Performance Creatives

Performance Creatives

Sarah Azizo

Assistant Stage Manager

is a stage manager living in New York City. Her most recent stage management credits include A Sign of the Times (LDK Productions), Paint Your Wagon (The Muny), All Our Children (Sheen Center), Broadway Backwards (Broadway Cares), Significant Other (JCC Manhattan) and Million Dollar Quartet (Tuacahn Center for the Arts). She has also worked as a production assistant on a national tour of Jesus Christ Superstar, as well as a new musical workshop with Davenport Theatrical Enterprises. She feels very lucky to have started her career in St. Louis with Winter Opera St. Louis, Upstream Theater and of course, as a production assistant at The Muny!

Beth Crandall


is a choreographer and educator based in New York. Her work has been seen on stages and screens across the globe. Beth’s extensive list of credits range from Broadway, Off-Broadway, national tours and Tony Award-winning regional houses to Target and renowned fashion house Gucci.

In July 2021, she will return to The Muny to choreograph The Sound of Music, after previously choreographing their award-winning production of Matilda. Beth also recently set the original Jerome Robbins’ choreography for West Side Story at the Abilene Opera.

Her additional choreographic work on Broadway and off-Broadway includes Gettin’ the Band Back Together; Jerry Springer the Opera, High Button Shoes, The New Yorkers and 1776. She virtually mounted How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying at the Tokyu Theatre Orb during the summer of 2020, starring Japanese pop sensation Takahisa Masuda. Regionally, her work includes Footloose and The Music Man at The Kennedy Center, Because of Winn Dixie and The Drowsy Chaperone at Goodspeed Opera House, Jerome Robbins’ Broadway; Newsies and My Fair Lady at The Muny, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast and Jerome Robbins’ Broadway at Houston’s Theatre Under the Stars. She worked with Target to launch their “20 Years of Design for All” campaign for New York Fashion Week, as well as the highly stylized “Gucci Showtime” campaign in Los Angeles. As a performer, Beth has been seen on Broadway, in national and international tours, at top regional theaters, in short films, on Saturday Night Live and The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.

She is currently a full-time faculty member for the Jazz and Contemporary Trainee Program at the prestigious Joffrey Ballet School in New York. She graduated with honors with her BFA from NYU Tisch School of the Arts. She is a proud member of SDC and AEA.

Bruna D’Avila


is from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and based in New York City. Director: Blacktop Sky (Exit Left Theatre Company), In the Heights (MUSKET), Revolt. She Said. Revolt Again. (Senior Directing Thesis), Legally Blonde: The Musical (MUSKET), The Game (PlayFest), director in residence for Originals Theatre Festival in New York. Assistant Director: Insurrection: Holding History (dir. Timothy Douglas), One Hit Wonder (dir. Hunter Foster), Big Fish (dir. Matt Kunkel), Disney’s The Little Mermaid (The Muny, dir. Marcia Milgrom Dodge), All Shook Up (The Muny, dir. Dan Knechtges), A Chorus Line (The Muny, dir. Denis Jones), ALAXSXA/ALASKA (Ping Chong & Co.), A Connecticut Christmas Carol (Goodspeed Opera House, dir. Hunter Foster). Producer: The Mile-Long Opera (associate producer), The REACH Opening Festival at The Kennedy Center (producer), Margaret Mead Film Festival (producer), Waterlicht (producer), Antigone in Ferguson (associate producer), For Freedoms Congress (producer), Ellen Reid’s Soundwalk (associate producer), Carrie Mae Weems’ Resist COVID (Take 6!). Other credits: Rio 2016 Olympic Opening and Closing Ceremonies, Rio 2016 Paralympic Opening Ceremony (deputy stage manager).

Marcia Milgrom Dodge


is a Tony and Drama Desk Award-nominated director and choreographer for her Kennedy Center/Broadway revival of Ragtime. She appears as herself in Disney+ Encore! with Kristen Bell as the Theater Director in Episode 1 – Annie and Episode 12 – Ragtime, streaming now. MMD has built her busy career bringing bold, new approaches to classic musicals, directing and choreographing at major regional theaters across the USA and abroad. National tours include TheaterWorksUSA’s Curious George and Seussical the Musical, the long-running South Korean musical Cookin’ and Phoenix Entertainment’s Ragtime. MMD is also a wife, mother, teacher, Edgar Award-nominated playwright, proud member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society (SDC) and The Dramatists Guild. For more, visit:

Andrew Graham

Music Director

New York: Avenue Q. Las Vegas: Spamalot, Avenue Q. National Tours: Book of Mormon, Wicked, Avenue Q, Pippin, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Seussical the Musical (starring Cathy Rigby), The Music Man, Footloose and European tours of Hair and Grease. Regional: Aida, Annie, Footloose (Muny), Aida, Fame (NSMT). Disney’s world premiere of Freaky Friday. He holds degrees from both Capital University in Columbus, Ohio and Trinity College of Music in London. Upcoming projects: national tour of Moulin Rouge.

Michael Horsley

Music Director

began his studies as a concert pianist studying in Louisville throughout his young adult life. He attended the prestigious summer Tanglewood Festival and continued his studies at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. He has worked in San Francisco as a rehearsal pianist, vocal coach, musical director and conductor. In 1994, he began working as a music director at the Muny, where he conducted more than 50 productions. In 2013, he was appointed Music Supervisor and continues in that role today. Michael is on staff at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music working within the opera department where he musical directs the Broadway show each semester. He is also on staff at Webster University teaching Applied Piano for the Music Directing students. On Broadway, he has played keyboards in the pit for several productions and conducted Chicago after touring the first national tour with Chita Rivera and Ben Vereen. Among his other notable national tours are White Christmas (for the past 10 years), Thoroughly Modern Millie, 42nd Street, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers and Cinderella. Solo concerts include music directing and playing piano for Lee Roy Reams, Judy Kaye, Luci Arnaz, Shirley Jones, Karen Mason and Tovah Feldshuh. Vocal direction credits include the Christmas concert series for the Detroit Symphony, National Symphony and Birmingham Symphony Orchestras with maestro Jack Everly. Nationally, his work as a music director includes Kansas City Starlight, Theatrezone, Naples, Fla, Pioneer Theatre, Salt Lake City, Music Theatre Wichita, North Carolina Theatre, Paper Mill Playhouse, Milburn, NJ, Guthrie Theatre, Minneapolis and Theatre Under The Stars, Houston. He spent six months in Tokyo creating and music directing the dance musical Bryant Park which played in Tokyo and Kobe.

Matthew Kunkel


was named one of Newsday’s Rising Stars of Tomorrow and is a freelance director based in New York. He directed and co-conceived the St. Louis Muny’s critically-acclaimed 100th anniversary production An Evening with the Stars, which starred Broadway legends Chita Rivera and Tommy Tune, along with Heather Headley and Matthew Morrison. He recently directed Elf the Musical at the Engeman Theater in Northport, which BroadwayWorld lauded as “an effervescent production spreading holiday joy and warming every heart,” and Newsday praised his direction saying “the infectious performances win out under the direction of Matt Kunkel.” He directed the first ever collaboration for The Muny with the St. Louis Symphony entitled A Celebration of Muny 100 and directed segments for The Muny 2020 Summer Variety Hour Live! Becoming a champion of new works, he directed the first reading of Dick Scanlan’s opera libretto Fallingwater for The Metropolitan Opera, as well as Twist, an adaptation of Oliver Twist which he also co-conceived and co-adapted.

Soon after college, he began working as an associate director on many productions, including Candide at Carnegie Hall (starring John Lithgow), The Music Man at The Kennedy Center (staring Jessie Mueller, Norm Lewis and Rosie O’Donnell), Carmel Dean and Dick Scanlan’s new musical Renascence with the Transport Theatre Group, the Actors Fund reunion concert of Thoroughly Modern Millie (starring Sutton Foster) and the first regional production of the landmark musical Jerome Robbins’ Broadway (The Muny). He is currently the Assistant Director for the Off-Broadway production of Trevor the Musical. Other assistant directing credits include the Madison Square Garden production and the national tour of Elf the Musical. He has also worked at The Muny for several years as an associate and assistant director on over 25 productions, working with such directors as Marc Bruni, Marcia Milgrom Dodge, Gary Griffin, John Tartaglia, Denis Jones, Kathleen Marshall, Christian Borle, Gordon Greenberg and Dan Knechtges.

He has directed shows at many universities, including Big Fish, Avenue Q and We Are Proud to Present… (University of Michigan), Grease (Pioneer Theatre Guild), Godspell, God of Carnage, The Laramie Project, Steel Magnolias and Brighton Beach Memoirs (Northport Theatre Troupe). He has taught a variety of masterclasses for performing arts programs such as The Long Island High School for the Arts, the University of Michigan, the University of Delaware, the Growing Studio and the Engeman Studio of Theatre.

He is a graduate of the University of Michigan and the Long Island High School for the Arts and is a member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society. He continues to teach masterclasses throughout the country and coach privately.

Lizz Picini


is so thankful to be living the dream in New York City! Represented by CESD Talent Agency, she teaches full-time at Broadway Dance Center when she is not touring the country, performing, or traveling the world teaching. Most recently, Lizz performed and served as dance captain, associate director and associate choreographer in Tony-nominee Denis Jones’ production of Chicago. Around the country, Lizz has starred as Cassie in A Chorus Line, The Girl in the Green Dress in Singin’ in the Rain, Tess in Crazy for You, Virtue in Anything Goes, Dawn in The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, Gertie Cummings in Oklahoma!; Ruth in Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, West Side Story, On The Town, When You Wish, Beauty and the Beast and Sister Act. She has had the opportunity to serve as associate director/choreographer to some of the industry’s best. @lizzpicini

Cody Renard Richard

Lead Stage Manager

is an advocate, educator and professional stage manager with a career that spans many genres, including Broadway, Television, Cirque Du Soleil and Opera. On Broadway, he has worked as a full time and substitute stage manager on 12 productions, most recently serving as the Production Stage Manager for Freestyle Love Supreme. TV: 2019 Tony Awards, 2020 and 2019 MTV VMAs, Jesus Christ Superstar Live!; Hairspray Live!; The Wiz Live! Cirque du Soleil: OVO, Wintuk. Off- Broadway/NY: Porgy and Bess (Metropolitan Opera – assistant stage director), Candide (Carnegie Hall), five productions with NY City Center Encores!, The Public Theatre, Atlantic Theatre Company, 2nd Stage, Transport Group, Pearl Theatre Company. Selected Regional: Lempicka at Williamstown Theatre Festival, The Kennedy Center, The Muny, TUTS, Stages St. Louis, Kansas City Rep, Alley Theatre, Repertory Theatre of St. Louis. In addition to his production credits, he is currently adjunct faculty at New York University and Columbia University. As an advocate for change and equity, Cody has appeared live on CNN and has been interviewed on WNBC. Cody was also recently named one of Variety Magazine’s 2020 Broadway Players to Watch and has just launched The Cody Renard Richard Scholarship Program in partnership with Broadway Advocacy Coalition. He holds a BFA in Stage Management from Webster Conservatory and is a proud member of Actors’ Equity Association and the Directors Guild of America. @codyrenard

Robbie Roby


Performer credits: Broadway: Billy Elliot, Hairspray, The Tempest (Shakespeare in the Park), Paint Your Wagon (Encores!, Cast Album), Call Me Madam (Encores!). National tours: Disney’s The Little Mermaid, Monty Python’s Spamalot, Fiddler on the Roof (with Topol), Joseph…Dreamcoat (Cast Album), Billy Elliot, Starlight Express. Choreography credits: Broadway Backwards (New Amsterdam Theatre; NYC), Shrek (Sacramento Music Circus), Disney’s Beauty and the Beast (La Mirada and Pittsburgh CLO), Disney’s The Little Mermaid (The 5th Avenue Theatre), Hairspray (Sugar Loaf PAC) and Little Shop of Horrors (Sacramento Music Circus). Select associate credits: Chasing Rainbows: The Road to Oz (Paper Mill Playhouse), The Flamingo Kid (world premiere, Hartford Stage), The Tempest (Shakespeare in the Park, NYC), Beaches (world premiere, Signature Theatre), and Carnegie Hall Family Holiday Concert: NY City Pops. Robbie is a native of Baltimore, MD and holds a B.S. in Elementary Education from Towson University.

Gabi Stapula

Choreographer / Performer

is a performer, choreographer, educator, and forever student living in NYC. This summer she was the director/choreographer for The Muny Virtual Kids Troupe 2020. She recently performed in the reading of Wanderer that is heading to Papermill Playhouse’s 2021 season. She has been seen on stage at The Goodspeed Opera House, Theater Under the Stars, The Rev and Arena Stage (Washington DC). As a choreographer, she has worked as an associate for The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, Saturday Night Live, Hermès Huereka Fashion week and events for the Robin Hood Foundation and Target. She has taught at schools, studios and theaters around the country and all over Zoom! Gabi is a proud member of AEA and the #MSAfam. She received her BFA in Musical Theatre from Pace University with a minor in Commercial Dance.

Sinai Tabak

Music Director

is an New York City-based music director, pianist, and arranger, and recently served as the associate conductor of The Cher Show on Broadway. Select regional credits include The Sound of Music (music supervisor, Asolo Rep), Bliss (5th Avenue Theatre), Footloose (Kennedy Center), Paint Your Wagon (The Muny), Evita, Josephine (Asolo Rep), Guys and Dolls (Asolo Rep and Old Globe), Les Misérables (Dallas Theater Center), Bells Are Ringing (Berkshire Theater Festival), The Rocky Horror Show (Bucks County Playhouse), Johnny Baseball (Williamstown Theatre Festival). Other credits include Stars of David (DR2 Theater), Goldstein (Actors Temple), workshops of Los Otros (59E59), The Total Bent (Public Theater), American Psycho, Family Album (Oregon Shakespeare Festival), Damascus Square and the film version of Hello Again. Sinai received a degree in Music Theory and Composition from NYU.

Josh Walden

Director / Choreographer

was the Associate Director/Associate Choreographer for the Tony nominated Broadway revival of Ragtime and most recently was the choreographer for Disney+’s Encore!; His director/choreographer credits include A Chorus Line (Maltz Jupiter Theatre, Merry-Go-Round Playhouse and Theatre Memphis), Legally Blonde (Merry-Go-Round Playhouse), On the Town (Capital City Theatre), The Rocky Horror Show (University of Buffalo) and the rock opera Fallen Angel (New York International Fringe Festival), which won Best Musical. Other credits include various productions at the Kennedy Center, The Muny, Sacramento Music Circus, Signature Theatre, Drury Lane Theatre, Bay Street Theater, Riverside Theatre, Gateway Playhouse, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Des Moines Metro Opera, Theatreworks USA, Tisch School of the Arts, D.A.R.E., Shenandoah Summer Music Theatre and Morag Productions for the Seabourn Sun Cruise Ship. He received an honorable mention for direction and choreography at the New York Musical Theatre Festival for his production of All Is Love, A New Dance Musical. As a performer, Josh has been seen in the Broadway revivals of 42nd Street, La Cage aux Folles, A Chorus Line and Ragtime, as well as the off-Broadway productions of Cagney and The Awesome 80’s Prom. Josh graduated from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts with a BFA in Drama.