FREE SUNDAY SEMINAR 10/23/2016 – “Casting for Off Broadway: From Development to Opening”

The Off Broadway Alliance presents a FREE panel discussion:



Sunday, October 23rd at noon
The Anne L. Bernstein Theater in The Theater Center
210 West 50th Street

Admission is FREE

Pre-registration is MANDATORY

Complimentary bagels and coffee will be provided for all registered attendees.

To register, visit

The seminar will feature director Thomas Caruso (Southern Comfort at the Public, resident director at Matilda) and casting directors Michael Cassara (Spamilton, Gigantic, Forbidden Broadway, I Love Lucy Live on Stage), Paul Hardt (Red Bull Theater, The Bodyguard, Josephine, Chasing Rainbows), Cindi Rush (Promising, Ruthless, Disenchanted, Drop Dead Perfect, Silence!, Urinetown). Hugh Hysell, producer of Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, will moderate the discussion based on questions submitted by attendees.

The seminar will discuss the process of casting a show from the early development stages of reading and workshops up to production in the Off Broadway arena. “Casting for Off Broadway” will be held at The Anne L. Bernstein Theater, located on the 4th floor of the The Theater Center (210 West 50th Street). Doors will open at 11:30AM for complimentary coffee and bagels. The panel will take place from noon to 1:30PM with additional time allotted afterward for conversation with fellow attendees.

Admission for the seminar is free, but reservations are a must. Attendees are encouraged to pre-submit questions for the panelists when they submit their reservations. Questions will also be asked live at the seminar. Register (first come, first served) at


THOMAS CARUSO Most recently, Thomas directed the musical Southern Comfort at The Public Theater (Lucille Lortel Award nomination & Outer Critics Circle nomination: Best New Musical 2016), Brave New World the musical by Bill Russell, John McDaniel, Ben Andron & Jonnie Rockwell at North Carolina Stage Company, and Dynamo: Seeing is Believing at the Hammersmith Apollo in the West end of London and its subsequent UK and Australian Tours. He won the Excellence in Directing award for his direction of the NYMF 2014 musical Academia Nuts (Best New Musical award at NYMF 2014). He currently serves as the Associate Director of the Broadway musical Matilda, and also directed the U.S. National Tour of Matilda in the spring of 2015. He also directed the U.S. National Tour of the Broadway musical Ghost. Off Broadway directing credits include: the critically acclaimed Off-Broadway production of Zombie, The Eternal Anniversary, Mimi Le Duck, starring Eartha Kitt, The Middle East – In Pieces (Cherry Lane Theatre), Bingo, China Dolls, Two Boys…, Subtle Bodies, Mickey’s Home, and Ibsen’s Enemy of the People.

MICHAEL CASSARA is a casting director and educator in New York City, where he and his team have cast over 400 theatre and film projects since the formation of Michael Cassara Casting in 2003. Recent credits include SPAMILTON (dir. Gerard Alessandrini), Gigantic (Vineyard Theatre, dir. Scott Schwartz), Forbidden Broaway (most recent two Off-Broadway editions and cast albums), I Love Lucy Live On Stage (2014-5 national tour), Heat Wave: The Jack Cole Project (dir. Chet Walker), Kingdom (The Old Globe, dir. Ron Daniels), Oliver! (National Asian Artists Project/NAAP – Artios Award for excellence in casting), A Little Night Music (starring Penny Fuller and Mark Jacoby),  The Twelve (Denver Center/world premiere), The Molly Maguires (dir. Sheryl Kaller). Regional credits include frequent productions for top regional theatres including Gulfshore Playhouse, The Old Globe, Denver Center, Great Lakes Theater, Idaho Shakespeare Festival, American Theater Group, Olney Theatre Center, the Hangar Theatre and more. Michael has served as the resident casting director of the New York Musical Festival since 2007, where he has cast over 70 musicals since the festival’s inception in 2004. Additionally, in 2013 he began serving as the resident Casting Director for the National Alliance for Musical Theatre (NAMT) and casts their annual Festival of New Musicals each October. Film credits include Grantham & Rose, The Hyperglot (Artios Award nomination, dir. Michael Urie), Contest, Clear Blue Tuesday, and more. As an educator, he regularly teaches at many of the nations top universities and training programs, including Baldwin Wallace University, Elon University, Indiana University, NYU, Texas State, and many others. Michael is a native Clevelander and a BFA graduate of the musical theatre program at Otterbein College. An obsessive family historian, he is the only person ever to hold membership in both the Casting Society of America and the Association of Professional Genealogists. / @michaelcassara.

PAUL HARDT  is a Casting Director and partner with Stuart Howard at SH Entertainment. Paul has cast for Broadway, Off Broadway, and regional theatres across the country, including Philadelphia Theatre Company, Delaware Theatre Company, Goodspeed Musicals, Asolo Rep, and DC’s Studio Theatre as well as serving as the casting director for Off Broadway’s Red Bull Theatre Company. Favorite Projects include West Side Story (Broadway, National and current International tour) as well as the upcoming new musicals Chasing Rainbows currently at Goodspeed Opera House and Josephine recently at Asolo Rep. Currently casting the national tour of The Bodyguard, Michael John LaChiusa’s revised Los Otros for Everyman Theatre in Baltimore and Coriolanus for Red Bull.

CINDI RUSH is a Casting Director and principal of Cindi Rush Casting. NY theater credits include: Promising, Ruthless, Disenchanted, Drop Dead Perfect, Under My SKin, Silence!, Rooms, Jacques Brel, Urinetown, The Thing About Men, Home Street Home. Cindi also casts for many regional theatres, including Triad Stage, Hudson Stage, Penguin Rep, Pittsburgh Public, Charleston Stage Co. Some of her notable film casting credits include:  The Grief of Others (SXSW/Cannes), Runoff (L.A. Film Fest), Policy of Truth (SOHO Film Fest), The Woman (Sundance), Funeral Kings (SXSW), Ghoul, Theresa is a A Mother, Jugface (Slamdance), In the Family (Independent Spirit). Cindi is a consultant for the NYU Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program (1999-present).

HUGH HYSELL is a Tony Award winning Braodway producer, award winning marketer and performer. His Broadway producing projects include Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike (Tony Award and Off Broadway Alliance Award for Best Play), Peter and the Starcatcher, and Impressionism. Off Broadway Hugh created, produced and directed SEaMEN The Sailor Musical (cast by Paul Hardt) and The All-Male Importance of Being Earnest. Hugh has served as marketing director of over 200 Broadway and Off Broadway shows including Phantom of the Opera, Les Miserables, Monty Python’s Spamalot, The History Boys, Gazillion Bubble Show, Altar Boyz, Cirkopolis, Moscow Cat Circus, My Big Gay Italian Wedding, Funeral and Midlife Crisis and others. He won the Globes Award for “Best Small Budget in the World” for creating Spamalot’s Guinness World Record setting “The Largest Coconut Orchestra in the World” promotion. In addition to current marketing clients, Hugh also performs Off Broadway as the cross -dressing loony psychiatric patient in the 30th Anniversary cast of Perfect Crime and will soon be seen on HBO’s Divorce  and TLC’s Suddenly Rich. He is a founding member of the The Off Broadway Alliance and currently serves as a nominator for the Off Broadway Alliance Awards. / @hughhysell

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