As artists, what do we talk about when the world's on hold? From Casting Director to Actor, we take a deep dive.
This week, we're joined by Merri Sugarman
Merri Sugarman- Casting Director, Tara Rubin Casting.
Initially an actress ('Les Miserables', 'Aspects of Love', et al.), Merri found herself out West some years back where she quickly made a name for herself at Liberman/Hirschfeld, then Liberman/Patton Casting, working on such shows as "NewsRadio", "The Larry Sanders Show" and the Miramax feature film "Playing By Heart", starring
Sean Connery and Angelina Jolie.
In 2000, Merri moved to Dreamworks Studios as the Casting Executive in charge of TV Pilots and Series- including "Spin City", and the critically acclaimed "The Job", starring Denis Leary. She was then offered a position as the Director of Casting for Dramas and Movies at ABC Television, overseeing the casting of "Alias", "NYPD Blue", "The Practice" and the 'made for television movies’
"Gilda Radner - It's Always Something" and "The Music Man", starring Matthew Broderick and Kristin Chenoweth, to name just a few.
Merri then returned to the East Coast to teach and coach actors – something she still does (and loves) as time permits, when Tara Rubin offered her a Senior Casting Director position where she’s been happily ensconced ever since, working on, among many others - the Broadway and Off-Broadway, touring and international companies of SPAMALOT, JERSEY BOYS, THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA, LES MISERABLES, SCHOOL OF ROCK, MISS SAIGON, A BRONX TALE, DEAR EVAN HANSEN, AIN’T TOO PROUD and the upcoming SIX and SING STREET.
She also casts for many theaters regionally – including the Papermill Playhouse, The Alliance, Arena Stage,
The Old Globe and The LaJolla Playhouse. She is the very proud CD of the critically acclaimed web series SUBMISSIONS ONLY and also boasts many TV & film projects, workshops and readings – including the new musical TREVOR – based on the
Oscar winning short film.
In other news, Merri has been a Big Sister to Jenny via the amazing Big Brothers/Big Sisters program for the last 20 years. She is an alumni officer of the professional sorority Kappa Gamma Chi at Emerson College in Boston where Merri earned a BFA in Musical Theater and a coveted spot as a member of Who’s Who in American Colleges and Universities.
She has been a Tony Voter for the past four years, is an adjudicator for the Roger Rees Awards (high school theater competition that sends finalists to the Jimmy Awards) and a member of CSA (Casting Society of America).
Merri currently teaches, coaches and advises for the theater programs at NYU, Emerson College, Elon, Point Park, Florida State, Manhattan School of Music, International Academy of Musical Theater, Indiana University, Oakland University, Baldwin Wallace and UNCSA.
Link to Tara Rubin Casting Website:
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Song: Strong- written by Sarah Bishop, arranged and played by Laura Lynn Crytzer