Maine Casting
A Panel Discussion

Thursday, March 18, 2021, 7–9pm
Zoom Video Conference
Register Today via Eventbrite!

Are you a Maine filmmaker wondering how to get experienced acting talent for your next commercial?
Once you get talent in front of the lens, do you know how to work with them?
And in these days when equity and inclusion are top of mind, how can you achieve this in your casting practices?

Are you a Maine theatre actor looking to get a role in a film, but don’t know where to start?
How the heck do you get cast and then advocate for yourself on set?

You’ve got questions, and our panel of casting experts have answers! Join filmmakers and actors to learn the ins and outs of casting and being cast in Maine media and film productions.

Our expert panel consists of a film and theatre director (Sean Mewshaw), casting director (Dee Cooke), commercial producer (Chuck Martin) and an equity consultant (René Goddess Johnson). Each panelist has years of casting experience and is excited to share their insights with Maine filmmakers and actors looking to connect the dots.

Registration by donation – register today via Eventbrite!
Suggested $5 donation for MFA Members; $10 donation for non-members

About the Panelists

Debra Lord Cooke, Actor/Producer and former casting director in Maine Debra Lord Cooke (aka Dee Lord Cooke) has spent her career as an actor, acting coach, casting director, and producer. Casting Credits include Commercials: CMP, Hannaford, Coopers & Lybrand, Shaws, and State Farm, Commercial Print: AT&T, Subaru, Chevrolet, and Chinet, Music Videos: Patty Loveless, and Godsmack, TV Shows: Rescue 911, True Detectives, and Real Stories of the Highway Patrol, and Feature Films: MAN WITHOUT A FACE, STORM OF THE CENTURY, MYTH OF FINGERPRINTS, IN THE BEDROOM, and EMPIRE FALLS. Recently, Debra was the managing producer, casting director, as well as actor in the feature film, IN THE MOON’S SHADOW shot in Maine and Nebraska which just won Finalist Best Feature at LA Femme International Film Festival 2020. Debra has also been an acting coach through her casting company, at the Marlowe Theatre in Canterbury, and guest speaker at several schools and colleges. For more information on Debra’s credits visit or

René Goddess Johnson
René Goddess is an Award winning, Arts & Community Organizer, Choreographer, Coordinator of Multicultural Affairs, Education and Events, Designer, Director, Embodied Equity Consultant, Innovator, Non-Profit Founder, Performance Artist, and Producer.

I was born in Johannesburg, South Africa then raised in the suburbs of Portland, Maine starting at age 6. I have spent the last 27 years fumbling and creating and somehow in all that work I have become an embodied equity consultant. From 2014 – 2019 my work with the Theater Ensemble of Color, team TEoC (TEE-oC), created a strong unconventional institution committed to social justice and racial equity as well as historical education. The dedicated, talented and committed work of TEoC’s team is recognized throughout New England for it’s outstanding original productions (Best Theater Company, Ensemble, 2018 in Portland Maine) and exceptional educational outreach programs and workshops.

Chuck Martin, Producer (he/him) Chuck has been a creative content producer and director for over 20 years, producing shoots and creative campaigns for everything from high fashion to adventure sports, working with global brands such as Vogue Magazine, Ralph Lauren, J. Crew, LL Bean, Timberland, Nike and many more. He has owned and operated Chuck Martin Productions since 2005, after working as Photography Production Manager for brands such as LL Bean and Garnet Hill, where he managed extensive location and studio teams while producing shoots in Maine and around the globe. Chuck lives in Portland with his wife and production partner Brandy, and their pug named Truman.

Sean Mewshaw, Director/Producer (he/him)
Sean Mewshaw is a Portland-based director of screen and stage, whose feature Tumbledown, starring Rebecca Hall and Jason Sudeikis, premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival, won the Best Feature and Best Director awards at the Savannah Film Festival, and was released in theaters back when that was still a thing. Before that, Sean worked in studio film production in Los Angeles for a decade while producing and directing his own shorts featuring actors like Frances McDormand and Tony Hale, as well as assistant-directing the stage premiere of iWitness at the Mark Taper Forum. In Portland, Sean has directed five theater productions at SPACE Gallery, plus a yearly variety show called Show&Tell at the State Theater.

This expert panel discussion is independently funded in partnership with the Maine Film Association.