Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

Arian Moayed, A STRANGE LOOP's Cherie B Tay & More Take Part in BAC & Cody Renard Richard Scholars Event in New York City

The weekend included Change Agent Training, networking with industry professionals & a panel discussion on the importance of bringing your full identity to the workplace.

Arian Moayed, A STRANGE LOOP's Cherie B Tay & More Take Part in BAC & Cody Renard Richard Scholars Event in New York City

The Cody Renard Richard Scholarship Program and Broadway Advocacy Coalition organized a weekend in New York for its ten program scholars to encourage them to continue in their work in the theater industry. The weekend was made possible from the generous support of the Theater Leadership Project.

The scholars arrived in New York on Friday where they were welcomed with community building exercises while enjoying a picnic in the park. This was followed by one-on-one sessions with industry professionals including Valerie Lau-Kee (producer at BCEFA), Connie Robinson (Theatre Operations Manager at Roundabout), Jiyoun Chang (Tony Nominated Lighting and Scenic Designer), Cherie B Tay (Stage Manager of A Strange Loop), James Ortiz (Puppet Designer for Into the Woods), Jeanette Oi-Suk Yew (Lighting Designer), Justin Ellington (Tony Nominated Sound Designer), Arian Moayed (Actor and Writer), Marcelo Anez (Grammy winning Sound designer and engineer.)

On Saturday, the scholars participated in a BAC led Change Agent Training. On Sunday, the final day, they enjoyed a farewell brunch featuring a panel discussion with Britton Smith, Clint Ramos and Jocelyn Bio, moderated Cody Renard Richard. The conversation focused on the importance of bringing our full identity to our work and some tools on how to achieve that along the journey

Over the course of the weekend, the scholars also made time to see and discuss some Broadway productions including the Tony nominated productions of A Strange Loop and for colored girls who have considered suicide/ when the rainbow is enuf along with Beetlejuice, Tina - The Tina Turner Musical and Hadestown.

"I'm full of so much gratitude from this weekend and semester," said Cody Renard Richard. "Watching these incredible students dive into our program with such transparency and heart has been so inspiring. Seeing them create a community amongst themselves and honor their intentions has been one of the biggest highlights of this program for me so far."

This group of scholars includes Tauheedah Abdullah (Carnegie Mellon University), Maaz Ahmed (Marquette University), Graham Callahan (Kent State University), Natalia Dubon (University of Florida), Zaryah Forde (University of Oklahoma), Sarah Grace Goldman (Northwestern University), Annie Nguyen (Carnegie Mellon University), Daniel Ocanto (Carnegie Mellon University), Valentine Pesola (The Pennsylvania State University), and Nina Schatell (SUNY Purchase College). They also shared thoughts from the immersive weekend.

"The chance to share space, laugh, cry and smile with like-minded people is not an opportunity that I find easy in my life, so this has been great," said Zaryah Forde.

"This industry can be discouraging for folks like me, and this weekend (and scholarship) renewed my faith that I belong in it," said Natalia Dubon.

"This scholarship felt foundational for me. Stuff like this doesn't exist and it doesn't always happen for folks like me," said Maaz Ahmed.

"This cohort reminded me that I can show up and be embraced for who I truly am," said Graham Callahan.

"I'm reminded of who empowers me and what empowers me. The past two years I haven't really felt that empowerment. This scholarship and cohort empowered me and helped me regain some confidence," said Annie Nguyen.

The Seller-Lehrer Family Foundation, The Theatre Leadership Project, and the Hispanic Federation serve as lead sponsors for the program. This year's selection committee featured prominent BIPOC theatrical professionals including Richard, Saheem Ali, Lawrence Bennett, Jocelyn Bioh, Jhanaë Bonnick, Dria Brown, Yang-Yang Chen, Zhailon Levingston, Tina McCartney, Laurie Woolery, and Nzinga Williams.

For additional information, please visit


The Cody Renard Richard Scholarship Program strives to:

  • Encourage more Black, Asian, Latinx, Indigenous, and other students of Color to pursue degrees in the theatrical management and artistic fields, such as Stage Management, Technical Theatre, Theatre Design, Playwriting, Directing or Theatre Management.
  • Cultivate and provide a space for the next generation of BIPOC artists, while honoring, recognizing and welcoming their future contributions to the theatrical world.
  • Connect our scholars with theatrical and community leaders of color, to help cultivate their leadership and advocacy skills to encourage them to be change agents in their own communities and within the industry.
  • Create a community of scholars who will learn and grow together throughout their various educational journeys.
  • Remind BIPOC individuals that their voices and talents are needed and will be supported.

ABOUT Cody Renard Richard

Cody Renard Richard is an advocate, educator, producer, 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 14 productions and was most recently the Production Stage Manager and Associate Director for return engagement of Freestyle Love Supreme. As a producer, Cody served as a co-producer for Thoughts of a Colored Man and is now working on the Moulin Rouge Tour. On top of his production credits, he is currently an adjunct professor at Columbia University after previously serving as adjunct faculty at New York University and Fordham University. He has actively worked with numerous organizations including Broadway Advocacy Coalition where he founded The Cody Renard Richard Scholarship Program for aspiring BIPOC theatre makers. Cody also currently serves as an Eastern Stage Manager Delegate for Actors' Equity Association. As an advocate for change and equity, he has appeared live on CNN and has been interviewed on WNBC and NY1. Cody has been featured by Variety Magazine as one of their 2020 Broadway Players to Watch, Out Magazine as a 2020 OUT100 honoree and in Forbes, among other publications. He was also recently honored by the Kennedy Center as a part of their Next 50 list, he has 3 DGA (Director's Guild Association) Award nominations and is the recipient of the 2020 Webster University's Young Alumni Award and the 2020 Native Son Next Award. He holds a BFA in Stage Management from Webster Conservatory and is a member of Actors' Equity Association and the Directors Guild of America. @codyrenard


Founded in 2016 by members of the Broadway community as a direct response to the nation's pandemic of racism and police brutality, the Broadway Advocacy Coalition is a multidisciplinary organization which unites artists, legal experts and community leaders to create lasting impact on policy issues from criminal justice reform to education equity to immigration. In 2021, BAC received a Special Tony Award for providing an unparalleled platform for marginalized members of the theatre community and tools to help the theatre industry move toward a more equitable future. Via its partnership with the Center for Institutional and Social Change at Columbia Law School, BAC has collaborated with institutions across New York City, including the New York City Council, Bronx Defenders, and the Brooklyn District Attorney's office. To learn more about their work, and to get involved, visit their website at or follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Related Articles

More Hot Stories For You