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.

Timothy D. Stickney*

HAMLET

 

CLAUDIUS

Seth Duerr

 

POLONIUS | GRAVEDIGGER

Arthur French*

 

HORATIO

Bryan Webster*

 

LAERTES

David Heron

 

QUEEN GERTRUDE

Petronia Paley*

 

OPHELIA

Mary E. Hodges*

 

GHOST

Dathan B. Williams*

 

ROSENCRANTZ

Carsey Walker, Jr.*

 

GUILDENSTERN

Larry Floyd

 

FIRST PLAYER | OSRIC

Michael Leonard James*

 

MARCELLUS | THIRD PLAYER

Tom Martin

 

BERNARDO | FORTINBRAS and FOURTH PLAYER

Geoffrey Warren Barnes, II*

 

FRANCISCO | REYNALDO SECOND PLAYER

Miguel A. Sierra

 

CAPTAIN | PRIESTand VOLTIMAND

Kwame Riley

 

CORNELIUS | ATTENDANT

Sandford Faison

 

GHOST Understudy

Mark Ringer

HAMLET | MEET THE COMPANY

GEOFFREY WARREN BARNES, II* [Player 4 | Barnardo | Fortinbras] Geoffrey Barnes is a Native of Cincinnati, Ohio.  Credits include: She Loves Me and Ocean Drive with The Dorset Theater Festival, The Tap Dance Kid and Train is Comin' with the St. Louis Black Repertory Company, A Christmas Carol with the Nebraska Theatre Caravan, Return to the Forbidden Planet and Annie with The Hope Summer Rep. Festival, A Midsummer Night's Dream with the Storm Theater Company, Much Ado about Nothing with the Inwood Shakespeare Festival, Served Cold/Revenge 2 with The Drilling Company, NYC, Loves Labour's Lost the Musical and Two Gentlemen of Verona with the American Globe Theater in NYC. In addition, Geoffrey has performed as a member of The American Globe Theater's Shakespeare for Schools program touring to schools all over the city in productions of Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet, and Hamlet. Film: Blind Date and Corporate Dawgs with Chica Luna Productions. He is also a member of a six part  A capella group DUWENDE - Winner of two 2005 Contemporary Acapella Recording Awards for best pop/rock album and song. www.duwende.com

 

SETH DUERR [King Claudius] has garnered massive critical acclaim for his portrayals of Leontes, Talbot, Margaret, Chorus, Iago, Estragon and Captain Ahab as well as for his directing and playing the title role in Coriolanus, Timon Of Athens, King Lear, Richard II, Henry IV, Henry V, Titus Andronicus and Richard III.  OFF-B'WAY: Jean Cocteau Rep: Friar Laurence in Romeo & Juliet, The Cook in Mother Courage, Lexy in Candida and Cléante in The Miser; The Public: u/s Macduff in Macbeth (Shakespeare in the Park). Mr. Duerr wrote and directed the first-ever author-approved adaptation of one of Ian McEwan's novels (In Between The Sheets).  FILM: The title role in Richard III (David Hunt, RSC, dir.); Death in Everyman (Douglas Morse, dir.); Herod in Salome; Lance in Embedded (prod. Derek Curl, SVA).  Mr. Duerr is a proud member of The Dramatists Guild and the Advisory Board of Wingspan Arts with Donna Murphy and Scott Schwartz. For pictures and reviews visit www.yorkshakespeare.org

 

DAVID HERON [Laertes] Jamaican born David Heron is an award winning Playwright, Producer and Actor.  He is the recipient of five International Theatre Institute (Jamaica) Awards for writing and producing his plays Intermission and Against His Will.  However, his biggest playwriting success to date has been his romantic comedy -drama Love and Marriage and New York City, which toured the USA and Great Britain before landing Off Broadway at the Billie Holiday Theatre in 2006.  The play is now an official selection of the 2007 National Black Theatre Festival, to be held later this year in Winston Salem, North Carolina.  As an actor, his major credits include the World premiere of Robinson Crusoe (as Friday) with the Orlando Shakespeare Festival, the touring production of the Broadway hit Cheaters, the TWAS staged reading of Medea at the National Black Theatre, as well as his own plays- Redemption, Against His Will and the Off Broadway production of Love and Marriage and New York City (AUDELCO Award nomination, Best Ensemble Cast).  He recently completed his first leading movie role in the independent feature Zora’s Dream and can soon be seen in the new cable TV series Ya Ma Afrika on the Dish network.  He is a 2006 New York City Council Award recipient for Excellence in the Arts.  He is grateful for the opportunity to work with TWAS once again and thanks Debra Ann, Jackie, Director Liz Swain and all his fellow cast and crewmembers for their outstanding support in his Shakespearean debut.

 

SANDFORD FAISON [Cornelius | Attendant] An actor in his youth, Sandford rediscovers his love for theater in this production.  He thanks TWAS for the opportunity and hopes this sparks his new career as an adult actor.

 

LARRY FLOYD [Guildenstern] was last seen as Thomas/Paul/Black Cop in Greener Grasses at the Theatre for the New City.  Some other credits include Val in Split Second, SANGO: Lord of Thunder (National Black Theatre), Two Gentlemen of Verona (Manhattan Rep), Miss Evers Boys, Henry II, Henry IV (Parts 1 & 2), Henry V, Julius Caesar, 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.  He has written Can Fire, Detox, Exceptionality, The Journey That Life Dances To, 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 with Barbara Montgomery and Petronia Paley, among others.

 

ARTHUR FRENCH* [Polonius | Gravedigger] Recent stage appearances: Two Trains Running, The Master Builder, and Real Men Don’t Sit Cross-legged on the Floor.  On TV: Knights of Prosperity Pilot.  In Film: Kinsey, Music Of The Heart, and Waltzing Anna.  He has an OBIE Award for Sustained Excellence of Performance and Five AUDELCO Awards.  Other Shakespearean plays include: MacBeth, King Lear, Romeo and Juliet, As You Like It, Julius Caesar and The War of The Roses, Plays.

 

MARY E. HODGES* [Ophelia] In New York Mary has performed in Richard III and Henry VI: pt II, both with (Judith Shakespeare Company), The Baache (The Looking Glass Theatre), and lots of staged readings throughout the city.  Other credits include The Miracle Worker and Coyote On A Fence at (The Berkshire Theatre Festival); Hamlet, Twelfth Night, and The Crucible at (Connecticut Repertory Theatre); Charles Mee's Big Love both at (LongWharf Theatre & Berkeley Repertory Theatre); Before It Hits Home and The Blacks at (The National Black Theatre Festival).  Other wonderful productions The Women of Troy, A Midsummer Night's Dream, As You Like It, Alls Well That Ends Well...  Mary has her MFA in acting from The University of Connecticut.

 

MICHAEL LEONARD JAMES* [Player King | Osric | Cornelius] received rave reviews in the title role of Frederick Douglass at Mother AME Zion and was honored with an Audelco Award nomination for Best Solo Performance in 2003, Best Performance in a Musical, M’Dear in 2004 & again for Best Supporting Actor in a Play, Driving While Black in 2005. He has starred in Discordant Duets and Rings at the NY International Fringe Festival; as Jesus in Godspell; and several other Off-Broadway productions including Romeo & Juliet, (The Classical Theatre of Harlem), Tokyo Can Can II, (American Theatre of Actors), and The Pirates of Penzance (South Street Seaport). Michael’s diversified background includes acting, singing & dancing in such musicals as Conundrum, A Rock Amidst The Ruin, Reflections Upon The Roof, Fort Evil, Promises of Gold and On The Edge.  He has sung in El Shaddai and An Evening of Hope at Carnegie Hall, and has performed on television’s Good Day New York, Carol Jenkins Live, and Sunday Today In New York.  He has also been featured on Law & Order: SVU, USA Network’s Repo Man, Common Saints (a made for TV pilot) and in the independent film, One Day In May. Mr. James has a B.A. in Theatre & Speech from the University of South Carolina.  Still his greatest joys are his Lord Jesus, his leading lady Rhonda and his supporting players Michael II, Rachael & Mitchel.

 

TOM MARTIN [Marcellus | Player 3] a native New Yorker, who has had leading roles in WWJD, The Nabers, MacBeth, Chad & Rose and Caribbean Christmas Carol.  His Television credits include: a recurring role on All My Children and numerous commercials.  'I am truly blessed to be part of this extraordinary cast and crew.

 

PETRONIA PALEY* [Queen Gertrude] Ms. Paley was seen last season as Dr. Iris Preston in EST’s Relativity.  Other roles include Gratiana, The Revenger’s Tragedy, the Red Bull’s Theatre; Madame Ranevskya, The Cherry Orchard (Audelco Nomination), The Classical Theatre of Harlem; Jocasta/Eurydice the Oedipus Plays, Shakespeare Theatre; Regan King Lear, Yale Repertory; Hecuba, Trojan Women, Shakespeare Theatre (Helen Haynes Nomination); Prosecutor The Trial…New Federal Theatre (Audelco). She is a veteran of daytime creating long running characters on Guiding Light and Another World.  Directing credits: How Man Goodbyes Must We Say?, Spic Chic, Can We Dance?, and numerous staged readings. Writing Credits: The Empty-Hand Traveler Set No Limit to Her Desires, The Psycho-genesis of Sexuality and short stories.  She teaches acting at the Frederick Douglass Creative Arts Center and the Puerto Rican Traveling Theatre.  Member of EST and the Actor’s Studio.

 

KWAME RILEY [Captain | Priest | Voltemand] This exciting young actor brings both passion and a calming presence into all of his performances.  Kwame recently moved to New York City from Florida to continue exploring and expanding his acting horizons.  While in Florida, Kwame performed in such productions as Bourbon at the Border, The Piano Lesson, Stands, Grapes of Wrath, Medal of Honor Rag, The Old Settler as well as several others.  Since coming here to New York, Kwame has taken part in original showcases and is furthering his acting training at the prestigious Michael Howard Studios.  

 

MIGUEL ANGEL SIERRA [Francisco | Reynaldo | Player Queen] just graduated this past year from Marymount Manhattan College where he received his BFA in Acting with a Minor in Musical Theater. Having just got back from a national tour portraying the infamous and sword-buckling role of Don Juan with the National Theater for Arts and Education, he is very excited to be collaborating once again with TWAS. Off-Broadway: Comedy of Terrors (NYC Fringe Festival), The Bacchae as Pentheus (Hudson River Warehouse) and The Rivals (The National Black Theater). Favorite roles: Osip (The Inspector General), Bernardo (West Side Story), Mr. Black (The Wild Party), and The Wolf (Into the Woods). Family, friends, and God: Thanks for everything!  God bless, my Jayli!  … http://resumes.actorsaccess.com/mas.

 

TIMOTHY D. STICKNEY* [Hamlet] TWAS' mission of giving actors of color leading opportunities in the classics is very important to Timothy; having never had traditional leads offered to him. This is most surprising considering Timothy's classical training and his varied experiences and success.  His role on ABC's One Life to Live is his best-known credit; for which he won the Soap Opera Digest's Best Villain Award in 2000.  A graduate of the New York American Academy of Dramatic Arts and member of their Production Company; Mr. Stickney's professional theater experience is deeply rooted in Shakespeare.  This season Mr. Stickney appeared as Oswald in The Public Theater's production of King Lear with Kevin Kline.  He has also performed in The Public's productions of Henry IV, Parts I and II, and The Taming of the Shrew.  The AUDELCOs have rewarded efforts with Best Actor Nominations for his Othello in 2002 (Africa Arts Theater) and his Richard III for Take Wing And Soar Productions in 2003.  Timothy directed a gender bending cast of Julius Caesar for the Inaugural TWAS Classical Lab Reading Series in 2004: and was proud and honored to helm Othello's all female cast in 2005's Lab. "My Deepest Thanks to Lee Priestly for all but carrying me here on her back; As well as to TWAS, the cast and each of you here; for giving me another chance to step out of the box."

 

CARSEY WALKER, JR.* [Rosencrantz] Ay me, for ought that I could ever read, could ever hear: the course of true acting never did run smooth... Since coming to New York, I’ve been blessed to have worked with many whose work I respect and enjoy including Oz Scott, S. Epatha Merkerson and Mario Van Peebles.  My work has been featured on the stages of Boomerang Theatre Giant-N-Variation and New Federal Theatre The Taking of Miss Janie & Ntozake Shange: A Retrospective.  My most recent journey out into the wilds of regional theater was at the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis in Yellowman (two actors, eight characters, over two hours of text and no net – THAT was a workout).  I studied at the University of Houston informally before moving on to the Graduate Acting program at the University of Texas led by Franchelle Stewart-Dorn.  I’d like to personally thank you for coming and wish you a wonderful theatre experience.  PEACE: cw

 

BRYAN WEBSTER* [Horatio] most recently appeared as Horatio in the WordPlay production of The Heart of My Mystery, directed by Barbra Bosch. Before that, he was Pontius Pilate in Union City, NJ; home of America’s longest running “Passion Play”.  He’s also performed at the Public Theater, Everybody’s Ruby, Dir by Kenny Leon, Theater for a New Audience, As You Like It, Dir by Mark Rylance and the Ridiculous Theatrical Company, Der Ring Gott Farblonjett, Dir by Everett Quinton.  He’s worked at several Shakespeare Festivals including the Boston, North Carolina and Camden, Maine festivals, among others.  More info at bryanwebster.net

 

DATHAN B. WILLIAMS* [The Ghost] Recently was seen as Sgt. Foley in the musical reading of The Officer and a Gentleman at Amas and as Teddy Horne Sr. in Stormy Weather, Imagining Lena Horne at The Prince Music Theater. This is his third association with TWAS, having appeared as The Messenger in Medea and as Cassius in Julius Caesar.  He has performed classical roles with: The Stratford Shakespeare Festival (Tyrone Guthrie Award) - 2 Seasons; Folger Theatre; The Orlando Shakespeare Festival, Instant Shakespeare Company; Tulsa Rep; Madison Rep; Chicago Equity Theatre; Stage One; The Actors Theatre of Louisville; Source Theatre; and The Florida Shakespeare Festival.  Other select credits include: B’way: Show Boat.  Off-B’way: The Octoroon; In Tune With the Universe; Robeson; Scenes From The Unexpectedness of Love; The In-Gathering; Hallelujah, Baby!.  National Tours: The Color of Justice; Show Boat; The Wind in the Willows and The King and I.

 

WHO's WHO IN THE CREW

 

ELIZABETH SWAIN [Director] Recent directing credits include Middleton & Rowley’s Jacobean tragicomedy, The Old Law and, in January, a newly commissioned adaptation of Agatha Christie’s Ordeal by Innocence at New York Theatre Insitute, where she also directed the premiere of Rob Ackerman’s Airborn. Other favorites are Stoppard’s Arcadia, The Winter’s Tale, an all-female Hamlet, two plays by Aphra Behn: The Rover and The Lucky Chance, Susanna Centlivre’s The Wonder, Timberlake Wertenbaker’s Our Country’s Good and The Love of the Nightingale, Mishima’s Hanjo and the NY premiere of Wendy Kesselman’s The Executioner’s Daughter.  For TWAS Theatre she directed Biyi Bandele’s adaptation of Aphra Behn’s novel Oroonoko.  Broadway acting credits include Charley’s Aunt, Crown Matrimonial and Sherlock Holmes (the RSC production). Ms. Swain has also worked Off and Off Off  Broadway, in Regional Theatres across the country (NJ Shakespeare, Theatre Co. of Boston, ACT, Seattle, Olney Theatre Md, et al) and in a variety of tours. Television credits include five years on Guiding Light and stints on As the World Turns, One Life to Live and Dark Shadows. Ms Swain has recorded over fifty books for the blind and has an active voice-over career. She is one of the featured actors in 2 CDs of poetry released in 2006 by Highbridge:  Voices of Love and Voices of Marriage.  Ms. Swain has taught at NYU, Hunter, CCNY and Barnard and is currently on the faculty of Marymount Manhattan College.  She also teaches at the Michael Howard Studio in Manhattan. She was a participant in the National Endowment for the Humanities 2002 summer institute, Shakespeare’s Staging :Inside and Out at the Blackfriars Theatre in Virginia and at Shakespeare’s Globe in London.

 

ROBERT L. DUTIEL [Scenic Designer] is an assistant professor of theatre arts and is the technical director for the theatre department and for the Theresa Lang Theatre at Marymount Manhattan College here in NYC. Scenic design credits include The Wild Party, The Government Inspector and Arcadia at Marymount; No Exit for the Parabolic Theatre Co.; Crimes of the Heart and Proof for the Nebraska Repertory Theatre; Inherit the Wind at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln; and The Miser, Antony and Cleopatra and A Midsummer Night’s Dream for the Wisconsin Shakespeare Festival. Technical direction credits include Name Day for the Immigrant’s Theatre Project; Salome, Turandot and Candide for the Des Moines Metro Opera; You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown, Into the Woods, A Christmas Carol and A Philadelphia Story at University of Nebraska-Lincoln; Art and Jake’s Women for the Nebraska Repertory Theatre; and The Spitfire Grill, The Adding Machine, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Rhinoceros, The Crucible, Into the Woods, The Wild Party, In the Boom Boom Room and Arcadia for Marymount Manhattan College. Robert received his BS and MFA from University of Nebraska–Lincoln.

 

ALI TURNS [Costume Design] Ms. Turns is the 2004-2005 AUDELCO Nominee for Best Costume Design for New Falderal’s production of Great Men Of Gospel.  Ms. Turns has an extensive creative background in both theatre and film.  Her most recent credits include a ‘docu-film’ titled Sapphire’s New Shoe: the kitchen table summit, written by Professor Glenda Dickerson, at the University of Michigan Most recent theatre credits, New Federal Theatre’s production of A Last Dance For Sybil, written by Ossie Davis starring Ruby Dee, directed by Lloyd Richards and Edward Smith.  Queen Theatre in The Park’s Two Can Play, directed by Ricardo Kahn, co-founder of Crossroads Theatre.  Ali has taught at three of the most prestigious Black colleges; Spellman, Florida A&M University and Grambling State University.  Her last teaching post was at The Art Institute of New York City.  “I would like to take this time to say thank you to Take Wing And Soar Productions and Ms. Trezana Beverley for giving me this amazing opportunity.  And most of all for a great group of Student Interns that truly represented the school in grand fashion.  Thank you to TWAS Inc. Praise God from whom all blessings flow!

 

SEÁN LINEHAN [Lighting Designer] Hamlet marks Seán's second production with Take Wing And Soar Productions. His recent credits include Stone and The Maguffin (Actors Theatre Workshop), Tempest Toss'd Fools (Manhattan Ensemble Theatre) Fools in Love (Manhattan Ensemble Theatre and at the Harvey Theatre BAM), and Shift Change (Producers Club II). HIs work can be seen across NY in galleries and show rooms, events and screenings, as well as on the big screen and television.  Seán recieved his BFA from Marymount Manhattan College.

 

DAVID D. WRIGHT [Sound Designer] is a multiple award winning musical director, sound designer and radio drama producer.  David is also the CEO and the Producing Playwright of The Orisha Tales Repertory Theatre Company.  Hamlet marks David’s third production with TWAS, having created original music for its productions of Oroonoko and Medea, starring Trezana Beverley.  David would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the cast and crew of this production of Hamlet.  As he gives thanks to Olodumare, the Ancestors and Orisa for his success.

 

RON PIRETTI [Fight Director] has worked as Fight Director for films, television and theatre.  He has staged the fights for over two hundred productions.  He recently staged the fight for the off-Broadway show  In the Heights and Burn This at Manhattan Theatre Source.  Among the theatres he has staged fights for are:  The Barrow Group, Actor’s Studio/New School’s Repertory Season, the Foundry Theatre, Bay Street Theatre, EST, MCC and WPA.  Ron has also taught workshops at Wagner College, Yale, and is the Acting Department Director at Broadway Theatre Project founded by Ann Reinking in Tampa, Fl.  He currently teaches acting at Marymount Manhattan College.  He is a Fight Director/Certified Teacher with the SAFD.  He received his MFA from the Goodman School of Drama.

 

GLENN GRIEVES [Production Stage Manager] is currently a student at Marymount Manhattan College where he is pursuing a double major in Theatre Arts Production and Management and Political Science.  Some of Glenn’s Stage management credits include: The Old Law at the Teresa Lang Theatre, For Christ’s Sake: The Musical, a 3CM Production at New World Stages, A Sense of Place with Trust for Public Land at The [email protected] in St. Petersburg, FL, Black Nativity with Mahaffey Theatre Foundation in St. Petersburg, FL, The Wild Party at the Palladium Theatre in St. Petersburg, FL, Smokey Joe’s Café at the Palladium Theatre in St. Petersburg, FL, The Civil War at the Mahaffey Theatre in St. Petersburg, FL, and Our Town with the Pinellas Country Center for the Arts in St. Petersburg, FL.  Glenn would like to express his appreciation to his family, friends, and everyone associated with this production.

 

NORMAN ANTHONY SMALL, JR. [Assistant Stage Manager | Sound Technician] is an Orlando, FL native and graduate from the University of Miami (Bachelor of Music degree in Music Engineering Technology) and Metropolitan College of New York (Master of Business Administration degree in Media Management).  In addition, he is a classically-trained pianist, singer, songwriter, composer, arranger, sound and recording engineer, and producer.  In 2003, Norman, along with the performers of the off-off-Broadway play, Same Train, won an OOBR (Off-Off-Broadway) Award for Excellence in Theater.  Some of Mr. Small’s notable theater credits include: Marion Anderson: The Lady from Philadelphia, Jackie ‘Moms’ Mabley and Her Ladies, Richard III, Same Train, Serenade the World: The Music and Words of Oscar Brown, Jr., The Darker Face of the Earth, Medea, and The Colored Museum.  Norman would like to thank his family, friends, Debra Ann, Jackie, and the entire company of Hamlet for their support.

 

JONATHAN LIGHT [Assistant Director] has worked as an actor and director in both theatre and film. Credits as a director include, The Last of Mrs. Lincoln, for TEST Theatre, The Aunt, a company-devised play based on Chekhov's Uncle Vanya, and the short film Tamara.  He has served as an assistant on MCC Theatre's production of Neil Labute's Some Girls, starring Eric McCormack, directed by Jo Bonney.  Acting work includes: Flamineo in The White Devil, Victorin Frankenstein (European tour) and Edmund in King Lear.  Jonathan is the former Associate Artistic Director of Cannery Works, and holds a post-graduate degree from the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, where he received the Lee Strasberg Scholarship.  www.jonathanlight.com

 

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 Natalie Cortez (currently on Broadway as Morales in A Chorus Line), 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”); playwright Paul Alexander; singer Gennifer Flowers; vocalist Theo Bleckmann; actor/singer Franc D’Ambrosio (Phantom of the Opera, The Godfather, Part III); Stuart White Productions; musical comedian & impressionist Stephen Sorrentino; Artists Theatre Group; Twenty Feet Prods;  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.

 

TAKE WING AND SOAR PRODUCTIONS [Producer] now celebrating its 4th year, is one of New York’s newest celebrated not-for-profit Professional Theatre Arts Corporations, with productions at The American Theater of Actors, The National Black Theatre and other Off-Off Broadway venues, HAMLET is TWAS’ twelfth production and third main stage project.  Founded by classically trained actress Debra Ann Byrd, Take Wing And Soar Productions Inc. is dedicated to providing center stage opportunities for classically trained artists 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 and The Take Wing And Soar Spirit of Excellence Awards.  Past TWAS Spirit of Excellence Pioneer Award recipients have included veteran classical actresses Jane White and Ruby Dee.  Take Wing And Soar Productions’ projects and programs have served over 125 Classically trained artists, directors, designers, technicians and young entrepreneurial artists, and was recently nominated for 7 AUDELCO Recognition Awards for Excellence in Black Theatre for its Mainstage productions of Richard III and The Darker Face Of The Earth.  Other Take Wing And Soar productions have included; Julius Caesar, Othello, The Rivals, and the American debut of Nigerian born playwright Biyi Bandele’s Oroonoko, originally commissioned for the stage by The Royal Shakespeare Company.  Thanks to the generosity and support of Dr. Barbara Ann Teer, TWAS Inc. has been a professional theatre company in residence at the National Black Theatre for the past four years.  NBT is a generous sponsor of this production of HAMLET; for this we are truly grateful.  TWAS Inc. is a Member Organization of The Arts And Business Council, The Harlem Arts Alliance and The Alliance of Resident Theatres New York.  For more information about TWAS. visit us online at www.takewingandsoar.org

 

DEBRA ANN BYRD [Producer] currently serves as the Founder, Chief Executive and Producing Artistic Director of Take Wing And Soar Productions, Inc.  She 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 appointed, by Manhattan Borough President Scott M. Stringer, to the NYC Community Board and has been selected for inclusion in The Commercial Theatre Institute, a special project of The League of American Theatres and Producers and TDF.  She was also selected for inclusion in the 25th Silver Anniversary Edition of Who’s Who of American Women and is the recipient of the LPTW’s 2006 Josephine Abady Award for Outstanding Achievements and promise as a producer of works of cultural diversity in the professional theater.  This award winning theatre professional received her Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Acting from Marymount Manhattan College, and completed her classical training at The Public Theater Shakespeare Lab.  She recently completed studies at The Arts Leadership Institute, a unique Leadership Training Program for Arts Managers, at Teachers 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: The Darker Face Of The Earth, CORIOLANUS: The African Warrior, Richard III and 3 seasons of the TWAS Classical Lab Reading Series.  For NBT; Sojourner, Wade In The Water, Sango: Lord Of Thunder, and Dorothy Dandridge: Before, After and Now, among others; for 6-10 Productions; Broadway Sings The Odd Potato: A Chanukah Musical.  A Very Special Thank you to my children, supporters and special mentors; Dr. Barbara Ann Teer, Veronica Claypool, Dorothy Olim, and John Phillip Parkman.  Thanks a million for your encouragement and unending support.  Your love and guidance has been the wind beneath this little ‘byrd’s’ wings.

 

JACKIE JEFFRIES [Producer] recently completed work on several projects including The Waiting Room for NEC and An Evening Of Comedy With Jackie Moms Mabley And Her Ladies for Clarice Taylor.  She has been an Associate Producer for the National Black Theatre since 2002.  Her latest credits for NBT include; Sojourner, Wade In The Water, Sango: Lord Of Thunder, Dorothy Dandridge: Before, After and Now, Yesterday Came Too Soon: The Dorothy Dandridge Story, Yesterdays, Serenade The World: The Music and Words of Oscar Brown Jr., Fannie Lou Hamer: This Little Light, Jackie Mom’s Mabley and Her Ladies, Marion   Anderson:  The Lady From Philadelphia, and Gussie Mae in America.  Other producing credits include; the off-Broadway production of Jackie Mom’s and Her Ladies on Theatre Row in2004.  For Take Wing And Soar Productions Coriolanus: The African Warrior, The 2004-2005 Classical Lab Reading Series, and the 2005 TWAS Benefit Performance of The Women Of Shakespeare and the 1st Annual Take Wing And Soar Spirit of Excellence Awards.  She co-produced the Wiz at the Olympic Theatre 2001, was Assistant Producer for the Save The Children Benefit at the New York State Theatre at Lincoln Center 2001, and Associate Producer at Sounds of Blackness Concert at the Apollo Theatre 2000. She was the resident Production Manager at Rites and Reason Theatre from 1994-1999 under tutelage of Elmo Terry Morgan and Karen Baxter.  Jackie has had an 18-year illustrious career in theatre as a resident Production Manager and Stage Manager, which began at NBT in 1987.  She received her MFA in Film from City College.  Film credits include the documentaries; Imajin, A Tribute to Tunde Samuel, and The Making of Moms Mabley.  Thanks to the tutelage of Tunde Samuel, she is now enjoying a career as a producer.  Thank you Adunni, Elmo, Dr. Barbara Ann Teer and the NBT family.  God Bless.

 

ASSISTANT DIRECTOR … Jonathan Light

ASSISTANT SCENIC DESIGNER … Carlos Castillo

PSM | Light Board Technician … Glenn Grieves

ASM | Sound Board Technician … Norman A. Small, Jr.

ASM | Wardrobe … Rosita Timm*

ASM | Properties … Emily Levin, Maya Flock, Alli

FIGHT CAPTAIN … Seth Duerr

HOUSE MANAGER … Vivette Crawford

BOX OFFICE MANAGER  … Jamila Parker

PRODUCTION ASSISTANTS … Gary Parker, Kyle McGahan,

                                                        Vladimi Versailles,  Jordan Stovall,

                                                        and Colleen Cherry

 

 

© Joseph Marzullo/Retna Ltd.

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HAMLET ... WEBPAGES

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*These actors appear courtesy of Actors Equity Association

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