Warner Bros. Television has selected the 10 emerging performers for the second annual “Actors in Training” virtual casting initiative. More than 2,100 actors from 280 training programs worldwide participated in this year’s program
The class of 2021 search included outreach to more than 400 undergraduate, graduate, and conservatory programs in the U.S., Canada, Australia, and the UK. Once again, this included not only traditional top-tier institutions but also direct outreach to schools and training programs in historically underserved and underrepresented communities.
The WBTV Casting “Actors in Training” Class of 2021 is:
- Sara Acevedo (she/her) is a recent graduate of Pomona College who also trained at the Lee Strasberg Institute in New York and the London Dramatic Academy. Born and raised in Puerto Rico, Sara is fluent in Spanish and English, and speaks French. She is a painter, surfer, and bundle of energy. Sara’s goal is to play characters that make young women feel authentically seen and heard, and to represent her island with pride. (Location: San Juan, Puerto Rico)
- Aleigha Burt (she/her) is an Atlanta-based actress. She has lived in Georgia her entire life and proudly reps her Georgia Peach status. Aleigha started acting at only 6 years old, when she wrote, produced, directed, and performed in her own plays for her parents and siblings in her very own theatre, otherwise known as the Burt Family living room. There, her love for acting ignited. Aleigha went on to study at Columbus State University in Columbus, GA, where she received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre Performance. She is grateful and blessed to be honored with an amazing opportunity and wants to thank God and her family for their endless support. (Location: Atlanta; Rep: MI Talent Atlanta)
- Amy Darton (she/her) is an actress and musician born in Teesside in the northeast of England. A singer since she was young, Amy did not discover her love for acting until secondary school. After being accepted to the prestigious London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA), she made the move to London. Amy is passionate about film and television, and of course, London theater, which inspired her to act in the first place. (Location: London; Reps: Shelley Barrett Management)
- Jasmine Garvin (she/her) was born and raised in Poughkeepsie, NY, and is a 2021 graduate of The New York Conservatory for Dramatic Arts, where she received her degree in Musical Theatre. As an actress, she wants to tell stories that will inspire others and redefine standards, especially for artists of color. (Location: Poughkeepsie, NY)
- Kasey Inez (she/her) graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of California, Irvine with a bachelor’s degree in drama and a minor in Spanish. In her time at UCI, she was awarded Honors in Acting for her exceptional performance in Silent Sky as Williamina Fleming. Kasey is most passionate about learning languages and is proficient in Spanish and American Sign Language. Kasey’s purpose as an actress is to portray characters that place Black women in a positive light in order to combat negative stereotypes within film and television. (Location: Los Angeles)
- Finlay James (he/him) is a British-Irish actor, raised in Nottinghamshire. Prior to his time at the Oxford School of Drama, he grew up training as a footballer and was scouted for Nottingham Forest Football Club at an early age. Finlay is also a skilled drummer and skateboarder. (Location: London; Reps: Shelley Barrett Management)
- Cici Koueth (she/her) is a recent graduate of SUNY Purchase College Conservatory of Theatre Arts. She was born in the motherland of Africa, then grew up in the Sunshine State of Florida. There, she attended a performing arts high school and discovered the joys of art, whether that be in front of or behind the camera. Some of her favorite hobbies are cooking dishes from all over the world, filmmaking, and watching K-dramas! (Location: Brooklyn, NY)
- Taylor McClaine (they/them) is a recent graduate of The Lir Academy, Dublin. While in training, some of their favourite roles included Feste in Twelfth Night and Mandy in Eclipsed. Most recently, Taylor appeared in two short films as part of the Engine Short Film Scheme 2021. In addition to acting, Taylor enjoys playing the ukulele, flute, and guitar, as well as composing their own music. As a non-binary individual, Taylor is excited to explore queer narratives and stories that portray queerness in all of its authenticity. (Location: Dublin, Ireland; Reps: Susannah Norris Agency)
- Harrison Pearse (he/him) is an Australian actor and 2021 graduate of the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA). Born and raised in a coastal Australian town, Harry grew up competitively surfing and was a representative rugby union player. His passion for the arts began at the age of 12, when he started making independent films. He hopes to one day be able to write, direct and act in his own feature films. (Location: Perth, Western Australia; Reps: The X Division and Silver Lining Entertainment)
- Justen Ross (he/him) is a Black, queer, multi-hyphenate artist born, raised, and currently residing in Atlanta, Georgia. He is a 2021 graduate of The Theatre School at DePaul University’s BFA program and a 2021 Princess Grace Award recipient. During the pandemic, he wrote, produced, and starred in both his own music video (Fairy) and short film (Gazing). Justen also creates online content for a 100K+ following. He is deeply committed to teaching children the performing arts through an Afro-diasporic lens and ideology. (Location: Atlanta; Reps: Stewart Talent Agency)
The first virtual “Actors in Training” program in summer 2020, in response to the COVID-19 global pandemic. Many traditional year-end career advancement and networking opportunities that actors normally pursue following completion of their training — such as meetings with studio and network casting departments, independent casting directors, and more — were suspended or canceled. The “Actors in Training” program was designed to provide virtual networking opportunities for the 2020 graduating class. After the success of the inaugural program, and with a need to offer virtual solutions once again in 2021, WBTV Casting conducted a second program.
The program was open to any acting student who was due to complete their training in spring/summer 2021. All were invited to submit a headshot, resume, and brief introduction, with all submissions reviewed by WBTV Casting. A select group of applicants were then invited to submit auditions and meet with WBTV Casting executives.
Ten finalists were selected to make up the Class of 2021, with these 10 then offered the opportunity to meet with WBTV development and programming executives, as well as WBTV-based producers.