The Big Gay Production Crew
Fred M. Caruso (Writer/Producer/Co-Director)
Fred began working in the business professionally when he was 6 years old. He has since worked, as an actor, in over 40 states in shows like Big River, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Shenandoah, Mame, Music Man, Oliver, etc. When he was 14, he began producing theatre. At age 16, he opened the first Equity theatre company in Hollywood, FL making him the youngest producing artistic director in Equity’s history. After high school he moved to NYC for college. After a few more years of performing, he realized that his true love is producing and writing.
The first show he produced in NYC was the Off-Broadway production of Bitter and Jaded at 25, which he wrote the book, music and lyrics and starred in as well. He then went on to produce the Off-Broadway musical revue NEWSical which opened at Studio 54 and had productions in Denver, Provincetown, and has toured all over the country. He received a Drama Desk Nomination for NEWSical for Best Revue. He then went on to produce the Off Broadway hit I Love You Because and One Way Ticket to Hell in Los Angeles.
Fred then decided to get his feet wet in the film industry. He was the Co-Producer and AD on the feature film, A Four Letter Word. A Four Letter Word has gone on to receive numerous awards at film festivals all over the country. It is out in theatres right now all over the USA. It was the top selling movie at Chelsea Clearview (where it ran for three weeks) and has since opened in Los Angeles, Palm Springs, Athens, Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Miami, Portland, San Francisco and more cites added every week! The DVD will be released this summer!
He went on to be the 1st Assistant Director on the movie musical Clear Blue Tuesday and Between Love and Goodbye.
Casper Andreas (Co-Director)
Originally from Sweden, Casper’s university studies brought him to Chicago, Illinois and Paris, France, before he moved to New York City to study acting and directing. Two years of studies at the Lee Strasberg Theatre & Film Institute led to several years performing in numerous Off-Broadway plays including playing the lead in Hamlet as well as producing and starring in a production of Brilliant Traces.
Casper relocated to Los Angeles where he wrote screenplays, studied directing, and took seminars in filmmaking at IFP/West. Once back in New York, Casper wrote, directed, and produced the short film Mormor’s Visit as well as his first feature, the romantic comedy Slutty Summer in which he also stars. After spending a year traveling with Slutty Summer to gay and lesbian film festivals all over the country, Casper released it in theatres in the summer of 2005 through his company EMBREM ENTERTAINMENT.
In 2006, Casper produced and directed the short film Saying Goodbye from his own script, as well as the multi-award winning feature A Four Letter Word –a gay romantic comedy that he co-wrote with Jesse Archer. A Four Letter Word went on to win awards like Outstanding Screenplay (Outfest in Los Angeles and Film Out San Diego), Best Film (Fire Island Film Festival), Best Ensemble Cast (Festival Del Sol), and Best Gay Feature (Q Cinema). It opened, closed, or had centerpiece screenings in New York, Philadelphia, Miami, Boston, New Orleans, Dublin, Memphis, Dayton, Long Island, Indianapolis, and San Diego. He directed his third feature, Between Love & Goodbye in September of 2007.
Alexander Hammer (Editor)
Alex believes that editing is one of the few tools left in film/art where one has the ability to create something truly original. Whether it be narrative storytelling, or experimental art films/installations, he takes joy in discovery, and the continual exploration beyond a project’s initial limits.
Alex hails from Gainesville, Florida where he grew up among sunny skies, rainy days, and the color green. He earned his graduate film degree at Savannah College of Art and Design, following his undergraduate degree in Fine Arts and Digital arts from Stetson University.
In addition to Alex’s ventures in editing, he uses his fine art training to pursue his passion of sculpture and design, adding to the circle of storytelling through image, movement, color, and juxtaposition.
Alex now resides in Manhattan, NY working as an editor for film and music video with his latest feature Clear Blue Tuesday (Directed by Elizabeth Lucas) that he Co-Produced and Edited is set to be released this September.
Bobby Pearce (Costume Designer)
Bobby received nominations for both the Tony Award and Outer Critic’s Circle Award for his work on Rosie O’Donnell’s Broadway production of Taboo starring Boy George. He also designed; Sign, Sealed, Delivered at the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas, the award winning production of The Syringa Tree, (New York and London), the National Tour of Tommy, three gowns for Liza Minnelli’s appearance in Michael Jackson’s 30th Anniversary Celebration, The Rosie O’Donnell Show (Halloween 1999-2001) and Broadway’s Betrayal, starring Juliette Binoche (Associate Costume Designer). In addition he designed the film Let It Snow starring Bernadette Peters, Chita Rivera’s concert tour Chita, And All That Jazz, and Off-Broadway’s Behind the Beat starring Vickie Sue Robinson.
Bobby’s work has often received critical acclain, The Washington Post commented that his costume design for L’incoronazion di Poppea at Wolf Trap Opera “…makes references to the Italy of Caesar and the Italy of Versace but keeps them in a state of suspended animation. Poppea has clearly enjoyed the ministrations of a 20th century courturier.” For Mark Dendy’s Altogether Different at the Joyce Theatre in New York his costumes were called “enjoyably splashy and sexy” (The New York Times), “excellent costumes” (The Village Voice) and “a smashing revue parade of 13 separate numbers, all stylishly costumed by Bobby Pearce” (Clive Barnes, The New York Post).
Bobby has also designed costumes for personal appearances and the club acts of numerous celebrities including Bea Arthur, Petula Clark, Bebe Neuwirth, Faith Prince, Larry Gatlin, Martin Short, Madeline Kahn, Elizabeth Ashley, Cyd Charisse, Glenn Close, Sheena Easton, Leslie Uggams, Laurie Beechman and Tracy Ullman. He has designed over 30 gowns for Marla Maples, many of which have been featured in numerous magazines. His favorite “Diva” to date was the late Gwen Verdon for whom he designed over a dozen gowns.
Bobby has a long time association with Rosie O’Donnell. He has been featured in the magazine “Rosie” and has made over a dozen appearances on The Rosie O’Donnell Show doing crafts and singing songs with Rosie. Currently Bobby is designing for some of Rosie’s upcoming projects.
Bobby began his career in show business as a performer. He specialized in musical comedy but is also a classically trained mime and studied with Marcel Marceau. He has appeared on television, film and the stage; however, he always had a penchant for design and is very happy with his role behind the scenes. He holds a BA Degree from Barry University in Miami, and after being offered 17 full scholarships to graduate school, earned his MFA in design from Wayne State University in Detroit, MI. Bobby was born and raised in Miami but has lived in New York City for the past 18 years and calls it home.
Jason Courson (Production Designer)
Jason’s credits include productions of West Side Story, Don Giovanni, Fiddler on the Roof, Cinderella, 42nd Street and many others. Off-Broadway Jason designed both sets and costumes for the 18 month run of the NY premiere of A Stoop On Orchard Street. Jason designed the scenery for Fred M. Caruso’s 2005 production of NEWSical.
For the last 2 summers Jason has designed for the Official Summer Theatre of Georgia, Peach State Summer Theatre (PSST!), designing Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, The Fantastics, Gypsy, Cabaret, A Year with Frog and Toad, and Thoroughly Modern Millie.
Jason holds an MFA in Scenic Design from the Conservatory of Theatre Arts and Film, division of Entertainment Design Technology, Purchase College , SUNY.
Jason is the Design Partner of the New York based design firm, DESIGNCONTACT, Inc. www.CoursonDesign.com.
Rick Crom (Songs/Arrangements)
Rick Crom has been part of the New York entertainment community for many years as a songwriter and a performer. He is the composer/ lyricist for several off-Broadway and cabaret revues: OH FINE, RSVP, THE SUBJECT WAS NEUROSIS, ABSOLUTELY RUDE, OUR LIFE AND TIMES, WHAT IN THE WORLD, and NEWSical which ran at Studio 54 in New York and travels the country. He garnered Drama Desk nominations for best lyrics and best revue for his work on NEWSical.
His topical material is featured at the CRYSTAL PALACE Theater in Aspen Colorado and LAFFING MATTERZ in Ft. Lauderdale Florida . Recently the Crystal Palace honored him by releasing a recording of his material; “WHO WRITES THIS STUFF? The songs of Rick Crom ”. He has written the scores to several book shows and is currently working on a musical with Hunter Foster (Summer of 42) entitled, “Bonnie and Clyde : a Folktale”
He came to New York in 1979 as part of the Chicago City Limits Improv Company and began working as a comedian nationwide. As a stand up comic he’s appeared on “Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn, Caroline’s Comedy Hour, MTV Comedy Half-hour, ShowTime and Comedy Central. He performs regularly at the Comedy Cellar, Caroline’s on Broadway, and the Broadway Comedy Club in Manhattan .
As an actor he’s appeared on Broadway in the musicals, “Urinetown”, “The Goodbye Girl”, and “Footloose”,. Off Broadway in “Merrily We Roll Along”, Das Barbecue, Encore’s “Fiorello”, “L’il Abner”, and Carnegie Halls, “Louisiana Purchase” Television: “ED” “The Chris Rock Show” “Chappelle’s Show” Film: “Bad Dog” and “Caesar Salad”
Shea Sullivan (Choreographer)
Currently working as a Choreographer in NYC, Shea has been described as “dynamic,” “multitalented,” and “one of the best new Choreographers working today.” Some of Shea’s many stage credits include the choreography for productions of The Wizard of Oz, The Music Man, Babes in Arms, Anything Goes, Bye Bye Birdie, as well as various works for musical theater companies. Her work has been seen at several NYC venues such as the Duke on 42nd ST, Hammerstein Ballroom, Henry Street Settlement, Theatre Row, Kaye Playhouse and in Atlantic City at the Miss America Pageant. Shea has also choreographed for film and television. She was the assistant Choreographer on the Showtime movie Bojangles, starring Gregory Hines. Shea was also the tap foliest on the film. Shea choreographed for the TV pilot The Peep Show and recently for the WB and PBS. Shea produced, directed and choreographed the off-Broadway show Dancing on a Dream at the Duke on 42nd Street Theater and I Got Love at the Laurie Beechman Theatre. Recently Shea choreographed Get Lifted starring John Legend at the Hammerstein Ballroom, NYC. Shea is a member of The Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers and is the president of the NYC based production company SAS Productions, Inc.
In addition to her work as a choreographer, Shea is also a well renowned dance instructor and is on the faculty at the prestigious Broadway Dance Center in New York City. Shea travels throughout the country and abroad giving Tap, Jazz and Musical Theatre workshops, private lessons and teacher workshops. Shea has served as a Panelist and Master Teacher for the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts and has been a guest teacher/choreographer at Steps on Broadway, The Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute, The American Musical & Dramatic Academy and at Oklahoma City University. Her teaching has been showcased on both the WB 11 and PBS. On a weekly basis Shea’s students range from a visually impaired student to a 80 year old Broadway veteran to current Broadway gypsies. Shea recently put out a line of Instructional Tap DVD’s. Shea was selected as one of this year’s DanceBreak Choreographers and upcoming projects include Broadway Bares 18, “Pageant” the Musical and NYMF ‘08.
Gregory Hines had this to say about Shea: “Shea Sullivan is part of the new breed of tap dancer/choreographer, who can dazzle with speed or funk….but she also has her roots in the great back in the day classic style of masters like Henry LeTang and Eleanor Powell. Shea can do it all.”
Jack Aaronson (Musical Director)
Jack Aaronson is an accomplished composer, musical director and pianist. He most recently musical directed “The Boy In the Bathroom” at the New York Musical Theatre Festival (“Most Promising Musical”) last year, and is a finalist at NYMF this year for “The Journey of Edgar Allan Poe” (Composer/Lyricist). He can be seen every Tuesday as the host of “Casting Couch” (5:30- 9:30), a contemporary musical theatre night, at Marie’s Crisis, the legendary piano bar.
Chad Hayduk (Hair and Make-Up Designer)
Chad Hayduk has more than 20 years of retail experience in the cosmetics industry. A Fashion Institute of Technology graduate, Chad received a Bachelor of Science degree in Cosmetic Marketing. He currently sits on FIT’s Executive Committee Action Council for Cosmetics, is an FIT mentor and each semester is invited by FIT to speak to their Cosmetic Marketing students.
Chad studied color theory and hand-manufacturing of cosmetics under Roy Karell at Visage Beaute and went on to work for Chanel, Origins and Kiehl’s. He studied Special Effects Theatrical and Movie Makeup with former President of the Makeup Union, Tom Brumberger. Chad has also taught professional makeup classes in New York.
At Three Custom Color Specialists (www.threecustom.com) which he co-founded 11 years ago with his two partners Scott Catto and Trae Bodge, Chad is the resident training director and makeup artist and is a spokesperson for the brand. He also lends his precise eye and color knowledge to developing new colors and products, consulting in the film, theatre and television industry and working with professional makeup artists. Most recent film work includes the multi- award winning “A Four Letter Word” and “Between Love and Goodbye.”
Michael Cassara (Casting Director)
Michael Cassara is a Casting Director, Director and Producer based in New York City and dedicated to developing and fostering the growth of new musicals, plays, and film projects. Since the formation of Michael Cassara Casting in 2003, recent projects have included The Molly Maguires (Pre-Broadway Workshop, dir. Sheryl Kaller, mus. dir John McDaniel), Stephen Schwartz’s Captain Louie (National
Tour), If This Hat Could Talk (National Tour, directed by Tony®-Award winner George Faison), The Gig (York Theatre Concert/Cast Recording on JAY Records with William Parry, Michele Pawk, Karen Ziemba, etc.), Red (2005 Richard Rodgers Award Winner, York Theatre workshop, starring Alison Fraser and Mary Testa), Barnstormer (by Douglas J. Cohen and Cheryl L. Davis, dir. Jerry Dixon), The Unauthorized Autobiography Of Samantha Brown (Makor, w/ Michael Arden and Celia Keenan-Bolger), Joy (off-Broadway and workshops), and countless readings and workshops. He presently serves as the resident casting director for the Hinton Battle Theatre Laboratory and the Kitchen Theatre Co. of Ithaca, NY. Before opening his own casting office, Michael worked in casting with Johnson-Liff Casting Associates, Ltd., Cameron Mackintosh, Inc. and the Paper Mill Playhouse.
Michael is the resident casting director of the New York Musical Theatre Festival, where he has cast over two dozen individual projects since the festival’s inception in 2004. Some favorite NYMF casting credits include The Yellow Wood (dir. Tony-Award Winner B. D. Wong), The Woman Upstairs, Sherlock Holmes (The Early Years), Wrong Number, The Last Starfighter and Cutman: A Boxing Musical. Michael recently cast his first feature film, Clear Blue Tuesday, directed by Elizabeth Lucas and set for release in 2008. He has also recently cast a number of new media/internet projects.
For more information please visit his website at http://www.michaelcassara.net. Member, Casting Society of America.
Ben Feldman (Attorney)
Ben Feldman is a theatre and independent film entertainment lawyer, also practicing in the areas of book publishing, television, and other media. His varied clientele includes Manhattan art galleries, publicists, talent agencies, venues (including Ars Nova) and not for profit theaters (including Naked Angels, the Hourglass Group, and the Peccadillo).
In film he represents writer/directors, has acted as production counsel for a number of movies (including Kissing Jessica Stein, Heights, and thus far four which have or will shoot in 2007: The City of Your Final Destination, Clear Blue Tuesday, Red Hook and The Understudy) and handles major motion picture theatrical distributors (of recent movies including Super Size Me, Wah Wah and Ladies in Lavender). Mr. Feldman’s work as a theatrical attorney has been acknowledged at the Tony’s (more times than any other lawyer), and his clients have been recognized for best Play Revival (producer), Best Actress in a Play, Best Orchestrations, Best Score, and Best Book of a Musical. He was recently published in (as one of the two lawyers asked to write a chapter for) the Commercial Theater Institute’s Guide to Producing Plays and Musicals.
In addition to his legal practice, Mr. Feldman is a Board Member of the New York Gay and Lesbian Film Festival. As a producer: The Cutting Room (w/Kate Hudson), and The Stand In (optioned by Miramax). He is an associate producer of Another Gay Movie and in the summer of ’06 co-produced the play Trouble in Paradise, Off-Broadway in New York City. Producer: I Google Myself (Off Broadway, summer, ’07). Graduate of Yale College (Summa Cum Laude) and NYU law school.