DRUMMOND "DRUM" CRENSHAW (Alec), last seen in Don't Bother Me I Can't Cope is ecstatic about being back at The Black Rep. He would like to dedicate his performance to the great legacy of Black Rep actresses who have graced our stage. Who are no longer with us physically but are ever present in spirit. Doris Bennett Glasper, Dorothy Shands, Lisa Bandele, Rochelle Patterson, Jennifer Beavers, and the incomparable Linda Alton Randall Kennedy. Love to my babies Rheaume, Harrison, Phoebe and William-Michael.
ROBERT CRENSHAW (Ross), is a singer, dancer, and actor from the St. Louis area. This is his first season with The Black Rep but his third show with the company. He appeared in, Don’t Bother Me, I Can’t Cope, Ain’t Misbehavin'. Before becoming a Teaching Artist at The Center of Creative Arts, Robert trained and performed at COCA for many years. He is a proud alumni from Central Visual and Performing Arts high school, where he found his love for theatre. Not only does he enjoy theatre he is an emcee and dancer with Utopia Entertainment. He was apart of an international tour & show run of "Antigone in Ferguson” in New York City. Robert also traveled, rapping many versions of My Shot from Hamilton, which became a signature song after
performing it at COCA. He is known for his positive energy, enthusiasm, and work ethic. He is the oldest of his mother's four children and hopes to be an inspiration to them.
BRIAN MCKINLEY (Lou), earned his BFA in Musical Theatre from Western Illinois University. As a third year intern at The Black Rep this is his third Mainstage
performance, previously seen as Antwoine in Milk Like Sugar, and Cory in Fences at The Black Rep. Other credits include the Tin Man in The Wizard of Oz (Theatre League, Inc.), Eddie in Sister Act (Minot Summer Theatre), and the title role in The Wiz (COCA). He would like to extend a huge thank you to Mr. Himes for this experience.
MARKI MICHELLE (Dahlia), is an actor. She's an ensemble member of The Collective NY that was founded in 2007 by several graduates of the William Esper Studio including Amy Schumer and Emmy Award Winner Kevin Kane. With the Collective: The Audience, Morning Is Broken. and Triggered. NY Stage: Holy Intervention (Ensemble Studio Theatre) Baton (Premiere Stages) FILM: The Possibility of Harriet (Dir. Bobby Yan, Six Time Emmy Award Winner) Child Support (Dir. Alcee Walker, DGA Award Winner), Inpatient (SeriesFest Best Drama Pilot Nominee, Dir. Yudho Aditya), I Thought I Knew Him (Dir. Spencer Karen Grammer). Marki studied acting at the two-year program at The William Esper Studio, with
Suzanne Esper & Partnered with the WGA, East for the Made In New York
Writers Room Fellows with the Collective NY. She's known for wanting to tell stories that make a difference.
TEF POE (Eli), born Kareem Jackson is a St.Louis African American musician, and philanthropist. He is a celebrated Nasir Jones Harvard University Hip Hop scholar, and Co-Founder of Harvard’s Commonwealth Project. An initiative which seeks to discover St.Louis based visual artists and strengthen their public platforms. In 2019 Tef Poe was declared a United States cultural Ambassador to the country of Jordan. Shortly afterwards he travelled to Amman Jordan as a United States cultural diplomat to the Middle East region. He has also worked in countries such as Palestine, Brazil, and the United Kingdom. Poe hasreleased an oasis of music and is currently signed to the New York based label Tommy Boy Records. Tef Poe’s face has been seen on countless stages all across the world as a rap music performer. He has also made appearances on CNN, MSNBC, and BET, as a cultural commentator. Tef Poe’s music carries anecdotes of political savviness, soul, and a heightened richness in contemporary trap sounds. His
latest album “Black Julian 3” features interludes, and spiritual poems, from his mentor Dr. Cornel West. Tef Poe has shared stages with the likes of Nipsey Hussle, Talib Kweli, Mos Def, Rakim, Stevie Wonder, Robert Glasper, Harry Belefonte, John Legend, Common, Rosario Dawson, Danny Glover, Janelle
Monae, and many more. In Spell No.7 Poe makes his official Black Rep debut as “Eli” the poetical bartender.
CAMILLE "CEE" SHARP (Natalie), is an actress, singer, and a model. She began her acting career in 2008 where she discovered her love for performing in school plays at Normandy Sr High School. Theater credits: Don’t Bother Me I Can’t Cope, Nina Simone Four Women, and Milk Like Sugar (The Black Rep), The Color Purple, Dream Girls, and The Wiz, just to name a few. Film credits; The Wakeup Call. She’s always had an appreciation for the arts, and anything that involved using her creativity. She is trained in classical and musical theater. Cee decided to further her education in acting by taking acting classes at COCA, and joining Marty Casey’s Act Up class. Cee has received many awards.
JACQUELINE THOMPSON (Maxine), is excited to return to The Black Rep! She recently directed Four Little Girls: Birmingham 1963 at COCA. and Ghost for Metro Theatre. As an actor she has performed with the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, The Black Rep, Shakespeare Festival St. Louis, Upstream , Mustard Seed , and New Jewish Theatre. In March 2018, the St. Louis Post Dispatch recognized her as one of St. Louis' most versatile performers and recognized her as one of of six women shaping the arts and entertainment in St. Louis. In 2018 she received a St. Louis Theater Circle Award for Outstanding Actress in a Drama as well as an Artist Fellowship from the Regional Arts Commission. In 2019, she receive a Saint Louis Visionary Award. She dedicates this performance to the Legendary Linda Kennedy.
TYLER WHITE (Bettina), is a native of St. Louis. Tyler has been affiliated with The Black Rep for 14 years participating in mainstage plays, teen-tech, SPA and
touring shows. Tyler is currently a second-year intern with The Black Rep. She started performing in the Summer Performing Arts program at just 9 years old. That program sparked her passion for dancing, singing and acting. Tyler’s performances with The Black Rep include Don’t Bother Me I Can’t Cope, Milk Like Sugar, Crowns, Sarafina, The Black Nativity and The Me Nobody Knows. She has also been Assistant Stage Manager for Canfield Drive, The Gospel at Colonus and Nina Simone: Four Women. She has also appeared in Mustard Seeds production of Crumbs from the Table of Joy. In 2019, Tyler had the opportunity to lead the Summer Performing Arts program with The Black Rep in which she had previously been a student. Tyler graduated from Southeast Missouri State University with a Bachelor of Science in Human Environmental Science with a major in Fashion Merchandising. Tyler is elated for this opportunity work with such creative geniuses.
CHRISTINA YANCY (Lilly), is extremely proud and honored to be in this upbeat and
illuminating show. She is a recent college graduate, having received her B.F.A. Acting Degree from the University of Montevallo in Alabama. She was in several productions while in college including The Last Days of Judas Iscariot, HAIR, Much Ado About Nothing, and DNA. In November, she made her St. Louis debut as a guest artist in Washington University’s production of Ntozake Shange’s For Colored Girls…She is a first year intern at The Black Rep and a performer in The Black Rep's Professional Touring Company. Christina would like to thank Ron, Heather and the entire cast and crew with whom she gets to share this experience. She would also like to thank her incredible mom and village for their support as she lives out her dreams.
JAMES ANTHONY (Stage Manager), is proud to be a part of this production of Spell #7. Although primarily an actor, his career as a stage manager has taken him from regional theatre to summer stock and local theatre, including Upstream's Rime of the Ancient Mariner and A Human Being Died that Night, Westport's Menopause, The Musical, and eleven productions at the St. Louis Black Repertory Company, including Ruined, Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, and Dot. It is indeed a thrilling opportunity to be back with The Black Rep and be a part of this glorious production. Proud member of Actor's Equity Association for 45 years.
D'ANGELO HIMES (Assistant Stage Manager), is a first year intern at The Black Rep. He graduated from the University of Southern Indiana in Evansville, Indiana where he and majored in theatre. In his free time D’Angelo likes to read monologues, play Pokémon, work out and go for walks. He is in three of the four touring shows at The Black Rep, including Anansi the Spider, Sweet Clara and the Freedom Quilt and Freedom Songs.
THE ARTISTIC TEAM
RON HIMES (Director), is an award winning director who has been directing over 43 years. He is the Founder and Producing Director of The Black Rep and the Henry E. Hampton, Jr. Artist-in-Residence at Washington University in St. Louis. He has produced and directed more than 200 plays at The Black Rep, including all ten plays written by August Wilson. His Black Rep directing credits include: Don’t Bother Me I Can’t Cope, Nina Simone: Four Women, Canfield Drive, Torn Asunder, Dot, Lines In The Dust, Twisted Melodies, Sunset Baby, Purlie, Black Nativity: A Holiday Celebration, the critically acclaimed productions of Ruined and The Montford Point Marine. Himes also created and directed the highly acclaimed, Crossin’ Over and Tell Me Somethin’ Good. He has directed a number of world premieres including Torn Asunder, Smash/ Hit!, Insidious, Home the Musical, Servant of the People, Riffs and Urban Transitions: Loose Blossoms. Directing credits from theatres across the country include Dutchman (Nebraska Rep), Little Shop of Horrors (University of Maryland), Ain’t Misbehavin’ and Fences (The Clarence Brown Theatre in Knoxville); The Colored Museum and Blues for an Alabama Sky (Indiana Repertory Theatre); Flyin’ West (Delaware Theatre Company); For Colored Girls.........(People’s Light and Theatre Company in Philadelphia); Riffs (Seven Stages in Atlanta); Spunk, Spell #7 and Radio Golf (Studio Theatre in Washington, DC); One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and I’m Not Rappaport (Old Creamery Theatre in Garrison, IA); and An Enemy of the People (Perseverance Theatre in Juneau, AK). University and College credits include: For Colored Girls.........(Washington University in St. Louis), Crumbs From The Table Of Joy and Our Town, (University of Southern Indiana in Evansville); Intimate Apparel, (University of Indiana in Bloomington); You Can’t Take It With You, (University of Wisconsin in Madison); The Championship Season and The Dance on Widow’s Row, (Dillard University in New Orleans); Three Ways Home (University of
Illinois in Champaign); The Darker Face of the Earth (University of South
Carolina in Columbia); Blues for Mr. Charlie, Hairspray, Ragtime, The Lion and The Jewel and Trojan Women
HEATHER BEAL (Choereographer), received her B.A. in dance from Columbia College Chicago and her MFA in dance from Washington University in St. Louis. She is a certified Dunham Technique Instructor and was a principal dancer with the Katherine Dunham Museum Children’s Workshop Performance Company from the age of six into young adulthood. She performed with the company around the United States and France. She has also performed in many productions at The Black Rep and several productions at the St. Louis MUNY. Her Black Rep credits include: Nina Simone: Four Woman, Purlie, The Me Nobody Knows, Le Freak C’est Chic, DreamGirls . Theatre credits include Ghost (Metro Theatre),and Feeding Bernadette (The Rep). College credits include: For Colored Girls… (Washington University), Rivers of Women and First Date (University of Southern Indiana). Heather also curated & conceived Black AF: A Celebration of Blackness Through Dance and Song (TLT Productions). She is currently the Artist in Residence at the University of
Southern Indiana in the Theatre Department.
DUNSI DAI (USA Local 829) (Scenic Design), has designed both on Off-Broadway as well as at regional theatres across the country. The scope of his design works includes: straight drama, musical, opera, experimental production, children theatre, corporative theatre, and special event. Representative works include Rita's Resource (Pan Asian Rep, NYC), Once Upon A Mattress (Brook Hollow Players, NY), Carmen (Trenton State Theatre, NJ), Desert Song (Hampton Playhouse, NH), West Side Story (Struthers Library Theatre, PA), Marat/Sade (Stanford Rep, CA), Big River
(Human Race Theatre, OH), Blues For An Alabama Sky (True Color Theatre, Atlanta), Wit (Repertory Theatre of St. Louis), Waiting For Godot (The Black Rep), Fiddler On The Roof (Stages of St. Louis), 1776 (Arrow Rock Lyceum Theatre, MO), Two Headed (Black Cat Theatre, MO), Grey Garden, and Indecent (Max&Louie Productions, MO), The Night Of The Inguana(Tennessee Williams Festival). His set design for Mustard Seed Theatre’s Remnant. received a Kevin Kline award in the category of Out Standing Scene Design. He was the Best Scene Designer on St. Louis Today’s “2015 Go List”, and “2018 Go List”. He received his BA in scene design from the Central Academy of Drama in Beijing (1982), received his MA in Theatre History and Stage Design from Stanford University (1989), and received his MFA in scene design from University of Illinois at Urbana- Champing (1992). Dunsi is a professor of scene design at the Conservatory of Theatre Arts in Webster University. He has a web site at
JOE CLAPPER(Lighting Design), is happy to return to collaborate on this uplifting production. Prior collaborations include Don’t Bother Me I Can’t Cope, Fences and Dot. Other design credits include Lost In the Stars, Hansel und Gretel and The Mikado for the UAO, West Side Story for COCA, Stiff for Inevitable Theater Company, Helver’s Night, An Illiad, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, for which he received a nomination for the 2015 St Louis Theater Circle Awards for Outstanding Lighting Design of a Play, and A Human Being Died That Night for Upstream Theater, The Drowsy Chaperone and Carmina Burana at SIUE, The Very Last Green Thing, Joshua’s Boots, A Thunder of Horses and The Black Spider for OTSL. For the past 18 years, Joe has been proud to serve the musicians and staff of the incomparable St Louis Symphony as their Assistant Stage Manager
JAMES BIKO (Sound Design), Since 1998, St. Louis-based DJ James Biko (fka DJ Needles) has been a staple in the music and arts community with spins combining elements of Hip-Hop, R&B, Soul, House, Afro-Beat, Dancehall and more. An 11-time Riverfront Times Music Award winner, Biko stays busy producing numerous events that unapologetically celebrate Black culture on a regular basis, and hosts his popular Rawthentic radio show with Cleo Jones on KDHX (88.1) covering Future Soul/R&B, Hip-Hop, Trap, and Afro-Pop during the Thursday evening rush-hour slot from 4 to 7 pm
BRANDIN VAUGHN (Costume Design), is a fashion designer and celebrity stylist who has worked many celebrities including Beyoncé and Vivica A. Fox. He owns his own fashion house, The Brandin Vaughn Collection, in which he designs and produces
current women’s styles on site. He is currently based in St. Louis and is actively expanding in Atlanta. The Brandin Vaughn collection is located at 2604 Cherokee Street.