was appointed as Deputy Artistic Director of the National Theatre in 2021, where he recently directed Othello, the first Black director to do so at the theatre. He directed the Olivier®, Evening Standard, and WhatsOnStage-nominated show The Big Life at Theatre Royal Stratford East, which become the first Black British musical to go the West End. He went on to write and direct Sylvia Plath and direct the award-winning The Westbridge at the Royal Court; Roy Williams’s hit play Kingston 14 at Theatre Royal Stratford-East; write Starter Motor for the BBC’s “Soon Gone: A Windrush Chronicle” monologues; and write and co-direct with Simon McBurney The Happy Tragedy of Being Woke for Complicité. Clint Dyer reopened the National Theatre in 2020 with Death of England: Delroy, which won Best Play at the Visionary Awards and was directed and co-written with Roy Williams. It was the sequel to the celebrated Death of England (nominated for Best Director, Black British Theatre Awards). This made him the first Black artist to act, write and direct at the National Theatre. Death of England: Face to Face, his feature-length film for the National Theatre and SKY TV, was nominated for Best Single Drama at the BAFTA TV awards, Royal Television Society Awards, Broadcast Digital Media Awards, Broadcast Awards and C21 International Awards. Clint Dyer directed Get Up, Stand Up! The Bob Marley Musical, which received four 2022 Olivier Award® nominations including Best New Musical and won Best Original Score/New Orchestrations, was nominated for 10 WhatsOnStage awards, had two nominations for the Best Musical and Best Actor at the Evening Standard Awards and won for Best Actor in a Musical and Best Musical Director at the Black British Theatre Awards. As an actor, his work includes Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (Best Actor, I.A.R. Awards) at the National Theatre. Over the course of his extensive acting career in theatre, film and television, he has worked with heralded directors Mike Leigh, Dominic Cooke, Ian Rickson, Simon McBurney, Michael Attenborough, and Alejandro Amenábar. He has won many acting awards most notably for his starring role in the film SUS. Clint Dyer was recently nominated for Best Actor for Ferryman at the Alberta Film Festival.
Teddy Abrams (Composer). Named Musical America’s 2022 Conductor of the Year, Teddy Abrams is the widely acclaimed Music Director of the Louisville Orchestra. In his ninth season as Music Director, Teddy launches the Orchestra’s groundbreaking Creators Corps–a fully-funded residency for three composers–and the Orchestra goes on tour across Kentucky in a first-of-its-kind multiyear funding commitment from the Kentucky State Legislature.
Abrams’s rap-opera, The Greatest: Muhammad Ali, premiered in 2017, celebrating Louisville’s hometown hero with an all-star cast that included Rhiannon Giddens and Jubilant Sykes, as well as Jecorey “1200” Arthur, with whom he started the Louisville Orchestra Rap School. Abrams’s work with the Louisville Orchestra has been profiled on CBS Sunday Morning, NPR, The Wall Street Journal, PBS’ Articulate, and the PBS NewsHour.
Highlights of the 2022-2023 season include guest conducting engagements with the Cincinnati, Kansas City, Utah, Colorado, and Pacific Symphonies, a return to conduct the the Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg, and his debut with the Tiroler Symphonieorchester Innsbruck.
Abrams has been Music Director and Conductor of the Britt Festival Orchestra since 2013, where, in addition to an annual three-week festival of concerts, he has taken the orchestra across the region in the creation of new work—including Michael Gordon’s Natural History, which was premiered on the edge of Crater Lake National Park in partnership with the National Parks Service, and was the subject of the PBS documentary Symphony for Nature; and Pulitzer Prize-winning-composer Caroline Shaw’s Brush, an experiential work written to be performed in Summer 2021 on the Jacksonville Woodlands Trail system.
Abrams recently collaborated with Jim James, vocalist and guitarist for My Morning Jacket, on the song cycle The Order of Nature, which they premiered with the Louisville Orchestra in 2018 and recorded on Decca Gold. They performed the work with the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center in 2019.In addition to The Order of Nature, Teddy and the Louisville Orchestra recorded All In in 2017 with vocalist Storm Large. Most recently, he released Space Variations, a collection of three new compositions for Universal Music Group’s 2022 World Sleep Day.
As a guest conductor, Abrams has worked with such distinguished ensembles as the Los Angeles Philharmonic; Chicago, San Francisco, National, Houston, Pacific, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Vancouver, Colorado, Utah, and Phoenix Symphonies; Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra; and the Sarasota and Florida Orchestras. Internationally, he has worked with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg, and the Malaysian Philharmonic. He served as Assistant Conductor of the Detroit Symphony from 2012-2014. From 2008 to 2011, Abrams was the Conducting Fellow and Assistant Conductor of the New World Symphony.
Q-Tip (Music Producer/ Lyricist). Famously known as co-founder of A Tribe Called Quest, Q-Tip has become one of the most influential Hip Hop figures of all-time, uniquely fusing rap, jazz, and other styles with piercing, socially conscious lyrics. The group released its sixth and final album We Got It From Here…Thank You For Your Service in November 2016 to glowing critical acclaim.
His atypical approach and appreciation to hip hop as well as other genres has earned Q-Tip success as a solo artist and producer, working with such celebrated artists as the Beastie Boys, Busta Rhymes, J. Dilla, Janet Jackson, Queen Latifah, Pharrell Williams, Mark Ronson, and Mary J. Blige. He has most recently collaborated with Solange, Kanye West, Kendrick Lamar, Arcade Fire and the Chemical Brothers. Q-Tip’s critically praised solo albums include Amplified, Grammy®-nominated The Renaissance, and Kamaal the Abstract.
Q-Tip’s artistic innovation and exploration continues through his work as a recording artist, a music producer, a DJ, an actor, a film producer, curator, advocate, and ambassador of Hip Hop Culture. He brings his industry expertise to the Kennedy Center to curate a full season of Hip Hop across disciplines, transforming the performing arts center into a home for Hip Hop Culture and history for years to come.
Rich + Tone Talauega (Choreographer/Fight Choreographers) Rich + Tone Talauega’s talents encompass wide-ranging success as music video directors, creative directors, musicians, producers, and performers who are at the forefront of today’s pop culture movement. As teenagers, Rich + Tone were discovered by Michael Jackson’s choreographer while free-styling at a club in Oakland, CA. Within a year, Rich + Tone were on their way to becoming legendary dancers and choreographers, having toured with both Diana Ross and Michael Jackson within months of moving to Los Angeles. Rich + Tone are the 2022 Outer Critics Circle Awards winner and Drama Desk Awards nominee for Outstanding Choreography for Broadway’s MJ The Musical. Their projects include work for Bacardi, Tiffany, iPod, Coca-Cola, X-Box, Pepsi, Gap, Mitsubishi, Old Navy, Kia, as well as the feature films Ferdinand, Step Up 3D, Battle of the Year: The Dream Team, Street Dance 2, and Save The Last Dance. They served as Artistic Directors and Choreographers for what was “the biggest performance ever created for ‘Dancing with the Stars’” – a piece celebrating Macy’s 150th Anniversary, “Dancing through the Decades” – the 1930s, 1960s, 1980s, and the future. Rich + Tone choreographed multiple numbers in Michael Jackson: The Immortal World Tour and Cirque du Soleil’s Michael Jackson ONE in Las Vegas. In 2019 Rich & Tone directed the Backstreet Boys DNA World tour. Upcoming projects include Apple TV+’s “Lady in the Lake” starring Natalie Portman. Rich + Tone creative directed Madonna’s MDNA Tour, the highest grossing tour of 2012, and her Super Bowl XLVI Half Time Show performance, the second most-watched live televised event in US history. They were also the associate directors and choreographers of Miley Cyrus’s 2014 Bangerz Tour. Rich + Tone have been nominated for numerous MTV Video Music Awards and received an Emmy nomination for their work on the 2005 NAACP Image Awards.
Casey Benjamin (Associate Music Producer) Two-time GRAMMY® award-winning Casey Benjamin is the first original member of the Robert Glasper Experiment. Through his melodic ingenuity on the vocoder, textual mastery on the keytar and spiky virtuosity on the alto, soprano and tenor saxophone, Benjamin gives the Experiment its most defining sound that has enabled it to gain international acclaim in the jazz, R&B and hip-hop scenes on such trailblazing albums as Black Radio (Blue Note Records, 2012) and Black Radio 2 (Blue Note Records, 2013).
In addition to the Experiment, Benjamin toured with singer Patrick Stump (Fall Out Boy) and has performed/toured/recorded with a string of other stellar musicians from jazz to hip hop to pop including singer Betty Carter, vibraphonist Stefon Harris, trumpeter Roy Hargrove, drummer Terri Lyne Carrington, Nas, Kendrick Lamar, Mos Def, Q-Tip, A Tribe Called Quest, Kanye West, Diddy, Wyclef Jean, Anderson Paak, Pusha T, Common, Maxwell, Solange, Mary J. Blige, John Legend, Lady Gaga, Beyoncé and Drake. With singer and songwriter Nicky Guiland, Benjamin co-leads the funk-forward combo, HEAVY, which has released three discs –HEAVY (Kindred Spirits, 2000), Jazz Money$$ (BBE, 2007) and First Sessions (Kindred Spirits, 2008).
Benjamin started playing the saxophone when he was 8 years old. After graduating from Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music and Art, Benjamin attended The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music in New York City, where he met Robert Glasper in 1997. Benjamin and Glasper collaborated formally in 2004 with the first edition of the Robert Glasper Experiment. Although Benjamin remains a central member of the Robert Glasper Experiment, he’s working on his forthcoming solo project coming out soon.
Anna Fleischle (Set Design) is an Olivier award–winning and Tony Award®-nominated production set and costume designer. Theatre includes Death Of A Salesman (Broadway 2022/Young Vic/West End); John Gabriel Borkman (The Bridge); Much Ado about Nothing (National Theatre); Hangmen (Broadway/ Royal Court/ West End, Tony Award® nominee 2022, 2016 Olivier Award Winner for Best Set Design, Critic’s Circle Award Best Designer, Evening Standard Award Best Design); The Collaboration (Young Vic, Broadway); 2:22 A Ghost Story (West End, Ahmanson Theatre LA); House of Shades, The Writer, Before the Party (Almeida); Hamlet (Young Vic); The Forest (Hampstead Theatre); Don Juan In Soho; The End Of Longing (West End); Once Upon A One More Time (Nederlander); A Kind Of People; Liberian Girl (Royal Court) The Kid Stays In The Picture (Royal Court & Complicité); Two Ladies; A German Life; A Very Very Very Dark Matter (Bridge Theatre); Home I’m Darling (Theatr Clwyd/ National Theatre/ West End, 2019 Olivier Award nominee for Best Set Design and Best Costume Design); The Way Of The World (Donmar Warehouse); Everybody’s Talking About Jamie (Crucible/ Sheffield/ West End/ UK tour/ LA/ Korea); Much Ado About Nothing; Troilus and Cressida (Shakespeare’s Globe); Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead (Old Vic); Beware Of Pity (Schaubühne, Berlin/ Complicité); The Two Noble Kinsmen; Cymbeline; Love’s Sacrifice (RSC); West Side Story, Blindsided, Saturday Night & Sunday Morning, Rats Tails (Manchester Royal Exchange) You Can See The Hills; Love and Money (Manchester Royal Exchange /Young Vic). Opera includes L’Orfeo (Vienna Staatsoper); Weimar Nightfall: Seven Deadly Sins (LA Philharmonic). Dance includes: Message in a Bottle (Sadler’s Wells); John; Can We Talk About This? (DV8 Physical Theatre / NT / International tour). Fellowships include Founding Member of Scene/Change; Associate Artist, Young Vic; Trustee Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre.
Jen Schriever (Lighting Design) Broadway: A Strange Loop (Tony Award® nomination), Death of a Salesman (Tony Award® nomination), 1776, Birthday Candles, Lackawanna Blues, Grand Horizons, What the Constitution Means to Me, Lifespan of a Fact, Eclipsed, Ghetto Klown. Off-Broadway includes: Bright New Boise, My Broken Language, Thom Pain, Night is a Room (Signature); To My Girls, Superhero (2ST); Shhhh, (Atlantic). Tours: Blue Man Group. Opera: Die Fledermaus, Pearl Fishers (Met); Faust, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, La Traviata, (Mariinsky, Russia). Obie Award. Adjunct: Purchase. Mom: Henry.
Emilio Sosa (Costume Design) is the Chair of the American Theatre Wing. His Broadway credits include Sweeney Todd, Goodnight, Oscar (Tony Award® nomination); By The Way, Meet Vera Stark; A Beautiful Noise; 1776; Ain’t No Mo (Tony Award® nomination); Trouble in Mind (Tony Award® nomination); Skeleton Crew; On Your Feet!; Motown: The Musical; Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill; The Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess (Tony Award® nomination); Topdog/Underdog. TV and film: “Annie Live!” (NBC) and Red Hook Summer (directed by Spike Lee). Recipient of the NAACP Theater and Lucille Lortel awards and a Drama Desk nominee. Usher’s Las Vegas residency, Blue Man Group tour, Big Apple Circus, The Rockettes, NY Knicks City Dancers, Diana Ross, Mariah Carey, Gloria Estefan and Wynton Marsalis.
Sean Mayes (Music Supervisor). Born in Toronto and based out of New York City, Sean Mayes enjoys an active and varied career internationally as a conductor, music director, orchestrator, arranger, composer, author, and educator across North America and Europe, with his work spanning numerous musical styles through the world’s largest theatres and concert halls, between Broadway, theatre, opera, classical and pops.
In New York, Mr. Mayes shares his time as conductor for two Tony Award-winning productions, MJ: The Musical and Hadestown, and is a frequent music director of numerous engagements within the Broadway community. Recent symphonic conducting engagements include conducting the American Pops Orchestra in “Black Broadway: A Proud History, a Limitless Future” for National Television on PBS, featuring a select star line up of Broadway’s most established Black performers. Internationally, Mayes serves as a Conductor and Music Supervisor of productions across the globe. In Fall 2022, Mr. Mayes served as music director and conductor of the new musical Mandela, inspired by the life of Nelson Mandela at the Young Vic Theatre in London.
Additional recent credits include serving as music supervisor for the International Finnish Premiere of the musical, Come From Away. At home in Canada, Mayes was music director and conductor of the all-Canadian premiere of The Color Purple in 2019, for which he was awarded the 2020 Merritt Award for Outstanding Musical Direction. As music supervisor, recent work includes supervision of Black HERstory, an all-immersive two-day joint event with AFROPUNK at Lincoln Center featuring an all-star line-up of Black musical talent, and as music supervisor of RENT: In Concert at the Kennedy Center.
Tal Yarden (Co-Video/Projections/Media Design): Broadway: Network, The Waverly Gallery, Indecent, Sunday in the Park with George, The Crucible; West End: Get Up, Stand Up, Anna X, Hamlet; Regional and Off-Broadway: Becky Nurse of Salem, Ocean Filibuster, A Walk on the Moon, Grey Rock, Passing Strange, Between the World and Me, The Undertaking, Indecent, King Lear, Distracted, Lazarus, Little Foxes, Liberty City, The Misanthrope, & Lush Valley; International: My Brilliant Friend, Obsession, Antigone, The Damned, Kings of War, The Fountainhead, Antonioni Project, Roman Tragedies, Mourning Becomes Electra, Angels in America, Husbands, and Edward II; Opera: The Exterminating Angel, Between Worlds, The Rise and Fall of Mahagonny, Salome, Der Schatzgräber, Mazeppa, La Clemenza de Tito, Idomeneo, Brokeback Mountain, Ring Cycle, Macbeth. Tal Yarden has collaborated with Clint Dyer, Melly Still, Sarna Lapine, Robert Icke, Deborah Warner, Ivo van Hove, Tom Cairns, Reza Abdoh, and Lucy Sexton. He has directed videos for Pat McGrath, Rick Owens, Balenciaga, Annie Lennox, Alicia Keys, Snoop Dogg, James Brown, Wyclef Jean, Peaches, & Patti Smith. His video, “Counting Sheep” was featured in Times Square. Awards include: 2018 Molière Award for Visual Creation, 2019 Lucille Lortel Award & nominations for Tony, Drama Desk, Hewes, Outer Critics, Barrymore awards.
Gino Ricardo Green (Co-Video/Projections/Media Design) is a director and video/projection designer. He is co-founder of Black Apron Entertainment. Credits as Video/Projection Designer include Othello (National Theatre, Co-Video Designer); The Ballad of St Johns Carpark (Icon Theatre); Treason: The Musical in Concert (West End); That is Not Who I Am (Royal Court Theatre); Kabul Goes Pop: Music Television Afghanistan (Brixton House & Hightide); Edge (NYT); Lava (Bush Theatre); Children’s Children (Director of Photography/Editor – English Touring Theatre); Beyond The Canon and Poor Connection (RADA); Sweat (Donmar Warehouse & West End); Passages: A Windrush Celebration (Black Apron at the Royal Court); Hashtag Lightie (Arcola Theatre); Lightie (Projection Designer – Gate Theatre). Credits as Associate Video/Projection Designer include Small Island (National Theatre); Get Up Stand Up! The Bob Marley Musical (West End) and Be More Chill (The Other Palace & West End).
Benjamin Grant (Sound Effects Design) worked as Sound Effects Designer on Get Up Stand Up! The Bob Marley Musical (Lyric Theatre, Shaftesbury Ave). Recent sound design credits include: Othello, Death of England & Death of England: Delroy (Co-Sound Designer & Composer, National Theatre); A Fight Against (Royal Court); Michael Kohlhaas (Schaubühne); Maggot Moon (Unicorn Theatre);I’ll Take You To Mrs Cole (Pleasance Beyond); The Last of the Pelican Daughters (Pleasance Beyond); Education Education Education (Trafalgar Studios); The War of The Worlds (New Diorama Theatre); Prurience (Southbank Centre/Guggenheim Museum NYC); The Road Awaits Us (Sadler’s Wells). Grant studied Theatre Sound at Central School of Speech and Drama and is currently an Associate Artist of The Wardrobe Ensemble.
Asmeret Ghebremichael (Associate Director) is an actress, singer, and director. She spent this past fall as the associate director for the world premiere of the The Notebook in Chicago. She also served as Artistic Director of the Big Sky Summer Theatre Festival and an artistic consultant on the “South Park: Pandemic Special” (Comedy Central). On Stage, her resume includes the original casts of The Book of Mormon, Elf, Legally Blonde, Spamalot, Wicked, Footloose and the West End cast of Dreamgirls. On Camera, she recurred on “WeCrashed” (Apple) and “Get Even” (Netflix). Other TV credits include “And Just Like That” (HBO), “The Blacklist” (NBC), “The Other Two” (Comedy Central), “Bonding” (Netflix), “Trevor Moore: High in Church” (Comedy Central).
Fred Carl (Creative Dramaturge) is an Associate Arts Professor in the NYU/Tisch School of the Arts Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program and is also one of the Co-Associate Deans of Faculty at the Tisch School of the Arts. His jazz theatre collaborations with writer hattie gossett, including pussy and cash; in the waitingroom of the 21st century and the immigrant suite: hey zenophobe who you calling a foreigner? have been performed at the New School, the Public Theater, the Whitney Museum, Here Arts Center, the Tribeca Performing Arts Center, the Vision Festival and the National Black Arts Festival. He musical directed Kirsten Childs’s The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin from its beginnings at Dixon Place and Musical Theatre Works thru its multiple award-winning 2000 Playwrights Horizons run; he received the 2000 Audelco Award for Best Musical Direction. In 2012 Fred musical directed, composed songs and incidental music, arranged, and orchestrated the score for the 10th anniversary revised version of Regina Taylor’s piece, Crowns, at Chicago’s Goodman Theatre.
In the years 1999-2017 he co-designed and co-led a summer musical theatre-writing workshop at London’s Theatre Royal Stratford East training hip-hop and contemporary music and word artists to write for the musical theatre stage; a version of the summer workshop was featured in the 2005 BBC Channel Four documentary, Rappin’ at the Royal. In 2018 he composed the score of Becoming Ailey, a multi-media piece that played in NYC for the 60th anniversary season of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre. Between 2018 and 2022 Fred co-led musical theatre writing workshops in the UK and Kenya, encouraging the sharing of more stories to be created by more people from more places.
Michael ‘Silk’ Olajide, Jr. (Special Boxing Consultant and Fight Coordinator) was trained by Angelo Dundee, Muhammad Ali’s World Champion trainer, and was a professional boxer from 1981 to 1991. In that time, he was Canadian Middleweight Champion in 1984, World Athletic Association Champion in 1985, World Boxing Council Intercontinental Champion in 1986, and #1 World Middleweight Contender in 1987. In 1991, he created Equinox Fitness Club’s and the world’s first boxing fitness program. Shape Magazine rated his “Aerobox” video the #6 greatest workout video of all time. He is the author of the book, Aerobox High Performance, and he opened the world’s first Boxing Fitness Club, Aerospace High Performance Center, in 2004. Silk’s Off-Broadway credits include choreographer for Blade to the Heat starring Paul Calderon, directed by George C. Wolfe at the Public Theater in 1995. He was Boxing Consultant for Michael Mann’s film, ALI, starring Will Smith in 2001. He has trained such artists as Hugh Jackman, Iman, Rachel Weiss, Q-tip, Mary J. Blige, Beyonce, Harvey Keitel, Dustin Hoffman, Josh Hartnett, and many more. Silk was the Fight Choreographer for Brian De Palma’s The Black Dahlia in 2006, the trainer for Ray Fisher for the play, Fetch Clay, Make Man in 2013, for Jake Gyllenhaal for the Southpaw boxing movie in 2015, for Liev Schreiber for the 2017 boxing film, Chuck, and for Adrienne Warren for her Tony Award®-winning role as Tina Turner on Broadway.