14-TIME ARTIOS AWARD-WINNING COMPANY CALLERI CASTING TO BECOME CALLERI JENSEN DAVIS
FOR RELEASE ON FEBRUARY 23, 2021
14-TIME ARTIOS AWARD-WINNING COMPANY
CALLERI JENSEN DAVIS
A CREATIVE CASTING PARTNERSHIP
WITH RECOMMITMENT TO
EQUITY, DIVERSITY, AND INCLUSION
New York, NY – James Calleri, Erica Jensen, and Paul Davis announced today that Calleri Casting is being renamed Calleri Jensen Davis, to better reflect the equal partnership that has been central to their 14-time Artios Award-winning company’s success over these past 15 years.
As part of this reorganization, the company is reaffirming its commitment to Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion to better meet the needs of a rapidly shifting entertainment industry and ensure equal access to opportunity for all performers. This clear focus on cultivating the industry’s deepest BIPOC talent pools across all mediums, will be led by Ms. Jensen.
Founded in 2006, Calleri Jensen Davis specializes in Broadway and Off-Broadway productions, major motion pictures, television series and movies, music videos, and audiobooks. Among the agency’s upcoming theatrical projects are the Broadway productions of For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide / When the Rainbow is Enuf, Topdog/Underdog, Thoughts of a Colored Man, and Blue and recent television hits such as AppleTV+’s “Dickinson” and “When They See Us” (NY Casting) on Netflix. Most recently they were nominated for an Artios Award for Excellence in Casting for the Pride Plays which played Off-Broadway last season.
In a joint statement, Mr. Calleri, Ms. Jensen, and Mr. Davis said, “The summer of 2020 delivered a long overdue reckoning around the issue of racial justice. It is the responsibility of every industry, including ours, to meet this moment by carving out a fairer, more equitable path forward. We are entering 2021 with a renewed vision for how we can fulfill this moral imperative across every discipline we service.”
Ms. Jensen added, “As a Black business owner, and one of the few BIPOC casting directors in New York, this is a conversation I’ve been involved in for a long time. I know I speak for many when I say I am optimistic about the prospect of real and lasting change when it comes to the stories that get told and who gets to tell them. That said, our primary goal of this renewed focus is to continue to fulfill our team’s mission: to bring the very best talent to each and every project we work on.”
Brian Moreland, Producer and member of the Broadway League Board of Governors, said, “Casting is such an intimate experience. It is always best, when a team crawls inside a story and then unearths talent that is remarkable. Casting with Calleri Jensen Davis is always intimate, and joyful!”
Alena Smith, Executive Producer and Showrunner of “Dickinson” on AppleTV+ added, “Calleri Jensen Davis has been a trusted and integral part of the Dickinson world. Their passion and ability to continuously capture the essence of this work has made each season with them a joy. They approach each moment of the casting process with grace and enthusiasm, and my vision as showrunner is always respected and illuminated by their work.”
Calleri Jensen Davis’ Broadway credits include Burn This starring Adam Driver and Keri Russell; Fool for Love starring Nina Arianda and Sam Rockwell; Hughie starring Forest Whitaker; The Visit starring Chita Rivera and Roget Rees; Living on Love starring Renee Fleming; Hedwig & The Angry Inch starring Neil Patrick Harris and Lena Hall; The Elephant Man starring Bradley Cooper, Patricia Clarkson and Alessandro Nivola; Of Mice and Men starring James Franco, Chris O’Dowd and Leighton Meester; Venus in Fur starring Tony-winner Nina Arianda and Hugh Dancy; 33 Variations starring Jane Fonda; A Raisin in the Sun starring Sean Combs, Audra MacDonald, and Phylicia Rashad; James Joyce’s The Dead starring Christopher Walken. Upcoming Broadway productions include Thoughts of a Colored Man, Blue at The Apollo, For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide / When the Rainbow is Enuf and Topdog/Underdog. Off-Broadway credits include Lives of Saints, All in the Timing, Buyer & Cellar, Murder for Two, The Hilltown Plays, Satchmo at the Waldorf, My Name is Asher Lev, Fuerza Bruta, The Revisionist, and many more. They have served as casting director for Playwrights Horizon’s (1996-2006), Classic Stage Company (2003-2016), Rattlestick Playwrights Theater (2009-2015 & present), Long Wharf Theater (2003 – 2020), The Flea (2000 – 2016), Keen Company (2011 – 2019), Williamstown Theater Festival (2011-2014), and The Playwrights Realm (2010 – 2020). Film credits include Love is Blind; I Origins; Emoticon 😉; Saint Janet; Another Earth; Refuge; Merchant Ivory’s The City of Your Final Destination, Heights, and The White Countess; Lisa Picard is Famous; The Jimmy Show; Ready? OK!; Trouble Every Day; Peter & Vandy and Armless. Television credits include “Dickinson” (Apple+); “When They See Us” – NY Casting (Netflix); “The Path” (Hulu); “Army Wives” (Lifetime); “Ed,” “Lipstick Jungle” (NBC); and “Z Rock” (IFC), “A Raisin in the Sun,” “Hope & Faith” (ABC); and “Monk” (USA).
Calleri Jensen Davis has been awarded 14 Artios Awards for Outstanding Achievement in Casting.
James Calleri, along with partners Paul Davis and Erica Jensen, run Calleri Jensen Davis where they have been awarded 14 Artios Awards for Outstanding Achievement in Casting. James began his casting career at ABC Television under Alexa Fogel and at Lincoln Center Theater under Daniel Swee, whom he credits for giving him his first big breaks. James then made his home at Playwrights Horizons where he served as Casting Director. It was there he cast for his idols including favorite writers Craig Lucas, Christopher Durang, Lynn Nottage, Jon Robin Baitz, Kenneth Lonergan, Jessica Goldberg, Richard Nelson, Peter Hedges, Kia Corthron and David Greenspan. He hung his shingle at Playwrights for 10 years before setting up shop as Calleri Casting with Erica and Paul. James has proudly served on the Board of the Casting Society of America and heads the Graduate MFA Acting Program at Columbia University School of the Arts where he serves as an Associate Professor of Theater. He has taught at acting programs across the country and as far as Shanghai, China. He also runs calleristudio.com where he coaches and teaches professional actors. James is the co-author with Robert Cohen of Acting Professionally: Raw Facts About Careers In Acting, published by Palgrave MacMillan. In its eighth edition it is one of the leading books in the country for young actors. He resides in New York City and at his farmhouse upstate in Saugerties, New York.
Erica Jensen (CSA) officially became a Black business owner when Calleri Casting was formed in 2014. As one third of the Artios-Award winning team of Calleri Jensen Davis she has worked steadily in film, television and theater for over 20 years. Erica’s career began with an internship in the casting office at Playwrights Horizons, which is where she met James Calleri and discovered a love for casting. Her internship led to a position as the Talent Coordinator on Comedy Central’s “Chappelle’s Show” during its second season. She returned to work with James when he was hired to cast the ABC sitcom “Hope & Faith.” Shortly after, Calleri Casting was officially formed and has been her professional home ever since. Erica is a proud member of the Casting Society of America and was a featured panelist on the CSA event “Closer To Equity: Spotlight on BIPOC Casting Professionals,” moderated by Dr. Darnisa Amante-Jackson. She’s co-leader of a CSA group dedicated to making audition spaces safe and inclusive to all actors, directors, and writers of color. In addition to her work in casting, Erica is a faculty member at The New School where she teaches Acting As A Business and Industry Showcase. She is the Industry Mentor for the graduate students at Brown / Trinity Rep. And with her business partner and talent manager Dani Super she co-owns and runs She-Collective, a women-only acting and writing studio in New York. Erica was named American Theater magazine’s Top Theater Workers you should know in 2017. Erica holds an MFA in Acting from Illinois State University.
Paul Davis (CSA) hails from San Diego where, as a child, he caught the creative bug in classes at San Diego Junior Theater and attending performances at Starlight in Balboa Park with his family who were front row season ticket holders. Paul met James Calleri at UC Irvine where, as a grad student, Calleri taught Paul’s first year acting class, and they remained friends and pen pals in a time before e-mail. Paul started his career in casting as the Assistant on the Broadway revivals of Annie Get Your Gun and Chicago. He subsequently worked with Mark Simon Casting, and later at USA Films and Focus Features. On his own, Paul cast The Crumple Zone for Jason Moore, the Obie-winning A Very Merry Unauthorized Children’s Scientology Pageant for Alex Timbers and Kyle Jarrow, as well as God’s Ear for New Georges and The Vineyard. Prior to partnering with James and Erica full time, Paul cast commercials and short films with Stacy Gallo. His professional teaching appointments include Syracuse University’s Tepper Semester, The New School, and Brooklyn College. Davis holds a BA in Drama from UC Irvine and is a proud member Casting Society of America.
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