Pop-rock audition coach and actor Sheri Sanders and creative producer Michael Kushner (Indoor Boys) have teamed up to create the Rock the Audition Coalition, a new initiative dedicated to developing safe and inclusive environments that mobilize diversity in the theatre industry.
Tony winner Ali Stroker (Oklahoma!) and Tony honoree Michael McElroy (Broadway Inspirational Voices) will serve on the coalition's board, with Alie B. Gorie as director of programming and development. Becca Barrett is heading up operations and internal communication.
The coalition will work to create a more diverse theatrical landscape by pairing industry pioneers from the trans/ non-binary, neuro-diverse, disability, mental wellness, and cultural diversity communities with emerging artists for special training programs, along with hosting town hall-style events meant to start conversations within the industry on such topics as artists with disabilities, and the LGBTQ+ community.
Beginning September 1, the coalition will kick things off by partnering with Lady Gaga's Born This Way Foundation and its #BeKind21 campaign, a 21-day challenge that invites people around the world to share daily acts of kindness on social media. This campaign coincides with the release of the second edition of Sanders' Rock The Audition: How to Prepare For and Get Cast in Rock Musicals.
"Kindness feels like safety and safety allows trauma to soften, allowing authenticity and artistry to come through,” says Sanders. “Today, we need kindness more than ever. Even in musical theatre, an industry which is often the first to respond to tragedy, there is still
room for improvement. That’s why taking on the Born This Way Foundation’s 21 day Kindness Challenge feels so appropriate to our mission.”
For more information, visit Rock-The-Audition.com.