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.

MICHAEL EARLY [Marc ANTONY] is an actor, educator, director and the founder of Phoenix Rising Productions. He has performed a variety of roles at The Public Theatre, Signature Theatre, Classical Theatre of Harlem, Prospect Theatre, Yale Rep, Hartford Stage, Berkshire Theatre Festival, Williamstown, Great Lakes Theatre Festival, Cleveland Play House, Center Stage, McCarter Theatre and The Shakespeare Theatre. Television appearances include Damages, Law & Order, Law & Order: SVU, Early Edition, Another World, All My Children and One Life to Live. Directing credits include The Winter’s Tale, The Misanthrope, War Music, Spell # 7, Unfinished Women…, Montage of a Dream Deferred, Romeo and Juliet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Twelfth Night. Currently on faculty at Sarah Lawrence College, he has also taught at Powerhouse Theatre at Vassar College, Playwrights Horizons Theatre School, Oberlin College, the British American Drama Academy and has served as Director of the Theatre Department at Harlem School of the Arts. Mr. Early is a graduate of NYU Tisch School of the Arts and Yale School of Drama.


DEBRA ANN BYRD [CLEOPATRA] is the Founder of Take Wing And Soar Productions, Inc., where she currently serves as Producing Artistic Director. She has guided this company’s growth from its birth, forging a viable support organization for classical artists of color & theatre arts groups throughout New York. As an actor, producer, arts manager & business leader, Debra Ann has received more than 20 awards & citations including the 2006 Josephine Abady Award & the 2009 LPTW Lucille Lortel Award. She was recently selected for inclusion in the 2010 Editions of Who’s Who in the World & Who’s Who of American Women. She received a B.F.A. degree in acting from Marymount Manhattan College, did advanced studies at The Public Theater’s Shakespeare Lab, completed producer training at the Commercial Theater Institute & received additional training from the Arts Leadership Institute, a unique Leadership Training Program for Arts Managers at Teacher’s College/College/Columbia University.  Her classical roles for stage include Queen Elizabeth in Richard III, The Choragos in Antigone, Mrs. Malaprop in The Rivals, Lady Bracknell in The Importance of Being Earnest, Volumnia in Coriolanus, Winter in Love’s Labors Lost & Hippolyta in A Midsummer Night’s Dream.  Roles in other new American classics include Luce Morgan in Loose by Petronia Paley, Dido Queen of Carthage in Massinissa & Queen Yemmo in Obatala. Member of AEA.


ALTHEA ALEXIS [MAECENAS] ([email protected]), Washington, DC native and graduate of Howard University.  Credits include (stage) Aime Cesare's A Season in the Congo, Nilaja Sun's “No Child...”, Public Theatre's Suzan-Lori Parks 365Days/Plays, Melvin Van Peebles's Aint Supposed to Die a Natural Death; Euripedes' Medea, Leslie Lee's Blues in a Broken Tongue, Solutions to All the World's Problems directed by Woodie King, Jr; the Italian production of LaMama Umbria's L'Inizio Del Dolore, directed by Barbara Montgomery (screen) Freedomland, A Man A Woman A Genie and A Gun, Sweeter Without Sugar, Kindred the webisode. She studied with William Esper, Mary Boyer and Petronia Paley. She is blessed to work with such talented artists in her debut performance with Take Wing and Soar.


ANDI BOHS [IRAS] a Minneapolis native and Chicago College of Performing Arts Alumni, is delighted to be performing in a TWaS production for the first time!  While studying in Chicago she was featured in a number of regional productions, including a dual-role performance as Mama/Hannah in A Midnight Cry (a show produced in conjunction with the nationally historic Auditorium Theatre’s Margaret Garner) and Richard III at the 2008 Tony Award Winning Chicago Shakespeare Theater. Recently she performed in Ventfort Hall’s production of Belle of the Books, a role that was remounted for the Metropolitan Playhouse’s 2011 annual Harlem Renaissance Festival.


NEHASSAIU deGANNES [OCTAVIA, MENAS] Nehassaiu is thrilled to be making her TWAS debut. Recent credits include “The Nurse” in Equus, with Alec Baldwin, John Drew Theater; A Song For My Father at Oldcastle Theatre, COCo Dance Theatre’s Rigidigidim De Bamba De, St. Mark’s Place & national tour; as well as “Nim,” Merry Wives of Windsor, "Catherine," Proof, "Rose Rose," Cider House Rules, "Lisa Body," A Preface To The Alien Garden and "Gladys," The Skin of Our Teeth at Trinity Rep, “Virgilia,” Coriolanus at Shakespeare & Co., and her original one-woman show, Door of No Return. www.nehassaiu.com


ANDRE DELL [Messenger to CLEOPATRA] is a native of The Bronx, New York and is honored to be working with TWAS's productions. His credits are THE PRODIGAL SCROOGE, as Ebenezer Scrooge at The New life Apostolic Church of All Nations, Jesus Christ in The FINAL HOUR. OSHUN (the Orisha of Love) at The National Black Theatre. He was in ORUNMILA (the Ife Orisha of divination) . He appeared as the vivacious character as OSAYANIN in the Audelco award winning SANGO, (The Lord of thunder).  EDDY P, an adaptation of OEDIPUS REX, GREENER GRASSES and in AS YOU LIKE IT (American Globe Theater). Andre is a 2007 four time Audelco award winning co-producer for the play Black Man Rising. Andre also produced REAL (Respect Every Aspect of Life) by Naima Ali and a Fashion show Titled Black by Design. As always Andre gives God all the glory!.


LAWRENCE FLOYD [SCARUS] is a New York based Artist (via North Carolina) who has written ResurGENTs: The Reappearance of Hope (2010 MITF), Synesthesia: 100 Year History of the NAACP, Can Fire, Black Face Jesus, “Patterson: The Gentleman of Boxing”, the Burning of Electric City, Detox, Movin' To a Beat of Our Own, Better Brother, Talk Back Sylvia, Consider Mary and the children's musical, The Day the Sun Went for a Walk. Larry has studied playwriting with P.J. Gibson, Laurence Holder and Cassandra Medley at New Federal Theatre and is a member of the Martha J. Thomas Playwriting workshop and Arthur French, III’s “Gumbo Fusion. “   As an actor Larry was last seen as Burgundy/Doctor in TWAS’s King Lear with Trezana Beverley. Other credits include Jack Washington in Jump Jim Crow (MITF Award for Best Supporting Actor), Man #2 in the Award Winning “Black Man Rising” at the Players Theatre, the 2007 & 2009 National Black Theatre Festival in Winston Salem, N.C and at the National Black Theatre in NYC (4 AUDELCO Awards including “Dramatic Performance of the Year” and “Best Ensemble.”) Hamlet, Greener Grasses (TNC), Split Second with John McDonald (Cagle & Co.), SANGO, Lord of Thunder (National Black Theatre), Two Gentlemen of Verona (Manhattan Rep), Henry II, Henry IV-Parts 1 & 2, Henry V, King Lear with Avery Brooks (Yale Repertory), Jesus Christ Superstar, Purlie, You Can't Take it With You, A Streetcar Named Desire, In The Blood, Natasha, Seven Guitars, On Striver's Row, The Colored Museum, Boys Next Door and A Soldier's Play. Proud member of AEA, AFTRA.


TERRELL M. GREEN [SOOTHSAYER | THIDIAS] Terrell is very pleased to be apart TWAS' production. Terrell is a junior acting and speech therapy minor at Marymount Manhattan College. You may have seen as Mitch Mahoney in 25th Annual Putnam Bee (Rutland,VT), Cody in Geography of Horse Dreamer (Theresa Lange). Terrell would like to thank David Mold, Debra Ann and his wonderful friends who show nothing but love. Peace and Blessings!


DAVID HERON [Octavius CAESAR] Award winning Playwright, Producer, Actor. Most recently seen in the Toronto production of his own play, Ecstasy and as Sebastian in the North Carolina Shakespeare Festival’s The Tempest. . Additional credits: Off Broadway – Jason of Tougou in Pecong (TWAS- Audelco Award nomination, Best Supporting Actor), Lem in The Emperor Jones (Irish Repertory Theater), Laertes in Hamlet (TWAS/Workshop Theatre), Prince in Moon on a Rainbow Shawl (New Federal Theater), The Messenger in Medea (National Black Theater/TWAS) and Damian in his own play, Love and Marriage and New York City (Billie Holiday Theater, Britain, Canada). Regional – Friday in Robinson Crusoe (Orlando Shakespeare Festival), Roderigo in Othello and Pedant in The Taming of The Shrew (Virginia Shakespeare Festival). Television / Film- Ya Ma Afrika, Ugly Betty, and the feature, Zora’s Dream. Official Spokesmodel for  Etalentshowcase.com. Recipient of the 2006 New York City Council Award for Excellence in the Arts. Happy to return to TWAS.


AIXA KENDRICK [MARDIAN] is a creative shapeshifter and transformative expressionist thrilled by the opportunity to explore this fascinating character and work with such a brilliant director, company and crew!  You can also find aixa performing her reoccurring role as Gangstah Artist in the next Medicine Women Productions event at the Dwyer Cultural Center, April 3rd, 2011. www.medicinewomenproductions.com.


MARK LANG [LEPIDUS, EUPHRONIUS, CLOWN] Film and Television credits include multiple guest star roles on “ The Young Riders” (MGM/UA) and “ Hey Dude” (Cinetel). Mark has also had principal roles in a number of low budget thrillers and regular spots on CollegeHumor.com. He has performed in more than 40 stage plays and worked as a stunt man at Old Tucson Studios. Recent credits include Dag Hammarskjold in “ A Season in the Congo” , White Cop in “ The  Bronx is Next” and Captain Zuelke in “ Camp Logan”.


GERRARD LOBO [ALEXAS, Soldier] studied the Meisner Technique with JoAnna Beckson at JoAnna Beckson Studios.  Before pursuing an acting career, he worked in business as an investor relations associate for publicly listed companies.  Before that, he was a commercial print model with FORD Models.  Gerrard is excited to make his theater debut with Take Wing and Soar Productions.  He would like to send his thanks to his teachers, friends, and family for their support and encouragement.


TOM MARTIN [PHILO, PROCULIEUS, Soldier] A native New Yorker who’s theater credits include, Montaigne in 9 Steps from Saint Ann's Street, The Husband in WWJD and for TWAS Inc: Marcellus and 3rd Player in Hamlet, Old Man and Soldier in King Lear, Seyton, Old Man, Murder 3 and Ensemble in Macbeth and Barnadine and Francesca in Measure For Measure.   Among His television credits are Barry Rogers (Lawyer) on All My Children and numerous commercials.  I am blessed to be part of this extraordinary production.


ALEJANDRO SANTONI [EROS] Originally from Puerto Rico. He earns a B.S. in Industrial Engineering and a Certificate in Film Studies from the University of Puerto Rico. He was also part of the Theater Company of the university and collaborated with the Company Casa Cruz De La Luna in productions such as Charlotte Corday, Tiempo Muerto and Lazzi. Alejandro collaborated in the Independent Film Che: Part 1 directed by Steven Soderbergh, the Feature Film The Losers by Warner Bros. Pictures which he collaborated as the Stand-In of the leading role. This let him move to New York to pursue his dream of becoming a professional actor. His debut as an actor in New York City in the production La Chunga with Indigo Playground was a great success which brought him the opportunity to tour around Ohio and New York in Oedipus Rex with The Faux-Real Theater Company. Also, he was a formerly student of Petronia Paley at Raul Julia Training Unit.


NORMAN ANTONY SMALL, JR. [Messenger | Servant | ASM] Take Wing and Soar: Pecong (Audelco Winner for Best Revival) and Twelfth Night.  Other theater credits: Light In The Cellar and A Bolt From The Blue (The H.A.D.L.E.Y. Players), Family Matters (A.R.A.H.A.S. Productions), Allegory on 125th Street (Two Guys and a Girl Productions), Red Train Towards a Mexican Sunset and Obatala: King of the White Cloth (Frank Silvera Writer’s Workshop).  OOBR (Off-Off Broadway) Award for Excellence in Theatre and President’s Volunteer Service Award recipient.  MBA: Metropolitan College of New York; BM: University of Miami.  Norman would like to thank Debra Ann and Petronia for the wonderful opportunity and his family, friends, and the entire company of Antony & Cleopatra for their support.  [email protected]


AMAR SRIVASTAVA [POMPEY, DOLABELLA] Amar Srivastava is pleased & honored to make his first appearance in Take Wing and Soar Productions’ Antony & Cleopatra. New York: Pulse Ensemble Theatre’s CHAOS THOERY, Moose Hall Theatre Company ROMEO & JULIET (Prince), Judith Shakespeare Company CORIOLANUS (Junius Brutus). Regional: This Way Productions SPEAKING IN TONGUES (Peter/Neil/John), TheatreZone A VIEW FROM THE BRIDGE (Marco), Underground Railway Theatre PARTITION (Ramanujan), The A&P Plus D Theatre THE EDUCATED (Sandahar), The Theatre Cooperative HAMLET (Guidenstern / Bernado), Will Act For Food DEATHWATCH (Lefranc), Zeitgeist Stage Company TOOTH & CLAW (Tito/Chorus), American Repertory Theatre OLLY’s PRISON (Prisoner) directed by Robert Woodruff, Boston Theatre Works HOMEBODY/KABUL (Mullah), and Sun-Runner Classics AS YOU LIKE IT (Charles). He is studying with Mr. Wynn Handman – My Exemplar !!. Thanks to Momma for all her love and support !!


CARSEY WALKER, JR. [Dominitus ENOBARBUS] "I’ve worked with TWaS, Boomerang Theater, and New Federal Theater locally and the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis regionally. There’s a slight chance your toddler may recognize me from Cooking & Crafts spots running on NOGGIN & Nick Jr. Training-wise, I studied at the Univ. of Houston before moving on to the graduate program at the Univ. of Texas - I also just spent a few weeks rolling around on the floor with the guys over at LAByrinth. I’d like to personally welcome you to our show and hope you have an elevating theatre experience. GO, EGYPT!"


RENAULD WHITE [CANIDIUS, Soldier] appeared with TWAS in Petronia Paley's (directed), Medea, and was with Lillias White in David D. Wright's Obatala at the Theatre of the Riverside Church. He performed at the National Black Theatre Festival as Caesar in Julius Caesar Set in Africa and in Michael Piehl's indie film, Inside Job. He portrayed the character of William Reynolds on CBS Television's Guiding Light. On ABC's One Life to Live, he's portrayed several characters. Mr. White's other theatrical productions include the Metropolitan Stage Company: Fire, and Beaver Undone. He was honored to play the role of Malcolm X in the First National Touring Company of When the Chickens Came Home to Roost.


KARL O’BRIAN WILLIAMS [AGRIPPA] Off-Off Broadway: Pecong, The Exonerated, Alphabet City II, Fashion, Wo. Film: One Love, On The Rocks, Betta Mus Come. Jamaica: Private Lives, Moses (Actor Boy Award - Best Supporting Actor) Guys & Dolls, After Mrs. Rochester. Williams has a certificate in Acting Shakespeare from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London and holds an MA in Educational Theatre from NYU. He is a multiple award winning actor, playwright and educator heavily involved in arts education and theatre for social justice and transformation. He has done volunteer work with Rehabilitation Through The Arts at the Woodbourne Correctional Facility and currently teaches in the Speech, Communications and Theatre Department at the Borough of Manhattan Community College, writes plays for adults and young audiences and works on projects focused on youth development and social justice.


NATASHA YANNACAÑEDO [CHARMIAN] As an actress, writer, and director, Natasha’s work spans independent film, radio, primetime television, and numerous plays. She has a Master of Fine Arts in Acting from the American Conservatory Theater. Natasha is thrilled to be a company member of Judith Shakespeare Company and Visible Theatre. She is passionate about the craft of acting and public speaking and works an adjunct professor at L.I.M. College and St. Francis College. Natasha also teaches private and group classes for her own company, The N.Y. Acting Company.  Please visit www.nyactingcompany.com.


PETRONIA PALEY [Director] Director, Actor, Playwright and Teacher.  Directing credits: Truth Be Told at Ensemble Studio, River Crosses Rivers Festival; Daughter, Ensemble Studio Theatre; Kermit Frazier’s Kernel Of Sanity, New Federal Theatre; Ascension, National Black Theatre Festival, International Fringe Festival; MEDEA, Take Wing and Soar Productions; CAN WE DANCE, Riverside Church and Henry Street Settlement Spic Chic at Ensemble Studio Theatre’s OCTOBERFEST, Repertorio Espangol; How Many Goodbyes Must We Say? Julia de Burgos. I the Actor showcases and Raul Julia Training Unit showcases. She has staged numerous contemporary and classical readings. She is a member of Ensemble Studio Theatre and the Actors Studio and the founder of I the Actor Acting Studio. www.itheactor.com.


DR. MARK RINGER [Dramaturg] teaches Theater History, Shakespeare, Opera, Ancient Greek Drama and Culture, Dramaturgy, as well as other subjects. He has worked as a professional dramaturg, actor, and director throughout the USA and Europe. His first book Electra and the Empty Urn: Metatheater and Role Playing in Sophocles was published by the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.  His second and third books, "Opera’s First Master: The Musical Dramas of Claudio Monteverdi" and "Schubert's Theatre of Song" were published by Amadeus Press.  He is currently working on a fourth book, "The Humanist Achievement of Ancient Greek Theatre: Free Will, Necessity, and the State".  His translation/adaptation of the German Classic, Lessing's "Nathan the Wise" will be performed at Hunter College, CUNY this winter.  Degrees:  B.A., University of California, Los Angeles, M.F.A., University of California, Los Angeles and Ph.D., University of California, Santa Barbara


JAMES CARTER [Light Design] Just Finish serving as the production manager, asst director and the light designer for Chloe Aronld’s one woman show at Lamama, NY (The Club) called My Life,  My Diary, My Dance, and light Designer for Accept/Except @ N.B.T. and I Left My Heart In Haiti at The Producer Club, N.Y, The Turnstyle Warrior at ATA, The Hattie McDaniel What I Need You To Know Show at The National Black Theatre.  Is currently working at Good Morning America (ABC-9 Years), College Football & Focus Earth (ABC) in the lighting department. James also worked at NBC Brian William as a Sub /Electrician & Propman. 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), The Late Night Show with David Letterman, NBC Jimmy Fallon Show, 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 (3years), 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, Ralph Carter, Haywood Nelson, Ray Chew, Faith Evans, Imajin, Monica to name a few. James is also a Light Director, Writer, Director, Executive Producer, Manager, Tech Director, Equity Stage Manager and a Record Producer.(What you need I can bring to the table!)  In 2010 he has won the Audelco Award for Best Light Designer for the play PECONG by Steve Carter. He has also 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


HEATHER WOLENSKY [Scenic Design] Design credits include EQUUS (Guild Hall), The Man Who Ate Michael Rockefeller (Arc Light), It Pays to Advertise (Metropolitan Playhouse), The Truth About Santa (Kraine Theatre), Orpheus and Eurydice (Chashama), Nami (Theatre Row) and Dialogue of the Carmelites (SUNY Purchase). Associate Design & Art Direction include; Late Night With Jimmy Fallon (NBC), A Tale of Two Cities (Broadway/Hirschfeld Theatre), Candida (Irish Repertory Theatre) and ME:TV (Nickelodeon). She works as a freelance artist throughout New York City and is a member of USA 829.  http://heatherwolensky.com/


DAVID WITHROW [Costume Design] Designer: APAC, Looking Glass Theatre, E.A.T. , Prospect Theater Company, MCC, The Gallery Players, Monarch, thriftshop theater workshop, Theatre of the Expendable, Milk Can, (re)Directions, M T Works, Forestburgh Playhouse, etc… 2010 AUDELCO Award winner for Best Costume Design for Take Wing And Soar’s PECONG.  2007 NYIT award winner for, Bug Boy Blues (Looking Glass Theatre) Assistant: The Threepenny Opera & The Apple Tree (Roundabout), The Wedding Singer (Broadway), King Arthur (English National Opera & New York City Opera), Two Gentlemen of Verona (The Old Globe), King Lear (The Public), & Jersey Boys (Las Vegas & London casts). Broadway Associate: RACE & Everyday Rapture.


DAVID D. WRIGHT [Sound Design] is a multiple award winning sound designer, musical director and percussionist. He has toured with the Fania All Stars, Eddie Palmieri’s Harlem River Drive, Mark Radice, Brass Construction, K.C. and the Sunshine Band to name a few.  He has worked with Charles and Ella Moore, Alvin Ailey, Obediah Wright, Baraka De Soleil. He has won six Vivian Robinson Audelco Awards for Excellence in Black Theatre that include NBT’s The Legacy, as Outstanding Musical Director and Meeting Lillie, Julius Caesar set in Africa, Shango de Ima, Fly, and TWAS’ Hamlet for Outstanding Sound Design Award. He has sound designed for many of the metropolitan area theatres including The Negro Ensemble Company, New Federal Theatre, Amas, Take Wing And Soar, and the Theatre of the Riverside Church.  David's credits include engineering, producing, hosting, sound designing, and writing radio dramas which aired on WBAI-FM in NYC, resulting in him receiving a Golden Reel, Silver Reel, and Special Merit Awards from National Association of Community Broadcasters. He most recently received an Audelco nomination for his sound design of his Yoruba Dance Drama Sango Lord of Thunder and Take Wing And Soar’s Hamlet, Medea, King Lear and PECONG.  


PENNY LANDAU [Press Agent]  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.


NATALIE CLARKE [Marketing & Promotions] has worked with  theater companies and arts, cultural and dance organizations, in promotion  and audience development with such productions as The Jackie Wilson Story, Been Rich All My Life movie premier, The Gospel at Colonus, Lackawana Blues, Def Poetry Jam, Hairspray the musical, Caroline or Change, Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, Gem of the Ocean, Radio Golf, Plantanos & Collard Greens, Everything’s Turning into Beautiful, Bhuthan, Dutchman, Hoodoo Love, Oronooko, Ohio State Murders, Antony & Cleopatra, THURGOOD, The Country Girl, Basic Training,  The Alvin Alley American Dance Theater, Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company, Gabrielle Lansner and Company, The Ossie Davis Endowment Launch, The Audelco Awards, Signature Theatre, The Cherry Lane Theatre, Theatre for a New Audience.  She is a member of the Harlem Arts Alliance and in 2008 received an AUDELCO AWARD - Outstanding Pioneer/ Audience Development and Public Relations.


ANNETTE NELSON-WRIGHT [Production Stage Manager] Ms. Nelson a Jamaican native. Worked as stage manager Illegal Alien Andell Forgie. The award winning  Kingfish Amos n Andy  Black Spectrum Theatre  directed by Bette Howard; Snared Notion Production /Cezar Williams; Take Wing and Soars Production Inc; The Brethren Thomas Goggans;  American Theatre of Harlem;  Caribbean Culture Theatre;  Unda MI Nose  KMC Productions; Giggles Production;  Paul Robeson Theatre;  Common Law Basil Dawkins Front Room Aston Cooke  by Ja-Mek-Ya.  Annette acted   in Higglers Ginger Knight.  However, she decides that being a stage manager is her contribution to the theatre genre. Respect One Love.


LAZETTE MCCANTS [House Manager] was introduced to the “Black Theatre Experience”, by Ms. Vivian Robinson, the founder of AUDELCO and became an AUDELCO member in 1983.  Her experience with AUDELCO included being a member of the Board of Directors, Nominating Committee and Event and Volunteer Coordinator. She has enthusiastically supported arts and culture in general and BlackTheatre, in particular.  Over the years, she has volunteered and provided professional services for groups that include Dr. Barbara Ann Teer’s National Black Theatre, Take Wing and Soar Productions, Rhythm Color Associates, SweetPea Producers, Harlem Week, ImageNation, AUDELCO and more. LaZette currently serves as the Director of Volunteer Services for Take Wing and Soar Productions (TWAS). She has received the President’s Volunteer Service Award from the President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation and the AUDELCO Board of Directors Award for Tireless & Consistent performance as a Volunteer to Black Theatre.  LaZette continues to volunteer and consult with Arts and Culture and Community Service organizations. Over the past year, she has begun to develop a group called Volunteer Divas Plus – Volunteers for Arts & Culture and Community. The group includes theatre lovers, actors, producers, playwrights and students. Her goal is to look for ways to be involved and perpetuate the spirit of volunteerism while passing on skills, knowledge, commitment and experience to theatre in general and Classical and Black Theatre in particular.


FLORA GILLARD [Cleopatra’s Hair and Wigs] is a founding board member of Take Wing And Soar Productions and has served on the board for the past six years.  In addition to being a fine trustee, she has served as an Associate Producer and Producing Associate on all TWAS Inc. Projects.  


MERCEDES AYALA [Assistant to the Chief Executive | Concessions Manager]  This phenomenal spirited actor alumni is an AUDELCO member and proud native of the Bronx, in New York.  She received most of her training at The National Black Theatre and has performed as well as worked tech on various film and stage productions throughout the city.  Mercedes’ most recent work includes the voice of Michael in “Peter Pan” at the Swedish Cottage Marionette Theatre at Central Park in New York City.  She is currently in training for Television Production and teaches pre-school at The Learning Tree also in the Bronx.  Mercedes is grateful for the Gift from God, the sacrifices of our Ancestors, the support of her family Mel, Shanasia, Nakia, and Mikhael, and special friends Angela, and Nelly, and most appreciative for opportunity to work with mentor Debra Ann Byrd and the Take Wing And Soar family.  Contact Info: 347.866.1981


SHEILA SPELLER [Co-Producer] Ms. Speller is the Producer and General Manager of the recent commercial Off-Broadway production of “… Another Man’s Poison.” at The Peter Jay Sharp Theater, Theatre Row, NYC. She is currently working on productions slated for the Broadway stage. Ms. Speller’s keen business expertise as a producer encompasses production development and management, production budgets, contracts, investor relations, and marketing strategy. Professional industry memberships: The Broadway League, The League of Professional Theatre Women, New York Women in Film and Television, and the Coalition of Professional Women in the Arts & Media (past Board Member). A frequent guest panelist, Ms. Speller presents on a range of theatre and entertainment business topics: “Business for Creative Professionals,” School of Visual Arts; “Raising Money for Theatre: How, Who, and When to Ask” TRU Producer's Boot Camp. Sheila attended Howard University, University of MarylandCollege Park, New York University: Arts Management, Metropolitan College of NY: Media Management, MBA.


TAKE WING AND SOAR PRODUCTIONS, INC | DEBRA ANN BYRD [Producer] founded in 1999 by classically trained actress Debra Ann Byrd, is a women-led, New York State, 501(c) 3 Professional Theatre Arts Corporation, dedicated to supporting women, youth & especially classically trained actors of color.  In its brief history, Take Wing And Soar Productions has enjoyed many successes including the creation of The TWAS Theatre Project, The TWAS Classical Lab Reading Series, The Take Wing And Soar “Spirit of Excellence Awards” & the Hackney Harlem International Youth Project. The theatre company is the 2009-2010 recipient of the LPTW Lucille Lortel Award, presented in recognition of the theatre’s body of work in the community, audience development in Harlem – and in celebration of the “International Exchange Program” between Take Wing And Soar Productions & London’s Hackney Empire Theatre. Other honors include 5 AUDELCO Awards & 19 AUDELCO Award nominations for its mainstage productions of Richard III, The Darker Face of the Earth, Hamlet, Medea, King Lear & Pecong.  Antony & Cleopatra is TWAS’ twenty-ninth production & eighth main stage project.  For more information about TWAS Inc. visit us online at www.takewingandsoar.org


ACTORS’ EQUITY ASSOCIATION [AEA] founded in 1913, represents more than 45,000 actors and stage managers in the United States.  Equity seeks to advance promote and foster the art of live theatre as an essential component of our society.  Equity negotiates wages and working conditions, providing a wide range of benefits, including health and pension plans.  AEA is a member of the AFL-CIO, and is affiliated with FIA, an international organization of performing arts unions.  The Equity emblem is our mark of excellence.  www.actorsequity.org

Photo Credit: Photos by Tanja

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