The Spotlight Staff
Founder / Producer
Harley Yanoff (Founder/Producer/Acting Coach) is currently a New York based Actor. He is a graduate of Brandeis University (cum laude) with a B.A. in Theater Arts Performance (High Honors). Film Credits: He can be seen alongside Oscar Winner Casey Affleck as Smitty in Disney's "The Finest Hours". His Off Broadway theater credits include the world premiere of "Final Days", "Perfectly Complicated", and "The Glass Menagerie" He made his professional theater debut in A Little Night Music with the Lyric Stage Company of Boston. At Brandeis University he was seen as Jack in Into The Woods, Bob in Balm In Gilead, Chance in The Water Children, and Edges, a new song cycle. Regional theater credits include Jeff in Kimberly Akimbo, Troy Bolton in High School Musical, Hugo Peabody in Bye Bye Birdie, The Artful Dodger in Oliver, and Harvey Cheyne, for which he received an EMACT award for Best Actor in a lead role in the New England premiere of Captains Courageous. His film work includes supporting roles in The Town (starring Ben Affleck, Jeremy Renner, and Jon Hamm), 21, My Best Friend's Girl (Starring Kate Hudson and Dane Cook), Don McKay (Starring Thomas Hayden Church, Elizabeth Shue, and Melissa Leo). His television credits include a role on the Fox TV hit show Fringe as well as featured work on CBS's The Good Wife, WB's Gossip Girl. His commercial work includes Subway, McDonald's, American Express, and Titleist. He is a proud member of The Actors Equity Association (AEA), and SAG-AFTRA, The Screen Actors Guild and The American Federation of Television and Radio Artist.
In addition to Spotlight, he's the founder of Broadway From Home, a global virtual theater workshop.
Cassie M. Seinuk is a playwright, AEA Stage Manager, visual artist and educator in Boston, MA. Her play From the Deep has won multiple awards including The Pestalozzi New Play Prize, the Latinidad Playwrights Award at the Kennedy Center, and was a recipient of the Boston University Jewish Culture Endowment, and it appeared on the 2015 Kilroys Honorable Mention List. The production of From the Deep received IRNE Award Nominations, and nearly sold out at 2016 FringeNYC Festival. Eyes Shut. Door Open. or “ESDO” was a recipient of the Bob Jolly Charitable Fund Grant. "ESDO" won the 2016 OnStage Critics Award for Outstanding New Work. Short play Occupy Hallmark won the 2015 National Ten Minute Play Award at the Kennedy Center. Her newest play, Dream House, was developed at New Repertory Theatre as part of Next Voices Fellows, and has earned her a Mass. Cultural Council Fellowship. Seinuk’s short plays have been produced nationwide. She is a member of Boston Public Works, The Dramatist Guild, and AEA, and a 2017 Mass. Cultural Council Fellow Finalist. As a stage manager Seinuk has worked with Actors’ Shakespeare Project, Boston Playwrights’ Theatre, Central Square Theatre (The Nora and URT), Bridge Rep of Boston, SpeakEasy, and The Berkshire Theatre Group. Cassie has experience working with all ages, including running youth services at Temple Reyim, and directing the Hebrew-infused musicals at Camp Yavneh and Solomon Schechter Day School of Greater Boston. Cassie lives in the MetroWest area with her husband and two young children.
Ted Whalen (Music Direction) Ted is currently the Director of Upper School Choruses at Milton Academy. He is a graduate of the University of Rhode Island and the New England Conservatory of Music. Recent productions for which Ted had served as Music Director and Conductor are Spamalot, Avenue Q, Pippen, Dido and Aeneas, Hansel und Gretel, Iolanthe, and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat with Milton Academy, Dana Hall School, the Rhode Island Gilbert and Sullivan Society, the Boston Aria Guild and the Wellesley Choral Society where he is Music Director.
As a vocal performer, Ted has appeared as soloist with such groups as the Boston Lyric Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera, Lake George Opera, Boston Academy of Music, Alea III, Monadnock Music, Boston Baroque, Chorus proMusica, the Connecticut Pops Orchestra, and the Rhode Island Gilbert & Sullivan Society.
In addition to his work as conductor and performer, Ted is a composer whose works were most recently featured in concert by the Wellesley Choral Society.
Workshop Manager / Operations / Director
Lauren is originally from Needham, MA, and is a rising junior at NYU studying Musical Theatre, Vocal Performance, and Business of the Arts. Last summer she choreographed The Little Mermaid Jr. at Spotlight and is excited to be moving into the role of Workshop Manager for this summer! Lauren is a private voice teacher and audition coach for local students and has been in many local productions as well as performances in NYC at NYU and The Green Room 42. She is grateful to be back at Spotlight and looks forward to a great summer!
Bridget is a rising junior attending the Boston Conservatory studying Musical Theatre. Originally from Hanover MA, Bridget grew up doing theatre and dance in the Boston area. Her past credits include Shrek (BSU’s Family Performing Arts Center), Peter Pan (The Norwood Theatre), and A Brief History of Helen of Troy (Boston Conservatory). Her choreography credits include Guys and Dolls jr and Cabaret. Bridget is thrilled to be joining the Spotlight Team this summer!
Tech / Art / Counselor
Melinda Kalanzis (she/they) is a Boston based actor, director, teaching artist, and theater maker. She is thrilled to be costuming and scenic designing at Spotlight since she is a Spotlight alumn herself (2011-2016)! They graduated UT Dallas summa cum laude (BA in Visual and Performing Arts with a Theater Concentration) in spring ‘22 and since then, she has apprenticed with Commonwealth Shakespeare Company and played Juliet in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet at What If? Queer Creator Collaborative. They have also assistant directed and acted in two staged readings of Butch Ado with Actors’ Shakespeare Project. Most recently, Melinda was a teaching artist and played Helena in Boston Theater Company’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and they co-directed O, Possum! at What If? This fall, she’ll be in Salem, acting in multiple shows for History Alive’s upcoming season. Thank you so much to the Spotlight team for welcoming me back and putting on this wonderful show!
Jocelyn Sylva is a 16 year old spotlight alumni. She’s loved performing since a young age and is grateful for the community Spotlight provides for young aspiring actors. Her favorite past roles include Mr Wormwood in Matilda, the Baker in Into the Woods, and The Cat In the Hat in Seussical. She is absolutely stoked to spend another summer working with the staff, and helping bring the magic of Spotlight to life and give everyone the same wonderful experience she was given.
Josie George is a 17 year old high schooler from Needham. She has grown up on stage and been immersed with the arts forever. She has had the pleasure of being a camper at spotlight, and is super excited to help make the experience a blast for the new generation of campers. Her past favorite roles in theater include Baker’s Wife (Into the Woods), Mayzie La bird (Seussical), Alice (Alice in Wonderland), and Alana (The Little Mermaid). She’s so excited for the summer!
Jonah (Technical Director) is a Boston born, New York City based Moving Light Programmer working on Broadway, Off-Broadway, Regional Theater, TV, and Cruise Ships. Recent work includes, True West & King Lear on Broadway, Cambodian Rock Band, Octet & Miss You like Hell Off-Broadway, The Band’s Visit 1st National Tour, What the Constitution Means to Me at The Kennedy Center, The Sound of Music at Asolo Rep, Thoughts of a Colored Man at Syracuse Stage & Baltimore Centerstage. Some of Jonah’s favorite projects include an interactive dance show for the first ship of the new Virgin Voyages cruise line, Summer Shakespeare in the Park in New York City and the 25 Years of Disney On Broadway Anniversary Concert.
Paul is a filmmaker and educator from Boston, Massachusetts. He graduated cum laude from SUNY Purchase Film Conservatory with a BFA in Filmmaking in 2015. Presently, he is awaiting his Master’s in Film & Television Studies at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece.
Paul's films have been screened at festivals and events in Hollywood, Northern California, Florida, New Mexico, Michigan, France, Greece and at the Jacob Burns Film Centre in New York. In 2013 his film Magi won Best Short Film at the Santa Cruz Film Festival. Recently his film Skye won the award for Best Direction of Short Film and for Best Female Actor at the Symi International Film Festival in Greece. His music video, When November Came was awarded winner at the Berlin Flash Film Festival in Germany (July 2018 contest) and screened at the Movement for Peace event at the 17th Annual Santa Cruz Film Festival in October 2019.
In 2012, Paul was awarded The Joan Potter & Miriam Arsham Award for Directing Actors from SUNY Purchase College and is a two-time recipient of the Harriet Irsay Scholarship from the American Institute of Polish Culture. His essay, Cinema: A Source of Polish Survival was published in their annual magazine.
Paul has lived and worked in Hollywood, Northern California, and Boston where he has taught history and theatre to high-school and elementary school students. Paul has been the Film Instructor at the SUNY Purchase Pre-College Film Institute for five years and is also the Acting for Film instructor at the International Theatre & Dance Project in Greece (ITDP).
Paul also studied acting in his time at SUNY Purchase, performed in live theatre and film upon and prior to his graduation, and is an actor's equity membership candidate. Paul has been a professional headshot photographer for ten years.
Alex Salsberg (Animator) is a professional animator and illustrator with a passion for teaching. He founded The Artist’s Lab at Spotlight after spending over ten years teaching art and filmmaking in a variety of settings. His goal is to introduce students to modern, fun ways to create, and to give them plenty of time and freedom to do it. After years of offering short workshops at Spotlight, he's very excited to bring a full summer program to the amazing Spotlight campers.
When not teaching kids, Alex is busy producing and directing animated videos for web and TV, including work for Nickelodeon, MTV and DreamWorksTV. He is also an adjunct animation instructor at Mount Ida College and provides drawing instruction for autistic teens and adults at The Vinfen Family Support Center.