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Carollette Phillips is a proud artist and native Detroiter. She has a BA in Mass Communications from Miami University of Ohio and also earned a MFA in Theatre from Wayne State University, which included a summer semester at the Moscow Art Theatre School in Russia. Carollette is a two-time recipient of the Louise Heck-Rabi Playwriting Award. She has also received accolades for her work on stage and screen including, the Opificer Media Film Festival award for Best Actress and the Rogue Critic award for Best Lead Actress in a Musical. In the theatre, Carollette has appeared in a wide array of roles including Pumpkin in Paradise Blue by Dominique Morisseau (Detroit Public Theatre) and numerous shows, ranging from classical to musical to contemporary works. She landed a recurring guest star role on Comedy Central and has done a host of film and commercial work. She also has a variety of experience behind the camera including production work for Saturday Night Live, Late Night with Conan OBrien, MTV Networks, PBS and Radio One. Carollette has a strong background in choreography. Her work has been presented at venues large and small such as Joe’s Pub at The Public Theatre of New York and The Wharton Center of Michigan State University. As an alumna and a resident choreographer of Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit as well as the founder of the LSODance Foundation Carollette has also staged works at many Detroit venues including Music Hall, Little Caesar’s Arena, the Masonic Temple, the Bonstelle Theatre and the Detroit Institute of Arts.
Shavonne Coleman is a teaching & performing artist, writer, and educator who currently resides in Austin, TX by way Detroit, MI. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Grand Valley State University (07’) and a Master of Fine Arts from Eastern Michigan University for Applied Drama/Theatre for the Young (17’). During her time at Eastern, she had the amazing opportunity to travel to S. Korea to direct a Youth Theatre performance at the Zoom Theatre in Seoul. Ms. Coleman was the Assistant Director of Acting at Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit (2015-2017), Visiting Faculty in the Theatre and Dance department at Grand Valley State University (2017-2018), and was awarded the 2018 Emerging Leader in Theatre for Young Audiences (TYA) Fellowship. Most recently, she was the Theatre for Dialogue Coordinator (2018-2020) at the University of Texas at Austin where she is also a Lecturer in Theatre and Dance, she is also passionate about her work and service as part of TYA’s Equity Diversity Inclusion Committee and the BIPOC Advisory Committee.
Shavonne was awarded a 2019/2020 Undergraduate Teaching Grant for her work with the Theatre for Dialogue course & ensemble and is currently an Inclusive Teaching & Learning Faculty Development Specialist at UT Austin.
Zatavia Wilson is a recent graduate from Bates Academy and is currently a freshman attending Renaissance High school. In past years Zatavia participated in Mosaic Youth Theatre. She’s always been interested and enjoyed: plays, writing, and acting. Speeches, book reviews, poems, and stories are some examples of art she’s successfully written. In this festival, Zatavia is poised to receive constructive criticism from her mentor, to help improve her writing skills. She is looking forward to seeing her creativity and ideas unfold in front of a live audience amongst a talented ensemble. Finally, it will be a privilege to reflect on her beginnings which has molded her for the future.
Zachary Walker is a 16 year old Queer Actor and occasional poet, featured in the books Bleeding Paper, Spitting Ink and Where is it Coming From? Hailing from Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit, Zachary is trying his hand at Playwriting in order to better himself as an actor.
Aaron McCloud is an Actor, Singer, Aspiring play, screen and songwriter. Aaron is very excited for this opportunity with New Voices Detroit!
De’Onna Edwards is a 17 year old senior at Warren Mott High School. She loves musical theatre and just the performing arts period. Participating in this festival will be a way for De’Onna not only to push herself beyond what she thought she could do but hopefully she can inspire others who used to struggle with putting themselves out there like she did. This all in all I hope that this will be an amazing experience.
Moryah is an eleventh grader at Cass Technical High School. In her free time she likes to read, write and grow artistically. Moryah looks forward to expanding her knowledge of scripting writing and how to organize her thoughts better.
Edmund Alyn Jones is a Detroit native and proud alum of Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit, University of Michigan, and Wayne State University. An award-winning essayist, and playwright, Edmund has been putting words to page for twenty years. Currently, he has expanded his writing abilities to include software development as a front-end web developer. Edmund is married to film-maker Kennikki Jones-Jones, and father to Paris, Palius, up and coming actor Phoenix Alyn Jones.
Billicia Charnelle Hines is the Co-Artistic Director of the Black Theatre and Dance Collective Associate Professor of Theatre at Wayne State University. She attended NC Agricultural & Technical State University (BFA) and University of Missouri at Kansas City (MFA).She is a Certified Teacher of the Michael Chekhov Technique from the Great Lakes Michael Chekhov Consortium, an organization in which she proudly holds the position of Teacher Associate .
Her academic research profile is in the area of Performance and Theatre of the African Diaspora and Social Change. She has presented workshops and presentations throughout various universities and regional and national conferences within this subject area. In 2016, she was awarded a grant from the Michigan Humanities Council for her year-long project, Detroit 1967:Page to Stage. It allowed her to use Dominique Morisseau’s play “Detroit ‘67” as a way to teach high school students about the Detroit Rebellion.
While in Michigan, her directing credits include Mr. Joy (Theatre Nova), Resisting ( (Theatre Nova), A Song for Coretta, A Raisin in the Sun, Harriet Jacobs, and By the Way, Meet Vera Stark, Colored Museum, Venus, and many others. Also, she has directed numerous productions and performs various one-woman shows that deal with social issues that encompasses domestic violence, healthcare, and empowerment. In addition, she is Executive Director of Unify Productions. A Theatre and Media Company that engages the community through social justice .”Engage.Create. Empower”
Lynch R. Travis was born and raised in Chicago IL. While attending Carleton College in Northfield MN and studying for an Economics degree, he got the theater bug, but his business career delayed his entry into the professional acting arena for 15 years.
By then, he was living in Metropolitan Detroit and found his calling in 1993. He is a member of AEA and SAG/AFTRA and is the recipient of theatre awards from the Ann Arbor News, Detroit News, Detroit Free Press, Oakland Press, EncoreMichigan, Lansing City Pulse and the Detroit Theatre Examiner for his work as an actor and director. He has also won Subscriber Awards at the Performance Network and Detroit Repertory Theaters. This past season he received four nominations for his work as an actor and director from Broadwayworld Detroit.
He has also done a number of commercials and voice overs, been featured in 8 motion pictures and made guest star appearances on Chicago Fire and Save Our Sons on network television.
Lynch is a Resident Artist at the Purple Rose Theatre, Workshop Director for the Detroit Repertory Theater and a board member of the Jewish Ensemble Theatre. He has taught Acting and Theater at the Cranbrook Summer Theatre Camp, Michigan Actors Studio, Mosaic Youth Theatre, Ann Arbor Public Schools, Wayne State University and at Vista Maria Residential Program for Girls.
Currently he resides in Westland MI, is a proud grandpa times 2. He is eternally grateful for the opportunities created by Gary Anderson, Jeff Daniels, Bruce Milan, Jeff Daniels and countless others for Michigan Actors.
Why am I doing this?
I think the key to “Artistic Success” is to get a little bit better every day. Having a space in Detroit is an opportunity to allow that to happen for actors in our community.
A memorable thought from Gregory Hines – “I never wanted to be a star, I just wanted to get work.”
Michael D. Dinwiddie is a playwright/composer and associate professor in the Gallatin School of Individualized Study at New York University. A dramatist whose works have been produced in New York, regional, and educational theater, he has served as playwright-in-residence at Michigan State University, St. Louis University and La Universidad de Palermo in Buenos Aires, Argentina. His awards include a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Playwriting and a Walt Disney Fellowship at Touchstone Pictures, among others. He was commissioned by Mosaic Youth Theatre to write NORTHERN LIGHTS 1966, which was produced by Mosaic in 2011 and revived in 2018. Born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Michael grew up in Detroit where he attended Newberry Elementary School, The Roeper School and Cass Technical High School. As a teenager, he founded Detroit’s Satori Theatre Company and toured Europe as an actor/pianist with Powell Lindsay’s Suitcase Theatre. He spent three years at Wayne State University in the BFA Acting/Directing Program before moving to New York to write, compose and perform. Michael completed his undergraduate studies at NYU’s Gallatin School and earned the M.F.A. in Dramatic Writing from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. A member of the Dramatists Guild, the Writers Guild of America, the Association for Theatre in Higher Education, and the Black Theatre Network, Michael serves on the governance task force of the Theatre Communications Group (TCG). He was recently inducted into the College of Fellows of the American Theatre at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
Photographer: D’Ambrose Boyd
Harron Atkins is a Brooklyn based writer/actor and graduate of Carnegie Mellon’s School of Drama. He was a Sesame Workshop Writers’ Room Fellow (after which he was offered a development deal with Sesame), he was a fellow in the WGA Made in New York Writers Room where he was mentored by Thomas Kelly (The Purge, The Get Down), a Sundance Episodic Lab semi-finalist, and he is currently a member of the Obie Award Winning playwrights group, Youngblood. His plays have been produced in theatres from New York City to right back in his hometown, Detroit. Harron seeks to battle repression and lift people out of self doubt by writing about Black/POC and queer characters struggling with identity and learning to live authentically and 100% out loud!
Emilio Rodriguez is a playwright and theatre maker who started his career at the age 2 performing one-kid adaptations of The Wizard of Oz in his parents’ living room using a broom, a funnel and a pair of his mama’s high heels. Since then his plays have gone on to bigger venues for audiences in Houston, Dallas, Austin, Portland, Sacramento, Minneapolis, and Puerto Vallarta. Emilio was the recipient of the 2017 Robert Chesley/Victor Bumbalo award for playwriting and the 2018 Kresge Artist in Detroit Award. He was part of the inaugural team of playwrights for the 2015 Latinx Theatre Commons and the 2016 Mitten Lab. Emilio was the guest playwright for the 2017 Theatre Kalamazoo Festival and the 2019 Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival Midwest Region. This past summer he taught students from Kalamazoo College how to write their own play that will be presented in 2021. Emilio currently teaches playwriting and acting at Michigan Actors Studio and is the artistic director of Black and Brown Theatre.
Charity Clark-Anderson, is an award winning playwright, producer, director and actor. Mentored by the late great theatrical chronicler of African American lives, Ron Milner, Charity is the founder and Artistic Director of C.Clear Productions, LLC, an innovative production company that offers original theatrical presentations. She is also the co-founder and coordinator of The Detroit Playwrights’ Lab, a support group dedicated to the development of contemporary playwrights throughout the Metro Detroit area. Since its inception in 2016, The Lab has grown to have a roster of over 35 playwrights and has produced three standing room only Playwriting Showcases at The Detroit Repertory Theatre.
Her most recent one-act stage production, “The Dress with the Print” was featured at BoxFest Theatre Festival 2019. Other original productions written and directed by Charity include;“The Exchange” (Planet Ant Theatre), “Apple Pie Love“/winner, Audience Choice Award Best Director, BoxFest 2018, “Legacy”/winner, Audience Choice Award Best Director, BoxFest 2017 and, “An Affair To Remember”/first place winner, UPU Showcase Competition (Columbia, S.C.). In addition, “Nothing But The Blood” and “The Conference,” were both recipients of The Creative Arts Award, Psalms Entertainment Group (Detroit). Also, “Game Play,” “The Conference,” “Sons” and “Daughters” are among some of her most memorable original productions.
A member of Actors Equity, Charity was the recipient of the Bricolage Inspiration Award from Black and Brown Theatre. She received the Detroit Repertory Theater’s Subscribers Award for best actress in her performance of May N’Kame in “Going to St. Ives.” She was also nominated as best actress for “A Song for Coretta” (Detroit Repertory) and nominated for “Thunder Knocking on the Door” (Plowshares Theatre/ Meadowbrook Theatre).
A native Detroiter and graduate of Wayne State University, Charity is a retired social worker. She held the position of Drama Ministry Leader at her place of worship, Christian Tabernacle Church, for many years. She is married to her #1 supporter, James Henry Anderson and has 2 sons and 5 grandchildren.
“To God be the Glory for the things He has done.”
An advocate of theatre as a means for social change, Marilyn is beyond grateful to be a part of a team of artists with similar goals and vision to fertilize that seed here in Detroit. Inspired and encouraged by her 2 children and her immediate family, Marilyn has actively been involved with the arts as a teacher, consultant and director at Wayne State University, Howard University, with Plowshares Theatre, African Renaissance Theatre, and at Christian Tabernacle Church among other places.
As a teacher and director in Detroit for 40years at Cass Technical High School in the Performing Arts Department, her productions include:
Professional credits include:
Recipient of numerous awards: outstanding teacher, teacher of the year, sankofa award, michigan educator trailblazer award, spirit of Detroit awards and the recipient of the 2016 Tony Award for excellence in theatre arts education. Chosen from 1,100 nominees nationally she is the second teacher to receive this honor.
Courtney Burkett is the Co-Founder and Producing Artistic Director for The Detroit Public Theatre. For five seasons Courtney was the Director of Theatre Programs with Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit. Prior to joining Mosaic, Burkett was a founding Artistic Partner with Breathe Art Theatre Project. She also served as the Business Manager for the University of Detroit Mercy Theatre Company, and the Managing Director of the CRLT Players at the University of Michigan.
Burkett performs and directs with Detroit-area theatres on a regular basis. Her work has been recognized with several local theatre awards and nominations. She received her BFA from Webster Conservatory of Theatre Arts in St. Louis, and her MFA from Wayne State’s Hilberry Theatre program.