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2022 MENASA Diversity Showcase Screens Over 65 Actors Online At Studio For Performing Arts LA & MAAC

EVENT RECAP: “2022 MENASA Diversity Showcase” presented by Studio For Performing Arts LA & MENA Arts Advocacy Coalition

Over 65 actors of MENASA descent were virtually screened and performed for an exclusive television and film industry panel last Saturday, part of a diversity initiative produced by Studio For Performing Arts LA (SPALA) and MENA Arts Advocacy Coalition (MAAC).

The 2nd annual "MENASA Diversity Showcase" was held online on April 30, 2022. Actors of MENASA (Middle East, North Africa, and South Asia) descent were invited to submit and request an appointment. Selected actors had the opportunity to perform a one-minute monologue online for a VIP panel. MAAC conducted the first ever study of its kind and revealed, “Only 1 percent of TV actors are Middle Eastern, North African.” Additionally, just this past year per UCLA's Hollywood Diversity Report, there were ZERO MENA Actors as leading actors in films.

The following actors performed for the industry panet at the 2022 showcase:

  1. Nicola Aara

  2. Ariana Aftahi

  3. Maher Aghnim

  4. Zhane Amari

  5. Anusha Angur

  6. Qurrat Ann Kadwani

  7. Saba Askari

  8. Sabrina Aziz

  9. Geetika Budhiraja

  10. Eden Butvinik

  11. Rabinder Campbell

  12. Joseph Courey

  13. Jessica Cruz

  14. Nicole Cyrille

  15. Zee Dastagir

  16. Pranav Dev

  17. Heba Dibas

  18. Danya El-Kurd

  19. Emon Elboudwarej

  20. Srimayi Galla

  21. Vritika Gupta

  22. Sophia Gutchinov

  23. Atif Hashwi

  24. Mikael Hylu

  25. Tayeb Jasoor

  26. Alyssa Jiwani

  27. Shawn K. Jain

  28. Sarah Kamran

  29. Saer Karim

  30. Faris Khaleeli

  31. Rebecca Khalil

  32. Saalika Khan

  33. Megan Khaziran

  34. Julian Kiani

  35. Zaya Kolia

  36. Sapna Kumar

  37. Khalil LeSaldo

  38. Rachanee Lumayno

  39. Maral Milani

  40. Selena Mirza

  41. Shuba Mohan

  42. Amira Nader

  43. Machelle Noel

  44. Katie Prasad Keough

  45. Amelia Prochaska

  46. Yasmin Ranz-Lind

  47. Ocean Rockelle

  48. Dalia Rooni

  49. Ahmad Salah

  50. Aline Salloum

  51. Demitra Sealy

  52. Sheela Sharma

  53. Kimberly Singh

  54. Jurnee Swan

  55. Piyali Syam

  56. Rotana Tarabzouni

  57. Ezra Tozian

  58. Precious Ugbodu

  59. Sara Vessal

  60. Nour Waleed Zuaiter

  61. Bruno Xavier

  62. Wilder Yari

  63. Cynthia Yelle

  64. Rokhsane Zadeh

  65. Tarek Zohdy

  66. Laith Zuaiter

Within the last two years, the MENASA Diversity Showcase has provided over 145 actors of MENASA descent a platform for exposure to LA & NY industry professionals at no cost to the performers and was also the WINNER of the 2021 BroadwayWorld Regional Awards for "Best Special Event.”

Walid Chaya, Arab-American Actor and Director of Studio For Performing Arts LA, said “We're proud to provide a platform for underrepresented actors and thankful for our industry volunteers and the incredible line-up of actors that presented. Together we can create a more inclusive industry and look forward to growing this diversity initiative annually.”

A special thank you to the following television and film VIPs that attended the 2022 event:

  • Ani Avetyan, Casting Director

  • Eve Battaglia, Casting Director

  • Robin Carus, Casting Director

  • Anne Chapman, Casting Director

  • David Donihue, Director

  • Debralynn Findon, Manager

  • Vicki Goggin, Casting Director

  • Angela Mickey, Casting Director

  • Steven Tyler O'Connor, Casting Director

  • Alexa Pereira, Casting Director

  • Rita Powers, Casting Director

  • Danielle Pretsfelder Demchick, Casting Director

  • Javier Salgado, Manager

  • Michael Sanford, Casting Director

  • Paul Sinacore, Casting Director

  • Pamela Staton, Casting Director

  • Maria Stuart, Manager

Here are 3 ways you can support our event partners, the MENA Arts Advocacy Coalition (MAAC), a not-for-profit organization:

1) Please click here and join their MENA Talent Database for related opportunities

2) Follow them on Instagram @menaadvocacy

3) Please click here to make a donation, every little bit helps!

Actors interested in receiving notifications about similar events including next year's diversity initiative, please join our mailing list.

For upcoming events by Studio For Performing Arts LA visit and follow us on Instagram @studioforperformingarts for the latest updates.


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