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Theatre Pizzazz review of Then Sean Met Khalid

Then Sean Met Khalid Musical Promo



STEPHANIE VANALSTINE (KAREN)  Recently received her Master of Music in Vocal Performance: Music Theatre from NYU Steinhardt as well as an advanced certificate in Vocal Pedagogy. Some of her favorite roles have been Sister Mary Patrick (Sister Act), Mary Lane (Reefer Madness) and Gertrude Stein (Loving Repeating). She is thrilled to be a part of the cast of Then Sean Met Khalid and is grateful to be working with such a talented cast, director, and technical team! 

ARIEL HAAN is excited to continue this journey with Carlos in the role of Kylie (which she originated nearly 8 years ago and has been hooked ever since!). She's also overjoyed to be back in New York (CUNY Brooklyn alum here)!  Off-Off Broadway/Regional credits includes: Play (Karen, Samuel French Festival), Jekyll & Hyde (Lucy, CO), Alice Crypt (Cheshire Cat, CO), Cabaret (Sally Bowles, NY), The Cradle Will Rock (Mrs. Mister, NY), The Fantasticks (Luisa, NY); Film/TV: Angel of Shavano (Hostess).  She'd like to thank her family and friends for putting up with her lifelong shenanigans and singing 24/7.

CARLOS HEREDIA (SEAN WHITE, Director, Writer, Composer) I'm just a kid who grew up on the lower east side of NYC, raised by my Dominican immigrant mother who taught us the importance of family, spirituality and community. While I never had formal training in theatre, I’ve always had a desire to do good, to tell the stories that are familiar to so many of us, to want to make the world a better place. While I may have fallen short at times, I am proud to have created a show that I hope will open hearts and minds of the audience, stir emotions, think differently, challenge, cause self-reflection, and be interested in having the difficult conversations sometimes.
We all have a story to tell, I welcome you to tell yours; be it during talkback, or when you get home. The point is to tell it. We are all in this together, and may you never know how your story may impact someone else life.

WENDY LAZARUS (Grandma) has appeared in the Off Broadway shows, Daddy Issues and A Hansel & Gretel Christmas.  She has performed in numerous Off-Off Broadway productions including Zuccotti Park, A Casual Gathering, Wake Me At Midnight, Saddam The Musical and most recently Moondance.   One of her favorite roles was playing Mae Peterson in Bye Bye Birdie.  Wendy was in the feature film Voices of God and has appeared in over 20 short films including Reach, which won 2nd place at the People's Choice Awards. A special thank you to Carlos for the opportunity to be a part of this amazing production, cast and crew.

ALAN KASE (Jessie) is thrilled to be making his New York stage debut by joining the latest production of ‘Then Sean Met Khalid.’ Formerly of the west coast, Alan has previously done stints as Rocky Stockfish in ‘Urinetown,’ Mr. Kirby in ‘You Can’t Take It with You,’ and Dottore in Goldoni’s‘The Servant of Two Masters.’ On top of acting in stage productions Alan has been found writing stage plays and performing in online productions as ‘The Ginger Gentleman.’ When not acting he is often found studying up on contemporary music and its history. Alan wishes to thank his better half, Nick, as well as his family, both adopted and biological, for loving and supporting him through his journey, and lastly, any educators who got him to where he is today. Thank you, Charlotte, Marion, George, and Liz.

BRYAN SONGY (Mr. K) credits include: Off-Off: A Midsummer Night's Dream, A Fifth Dimension, Countess Dracula (Sour Grapes Prods), Bastard Blood (world premiere, dir. Sybil Lines), Boeing-Boeing (Brookes Stage Co).  Other NYC: The Gay No More Telethon (MITF), As He Likes It (UnFringed, Frigid Fest), Sex Jokes & Murder (NY Summerfest), CSI: Mayberry (Frigid Fest), as well as various readings for Three Act Theatre, Write Act Rep, and The BMI Workshop.  Proud graduate, Circle in the Square: Into the Woods, Female Transport, The Seagull.  Other favorites include The Crucible (twice) and The Fantasticks.  His work as a director has been represented regionally and in NYC, and he writes regularly for educational children's theatre.  Up next: The Tempest (Sour Grapes, this fall at The Kraine).  Twitter: @MrSongy (mostly #dragnames).

CLAIRE KRAUS (Mandy) As a child, Claire loved to dance and sing. Her first exposure to acting was in a Christmas pageant with the youth of her church playing Mary, the mother of Jesus, and the rest is history. Because of many incredible experiences with the transformative power of theatre, Claire decided to pursue performing professionally. She came to New York City to study acting at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy. Since graduating the conservatory program, she has appeared in the NYC comedy, improv, dance and film scenes. Her performances with The Edward Morgan Ballet and her sketch comedy group Multiple Girlfriends are among her favorites. Claire constantly looks for opportunities to stretch herself in all areas of performing and is currently producing and acting with her group, Multiple Girlfriends, as a reoccurring show at the People’s Improv Theater. She looks forward to growing in the vast performing arts community that exists while building a career in the city and is thrilled that joining the cast of Then Sean Met Khalid is a part of that journey. 

DANIELLE GIUSTO MAQSOOD (Wendleton) is honored to join the cast of Then Sean Met Khalid. Within the last year, Danielle has been in the ensemble of Jesus Christ Superstar and has played the roles of "Woman 1" in Songs for a New World, “Nasa” in Beirut Rocks, “Daisy” in Ever Random, and “Mayor” in Carlos Heredia's modern opera, The Grey Suit Society. Film credits include "Lindsey" in Curveball. Danielle also cantors at St. Raphael's Church in East Meadow and Our Lady of Mercy in Hicksville. A special thanks to her family, especially her husband, Jay, her parents (Dominick and Teresa), and her Aunt Brenda and Uncle John, who all took on extra babysitting, so she could be a part of this production

ANALIA HEREDIA (Stage Manger,)

KEN BRAVO (Assistant Director)

DAVID FLETCHER (Associate Producer)



After a successful three week run at the Davenport Theatre in NYC, Then Sean met Khalid continues to pick up steam as it returns for another mini run at the Playroom Theatre in NYC.

     This powerful show is a thought provoking and at times quite hilarious musical that tackles racism in a refreshingly different manner. It is a coming of age story follows the life of a Black boy, Sean White, who is adopted as a baby by a middle-class white family. Life seems “normal” for Sean until he comes across an interview between Sean Hannity and the late Dr. Khalid Abdul Muhammad. The characters are startlingly relatable; the scenes are uncomfortably close to home and prompt immediate self-reflection. With the help of powerful songs, the show cleverly tackles white privilege in a very accessible way.  With a brief talk-back following every show, it creates the perfect forum, and starting point for discussions on race.
     “Then Sean Met Khalid,” premiered in the 2011 Boulder Fringe Festival. The piece was so well received that it earned a grant from the Boulder County Arts Alliance and has been invited to perform at the University of Colorado’s 17th Annual Diversity & Inclusion Summit, the Boulder Public Library, 2012 Pedagogy of the Oppressed conference at Berkeley, CA, the Glendale YMCA, sold out NYC performances at the 47th St theatre and Shetler Studios. We had the privilege of having our performance televised on Channel 8 in Boulder, CO and most recently participants in the 2014 CCTC festival in Denver. Most recently we participated in the Greensboro Fringe Festival in NC. With talk-back following every show, it creates the perfect forum, and starting point for discussions on race.
     Then Sean Met Khalid  was inspired by and references the following scholars: Dr Khalid Abdul Muhammad, Dr Amos N. Wilson, Dr Joy DeGruy, Sistah Souljah, & Eduardo-Bonilla Silva & Keith A. Neequaye. 
     "My goal was to create a show that could create a platform for the difficult conversations to begin. When we allow ourselves to have those conversations, it is as if we evolve into the next step on the evolutionary ladder. Assumptions become extinct, our senses develop, transforming us into super beings that can see past what we'd like to hear and see, instead show us what is."
                                                                             - Carlos Heredia

Then Sean Met Khalid Testimonials