Evocative and enlightening documentary about the lives of Broadway understudies and standbys

Cast & Crew


Ben Crawford
Ben had been the Standby for Tony Award Nominee Brian d’Arcy James who plays Shrek in “Shrek the Musical” for over a year when he is given the rare opportunity to step into the title role of a Broadway show. But as Ben becomes Shrek, Dreamworks announces the Broadway show will be closing.

Merwin Foard
Merwin has covered 25 roles in his 26-year Broadway career. Most recently, he was the Standby for both Tony Award winner Nathan Lane and Terrence Mann in the Broadway musical “The Addams Family”. Merwin has chosen to take minor roles for almost 20 years to feed his family rather than hold out for leading roles he knows he is worthy and capable of. But maybe his time is now.

Aléna Watters
Aléna arrived on Broadway with a dream in her heart – one that she achieved amazingly quickly after setting foot in New York. We follow her journey as her dream is crushed and it takes everything she has to pull herself together and keep believing in herself and her talent. But will that be enough?

Also featuring interviews from: Bebe Neuwirth, David Hyde Pierce, Jerry Zaks, Zachary Quinto, Cheyenne Jackson, Sutton Foster, Jonathan Groff, Nelle Nugent, Michael Riedel and Ryan Duncan.


STEPHANIE RIGGS, Director/Producer
Stephanie’s work spans multiple decades, continents, and entertainment fields including narrative and documentary film, television, stage, interactive virtual worlds, and online video experiences. She also produced the 3D thriller film “Banshee Chapter” with Zachary Quinto’s Before the Door Pictures, which won 2013 FrightFest in London and Toronto After Dark film festivals “Scariest Film” awards. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Carnegie Mellon University with degrees in Directing and Human-Computer Interaction.

BLAIR ERICKSON, Producer / Editor
Throughout his career Blair has been crafting engaging and exciting narratives to hook audiences around the world. He wrote and directed an online alternate reality live-action thriller for the “Terminator” franchise and directed the online live action with animated monsters for DreamWork’s “Monsters vs. Aliens.” His diverse array of work for entertainment companies and clients include Warner Bros, Fox, SciFi Channel, and DreamWorks. He directed “Banshee Chapter”, a 3D thriller film released in theaters January 2014.

TOM HURWITZ, Director of Photography
Tom is one of our country’s most honored documentary cinematographers. Hurwitz has photographed films that have won 4 Academy Awards, 12 Emmys and multiple other nominations over the last 25 years. Hurwitz himself has won two Emmys for cinematography and the Sundance Cinematography Award.

Emma Morris is an editor, director and producer whose awards include an Emmy (Voices of Sarafina), an Academy Award (Close Harmony) and an Academy Award nomination (A Stitch in Time). Morris’ films have won Cine Golden Eagle Awards (Paving the Way and USSR Art), a Golden Gate Award (To Be A Doctor), and have been an official selection of the Sundance Film Festival (Something Within Me).

Jonathan Dinerstein writes music for film and television with a unique sensitivity to the demands of storytelling. His recent work includes the score for Drones – the feature comedy favorite of the 2010 Slamdance Film Festival, for the groundbreaking Emmy-Award-winning online series Satacracy 88, and for national television broadcast on diverse shows and commercials. Jonathan also music directs Los Angeles’ hit monthly staged comedy show The Thrilling Adventure Hour.