Benefit Bios:

Producers:

Maya Jade Frank

mayajadefrank.com

@mayajadefrank

Maya Jade Frank has been performing for over a decade, at only 19-years-old. She began her career with a part written into the New York Musical Festival for her at the acclaimed “Hurricane” and then moved to the national tour of “Les Miserables” as Young Cosette. Her career then brought her back home to NYC on Broadway where she originated a role in “EVITA” alongside Ricky Martin, was part of the final cast of “Mary Poppins” as Jane Banks, and originated the role of Becky in “A Little Princess”.

She is known for her recurring role as Belissa in Disney Channel’s “Bizaardvark” and is an Emmy Nominee for her voiceover work for Nickelodeon. Maya also spent time at the prestigious British Academy of Dramatic Arts where she studied Shakespeare. Maya also works regularly as an assistant director and acting coach at companies across the US, including Kids of the Arts.

Besides acting, Maya is a co-founder alongside her sister, at theYasisters. Together, they produce events bringing together artists in unconventional ways to create communities and give back to their local neighborhoods. Their most recent venture was #MakeInvisibleVisible, a project in which they teamed up with Broadway companies to highlight the stories of people and caretakers of those with invisible illnesses.

In her free time, Maya coaches acting, is a founding trainer @HiPointe, and is the official Pilates trainer at USC. She is pursuing a degree in Digital Communications at University of Southern California, where she is a member of the Honors Society.

Michael Lee Brown

MichaelLeeBrown.com

@HeyMichaelLeeBrown

Michael Lee Brown just recently finished up performing weekly as the title role in the six-time Tony Award and Grammy-winning musical “Dear Evan Hansen” on Broadway. In addition to playing Evan Hansen every week, he covered the other two male principal characters (Connor and Jared), and is the first person ever to have performed all three roles on Broadway. A Marymount Manhattan graduate, Michael has performed in various regional theatre productions such as: “Torch Song Trilogy” at the Studio Theatre in Washington, DC under the direction of the infamous director Michael Kahn. He has been seen on television in shows like “Prodigal Son,” “Happyish,” and live performances with the Dear Evan Hansen company at the “Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade” and on “The Today Show,” where he and the cast received an Emmy Award. A songwriter himself, Michael’s first solo show, consisting of both his original songs and fresh takes on covers, had a sold-out run at NYC’s iconic “54 Below.” Michael recently released his new single “Rhythm of You,” and an EP titled “Way It Used To Be.” His music has premiered on Billboard and can be heard on all streaming services. Michael is also the creator and host of his own podcast “SimpLEEfy,” available now on all major podcast platforms.

Alessandra Tehya Frank

@aletehyarose

Tehya grew up as a professional dancer with the School of American Ballet, later on transitioning to companies including Alvin Ailey & American Ballet Theatre. She has worked at companies around the country as a guest choreographer and a master instructor. 

As production coordinator for a Broadway producer, she helped to workshop Broadway shows and coordinated the development of the Broadway Style Guide. She has also worked for the dance captain of EVITA on Broadway, and as the co-choreographer for many productions at WHBpac. Currently, as co-founder and producer at theYasisters, Tehya alongside her sister Maya, bring artists of all kinds together in unconventional ways to benefit their communities both at a local and national level. A recent project Tehya co-founded was #MakeInvisibleVisible, bringing together artists of all ages and from all walks of life to share their stories and experiences with invisible illnesses.

In her free time when she's not wandering on the beach, Tehya is a founding pilates trainer at @hipointe and is a contributing writer for Ariana Huffington's "Thrive Global". She is also working towards an undergraduate-masters dual degree in Health Policy & Medical Journalism at The Gallatin School at NYU where she is the co-president of The Gallatin Mental Health Arts Festival.

Guest Instructors:

Marc Tumminelli

@marctumminelli

www.broadwayworkshop.com

Marc is the Founder and Director of Broadway Workshop and Artistic Director of Project Broadway. He has worked with student actors all over the world teaching acting workshops and musical theater master classes with the British Theatre Academy, Explore America, Travel Adventures, Arts for All, Hands on Broadway, Dodger Theatrical’s  and as Drama Director at The South Shore Dance Theatre. Marc also served as the Resident Director of The Random Farms Kids Theater in Westchester County, NY and Program Director for Playhouse Junior at Saint Michael’s Playhouse in Northern Vermont.

Erica Mansfield

@ericamansfieldny

Erica Mansfield is a Broadway veteran who has been performing in New York for over 20 years.  Mrs. Doubtfire marks her 10th Broadway show where she will be understudying Miranda Hillard.   Other Broadway credits include Kiss Me Kate where she was the Dance Captain, the Tony Award winning Bandstand (u/s June), Finding Neverland (u/s Mary Barrie), On the Town  (u/s Claire De Loone) with Misty Copeland, On the Twentieth Century with Kristin Chenoweth, Evita starring Ricky Martin, How to Succeed in Business without Even Trying (u/s Miss Jones) starring Daniel Radcliffe, the Tony Award winning musical Pippin (u/s Fastrada) and she performed with both the Broadway and National Touring companies of Mamma Mia!  (u/s Sophie) Erica was also on the first national revival tour of A Chorus Line understudying Cassie, Sheila, Maggie and Judy for a year and a half.  Erica was a contributor for NBC’s The Hub Today, she is a visual stylist for Hearst and NBC, She has appeared in 4 Tony Awards, 2 Kennedy Center Honors, several daytime talk shows, Jimmy Fallon, Nurse Jackie and soon to air HBO’s Michael Che Sketch Comedy show.  In addition to her performing Erica is also an established teacher and has taught for New York City Dance Alliance, NYU, Broadway Triple Threat, Disney Dance the Magic, Broadway Workshop, Broadway Classroom, Broadway Artists Alliance, Britney Boyd Dance, Janine Molanari Dance, Triple Threat NH and Class Act Productions to name a few.  Erica is excited to bring her experience, energy and adventurous spirit to you and she is proud to pass on what knowledge she has so gratefully received! 

Sophie Knapp

sophieknapp.actor

@sophieknapp6

12-year-old Sophie made her Broadway debut in Once at 6 years old. She then went on to tour with Once, play little Cosette in 37 cities on the Les Misérables tour, and perform at Paper Mill as Baby Gumm in Chasing Rainbows. She can be seen in The Blindspot, alongside Julia Garner in the Assistant, and in the upcoming Barry Levinson biopic, the Survivor. She is also a USAG level 7 competitive gymnast. Sophie most recently began shooting the Peacock limited series, Angelyne, which will be resuming in LA next fall.

Dalya Knapp

@dalyaknapp

10-year-old Dalya plays Laura Bouchard on the CBS hit drama, Evil, currently shooting its second season. She performed in 17 cities on the Les Misérables Broadway tour, and can be seen and heard in commercials and voiceovers nationwide. In her spare time she loves to make slime, sew, bake, play with her 4 siblings, dance, and hang with friends.

Madison Lagares

Facebook: Madison Elizabeth Lagares

@madisonlagaresofficial

Madison Elizabeth Lagares is excited to be part of BeneFIT. Madison has performed on Broadway in "On Your Feet" as little Gloria Estefan and in "School of Rock" as Shonelle and U/S for Tomika. She has also performed in regional productions of "High School Musical" as Gabriela Montez, the US Premiere of "A Little Princess" as Sara Crewe, "Peace, Love & Cupcakes" as Kylie Carson, and as Lily Polkadot in "Polkadots: The Cool Kids Musical. She has also appeared on TV, such as "Blindspot" and "Search Party" and in the films, "Manhattan Night" and "A Walk Among the Tombstones".

Isabella Lagares

@isabellalagaresofficial

Isabella Grace Lagares is excited to be part of BeneFIT. Isabella will be appearing the the Easter 2021 release of the feature film "I'm Not Him" asa Angela Ramos. She performed with the US Premiere of "A Little Princess" as an ensemble member. She has also performed in the off-Broadway production of "Raw Back" from Poland as the Little Girl. Isabella has appeared in the internet series of "Kindergarten Teacher Explains". She has also appeared in print for multiple companies and appeared in 2019 NYFW - China Day.

Gabby Carruba

@gabrielle.carruba

Gabrielle Carrubba is currently making her Broadway debut in Dear Evan Hansen as Zoe Murphy. Regional credits include A.R.T. (Burn All Night), Goodspeed Opera House (Sweetwater), NSMT and Reagle Music Theater. Along with being an actor, Gabrielle is also a director, photographer, and cinematographer. BFA: The Boston Conservatory.

Sky Lakota-Lynch

@brundlesky

Sky Lakota-Lynch was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on September 25, 1996. He is of Native American (Haliwa-Saponi) and Ethiopian decent. He graduated from The Neighborhood Playhouse School Of Theatre. He made his debut in the short film "Contagion" and moved to New York City the following year. Sky has since been in several Off-Broadway productions and has been featured in The New York Post. He made his Broadway debut as Jared Kleinman in Dear Evan Hansen.

Emerson Steele

emdsteele@gmail.com

@emersonsteele

After getting her start in the regional theatre scene in Atlanta, GA, Emerson won the prestigious Theatre World Award for her Broadway Debut as Young Violet in Violet opposite Sutton Foster. Since then, she has performed as Mary Phagan in Parade at Lincoln Center, Chrissy in the 50th Anniversary Concert of Hair, Sara Crewe in A Little Princess, Mary Marie in Mary Marie, Penny Pingleton in Hairspray, and others. She will be graduating from NYU Gallatin in May 2022.

Karla Garcia

karlagarciadance.com

@karlapunogarcia

Originally from Oxon Hill, MD, Karla trained for 15 years under the tutelage of Fran Peters.
At age 20, she made her Broadway debut in HOT FEET, a dance musical directed by Maurice Hines. She went on to perform in the National Tours of WICKED and ADDAMS FAMILY; and the Broadway revivals of WEST SIDE STORY and GIGI. Karla was a top 7 female TV finalist on FOX’s SYTYCD Season 5. Other credits include Rasta Thomas’ BAD BOYS OF DANCE; VH1 Divas Live; Anna Nicole Opera at BAM; the Comedy Awards, PBS’s Sinatra Live at Lincoln Center, Radio City, and Jimmy Kimmel. Karla was also a principal dancer for 9 episodes of NBC’s SMASH season 2.  In 2011, Karla was named UNIpro Magazine’s “Top 30 Filipinos Under 30. She has a BFA in Dance and a minor in Journalism from NYU. Karla is currently a swing in the Broadway show HAMILTON: An American Musical.

Larry Saperstein

@larrysaperstein

Larry Saperstein plays "Big Red" on "High School Musical: The Musical: The Series," a reinvented take on the two-time Emmy Award-winning "High School Musical" franchise, for Disney+.

Born and raised on Long Island, New York, Saperstein is an alumni member of the prestigious Tap City Youth Ensemble and now works with the American Tap Dance Foundation. Saperstein has also trained at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre and Alpha Omega Theatrical Dance Company.

Jerry Sandler

BIO COMING SOON...

Beatrice Tulchin

@beatulchin

Beatrice Tulchin is so thrilled to be involved with BeneFIT. Bea is a dancer, singer, and actress who has been working professionally since the age of 8. Bea toured the country as Keeley Gibson in the second national tour of “Billy Elliot the Musical. She then went on to originate the roles of Mary Beth in “A Christmas Story the Musical” on Broadway and Amanda Thripp in “Matilda the Musical” on Broadway. Bea also has worked off-Broadway in the Mint Theater Company’s production of Women Without Men and performed in the New York Musical Theatre Festival. She also has experience in in film and TV, appearing in Red Oaks and The Affair. Currently, Bea is a sophomore at Barnard College, a tap teacher at Dance Molinari, and the proud “mom” of Pearl, her shih tzu.

Siri Howard

howie0421@yahoo.com

www.sirihoward.com

Siri Howard is a Broadway actress, recording artist, and concert performer who began her professional career at age 10 and has continued to perform on some of the world’s most prestigious stages. Broadway: Les Misérables and The Sound of Music (Broadway Revival cast recording). National Tours include: The Phantom of the Opera, Parade, Les Misérables 25th Anniversary Production, and The Sound of Music starring ‪Richard Chamberlain.

Siri holds a Bachelor of Music in vocal performance from the University of Maryland College Park, and a Master of Arts in vocal performance from the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College. She teaches voice and master classes, and coaches around the USA. She is married to director Max Quinlan, and is proudest of her role as mother to their 2-year-old son, Jack.

Samantha Williams

BIO COMING SOON...

Olivia Puckett

@oliviapuckett

BIO COMING SOON...

Jillian Shea Spaeder

@jilliansheaspaeder

Jillian Shea Spaeder is an actress and singer-songwriter. She stars with Jillian Bell and Isla Fisher in the Disney + original film, "Godmothered" and performs two songs on the movie's soundtrack, "Rise Up (Joy to the World)" and "Hero." Known primarily for her lead role as Bailey on the Disney XD series "Walk the Prank," Jillian also recently appeared as a guest star on the Netflix series "No Good Nick" alongside Sean Astin and Melissa Joan Hart and Disney's "Just Roll with It," and had a supporting role in the film "To the Beat 2".

In addition to her acting career, the 18-year-old is also a talented singer-songwriter who goes by "Jillian Shea" for her musical endeavors. Jillian got her start singing and playing the piano when she was five years old, discovered her love of guitar at 12, and now is passionate about writing and recording her original music. Her first two singles, "Story" (July 2018) and "Barely Changed" (January 2019), were produced by music director and producer Mike Avenaim and mastered at Capitol Records. Working with acclaimed producer Mikal Blue (Colbie Caillat, Jason Mraz, Five for Fighting, One Republic), Jillian released "Talk Too Loud" in June and "Something Better" in September. She also co-wrote, directed, and produced the video for "Something Better." In November, Jillian released "Runaway," which she co-composed as the theme song for the Brat TV show "Crazy Fast." She wrote and released several songs in the past few months, " 3:43 a.m." (produced by Blue), "i don't know," (produced by Bill Spaeder) and "Worth My Time" (produced by Avenaim). Jillian has an album planned for release early in the new year and continues to write when she is not in the recording booth.

Casey Erin Clark

@caseyerinclark

Casey Erin Clark is an actor, speech coach, singing teacher, writer, and entrepreneur who makes her home and career in New York.  Performing credits: national tour of Les Miserables (Factory Girl, understudy Fantine) and the 2013 Oscars performance with the film cast; Neurosis: the musical (Samantha), Frankenstein (Agatha, original cast album) and Shout! the mod musical (Red Girl), all Off-Broadway; 5 New York Musical Festival (NYMF) shows, concerts like Her Song and Lorna’s Pink Party at the world-famous Birdland Jazz Club and the Broadway Loves the 80’s series at Joe’s Pub, and new musicals like The Hatpin, Play Like A Winner (NYMF 2017, Best Featured Actor nomination), The Innocence, and This Life! (based on the classic film Hobson’s Choice). Regional favorites include Spitfire Grill (Percy), City of Angels (Donna/Oolie),  Sound of Music (Maria, STL Post Best Actress Award), and Little Women (Jo, Kevin Kline Award nomination). She currently sings with Michael McElroy’s Broadway Inspirational Voices. In addition to her performing career, Casey has been teaching vocal production, public speaking, accent modification, and singing to clients of all ages for the last 12 years.  Through her company Vital Voice Training, she also coaches business clients (representing Fortune 500 companies, fast moving startups, business schools, and a dozen different countries) on using their authentic voices to inspire and change the world.  Check out Casey’s album, the song begins.

Joshua Turchin

@joshuaturchin

A multi-hyphenate; he's a singer, actor, dancer, musician, composer, music director, accompanist, writer, arranger, and orchestrator. His original musical (book/music/lyrics) premiered when Joshua was just 12 years old at Producer Ken Davenport’s Rave Theater Festival in NYC where it won awards for Outstanding Book of a Musical and Outstanding Ensemble, and received critical acclaim in The New York Times, NY Post and Wall Street Journal.  At 13 years-old, Broadway Records signed Joshua, and The Perfect Fit released the first remotely recorded EP during quarantine starring Tony winner Laura Benanti and other Broadway stars. The musical was then presented as a Drive-in Concert, and was recently live-streamed Off-Broadway from Shubert Studios at New World Stages both with many Broadway performers. Select performance credits: Trevor the Musical (Original Off-Broadway Cast), Forbidden Broadway: The Next Generation (Original Off-Broadway Cast), Upcoming NBC show, two Broadway National Tours, Flounder in The Little Mermaid Live-To-Film at The Hollywood Bowl, TrevorLive LA, The Pill (Off-Broadway), many developmental works (lab/readings), Broadway/Off-Broadway cast recordings, iHeartRadio (comedy voiceovers), various animated series and commercials including Nick Jr. and Pixar. Joshua is the host and creator of the hit web-series, The Early Night Show on the Broadway Podcast Network, and can be heard on global podcast platforms, including iHeartRadio and iTunes. Additionally, he plays over 11 instruments professionally and has worked as a professional accompanist in and around NYC since he was 10, including music directing at 54 Below, The Green Room 42, and more. 

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