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.



LAZETTE MCCANTS [Director of Volunteer Services] was introduced to the “black theatre experience”, over twenty years ago, by Ms. Vivian Robinson, the founder of AUDELCO.  She has enthusiastically supported arts and culture in general and black theatre, in particular.  Most recently she was Volunteer Coordinator and House Manager for the National Black Theatre’s co-Production of “Hattie…” . Currently she serves as the Director of Volunteer Services for Take Wing and Soar Productions.  Also, for 2009 she is the Managing Director of RhythmColor Associates’ the 4th Annual POTPOURRI - World Women Works Series.  LaZette continues to volunteer and consult with community-based, cultural and social service organizations.  Over the past year, she has also begun to develop a group called Volunteer Divas Plus.  This group is comprised of individuals with various background related to theatre and includes, actors, writers, producers and enthusiasts.  LaZette’s goal is to look for ways to be involved and perpetuate the spirit of volunteerism while passing on her skills, knowledge, commitment and experience.


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.


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.


NORMAN ANTONY SMALL, JR. [Production Stage Manager] 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. 


MERCEDES AYALA [Assistant to the Chief Executive | Marketing Associate] 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 family of The National Black Theatre, Institute of Action Arts.  








J.J. SHERMAN [Counsel] Founder of the Law Offices of J.J. Sherman, P.C., J.J. Sherman provides legal counsel to clients with an emphasis on commercial real estate, commercial law, entertainment law and social media. J.J. combines the depth of experience as an attorney who has worked at two of the largest and foremost law firms with a commitment to personalized legal counsel. Previously, J.J. Sherman was an attorney at Sullivan & Cromwell LLP in New York City specializing in the area of Commercial Real Estate and the area of Commodities, Futures and Derivatives (2000-2007). J.J. also worked at Latham & Watkins LLP in Los Angeles as a Commercial Real Estate attorney (2007-2009).  J.J. Sherman obtained her Juris Doctor magna cum laude from St. John's University School of Law in New York, and was the recipient of numerous academic honors including the Kenneth Wang Fellowship and the International Academy of Trial Lawyers Graduation Award. J.J. received a Bachelor of Arts degree summa cum laude in Theater and History from Marymount Manhattan College in New York.  In recognition of her community service, J.J. Sherman received the Spirit of Excellence Award from the award-winning theater company, Take Wing And Soar Productions, Inc., a New York City not-for-profit arts organization.  A distinguished public speaker, J.J. Sherman has participated on panels for IFSA, Integra Realty Resources, the Association of the Bar of the City of New York, and the Junior League.  J.J. is admitted to practice law in California, New York, Connecticut and the District of Columbia. J.J. is conversant in Hebrew and has knowledge of French and Spanish.



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