TAKE WING AND SOAR PRODUCTIONS, INC.

D E B R A   A N N   B Y R D  -   F O U N D E R   &   P R O D U C I N G   A R T I S T I C   D I R E C T O R.

A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S MADNESS MEET THE COMPANY

SUSIE MCKENNA [Director] currently serving as Associate Director at the Hackney Empire Ltd, is a writer and director of several crittally acclaimed pantomimies.  Most Recent work includes Mother Goose – directed and played vanity in this Christmas show at the Empire – show’s star was nominated for an Olivier Award for his role as Mother Goose.  Directed - the first major revival of Once On This Island – at the Birmingham Rep, Nottingham Playhouse and Hackney Empire Theatres – to much critical acclaim playing until august 16th 2009.  West End credits as an actress include Chicago, Cats, Witches of Eastwick and Ragtime.  TV credits: Mr. Bean, and London's Burning.  Film:  Kack and Sarah and Storm Damage.

 

ORPHY ROBINSON [Musical Director]  Winner of Best Micellaneous Instrualmentalist - Vibraphone / Marimba / Percussion BBC Jazz Awards.  Founding member of Savanna and the Annavas Band.  Has recorded with the likes of Courtney Pine, Andy Sheppard, Jazz Warriors and Jazz Jamaica.

 

PATRICK MILLER [Assistant Director] is a stage, film and televison actor who has spent several seasons working with the Royal Shakespeare Company in London.

 

SAMANTHA FRANCIS [Choreographer] has work as choreographer and dancer with sevear notatbles in the music industry including Destiny's Child, Sean Puffy Combs, and Sean Paul.

 

JAMES “PREZ” CARTER [Light Design] Just Finished Designing the Lights for The Turnstyle Warrior at the ATA, the Hattie What I Need You To Know show at The National Black Theatre.  Is Currently working at Good Morning America (ABC-8 Years) & Focus Earth (ABC) in the lighting department. James also worked at NBC Brian William as a Sub /Electrician & Propman and GospelUptown as sub Light Designer. He has also worked at the World Famous Apollo Theatre (Over 18 Years as an Stage Manager, Light Designer, Electric Crew, Stage Crew), NBC Soap Opera: As The World Turns in the Special Effect Dept (CBS 1year), BMCC, The Billie Holiday Theater for 10 Years serving as Stage Manager, Prod Asst, Stage Crew, Town Hall in Flushing Queens as Light Director/Designer (3 years), New Federal Theatre, Negro Ensemble Company (3 years). He has also worked on Broadway and off Bway and Tours with such plays/Acts as: Harlem Coffee Shop, Your Arms Too Short To Box With God, Smokey Joe’s Café, The Boys Choir Of Harlem, Mama I Want To Sing, Comin Uptown, Sophisticated Ladies and worked with celebrities as Patti Labelle, SWV, The Late Great Gregory Hines, Xscape, Kidd Skilly, C-Boogie, The late Great Luther Vandross, Debbie Allen, Phylicia Allen, Carol Woods, Tichina Arnold, Tisha Campbell, Ralph Carter, Haywood Nelson, Ray Chew, Faith Evans, Imajin, Monica to name a few. James is also a Light & Sound Designer, Light Director, Writer, Director, Producer, Manager, Tech Director and a Stage Manager.  He has been nominated for an Audelco Recognition Award for best light designer on the show: Sango: Lord Of Thunder at The NBT in 2006.  You can Contact James at [email protected] or 212 860-3639 M-Sat 11a-7p

 

PENNY LANDAU/Maya PR [Press Representative] saw her first Broadway show, West Side Story, when she was 9 years old.  Since then, she has performed, stage managed,  directed,  teched, taught  and, for  the last 23 years, run her own PR firm.  Maya PR has repped Renee Taylor & Joe Bologna; the multi-award winning Jelly Roll! starring Vernel Bagneris; Edge starring Angelica Torn as Sylvia Plath (NY, London & Australia); Third Eye Rep's acclaimed Godspell; actors Rena Strober (currently on tour with Topol in Fiddler on the Roof), Geri Jewell ("Deadwood"),  BarBara Luna ("Star Trek"), France Nuyen (Joy Luck Club), Sal Richards (Out for Justice, "The Sopranos"), Karen Lynn Gorney (Saturday Night Fever); Kathy Garver ("Family Affair");  vocalist Suzanne Carrico; actor/singer Franc D'Ambrosio (Phantom of the Opera, The Godfather, Part III); musical comedian & impressionist Stephen Sorrentino; Barefoot Theatre Company, Gorilla Rep, upcoming film The Big Gay Musical, Turner Publishing, The Manhattan Association of Cabarets & Clubs, The League of Professional Theatre Women &  Big Apple Comic Book, Art & Sci-Fi Conventions. She is honored to be working with Debra Ann Byrd & Take Wing And Soar Productions.

 

DEBRA ANN BYRD [Producer | Artistic Director] is the Founder of Take Wing And Soar Productions, Inc., where she currently serves as Chief Executive and Producing Artistic Director.  Ms. Byrd has guided this company's growth from its birth as the passionate dream of one determined woman into a viable support organization serving classical artists of color and theater arts groups throughout New York.  As an actor, producer, arts manager, and business leader she has received more than 20 awards and citations and was recently selected for inclusion in the 2008 ~ 25th Silver Anniversary Edition of Who’s Who In The World and is the recipient of the 2006 Josephine Abady Award for Excellence in Producing works that foster diversity.  This award winning theater arts professional received her Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Acting from Marymount Manhattan College, and a certificate of completion from The Public Theater’s Shakespeare Lab Program.   In  2007   she  was  selected  for  producer  training  at  The  Commercial Theatre Institute, a special project of The League of American Theatres and Producers and the Theatre Development Fund.  She received additional training from the Arts Leadership Institute, a unique Leadership Training Program for Arts Managers at Teacher’s College/Columbia University.  Ms Byrd is currently on the Producing Team at The National Black Theatre, Inc. and an Associate Producer for 6-10 Productions, Inc.  Her credits as a producer include: For TWAS Inc.: King Lear, MEDEA, Hamlet, The Darker Face Of The Earth, CORIOLANUS: The African Warrior, Richard III; four years of the Take Wing And Soar Spirit Of Excellence Awards and five seasons of the TWAS Classical Lab Reading Series.  For the National Black Theatre; HATTIE…What  Need You To Know!; Orunmila, Don’t Play That Song For Me, Black Man Rising, Dorothy Dandridge: Before, After and Now, Yesterday Came Too Soon: The Dorothy Dandridge Story, Yesterday’s, Serenade The World: The Music and Words of Oscar Brown Jr., and Marian Anderson: The Lady From Philadelphia; and for 6-10 Productions Broadway Sings The Odd Potato: A Chanukah Musical.  A VERY SPECIAL THANK YOU TO MY MENTORS; Veronica Claypool, John-Phillip Parkman and Dorothy Olim.  Your guidance and encouragement has been the wind beneath this little ‘byrd’s’ wings.  And to my special mentor Dr. Barbara Ann Teer, who now looks down from on high, “Thanks a million for your many years of support, your strong leadership and guidance, your unending love, and the many blessings you have left me with.”  

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