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December 9 - 18, 2022 , Allen Theatre

Karamu House's

Black Nativity

Written by Langston Hughes
Directed by Tony F. Sias

Run time: Approx. 105 min., including a 15 min. intermission

Karamu House, the centerpiece of Cleveland’s historic Fairfax neighborhood and the oldest Black theatre in the country, presents the soul-stirring, gospel celebration Black Nativity in the Allen Theatre. Black Nativity is the joyous retelling of the traditional New Testament account of the Nativity story, using gospel music, dramatic dance, and a biblical narrative. Written and conceived by legendary playwright, poet, and Karamu alum Langston Hughes, this soulful, heartwarming story is a Karamu House classic!

Artists

Marta Brock

(Vocal Ensemble) is returning to the Karamu stage for the 2nd time as a part of Black Nativity. She’s also participated in a few other Karamu presentations. She brings many years of musical experience as a choir member and director. She’s starred in numerous church plays and skits and more(Vocal Ensemble) is returning to the Karamu stage for the 2nd time as a part of Black Nativity. She’s also participated in a few other Karamu presentations. She brings many years of musical experience as a choir member and director. She’s starred in numerous church plays and skits and a few productions in both junior high and high school. She was inducted into the Thespian Society in the late ‘80s. She is mother to three beautiful, talented children: JOSIAH 26, NOAH 20, and BETHANY 19. Her all-time favorite scripture remains to be Philippians 4:6-9.

A. Harris Brown

(Vocal Ensemble) a true mentor, artist, motivator, and friend that has many fond memories of performing at the historic and famed Karamu House. In addition, he has performed at other theaters in Greater Cleveland. He is a proud graduate of Bethune-Cookman University. Select credits include Aida, Neighbors, Dreamgirls, Sister more(Vocal Ensemble) a true mentor, artist, motivator, and friend that has many fond memories of performing at the historic and famed Karamu House. In addition, he has performed at other theaters in Greater Cleveland. He is a proud graduate of Bethune-Cookman University. Select credits include Aida, Neighbors, Dreamgirls, Sister Act, Ain’t Nothin’ But the Blues, The Wiz, Fame, Black Nativity, 12 Angry Men, Porgy& Bess, La Bohème, Disney’s Aladdin Jr., Ragtime, Six Degrees of Separation, Cut Flowers, Ain’t Misbehavin’, Leap of Faith, The Color Purple and various 48 Hour Film Festival Competitions. This theater lover is also on the Board of Directors for Convergence Continuum Theater. He is a seasoned educator for more than 25 years that is currently employed with Cleveland Metropolitan Schools and host of the virtual lifestyles talk show, “HBCU Alumni House Party Show!” Anthony shares his personal testimony through motivational speaking engagements that reflect on his journey through childhood, depression, guilt, divorce, family, fatherhood, weight loss, addiction, discovery and motivation. It's a roller coaster ride of emotions that ends in a place of #NoRegrets. To learn more, visit AHarrisBrown.com.

Darelle Hill

(Vocal Ensemble) burst onto the scene at Karamu at the beginning of 2019, making his debut as Silva Vicarro in Tennessee Williams’s 27 Wagons Full of Cotton.? Soon after that, he was cast as the leading role of the Egyptian Captain, Radames, in the hit musical Aida. He also more(Vocal Ensemble) burst onto the scene at Karamu at the beginning of 2019, making his debut as Silva Vicarro in Tennessee Williams’s 27 Wagons Full of Cotton.? Soon after that, he was cast as the leading role of the Egyptian Captain, Radames, in the hit musical Aida. He also spiced up the stage in his role as Ladonte, a.k.a. Tay Tay, in the romantic comedy Sassy Mamas right before the pandemic shut down the theatre along with the rest of the world.?Darelle?spent 2020 in the cast of Karamu's groundbreaking social justice series, Freedom After Juneteenth, which focused?on various topics like Racism, Family Trauma, Police Brutality, and Voting. ?This year will be his third time having the honor of joining the ensemble of the holiday favorite, Black Nativity, and he?is ecstatic to have the chance to perform in front of a live audience once again! Darelle?draws inspiration from his daughter, Zariya, who is also an active member of the Karamu family and is proudly involved in the Karamu Arts Education Program. You can follow?Darelle?on IG: @superstarrello

Bonita Jenkins

(Vocal Ensemble) is a Cleveland native, a singer, a travel business owner, and an income tax consultant. Bonita has been a singer since the age of 4. She performed in her very first stage play in the 5th grade, playing the starring role. It was there that she was more(Vocal Ensemble) is a Cleveland native, a singer, a travel business owner, and an income tax consultant. Bonita has been a singer since the age of 4. She performed in her very first stage play in the 5th grade, playing the starring role. It was there that she was smitten by the desire to perform on stage. While spending time in Chicago, Bonita performed in several community productions. In addition, she traveled with Rev. Milton Brunson’s & the Thompson Community Singers performing at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. Her love of theatre has opened many opportunities to perform on stage. Recent performances include several years in Karamu House’s production of Black Nativity and Aida. At the Brecksville Community Theater, Bonita was in Sister Act. She performed in Weathervane Playhouse’s Dreamgirls and Memphis. In September 2022 Bonita won the Best Featured Performer in a Musical for her performance as Soloist in The Color Purple at the 69th annual Chanticleer Awards. When Bonita is not on stage and after tax season, she travels the world to relax and enjoy what the world has to offer. Her most recent travel took her on tour in North and South Italy. Bonita is excited and grateful for this journey.

Christina Johnson

(Vocal Ensemble) is a Cleveland native, a singer, stylist, songwriter, visual artist, and poet. Since her very first stage performance in Geminia: a Space Age Cinderella as a child, the arts have become more than a performance, but a catalyst for learning, peace, and balance. Christina has more(Vocal Ensemble) is a Cleveland native, a singer, stylist, songwriter, visual artist, and poet. Since her very first stage performance in Geminia: a Space Age Cinderella as a child, the arts have become more than a performance, but a catalyst for learning, peace, and balance. Christina has been a part of several script development groups locally. The love of the arts keeps her connected on stage, as well as working behind the scenes of productions. Recently performing in Karamu House’s social justice series Juneteenth and Freedom after Juneteenth, and many years of Black Nativity. Christina has also been seen in What If, Sisters of Selma, The Wiz (as Evillene), The Color Purple (as Sofia), Crowns, My Brother’s Keeper, Sister Act, Her Hair Went with Her, and Ma Rainey's Black Bottom (as Ma Rainey) to name a few. More to come soon from the stage as well as the recording studio.

Damon "Zero" Johnson

(Vocal Ensemble) is an actor, singer, dancer, and all-around entertainer. After graduating from the Cleveland School of the Arts, he studied at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy majoring in Musical Theatre and continues performing on various stages including Nighttown, Playhouse Square, Severance Hall, and Karamu House. He has more(Vocal Ensemble) is an actor, singer, dancer, and all-around entertainer. After graduating from the Cleveland School of the Arts, he studied at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy majoring in Musical Theatre and continues performing on various stages including Nighttown, Playhouse Square, Severance Hall, and Karamu House. He has performed in various shows such as Bring It On, 42nd Street, Urinetown, and Black Nativity. Zero persisted to work with music, continuing his passion by becoming a DJ, MC, and party motivator for music events hosted by Rock the House. To this day, he still follows the music wherever it takes him.

Taylor Jones

(Joseph) is a 30-year-old Cleveland Native. He started his training at the Cleveland School of the Arts and continued his training at The University Of The Arts. Taylor has worked with such artists as Dara J. Meredith, Christopher Huggins, Tommie-Waheed Evans, Wayne St. David, and Roni Koresh, to name more(Joseph) is a 30-year-old Cleveland Native. He started his training at the Cleveland School of the Arts and continued his training at The University Of The Arts. Taylor has worked with such artists as Dara J. Meredith, Christopher Huggins, Tommie-Waheed Evans, Wayne St. David, and Roni Koresh, to name a few. Most recently, Taylor was a member of Ronald K. Brown’s company Evidence, A Dance Company ('15-'16). Taylor has been a member of The Bad Boys of Ballet since 2016. Taylor is thankful for having a loving mother who pushes him forward, and he thanks God for giving him the ability to heal others with his gift.

Rashawn Kadeem

(Dancer) is a Cleveland Native who has been involved in the arts since the age of 10. Rashawn started off as a vocalist under the direction of Michael Williams at Carl and Louis Stokes Central Academy. This prepared him to make it into the Cleveland School of Arts as more(Dancer) is a Cleveland Native who has been involved in the arts since the age of 10. Rashawn started off as a vocalist under the direction of Michael Williams at Carl and Louis Stokes Central Academy. This prepared him to make it into the Cleveland School of Arts as a Vocal Major under the direction of Dr. William B. Woods. After years of singing classical, gospel, and spiritual music, Kadeem decided it was time to try something new, which is when he found his passion in dance. Rashawn has worked under the direction of Reggie Kelly, Michael Medcalf, Terence Greene, Diane Mackintyre, Talise Campbell, and Lula Washington,?to name a few. Rashawn has also accomplished many things such as choreographing God’s Trombones; RID-ALL, A Green Movement; and Great White Hope at Karamu House. He’s also worked as a character performer for University Studios Hollywood, Royal Caribbean Cruiseline, and graced your TV screens as a contestant on the MTV Show Snack Off, Season 1, Ep. 13.

Kailyn Mack

(Mary) is a Cleveland native and alumni of Cleveland School of the Arts, where she studied as a dance major. Kailyn studied and received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance from Wright State University. During college, Kailyn trained with Dayton Contemporary Dance Company (DCDC2). Today, Kailyn is a more(Mary) is a Cleveland native and alumni of Cleveland School of the Arts, where she studied as a dance major. Kailyn studied and received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance from Wright State University. During college, Kailyn trained with Dayton Contemporary Dance Company (DCDC2). Today, Kailyn is a performing artist in the Cleveland community. She has been featured in the Plain Dealer and cleveland.com for her role as “Mary” in Karamu’s Black Nativity. She has also been seen in Aida (Karamu House), and Dreamgirls and Memphis (Weathervane Playhouse) to name a few. While she rehearses and performs in the evenings, she teaches during the day. Kailyn is the new dance instructor at Newton D. Baker School of the Arts and is in her fourth year as a teaching artist at Rainey Institute. She is excited for what the future holds as she continues to share her gift through performance, instruction, and choreography. “Each of you has been blessed with one of God's many wonderful gifts to be used in the service of others. So, use your gift well.” 1Peter4:10

Kevin “Oriyomi" Marr II

(Dancer) Since the 10th grade, Oriyomi has performed in city-wide plays, musicals, concerts, and performance arts venues, such as the CMSD All City Arts Program, Break City, Cleveland Public Theater STEP, The City of Cleveland Showagon, Foluke Cultural Arts Center, Rainey Institute, Errin Ministries, GreenWorks, The Ohio Theater Project, more(Dancer) Since the 10th grade, Oriyomi has performed in city-wide plays, musicals, concerts, and performance arts venues, such as the CMSD All City Arts Program, Break City, Cleveland Public Theater STEP, The City of Cleveland Showagon, Foluke Cultural Arts Center, Rainey Institute, Errin Ministries, GreenWorks, The Ohio Theater Project, and Black Poetic. His longest running show was Black Nativity, where he was able to perform in the show for over 10 years, 5 years choreographed, and 2 years performed as Joseph. Under many great directors, performers, and novelists, he has had the opportunity to develop works that has toured throughout the United States of America, impacting the voices of our nation. To acknowledge a few accomplishments, Oriyomi is a graduate of The Ohio Media School for Broadcasting and Web Design; he has choreographed for over 14 years, completing his final 25 credits at Cleveland State University with a concentration in Dance and Theater; danced with several performing arts companies (www.deucedancellc.wordpress.com) locally; guest-appeared for local news performance excerpts/tributes, city-wide gospel broadcastings; and a few national performances, such as the Canton Football Hall of Fame, Ted-Talk, American Disability Awareness conferences, and The National Stigma Conference for HIV Awareness. To learn more about the growth of Yomi’s career, visit his website for more information, and follow his media stream for more in-person broadcasting- @tumni216, YouTube-deucedancellc. Check out his new music https://youtu.be/BcRmFLjv5C0- YouTube Rapture Dream Featuring Sanu. What can you say about of this change in pace, is that the journey of an artist is ever-changing with guided stars, that are revealed in the context of the narratives of life. Sanu Oriyomi Ojotunmi Omo. Be on the lookout in the future journals, narratives, and performance works- expressing the impact of systematic structure and the outcomes of cultural communication barriers. “I speak for the voices within me, because they chose to rest in my ancestors.”

Jennae M. McCully

(Dancer) was born and raised on the east side of Cleveland, Ohio. She began taking dance classes at Karamu House while also dancing for both her church and high school. She went on to dance in various productions in the city like Cleveland Dance Project and How I Got more(Dancer) was born and raised on the east side of Cleveland, Ohio. She began taking dance classes at Karamu House while also dancing for both her church and high school. She went on to dance in various productions in the city like Cleveland Dance Project and How I Got Over (under Black Nativity choreographer Errin Weaver). Jennae also danced for the Cleveland Monsters hockey team for two seasons. She is the dance teacher at the newly opened Superior School for the Performing?Arts in East Cleveland, along?with teaching dance to youth in various capacities. This is Jennae’s first production at Karamu, and she is excited to share her talents on stage with all the other wonderful artists!

Joshua McElroy

(Vocal Ensemble) Joshua is a graduate of the Cleveland Institute of Art with a Bachelor’s in Video. He has his own videography business and is a Director of Music for two different churches. Joshua got started in theatre almost a decade ago while he was the Director of the more(Vocal Ensemble) Joshua is a graduate of the Cleveland Institute of Art with a Bachelor’s in Video. He has his own videography business and is a Director of Music for two different churches. Joshua got started in theatre almost a decade ago while he was the Director of the Shaker Heights Improv Team at Shaker Heights High School. He’s also been a part of Case Western Reserve University’s IMPROVment and part of a weekly performing comedy group at the Hilarities 4th Street Theater in Downtown Cleveland’s Pickwick & Frolic. Joshua has been in a number of plays around the city of Cleveland at Ensemble Theatre, Waterloo Arts Center, Cuyahoga Community College, convergence-continuum, French Creek Theatre, Great Lakes Theater, Cleveland Public Theatre, and Dobama Theatre, but Joshua got his start at the Karamu House in musicals such as The Color Purple, The Wiz, Passing Strange and Aida. Karamu House has always been home. Joshua grew up seeing Black Nativity every year at Karamu and since he started acting, not a season has gone by that Joshua hasn't been in a production at Karamu in almost 10 years. He's excited to be in Black Nativity for the 3rd time.

Mary-Francis R. Miller

(Vocal Ensemble) is an actor, vocalist, musician, and proud Cleveland native. Mary-Francis was a member of the Cleveland Orchestra Chorus and Chamber Chorus. Performance credits include the Karamu House production of Elton John and Tim Rice’s Aida, the Cleveland Public Theatre productions of Fire on the Water and Panther more(Vocal Ensemble) is an actor, vocalist, musician, and proud Cleveland native. Mary-Francis was a member of the Cleveland Orchestra Chorus and Chamber Chorus. Performance credits include the Karamu House production of Elton John and Tim Rice’s Aida, the Cleveland Public Theatre productions of Fire on the Water and Panther Women as actor and music director, the Ohio premiere of Sunset Baby at Dobama Theatre, the Karamu House productions of Passing Strange, Simply Simone and the American premiere of The Adventures of the Black Girl in Her Search for God. Mary-Francis also starred in an educational web series in collaboration with PNC and The Cleveland Orchestra entitled Music Explorers. Film credits include The Emancipation of Miss Millie, Black Hiding Place, and Figure It Out.

Noire

(Vocal Ensemble) a beautiful and talented Cleveland native, by way of Cincinnati Ohio, is no stranger to the stage! This singer, song writer and dancer, has played many roles over the course of over 20 years, including music videos, live band, and stage productions such as The Wiz, Once more(Vocal Ensemble) a beautiful and talented Cleveland native, by way of Cincinnati Ohio, is no stranger to the stage! This singer, song writer and dancer, has played many roles over the course of over 20 years, including music videos, live band, and stage productions such as The Wiz, Once on This Island directed by Tony Sias, and had her first leading role as “Cynthia” in the hit stage play Til Death Do Us Part (2016). Noire has been behind the scenes for many other productions and has always shined, no matter the task. After a one-year hiatus to start her baking and catering business, Noire decided it was time to get back to the stage! She is a mother of two beautiful and talented children and gives honor to her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, for all he has placed in front of her as well as everything to come. So, here’s a bit of loving advice: “Strap ya boots up and get ready for a show!” Thanks and gratitude to Tony Sias (Director), Kathy Whitehead (my mother), Skylar and Lola (my two wonderful and intelligent children), friends and family (my support team), God (without you, there is no me).

Jameelah Rahman

(Dancer) is a talented dancer and choreographer originally from Cleveland, Ohio. She first began her dance, theatre, and capoeira journey at Rainey Institute. She is a graduate from Cleveland School of the Arts and was a participant in the All-City dance ensemble in her youth. She has trained and more(Dancer) is a talented dancer and choreographer originally from Cleveland, Ohio. She first began her dance, theatre, and capoeira journey at Rainey Institute. She is a graduate from Cleveland School of the Arts and was a participant in the All-City dance ensemble in her youth. She has trained and performed at several International Blacks in Dance conferences. She has been a part of several Karamu productions, including Leap of Faith, Black Nativity, and Aida. She has also been a part of several productions with Mojuba Dance Collective, including How I Got Over and more. She is currently a member of Blakk Jakk Dance Collective with aspirations to grow and mature as a creative being.

Corlesia Smith

(Vocal Ensemble) was born in Mississippi and has lived around the country, but calls Cleveland home. You may have recently seen her as Camae in Karamu House’s production of The Mountaintop and as Della in Greenwood: An American Dream Destroyed. Notable credits include Amina (Alternate) in Dance Nation at more(Vocal Ensemble) was born in Mississippi and has lived around the country, but calls Cleveland home. You may have recently seen her as Camae in Karamu House’s production of The Mountaintop and as Della in Greenwood: An American Dream Destroyed. Notable credits include Amina (Alternate) in Dance Nation at Dobama Theatre; Carrie Pipperidge in Carousel with Mercury Theatre Company; Elizabeth in In the Next Room (or the Vibrator Play) at Case Western University; Nina 2 in Simply Simone and Sherry/Renata/Desi in Passing Strange at Karamu House.

Kevin Smith

(Vocal Ensemble) realized his passion for music while singing in the church choir of his father’s church. He later joined the John F. Kennedy High School choir, which won numerous competitions under the direction of Patricia Connors. His first singing debut on stage was singing “Be A Lion” from more(Vocal Ensemble) realized his passion for music while singing in the church choir of his father’s church. He later joined the John F. Kennedy High School choir, which won numerous competitions under the direction of Patricia Connors. His first singing debut on stage was singing “Be A Lion” from The Wizard of Oz. Kevin has sung in various choirs and groups. He continues singing as background and lead vocalist in his church choir at South Euclid United Church of Christ under the direction of Dr. David Thomas. Kevin is also acquainted with the recording studio. He has spent many hours recording with various groups and songs he has written. Kevin is honored to share his talent in Black Nativity.

Langston Hughes

(Playwright) Famed poet and playwright, Langston Hughes was commissioned in 1961 to create a gospel drama to be staged that Christmas. In November of that year, Langston began a gospel play based on the theme of the Nativity. One idea above all guided him; he would attempt to make more(Playwright) Famed poet and playwright, Langston Hughes was commissioned in 1961 to create a gospel drama to be staged that Christmas. In November of that year, Langston began a gospel play based on the theme of the Nativity. One idea above all guided him; he would attempt to make black gospel music the heart and soul of the drama, and not merely its adornment. Langston went directly to major sources of gospel music in Harlem in search of inspiration for lyrics and music. Haunting the store-front churches and temples, he slipped in among the faithful while the services were in full swing and the melodic and religious fervor rose to its zenith. Then he hurried back to his desk to revise and revamp his text. His hard work brought results. On December 6, he sent his drama agent the script of “Wasn’t That A Mighty Day!”, later called “Black Nativity.” Black Nativity marked a major breakthrough in the gospel music form. As with his evolving mastery of the blues in the 1920s, Hughes now deliberately allowed black music and religion to overwhelm the traditional play form. The musical opened December 11, 1961, on Broadway. The response was extraordinary. The audience could hardly be restrained nor could the performers. Unanimously the critics hailed Black Nativity as a major entertainment. To the Mirror, the show offered “an exciting blend of text, dance, spirituals and hymns,” and the Post marveled at its “spirit, zest and uninhabited joy.” -Arnold Rampersad excerpt from The Life of Langston Hughes, Volume II: 1941-1967 I Dream A World.

Tony F. Sias

(Director) is the President +CEO of Karamu House, Inc., America’s oldest Black producing theatre. Under Sias, since 2015 Karamu stabilized finances, raised over $10 million for restoration and increased attendance. Prior to his tenure at Karamu, Sias served in several progressive roles for the Cleveland Metropolitan School more(Director) is the President +CEO of Karamu House, Inc., America’s oldest Black producing theatre. Under Sias, since 2015 Karamu stabilized finances, raised over $10 million for restoration and increased attendance. Prior to his tenure at Karamu, Sias served in several progressive roles for the Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD) including Director of Arts Education and Artistic Director of Cleveland School of the Arts. As a creative Sias has produced, directed and performed in over 100 productions. He most recently received critical acclaim for directing Karamu’s production of Freedom on Juneteenth, and in October 2021 Sias performed narration with The Cleveland Orchestra in Sinfonia No. 5 “Visions” by George Walker. His work has been highlighted nationally in The New York Times, American Theatre Magazine, on NBC’s Today Show with Al Roker, and more. Sias served as a delegate from the U.S. Department of State in Istanbul, Turkey, representing the Council of International Programs in the Youth Arts for Peace Project. In 2018, he was inducted into The HistoryMakers, the largest African American oral history archive collection in the U.S. In 2019, Sias was named the Cleveland Arts Prize, Barbara S. Robinson award winner. In 2021, Sias received the Community Leader Award from Cleveland Magazine. He is a Fellow of the National Arts Strategies Chief Executive Program through Harvard Business School. Sias serves as a National Board member for the League of Historic American Theatres. He is a Boards member of the Cleveland School of the Arts and the Assembly for the Arts. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in dramatic art from Jackson State University and a Master of Fine Arts in acting from The Ohio University.

Dr. David M. Thomas

(Music Director/Conductor) studied at The Dana School of Music at Youngstown State University and The Cleveland Institute of Music. He has earned a bachelor and master’s degree in music education from Case Western Reserve University and a Master of Music in Composition degree from Cleveland State University. David did more(Music Director/Conductor) studied at The Dana School of Music at Youngstown State University and The Cleveland Institute of Music. He has earned a bachelor and master’s degree in music education from Case Western Reserve University and a Master of Music in Composition degree from Cleveland State University. David did post-graduate work at the Royal Holloway College (U.K.), Camden University (London), then completed his doctoral of music education program at Kent State University. David is a composer, arranger, and director of music. His compositions include soundtracks for The Silver Burdett Educational Music Series used by music teachers in the public and private school classrooms in the USA and abroad. He has also composed music for the popular jazz group “Pieces of A Dream”. He has music published by GIA Publications, Inc. He is the coauthor of a book entitled “A Child’s First Book of Spirituals”, which is the recipient of the Coretta Scott King Award. David received the Carl Stokes Cleveland Jazz Legend Award in 2021 and the Tri-C Jazz Legend Award in 2022. He is music director of the Emmy nominated Cleveland Schools AllCity Performing Arts Program and the resident music director at the historical Karamu Performing Arts Theatre.

Errin Weaver

(Associate Director/Choreographer) is a teaching artist, wellness advocate, and community activator.?She began her dance training in African dance as a company member of Dance Afrika Dance of Cleveland, OH.?Errin attended Tennessee State University on a university performing arts scholarship, then relocated to Chicago, where she performed with the renowned more(Associate Director/Choreographer) is a teaching artist, wellness advocate, and community activator.?She began her dance training in African dance as a company member of Dance Afrika Dance of Cleveland, OH.?Errin attended Tennessee State University on a university performing arts scholarship, then relocated to Chicago, where she performed with the renowned Muntu Dance Theatre under the direction of Amaniyea Payne.?Errin is certified at the M'Singha Wuti level for the Umfundalai Contemporary African Dance technique and has taught spiritual and African-based dance forms extensively.?She has worked with such notable choreographers as Abdel Salaam, Jeffrey Page, Monique Haley, Ronald K. Brown, Babacar N’Diaye, and the late Baba Chuck Davis.?Errin is a sought-after choreographer and instructor of sacred dance rooted in the Gospel tradition.?Her organization, Errin Ministries, and the recently formed Raise Your Praise Ministry Institute, train and equip dancers and leaders toward excellence in dance ministry. In 2019, she formed Mojuba! Dance Collective, an African contemporary dance company dedicated to exploring spiritual and cultural dance traditions of the African Diaspora to restore community wellness, share and validate the Black narrative experience, and reestablish cultural connection.

T. Paul Lowry

(Projection Designer) (he/him) is a Cleveland-based projection, scenic and lighting designer. Recent designs include The Great Leap and Egress at Cleveland Play House; Sherlock Holmes: The Baker Street Irregulars, Ella Enchanted, The Nether, Airness, and Kill Move Paradise at Dobama Theatre; Black Nativity, Greenwood, and Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom more(Projection Designer) (he/him) is a Cleveland-based projection, scenic and lighting designer. Recent designs include The Great Leap and Egress at Cleveland Play House; Sherlock Holmes: The Baker Street Irregulars, Ella Enchanted, The Nether, Airness, and Kill Move Paradise at Dobama Theatre; Black Nativity, Greenwood, and Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom at Karamu House; The 39 Steps, Via Brooklyn, and Jane Eyre for Cleveland Musical Theatre. Recent music and dance design include projects with International Festival of Arts & Ideas, ChamberFest Cleveland and GroundWorks Dance Theater.

Inda Blatch-Geib

(Costume Designer) has worked as a costume and production designer for over 1,000 theatrical, commercial, and film releases, spanning 35 years and crossing 4 continents. Production and Costume Design has included commercials for Footlocker, The West Virginia Lottery’s national award-winning campaigns, The Ohio Lottery, Microsoft, Under Armor, McDonalds, TroyBuilt, more(Costume Designer) has worked as a costume and production designer for over 1,000 theatrical, commercial, and film releases, spanning 35 years and crossing 4 continents. Production and Costume Design has included commercials for Footlocker, The West Virginia Lottery’s national award-winning campaigns, The Ohio Lottery, Microsoft, Under Armor, McDonalds, TroyBuilt, Meijer, and The Original Mattress Factory as well as the Cleveland Cavaliers’ 1970s and 1980s themed videos, national spots for the team, and design for on-court half-time shows, including their mascot shield design and pyrotechnic sword. Live performance and festival design include Machine Gun Kelly’s US and European Tours as well as ESTFEST and Wolstein Arena productions. Specialty projects include microphone stand designs for MGK and Bear. Print designs have included set styling for Harper’s Bazaar UK, Scarlett Johansson cover and spread, as well as catalogue set styling for Foundations and Kilgore Trout. Additionally, Ms. Blatch-Geib’s designs have been showcased in exhibits at The Smithsonian Institute, with film projects including Ohio Art Direction of The Signal, starring Laurence Fishburne and Production and Costume Design of The Con. Theatrical Design includes Production & Costume Design for the special Off-Broadway Production of Kris Kringle, The Musical; Costume Design for the Cleveland Play House production of Native Gardens; as well as multiple productions for the Colombian National Opera. Music Video Production and Costume Design includes Machine Gun Kelly’s Alpha Omega and Let You Go releases. Locally, Inda is the 2022/2023 Resident Designer for Karamu House, Cleveland Public Theatre, Magical Theatre Company, and Cleveland Institute of Music.

Colleen Albrecht

(Lighting Designer) is a lighting designer and photographer living in Northeast Ohio. She has designed for Cleveland area companies such as convergence-continuum, Cleveland Opera, Playhouse Square, Great Lakes Theater in collaboration with Cleveland Metropolitan School District, Cuyahoga Community College, Cleveland Institute of Music, Beck Center, The Fine Arts Association, more(Lighting Designer) is a lighting designer and photographer living in Northeast Ohio. She has designed for Cleveland area companies such as convergence-continuum, Cleveland Opera, Playhouse Square, Great Lakes Theater in collaboration with Cleveland Metropolitan School District, Cuyahoga Community College, Cleveland Institute of Music, Beck Center, The Fine Arts Association, Heights Youth Theatre, True North Cultural Arts, Magnificat, Baldwin Wallace University, Cleveland State University, Cain Park, and Karamu House. At Karamu House, in addition to Black Nativity, she designed Sassy Mamas, Simply Simone, Fences, A Day of Absence, Two by Tennesse, The Velocity of Autumn, Aida, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, and The Mountaintop. She has also designed the All-City Musical productions with Cleveland Metropolitan School District All-City Arts at the Ohio Theatre since 2008. She obtained her BFA in production design and technology from Ohio University and her MFA in lighting design from the University of California, Irvine. Love to Will, Tom, Abbey, Leo, and little Danny. Welcome back, everyone!

Richard Ingraham

(Sound Designer) is a freelance sound designer, educator and audiovisual systems consultant. Richard has worked at numerous theatres, schools and attractions in the Cleveland area and throughout the United States, including Ashland University, Beck Center for the Arts, Baldwin Wallace University, Cain Park, Carnegie-Mellon University, Chagrin Falls Performing Arts more(Sound Designer) is a freelance sound designer, educator and audiovisual systems consultant. Richard has worked at numerous theatres, schools and attractions in the Cleveland area and throughout the United States, including Ashland University, Beck Center for the Arts, Baldwin Wallace University, Cain Park, Carnegie-Mellon University, Chagrin Falls Performing Arts Academy, Cleveland Play House, Cleveland Public Theatre, Cleveland State University, Dobama Theatre, The University of Evansville, Great Lakes Theater, Hope Summer Repertory Theatre, Idaho Shakespeare Festival, The Jewish Community Center of Cleveland, Oberlin College, Playhouse Square Center, and Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines. He has also worked as a consultant to award-winning software companies that create products for live event production including Stage Research and Richmond Sound Design.

Dred Geib

(Props Manager) (he/him) is a production designer for IBG Designs and specializes in properties, costumes, and sets. He lives and works in the Northeast Ohio area and focuses mainly in theatre, film and art installation. more(Props Manager) (he/him) is a production designer for IBG Designs and specializes in properties, costumes, and sets. He lives and works in the Northeast Ohio area and focuses mainly in theatre, film and art installation.

Shannon McManus

(Production/Stage Manager) is thrilled to be working with Karamu House again! She spent two years in the Berkshires working for Capital Repertory, Shakespeare & Company and WAM Theatre. She has been working professionally in Cleveland for three years with other wonderful companies including Cleveland Play House, Cleveland Public more(Production/Stage Manager) is thrilled to be working with Karamu House again! She spent two years in the Berkshires working for Capital Repertory, Shakespeare & Company and WAM Theatre. She has been working professionally in Cleveland for three years with other wonderful companies including Cleveland Play House, Cleveland Public Theatre and Cain Park. Her credits include Black Nativity, Jacked!, Loush Sisters ’19, Getting Near to Baby, The Magic Negro, Twelfth Night, The Last Wife, Emperor of the Moon, Emilie Defends Her Life Tonight, and the Legends of Broadway/Broadway Live! Tour. She would like to thank her family and friends all over the country for their collaboration and support.

Tyree Franklin

(Assistant Stage Manager) is a graduate of Wright State University with a BFA in Stage Management. He is currently a freelance stage manager in the Cleveland area as well as a social worker. Tyree is excited to be back at Karamu alongside some amazing artists! He would like to more(Assistant Stage Manager) is a graduate of Wright State University with a BFA in Stage Management. He is currently a freelance stage manager in the Cleveland area as well as a social worker. Tyree is excited to be back at Karamu alongside some amazing artists! He would like to thank his family and friends for their endless support!

Brielle McGrew

(Wardrobe Coordinator/Wig Master) is a Cleveland native who has worked in wardrobe since 2011. An alumnus of the CMSD All City Arts program, she continued to intern as an entertainment costumer for the Star Wars franchise at Walt Disney World. Besides being the resident wardrobe coordinator at Karamu, she more(Wardrobe Coordinator/Wig Master) is a Cleveland native who has worked in wardrobe since 2011. An alumnus of the CMSD All City Arts program, she continued to intern as an entertainment costumer for the Star Wars franchise at Walt Disney World. Besides being the resident wardrobe coordinator at Karamu, she is also the wardrobe supervisor for CMSD All City Arts program and has worked in wardrobe for Cleveland Institute of the Arts (Opera) and Cleveland Public Theatre. She is also a self-taught makeup artist and has designed wigs for Karamu House’s Greenwood: An American Dream Destroyed. Brielle recently designed costumes for the short film Ancestors. She is happy to be back in live theatre!

Prophet D. Seay

(Technical Director) is a native of Cleveland. He attended The Cleveland School of the Arts, where he studied acting, and continued his training in Karamu House’s Performing Arts Center, where he was a member of T.O.P.S. Prophet served as scenic designer for Two By Tennessee, Day of Absence; and more(Technical Director) is a native of Cleveland. He attended The Cleveland School of the Arts, where he studied acting, and continued his training in Karamu House’s Performing Arts Center, where he was a member of T.O.P.S. Prophet served as scenic designer for Two By Tennessee, Day of Absence; and as lighting designer for the 2017 production of Simply Simone, as well as the world premiere production of Believe In Cleveland. He has also served as Karamu’s master carpenter for many, many years. Prophet has performed in numerous productions at Karamu, including: Day of Absence, August Wilson’s Fences, the American premiere of The Adventures of the Black Girl in Her Search for God, You Can’t Take it With You, the world premiere of The Mighty Scarabs, Julius Caesar Set in Africa, Ceremonies of Dark Old Men, Cut Flowers, The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity, Black Nativity, Romeo & Juliet, and Joe Turner’s Come and Gone. He thanks his family, friends, and all those who support him along his theatrical journey.

Meet The Playwrights: Introducing Jessica Dickey

Meet The Playwrights: Introducing Jessica Dickey

CPH Roe Green Fund for New American Plays Meet The Playwrights! Introducing Jessica Dickey Jessica Dickey is an award-winning American playwright ...

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