JAMES A. WILLIAMS (Memphis), is thrilled to be back home. He originated the role of Roosevelt Hicks on Broadway in August Wilson’s Radio Golf. He appeared
Off-Broadway in The Piano Lesson and My Children! My Africa! A founding member of Penumbra Theatre, he has also performed at Center Stage, Goodman Theatre, Huntington Theatre Company, the Kennedy Center, Mark Taper Forum, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Syracuse Stage and Yale Repertory Theatre. He is Artistic Director of the Mill City Players and has led social justice theater workshops nationally and internationally. He was nominated for a NAACP Image Award in 2007, received an Ivey Award for Performance Excellence in 2008 and was named 2008 Artist of the Year by Minneapolis’ StarTribune. In 2012 he received The Distinguished Global Citizen Award from Macalester College for his work with incarcerated youth. In 2014, he was given his second Ivey award for his ensemble work in Marcus or The Secret of Sweet. He is a 2015 McKnight Theater Fellow, 2016 Fox Resident Acting Fellow and a 2018 Ten Chimneys Fellow. Thank Ron
SHARISA WHATLEY (Risa), loves St. Louis and is excited to return to The Black Rep She has appeared in A Raisin in the Sun, Romeo and Juliet, and SARAFINA at The Black Rep. Her regional theater credits include In the Red and Brown Water at the Alliance Theater in Atlanta. She is an alumna of the Freddie Hendricks Youth Ensemble of Atlanta. Whatley’s experience includes work with Made in da Shade in Amsterdam and the Windy Brow Arts Festival in South Africa . She dedicates her performances to those who have been instrumental in her character development both on and offstage.
RON HIMES (Holliway), appeared in The Black Rep’s production of Fences (Troy), for which he won The St. Louis Theater Circle Award in 2019 for Outstanding Achievement as an Actor in a Drama, Seven Guitars, Sunset Baby, The Whipping Man, On Golden Pond, Romeo and Juliet, Death and the King’s Horseman, Boesman and Lena and Gem of the Ocean, which was featured at the 2007 National Black Theatre Festival in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Additional credits include King in King Hedley II, Banquo in Macbeth, Herald Loomis in Joe Turner’s Come And Gone, Robert Johnson in Robert Johnson: Trick the Devil, for which he won the Woodie Award for Outstanding Actor in a Lead Role, and Blind Jordan in Sty of the Blind Pig, Booster in Jitney, /Malcolm X in The Meeting and When The Chickens Come Home to Roost. He created the role of Joe Lee in Conversations On A Dirt Road. His acting credits in other St. Louis theatres include HotCity, the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis and The Muny.
CARL OVERLY, JR. (Wolf). is thrilled to be returning to The Black Rep stage where he was previously seen as Henry in Torn Asunder. Carl is a Actor/Director/ Teaching Artist in the region. He has worked with numerous companies including Metro Theater
Company, Shakespeare Festival-STL, SATE, Upstream Theatre, Union Avenue Opera, Insight Theatre, ERA among others. He made his directorial debut last year at R-S Theatrics "The Motherfu#*we with the hat". Carl is a 3 time St Louis Theater Circle Award winner and also works with Prison Performing Arts as a teaching artist. Carl would like to thank Ed Smith and Ron Himes for the opportunity to be a part of this exceptional show. Carl would like to thank hid family and friends for their continued support. Carl is in the EMC Program. #REPRESENTATIONMATTERS #REPTHEBLACKREP
JASON J. LITTLE (Sterling), is thrilled about joining The Black Rep this year for August Wilson’s Two Trains Running. Theatre credits: Camwood on the Leaves in the Bermuda Islands. Dick Wilkins and Caroler in A Christmas Carol (Lyceum Theatre Company in Arrowrock, MO, Malcom X in The Meeting (Jpek
Creative Works Theatre), Orlando in Love At The Rivers Edge, (Shakespeare Festival), To Kill a Mockingbird (Repertory Theater of St. Louis), and other various roles. Jason would like to thank his family for allowing him to share his gifts with the world!!
TRAVIS BANKS (Hambone), graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with his BA in Theatre Performance. He was able to connect with Ron Himes through his work on the production Dutchman by Amiri Baraka, which lead him to become a Professional Acting Intern at The Black Rep. Travis' theatre credits include: The Serpent directed by Wesley Broulik, Lord of the Flies directed by. Kevin Rich, and Mother Courage directed by Andy Park (The Nebraska Rep), as well as many other
independent film projects and student capstone films. Travis is excited to have an opportunity to work with The Black Rep on and off stage! He would like to thank his parents, family,
J. SAMUEL DAVIS (West), is returning to The Black Rep after having last appeared in ONCE ON THIS ISLAND in 2015. J Samuel is proud to be included in this
wonderful ensemble. Having also appeared in August Wilson’s, JITNEY(Shealy), SEVEN GUITARS (Floyd), GEM OF THE OCEAN (Citizen), and TWO TRAINS RUNNING (Wolf) all produced by The Black Rep. He has also worked with many regional theater companies such as New Jewish Theater, Upstream Theater, Mustard Seed Theater, Repertory Theater of St Louis, Max and Louie Productions, Unity Theater Ensemble. He was most recently seen in District Merchants (Antione) at New Jewish, THE AGITATORS (Frederick Douglass)at Upstream Theater. Jay has appeared in numerous plays, cabarets and road shows in a career that spans 30 years. He has also done productions in New York, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Kansas City, Washington DC, Indianapolis, to name a few. He has received many award nominations for local theater, including a Theater Critics Circle Award for Best Actor in a drama for the one man show, BASHIR LAZHAR at Upstream Theater. Proud member of Actors Equity Association. J Samuel would like to dedicate his performance to his friend and fellow artist, Miss Linda Kennedy
TRACY D. HOLLIWAY-WIGGINS (Stage Manager), is a native of East St. Louis and a graduate of Southern Illinois University at Carbondale with a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre. She has served in various roles with The Black Rep for thirty-one years. Some of her favorite stage management credits with the company include Black
Nativity, The Gospel at Colonus, Strands and Nina Simone:Four Women. She has also stage managed for Dances of India, ATREK Dance Company and Washington University Dance Theatre. Tracy thanks God for the
vision of Genesis Academy of Arts and Fine Arts Ministry, Genesis Arts Ministry of East St. Louis and Frontline Freedom where she is the Deliverance Ministry. She believes Matthew 21:22
TYLER WHITE 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 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.
THE ARTISTIC TEAM
EDWARD G. SMITH (ED) (Director), is no stranger to The Black Rep. He has directed eight of the ten plays by August Wilson, six of them here at The Black Rep. He has directed over 100 plays at many of the theatres around the country and universities, as well as in Canada and the West Indies. He retired in 1995 as a full professor at the University of Buffalo. He also taught at the University of California, Mount Holyoke College, Florida State University and Wayne State University. Ed was the founder and director of the Buffalo Black Drama Workshop in 1970. He was co-founder of the Black Theatre Canada. He was associate artistic director at the Alabama Shakespeare Theatre. He was the director of Jubilee Theatre in Fort Worth, Tx. In 2009 Ed was awarded “The Lloyd Richards Distinguished Award” by the National Black Theatre Festival. Ed resides in Dallas, Texas.
MARGERY AND PETER SPACK (Scenic Design), are proud to be returning to The Black Rep with Don't Bother Me I Can't Cope. Recently they have designed scenery for Heisenberg, Safe House, and Freud’s Last Session at The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis. Romeo and Juliet at Shakespeare Festival St. Louis in Forest Park. Life Sucks, New Jerusalem, Golda’s Balcony, Intimate Apparel, and Never the Sinner at The New Jewish Theatre. The Realistic Joneses with Rebel and Misfits. Upcoming designs include The Play That Goes Wrong at The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis. As Studio Spack Environment Design, Margery and Peter also design corporate theater, product reveals, broadcast news, trade show environments, and private events. They both have BFAs from Webster University and reside in their hometown of St. Louis.
JIM BURWINKEL (Lighting Design),), is a scenic and lighting designer whose work has been seen at the St. Louis Black Repertory Company, the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, the Shakespeare Festival St, Louis, and other Saint Louis theatres, as well as at theatres in Ohio, Massachusetts and Minnesota. In addition to his professional work, Jim is a Professor of Theatre at St. Louis University. Jim received his Bachelor in Theatre from Xavier University in his hometown of Cincinnati and holds a Master of Architecture from Washington University in St. Louis
KAREEM DEANS (Sound Design), thrilled to be working with The Black Rep this season. Kareem has been on stage most recently at Mustard Seed Theatre in Clayton, MO where he serves on the theatre’s advisory board. Kareem’s most recent sound designs include: Crowns, Torn Asunder, Fences, DOT and Seven Guitars (The Black Rep). One Flea Spare (Slightly Askew Theatre Ensemble (SATE)) and Playland and Tartuffe (Mustard Seed Theatre). While not working in professional theatre,
Kareem teaches theatre and media studies at Parkway West Middle School. He also spends his summers developing young performers at Sherwood Forest Camp. Kareem would like to thank his loved ones for their continued support.
DARYL HARRIS (Costume Design), is a 50-year veteran of theatre throughout North America, Europe, West Africa, Asia, and Australia- has received multiple awards for his costume designs for The Black Rep, his “home” since the early 23rd Street days. The Arts Council’s Druid Award is among the recognitions he received for Theatre Tuscaloosa (Alabama) and Tuscaloosa Community Dancers productions including Mame, The King & I, and Nutcracker. Canada’s Royal British Columbia Museum has exhibited his costumes. He is an Associate Professor in Northern KentuckyUniversity’s (NKU) School of the Arts (SOTA) Theatre and Dance Program, where he designs, acts, directs, and teaches “Race, Gender and Theatre” courses. He recently received the The St. Louis Theater Circle Award for Outstanding Costume Design in a Musical for The Black Rep's production of Crowns, the Cincinnati League of Theatres Award for Outstanding Costumes for NKU’s production of Alice Childress’s Trouble in Mind. He regularly presents costume-related papers at national and international conferences, but he is most at home with Ron and The Black Rep.