in North Hollywood, on Tuesday, November 13.
Twelve actors were selected from among more than 7000 candidates who submitted their resumes and the 500 who auditioned for ABC casting executives in Los Angeles. The actors will showcase their skills in one-act vignettes directed by Sue Hamilton, Jaffar Mahmood and Ellen Williams to an audience of industry executives and decision makers. In addition to published materials, this years' showcase will include original scenes submitted through the WGA.
Many of the actors selected were submitted through showcase partners SAG-AFTRA, CAPE, East West Players, Media Access, Nostros and The Robey Theatre, as well as many other theatre companies and organizations in the Los Angeles area. Following the showcase, all 12 actors will be assigned a network executive from the casting department who will act as their mentor, help nurture their skills and provide guidance throughout the year. The actors will also audition for ABC Entertainment Group's current series and pilots.
The talented actors to be featured at the Los Angeles showcase, which is not open to the public, are Andy Gala (Columbus, OH), Ajarae Coleman (Orange, NJ), David Jung (Lake George, NY), Elizabeth Francis (Oceanside, CA), Jim Mahoney (Edina, MN), Jahnika Blythe (Berkeley, CA), Michael Esparza (Nashville, TN), Julie Zahn (Guangzhou, China), Moneer Yaqubi (New Delhi, India), Meagan Holder (Corona, CA), Sigmund Watkins (Boston, MA) and Noemi Gonzalez (Desert Hot Springs, CA).
The talent showcase is spearheaded by Keli Lee, Executive Vice President, Casting; Ayo Davis, Vice President, Casting, Claudia Ramsumair, Vice President, casting, Felicia Davis, Coordinator, Casting, Patricia Yuen, Coordinator, Casting, Lynn Esparo, Showcase Coordinator, Ben Malbrough, Showcase Coordinator and the Los Angeles casting office.
"I'm incredibly proud of this year's multi-talented, diverse group of actors and really excited to provide them with a tremendous opportunity to break out in the industry," said Ms. Lee "I'm looking forward to seeing them grow and truly excel in their craft with the amount of positive exposure our annual showcase will grant them."
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.