BFRJ would like to dedicate this concert event to the memory of Darius Barnes. Darius was a gifted multi-hyphenate who transformed the theatre and dance industry. Through Sept. 17, half of all donations made to BFRJ will be given to MOVE |NYC| towards the creation of the inaugural MOVE|NYC| Darius Barnes Award of Excellence, which will be awarded to a graduating high school Senior who exemplifies all that Darius championed in his life: talent, ambition, diversity, versatility, and artistic excellence.

Special Thanks

BFRJ would like to thank TheaterWorksUSA, The Shubert Organization, and Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids for their support in making this creative work come to life.



Director Jess McLeod

Music Directors Paul “PapaBear” Johnson, Malachi Mabson

Choreographer Ari Groover

Costume Coordinator Dominique Fawn Hill

Casting Consultant Gregory Van Acker

Producer/Music Supervisor Brandon Michael Nase

Associate Producer Cindy Tsai

Production Stage Manager T. Nicole

Production Assistant Kelsey Baehrens



Nora Schell

Lianah Sta. Ana

Aury Krebs

Sarah Hamaty

Darron Hayes

Josh Walker

Jae WB

Samantha Williams



Keys 1/Music Director Malachi Mabson

Bass/Music Director Paul “PapaBear” Johnson

Keys 2 Itamar Gov-Ari

Drums Joshua Simpson

Percussion Kofi Hunter

Guitar Franklin Rankin

Trumpet Alonzo Demetrius

Trombone Abdulrahman “Rocky” Amer

Sax & Reeds Malik Barnes

BFRJ Sings: The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill runs approximately 60 minutes with no intermission.


Brandon Michael Nase (he/him) (Producer/Music Supervisor) is a multi-hyphenate currently based in New York City. Brandon is celebrated for the versatility of his instrument, his powerful vision as an artist/producer, and his work towards the radical transformation of the theater industry. Brandon’s art is inseparable from his activism, and his professional career reflects a profound commitment to his personal values. By placing diversity and intersectionality at the forefront of all he does, Brandon hopes to foster a theatrical ecosystem which allows for true collaboration and innovation. Brandon believes that inclusivity is key to honoring and uplifting the talents, skills, and stories of BIPOC creatives; and envisions a theater industry that operates on a base level of transparency and respect towards creators and artists. You can find more information about Brandon at his website and social media. | @brandonmichaelnase


Cindy Tsai (Associate Producer) – I’m Cindy! I perform, produce, create, and advocate. I’m a Taiwanese and Chinese-American artist who was raised in the 626 San Gabriel Valley. BFA Musical Theatre, Minor in Critical Race and Ethnicities. In my free time, you can find me going on foodie adventures and binging anime. Recent performing work: We Won’t Sleep workshop at Signature Theatre, NYCLU’s Sing Out for Freedom at NYC Town Hall. Recent producing work: 4/4 by Heesun Hwang, THIS IS THE HOUR: Under Our Own Pen with ZAPI Artists. | @cindyctsai


Jess McLeod (Director) is a director & social justice advocate specializing in risky new work about America. Proud BFRJ Advisory Council Member; NYCLU Artist-In-Residence; Woolly Mammoth BOLD Resident Director. She has directed new plays & musicals at regional theatres across the country, created operas with community groups at the Lyric Opera of Chicago and recently co-curated Broadway Advocacy Coalition’s first-ever Arts In Action Festival. Jess is a first-generation Korean/Filipina/Scottish American. | @mcjessmc


Paul Johnson (Music Director) is an upcoming bassist, drummer, music director, arranger, and producer taking the world by storm. He started his career playing drums at the early age of 1 and played at churches, jazz clubs, and large venues all around New York City throughout his youth. He later on transitioned from being a drummer to a bassist, composer and producer. He also attended and taught at Berklee College of Music for Bass Performance and Audio Engineering. Paul has been fortunate enough to play and work with acts such as Lil Wayne, Kehlani, Taylor Swift, Blackpink, Ryan Shaw and many more!


Malachi Mabson(Music Director) is a free spirited musician/producer from Lexington Kentucky. Born into a family of talented musicians and growing up in church, he began to play piano at the age of 13. Playing in church afforded him the opportunity to learn many necessary skills that would thrust him into an illustrious career in the music industry. He moved to New York city in 2019 and has worked with many notable artist such as Yebba, Jack Harlow, The Kid Laroi, Lucky Day, and many others. Outside of his collaborative work, Malachi is also one half of Down to Mars, the band formed with his great friend and collaborator Jewan Clay. @malachimabson


Ari Grooves (Choreographer) is excited to be apart of BFRJ Bway: Tina, Head Over Heels, Holler If Ya Hear Me. Off-Bway: Little Shop Of Horrors (Lucille Lortel 2020 Nominee). Bare. Choreography: Burn All Night (A.R.T.). Film: “In the Heights” (Warner Bros.). TV: “Law & Order: SVU” (NBC), “The Get Down”(Netflix). Ari is also a DJ/Artist who goes by Ari Grooves. Her “Message From A Wanderer” album is streaming on all platforms.

Tianna Nicole (Production Stage Manager) is a sound explorer, transdisciplinary artist, composer, DJ, producer, and facilitator.


Broadway for Racial Justice is a BIPOC-led organization founded in June of 2020 with a mission to bring transformative change to the theatrical community at large. BFRJ fights for racial justice and equity by providing immediate resources, assistance, and amplification for BIPOC theatre artists. In doing so, BFRJ helps create safer spaces throughout the theatrical community for creativity and artistry to thrive. For more info on BFRJ and our initiatives, visit

Sarah Hamaty is overjoyed to be making her Little Island debut with the incredible artists and music that encompasses BFRJ and The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. There is no greater gift that making music. Follow her on IG @sarahhamaty, to catch Sarah with her band, playing her solo show Purple Reign all around NYC. Love and gratitude. For LD.

Josh Walker is a NJ/NY singer, actor & composer! One of his past favorite roles is Tom Collins in the RENT 20th Anniversary National Tour! He also has gotten the opportunity to perform his original MT work at Rockwood Music Hall. He is blessed to be surrounded by artist & dedicates this show to all the dreamers out there!

Lianah Sta. Ana Lianah Sta. Ana is an Asian-American artist of Filipino descent and recent graduate of Columbia University (B.A. Ethnicity and Race Studies). Although primarily an actor, her artistic passion lies in creating original work. Her work, situated at the intersection of Filipinx/FilAm culture, history, and memory, combines theory with practice to empower audiences and encourage critical consciousness. She is currently developing an experimental musical theater piece titled Performing Filipina. Spotify, etc.: Lianah Sta. Ana

Aury Krebs: Aury Krebs is a Queer Brooklyn-based artist who is committed to the exploration and elevation of dynamic, intersectional storytelling. Off-Broadway: Darling Grenadine (Roundabout Theatre Company), A Letter to Harvey Milk (Theatre Row). Regional: HOOD (Asolo Rep). TV/Film: Leverage: Redemption, Way Down: A Queer Webseries.

Darron Hayes is ecstatic to be a part of this concert and to be working with BFRJ! Off Broadway: Notes From Now. Regional: The Muny, Denver Center for the Performing Arts, Music Theatre Wichita, Asolo Repertory Theatre, Two River Theatre, and JAG Productions where he premiered in the fist ever All-Black Next To Normal. Gratitude to Brandon Nase. All the love always! @darronhayes_

Jae W.B. (She / They) is a NYC singer, theater artist, and night life performer. Jae made their off broadway debut as Thorn in Bruise & Thorn at A.R.T. / NY. She has been featured in TheGrio, Them. & Paper Magazine with former label TransTrenderz. Jae can be seen hosting piano bar Sundays at The Spot with Yasuhiko Fukuoka. She is a regular face at Birdland’s The Lineup, Club Cumming, and more. Catch their most recent appearance as Xavii in the radio play Pastel Color Ripples for New Light Theater Project.

Nora Schell graduated from The University of Michigan with a BFA in Musical Theatre and a minor in Gender, Race and Nation. They received Drama Desk, Drama League and Clive Barnes Award nominations for their performance and Off-Broadway debut in SPAMILTON. Nora made their Broadway debut in JAGGED LITTLE PILL. With their educational background, Nora continues to cultivate a career focused on the intersection of performing and social justice.

Samantha Williams is a multi-hyphenated artist, songwriter, and actress. Sammie is thrilled to be singing with BFRJ! She most recently starred in Life After at the Goodman Theatre. Before that, she was seen as Emmie in the Broadway revival of Caroline, Or Change. Prior to that, she was Alana in Dear Evan Hansen both on broadway and on tour.