[Cast Biographies]

 

PRINCIPAL CAST

2015-03-06Jason A. Ellis – (Talent Agent) is excited to once again perform on stage for his many supporters and expresses his heartfelt gratitude for that continued support today. He has choreographed for and performed in several productions at his Alfred Street Baptist Church, as well as with theater companies in the DMV area in productions such as A Soldier’s Play, Seven Guitars, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and Company. His ADHD won’t allow him to sit still, so his hand can be found in many aspects of this production, which has been the same for all of the other productions that he writes, directs, produces, etc. A son of Jamaica, he lives by the optimistic slogan for the country’s flag, “hardships there are, but the land is green and the sun shineth”.

DSC_3171.jpgChelsea Majors – (Melody) is very excited to work with Jason Ellis in the premiere of his new musical, Chelsea is a classical vocalist and music teacher at an independent school in Northern Virginia. She is also a member of the Alexandria Choral Society. Past credits include Vanessa in In the Heights (Little Theater of Alexandria), Patience in Bunthorne’s Bride (Capitol Hill Arts Workshop), Mabel in Pirates of Penzance (CHAW), Othello, Venus and Adonis, Suor Angelica, and La Boheme (Jefferson Center). Thank you to my husband Matt, for your love and support.

 

nyetaNyeta Videl – (Esther) is an Alexandria native and  portrays the fun and quirky Esther in the 2016 production of U-Street by Jason Ellis. Videl is also known for her roles as Bernadette in Ellis’ 2015 production of Senior Moments, Hattie Mae Bemry in Angels and Winnie Mandela in The Nelson Mandela Tribute. She played Park Singer in the cast of Hope Springs, and was an active participant in the 2015 Washington DC Black Theater Festival. Nyeta has studied drama at George Mason University, as well as vocal performance and music theory at the Shenandoah Conservatory. She continues to hone her craft through various practices and coursework related to the art. Nyeta enjoys spending time with her family and friends, and looks forward to telling real-life stories through the medium of performance.

4-DSC06771-14_Facebook_profileTamieka Jones – (Queen Bailey) Alexandria resident, actress and vocalist, Tamieka has appeared in theatrical productions of, Hope Springs, Angels, Great Joy, The Lord’s Table with Alfred Street Baptist Church, and Real Cuts,  Promises, and Senior Moments with Jason Ellis.  Tamieka was honored to be a part of the 2009 and 2010 Kennedy Center Honors productions, where she provided background vocals for the Bruce Springsteen and Jerry Herman tributes.  A native of Harvest, AL, Ms. Jones began her music career singing in church at the age of 14 and has continued throughout her adult life.  Today, Tamieka, continues to explore her love of music through theatrical and vocal performances.  Recently, she accompanied, recording artist, Mary Millben at the legendary Joe’s Pub and City Winery, in New York City, as a background vocalist.  You can also see her in a recurring role in a YouTube web series, titled “The Called”.

 

20160105_221109-1Renee Rabben- (CeCe) would first & foremost  like to thank Jason Ellis for ending her 4 year performing siesta & choosing her to be in his poignant & affecting show. She feels a new sense of rejuvenation! Some of her personal favorite roles include Mary Magdalene in Jesus Christ Superstar (SMP), Jeanie in Hair (KAT), Rusty in Footloose (LTA), Mary Pickford in The Biograph Girl (GAC), Annie Chapman in Yours Truly, Jack The Ripper (LTC), Brenda in The Pajama Game (RMT), & Magenta in The Rocky Horror Show. She feels incredibly fortunate to be performing with some previous cast mates as well as a plethora of new ones. Their talent is astounding! Renee can’t wrap up without thanking her “good twin” Beth, as well as her mom & dad for their constant support of her theatrical endeavors. Her portrayal of CeCe is so much more liberating than the standard fare, and is so farfetched from her everyday character, right???

11896074_10153101845377467_7166310315394271083_nCorisa Myers – (Ruth) is a California girl with a lifelong love for music and performing. She started performing at a very young age in church, school choirs, school productions, local sporting and community events. Now residing in Maryland, she has performed with Tantallon Community Players in The Wiz, its 30th Anniversary revue, and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. She was also part of the cast of Ragtime with Little Theater of Alexandria. She is especially excited to continue performing alongside her daughter DeLonya. Through the work of a non-profit she has founded, 4 the Healing in You, Inc., she hopes to use her love of music and the arts to transform the lives of youth and families affected by traumatic stress and crisis. She wishes to thank God for His favor and her family and friends for their continued support.

10176066_10203343450485270_4851844199048526890_nJason Damaso – (Mark) is thrilled to be working again with Jason Ellis, having recently performed alongside him with Tantallon Community Players mounting of Company. Previous credits include Chess (KAT), Boeing, Boeing (MP), Spamalot (Zemfira), Chicago (SMP), Farragut North and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (SSS), The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, The Great American Trailer Park Musical, and Evite (RMT), and the Damascus Theatre Company productions of Seusical, Cabaret, Joseph…Dreamcoat, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Oliver, Spelling Bee and She Loves Me. Special thanks and love to Mario who makes this, and everything else possible.

10968348_10155186959450453_7514645505089237958_nTerry Spann – (Booker T.) is thrilled to be a part of another Jason Ellis production and working with this fantastic cast and crew. Past credits include: A Soldier’s Play (Capt. Richard Davenport), Hoodoo Love (Director/Jib), and Miss Evers’ Boys (Willie), for which he received a WATCH Award, all with Hard Bargain Players; Rent (Benny), Sweet Charity (Daddy), and You’re A Good Man Charlie Brown (Schroeder), all with Elden Street Players; Parade (Jim Conley) and The Wiz (Lion), with St. Mark’s Players; A Raisin In The Sun (Walter), Tantallon Community Players; Hansel and Gretel Eat Crabs (Pops), Active Cultures; Julius Caesar (Cassius), Vpstart Crow; How Succeed In Business… (Mr. Bratt), McLean Community Players; Godspell (John/Judas), Springfield Community Theatre; The Arabian Nights (Sharyar), Silver Spring Stage; Jesus Christ Superstar (Judas), Prince William  Little Theatre. He has also appeared in several productions with the Alfred Street Baptist Church Drama Ministry.  By day he is an attorney for the Department of the Army.  He thanks family and friends for their continued love and support!

FB_IMG_1447714098855Christopher Fleming – (Richard) At a young age Christopher was mesmerized by the transformative aspect of acting, it quickly became his passion, and he has since performed on both stage and film. He can be seen most recently on Investigation Discovery’s, “Nightmare Next Door” along with short films “The Switch” and “Loss of Innocence”.  He is also a proud Theatre Major at the College of Southern Maryland, where he has performed in numerous productions, most recently including “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” as Demetrius. He is currently working full time on his acting career in both local and national television/film, while also continuing to hone his craft on the stage.

Screenshot_2015-11-29-08-34-57-1.pngTheodore Sapp – (TJ) a native of Fort Myers, FL, is making his second appearance in a production directed by Jason Ellis. He received his education from Howard University and Georgetown University in Washington, DC. A seasoned performer on various stages across the US, Europe and Africa, his musical performances include Carmen, Porgy and Bess, Carmen Jones, Oklahoma!, Guys and Dolls, Once Upon This Island, and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. An established vocalist, he recently performed with the Aria Club of Greater Washington and has been seen lending his vocals to a variety of productions at his church, Alfred Street Baptist, and at the Kennedy Center, including the Kennedy Honors and Christmas in Washington. He has also performed background vocals for Gladys Knight, Earnest Pugh, and Aretha Franklin. He would like to thank the cast and production team for the experience and the support.

ENSEMBLE

image.jpegKamen Wilks – is an American singer-songwriter born in Alexandria, Va. Publicly singing by the age of 9 starting in school productions, he would continue on to sing in his first major production the internationally televised “Christmas in Washington” for the president at the age of 16. Singing in 3 consecutive airings of the annual Christmas special he then was given the opportunity to sing in 2 airings of the annual award show “Kennedy Center Honors”. Between the two shows he has sung background for stars such as Mariah Carey, Ceelo Green, Lady Gaga, Usher, Janelle Monae, and many more. Since then Kamen has made leaps in his musical journey, performing nationally (ATL,DC,NY,VA,PA) and internationally (London, England) with his own music and in theater. At only 20 years old, believing that everything happens for a reason, Kamen is excited for the future. Currently working on music in the beginning stages of his EP production. He wants his music to inspire people to believe in themselves and follow their dreams.

russellRussell Silber – has been an active member in the Washington D.C. area theatre community since 2010, performing in a wide range of professional and community theaters throughout the region.  He wasn’t able to flex his dancing muscles last year so he’s jazzed to start off 2016 in the ensemble of U-Street. Some recent spots around town you might have seen him: Code Name: Cynthia,The Fall of the House of Usher (Pallas Theatre Collective); 1776 (Toby’s Dinner Theatre); Bat Boy (1st Stage, Helen Nominated); Saving Private Poo (Capital Fringe Festival); Xanadu (Reston Community Players); and A Chorus Line (Arlington Players).  In June, he will move from the streets of DC to the backwoods of West Virginia in Floyd Collins at 1st Stage. Russell is a passionate supporter of the development of new musical theatre and thanks you for your support of U-Street and its worthy mission to give a voice to those we walk past every day but seldom stop to consider.

headshotAlani D’Lawren –  is delighted to work with Jason Ellis once again, having performed alongside him in the Tantallon Community Players’ production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. Though a lifelong musician and singer, Alani has recently begun performing on-stage in musical theater productions and she loves it. Alani has previously appeared in theater productions of The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie and A USO Christmas. She has also performed for church services and talent shows in multiple capacities, including singing, dancing, and playing instruments. Off-stage, she enjoys photography and learning languages, and spreads the Word of God through her online photography gallery, Sighted Blessings. Alani currently is a full-time Master’s student of Psychology at American University. She would like to thank God, her family, and close friends for their continuous support.

10644931_10152582410042525_2805153972207343123_nMaecy Richardson – is a theatre and dance major here at the College of Southern Maryland. She was featured as Puck for Shakespeare’s Midsummer Nights Dream, Lady in Blue, For Colored Girls Who Considered… and over the summer performed as part f the emsemble in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.  She has also made multiple television appearances in commercials and film. She would like to thank Jason Ellis for giving her this opportunity, her theatre professors, family and friends for always supporting her and pushing her to follow her dreams.

11209716_10204332193484696_3982984507184401342_n Armani D’Lawrence  – is a native of Prince George’s County, currently residing in Waldorf, Maryland.  A graduate of Bishop McNamara High School ’09 and the University of Maryland, Baltimore County ’13 (Information Systems, BS), Armani has performed/acted on stage with the Tantallon Community Players (“A USO Christmas”), and has also appeared on stage in numerous fashion shows, as a model/dancer.  Additionally, Armani is in his 2nd year as a Computer Programming/Computer Applications instructor at his high school alma mater.  In his personal time, Armani enjoys playing sports, drawing, self-help reading, writing poetry and spending time with family and friends. He is excited to once again perform alongside his sister Alani, and thanks his family for their continued love and support.

FB_IMG_1449774058332~01Eboni Jones – is the Liturgical Dance Ministry Director at Alfred Street Baptist Church located in Alexandria, VA. Her love for dsnce began at a young age. She graduated from Stivers School for the Arts, Dayton, OH. While in high school she also trained with Jeraldyne’s School of Dance, the training studio for the Dayton Contemporary Dance Company. Her senior year in high school she became a member of the Dayton Contemporary Dance Company’s pre-professional company. She went on to receive a BFA in dance from the Ohio State University on a department talent scholarship. She has trained and worked with numerous choreographers throughout her career including Terrance Greene and DeShona Pepper to name a few. Since then,she has had numerous performance and teaching opportunities throughout the Ohio, Georgia, and DMV areas including her current position as Dance Ministry Director and two seasons as a member of the Taurus Broadhurst Dance Company.

SmartSelectImage_2015-12-14-20-15-34-01Virginia Raye – was born and raised on Staten Island, New York.  She began dancing at the age of 3, training in Ballet, Modern, Tap and Jazz. During high school, she was introduced to African dance and Stepping. While attending Virginia State University, Ms. Raye became a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated and has led chapter step teams into winning local and regional competitions. She later joined Step Afrika!, a Washington, DC-based dance company as a swing cast member.  Over the years Ms. Raye has brought her dance and choreography experience to national and local organizations such as Washington Performing Arts Society, Jack & Jill of America Alexandria/Mt. Vernon Chapter, and Delta Sigma Theta Northern Virginia Alumnae Chapter. Ms. Raye was previously the Director and Choreographer of the Liturgical Dance Ministry of Alfred Street Baptist Church in Alexandria, VA, and is a current member of the Music and Drama Ministries. Ms. Raye also lends her vocal talents singing for the nationally televised John F. Kennedy Center Honors and Christmas in Washington.

155898_3986080806110_1199867093_nWilliam Wanzer III – was born and raised in Northern Virginia and is a graduate of Hampton University (Architecture, M.Arch). He has appeared in multiple arts performances, including Christmas in Washington, Youth Symphony Orchestra of Prince William County, Fairfax Wind Symphony Orchestra and countless other groups, lending to his years of experience as a multi-instrument musician, composer, and vocalist. While attending Hampton University, Mr. Wanzer was an active participant in the Hampton University Band program, the dance programs, through the school’s Terpsichorean Dance Company, and also became a proud member of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Fraternity of America, Inc.  Mr. Wanzer currently is a member of the Alfred Street Baptist Church Symphony Orchestra and Psalms of Praise Choir, Hampton Alumni Association, and other organizations. He would like to thank his amazing  family and his valued friends for their continued love and support.

11866354_878201618941863_5938214587644254547_nMonique Lyons – is a graduate of Michigan State University and current dancer and board member of AfroModa Dance Theater. A Saginaw, MI native who attended high school in Alexandria, VA she is also actively involved in the dance ministry at Alfred Street Baptist Church and is now dancing in her 4th theatrical production with Jason Ellis. Monique is also a certified fitness trainer who works hard to help her clients reach their goals and share her love of dance. She would like to that her friends and family for continuing to push her to find her center and strive for excellence.

11248340_875566855116_3746909511847099025_nVanessa Terzaghi  –  a native of Ridgefield, Washington has performed in various shows in the DC area including, As Bees in Honey Drown, Don’t Dress for Dinner, and Mrs. Bob Cratchit’s Wild Christmas Binge. She has also directed a few plays and was also the choreographer for Hair, and How to Quit Your Day Job. Recent projects include Voices Speak to Us (reading) at Kennedy Center’s Page to Stage Festival, Asleep on the Wind (one-act, director) and Before/After (film/reading). Before moving to the DC area, Vanessa taught and directed high school theatre and performed with an improv group in Oregon.

face (2)Antonio “Tony” White – is an award winning choreographer, dancer and instructor hailing from North Carolina. A graduate of Elon University and The George Washington University, Tony is currently an English and History educator in Washington, DC. Tony’s dance resume includes experiences as an instructor and performer for dance studios and entertainment companies in North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania, including: Ray Hollingsworth Studio of Dance, Martinsville, VA; Amber’s House of Dance,  Elon, NC;  X-treme Dance Academy, Mebane, NC; Wall School of Religious Arts, Greensboro, NC; Leap On Love Art, Rockville, Md; Dance Makers, Lanham, Md; NYX Entertainment, Rockville, Md; New York Entertainment, Huntingdon Valley, PA and Coco Cabana, Hyattsville, Md. Most recently, Tony has just completed his 5th season as a dancer with the J.A.M Musical Review, produced by Jeremy McShan.

Joyvell Henry – was born in Philadelphia, PA and raised in Jamaica. She is a graduate of the University of Virginia and is currently an AmeriCorps Community  HealthCorps Member in Alexandria, VA. She has participated in liturgical dance since she was 10 years old and has been a member of the Alfred Street Baptist Church Liturgical Dance Ministry since 2006. She has performed in various productions at ASBC, including Great Joy and Hope Springs. She wants to thank Jason Ellis for the opportunity to perform on a different stage, and her family and friends for their continuous love and support.
602636_3548731677017_1105486418_nTerrance McLeod – has worked over a decade in the music and entertainment industry. He has worked as a model and  talent scout for Wilhelmina Modeling Agency, Choir Director at Hampton University (his alma mater), and for the past few years has been employed with recording studios and production companies. He has written and produced several songs for local and up-and-coming artists. He has performed for the Washington Performing Arts Society as well as made several appearances at the Kennedy Center Honors, performing background vocals for the likes of Sting, Al Green, Steven Tyler, and Eddie Vedder. He has also provided background vocals for: Shakira, Mariah Carey, Bruce Springsteen, Pattie Labelle, Amber Riley, Megan Linsey, and at President Barak Obama’s Neighborhood Ball. A member of Alfred Street Baptist Church, he sings in various choirs as well as on the praise and worship team. zthe gospel community has also noticed his talent and  he has been blessed to sing along side Patrick Lundy & The Ministers of Music, Tramaine Hawkins, Dorothy Norwood, Vashawn Mitchell, and Clevel Francis and Friends. He is thankful for this wonderful opportunity to continue to use his gifts and talents to make an impact on the community.
Youth Performers-
20160108_161146-1
Tayhana Jackson
Headshot-Kasey Taryn Murphy
Kasey Murphy
2016-01-12 15.28.49
Makayla Alford
20160108_161826-1
Janiya Hooks
20160108_160452-1
Danyele Robinson
download_20160122_125812
DeLonya Myers

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s