ABC To Celebrate 20 Years Of ‘Television Discovers: Talent Showcase’ With Combined LA & NY Virtual Event
EXCLUSIVE: ABC Entertainment Talent and Casting will mark the 20th year of its annual New York and Los Angeles Disney Television Discovers: Talent Showcases with a virtual event combining the two.
In the upcoming Talent Showcase event, which will take place Wednesday, Dec. 8, select artists from coast to coast will perform for notable casting directors, talent agents, managers and exclusive industry professionals through 10 short films. Additionally, Showcase artists will be paired with executives from ABC Entertainment Casting and other creative departments for the opportunity to develop meaningful relationships and receive continued support throughout their experience through on-camera workshops and other program resources.
“As we celebrate 20 years of Disney Television Discovers, we could not be more proud to be supporting such a talented group of actors with our reenergized showcase presentation,” said John Villacorta, senior vice president, Talent and Casting, ABC Entertainment. “With an expanded focus on reaching underrepresented groups, this year’s Showcase group is overflowing with potential. I’m excited to witness their careers evolve with the help of our leading team of industry executives.”
“It brings me great joy to see the impact of Disney Television Discovers in the entertainment community,” added Sharon Klein, executive vice president, Casting, Walt Disney Television. “With John and his talented team at the helm for this milestone year in the program’s history, the 2021 showcase will be nothing short of remarkable.”
The 2021 performers include Guillermo Alonso (El Paso, Texas), Ashley August (Brooklyn, New York), Troy Bond (Naugatuck, Connecticut), Mirella Cardoso (Fort Lauderdale, Florida), Justin Chien (Taipei, Taiwan), Christy Jung-Yun Choi (Puyallup, Washington), Jessica Darrow (Miami, Florida), Chris Davis (Melbourne, Australia), Erica Ikeda (Tokyo, Japan), Theo Iyer (Durban, South Africa), Juliana Joel (Tampa, Florida), Nida Khurshid (Lahore, Pakistan), Raquel McPeek Rodriguez (Los Angeles, California), Ayumi Patterson (New York, New York), Yvonna Pearson (Washington, D.C.), Lys Perez (Los Angeles, California), Kate Pittard (Lynchburg, Virginia), Katie Anvil Rich (Oakland, California), Jude Carl Vincent (Brooklyn, New York) and Jeff Wright (Orlando, Florida).
Actors will perform scenes written by Samantha Clay (Saulsville, West Virginia), Banna Desta (Arlington, Virginia), Filip Jeremic (Toronto, Canada), Darnell Jones (Lansing, Michigan), Disha Manocha (Mumbai, India), Joe McQuillen (New Richmond, Wisconsin), Nandita Shenoy (Buffalo, New York), Brook Sitgraves Turner (Cleveland, Ohio) and Adrian Viña (Edinburg, Texas).
This year’s scenes are directed by Michelle Bossy (Los Angeles, California), Ryan Brown (Brooklyn, New York), Dane Collier (Los Angeles, California), Cynthia Kao (Naperville, Illinois), Stephanie Martin (Buenos Aires, Argentina), Zoey Martinson (Brooklyn, New York), Moise Morancy (Brooklyn, New York), Phillip Rhys (South London, England), Michelle Steffes (Fayetteville, North Carolina) and Bobby Yan (New York, New York).
Disney Television Discovers is a series of initiatives created by ABC Entertainment Talent and Casting that identify, develop and mentor talent from around the world through programs such as the Talent Showcase, Digital Talent Competition, Global Talent Initiative, Actor Audition Workshop Week and the High School Initiative. The showcase went virtual for the first time in its history in 2020, amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
Aimed to help ABC recognize and provide opportunities for emerging talent, to ABC Discover has a roster of notable alumni who have since paved a way of their own including Lupita Nyong’o, Pedro Pascal, Carrie Ann Inaba, Chadwick Boseman, Randall Park and Meghan Markle, too name a few.
Executive producers for the showcase event are Sue Hamilton, Richard J. Lee and Joseph Ward.