Hinton Battle (Producer)
Hinton Battle is one of Broadway''s most respected musical stars, and producer of SISTAS: The Musical. Mr. Battle began his career at the age of 16, originating the role of Scarecrow in The Wiz. He has received top honors—the NAACP Awards, Fred Astaire Awards, Ira Aldridge Awards and the Choreographer Media Honors. His choreography has been featured on The Golden Globe Awards, Dance in America, Academy Awards, and Dancing with the Stars. He has appeared in the most successful musicals ever staged including: DANCIN, DREAMGIRLS, SOPHISTICATED LADIES, CHICAGO (BILLY FLYNN), RAGTIME (COALHOUSE WALKER JR.), MISS SAIGON, AND THE TAP DANCE KID. Currently, he is getting ready for the multi-city tour of LOVE LIES, a musical comedy he wrote, will direct and appear in. Additionally, Hinton has released a Gospel/praise single, WHEN I WALK that is currently climbing the Mediabase charts.
Jenkay LLC (Jay Harris and William Franzblau - Producers)
Jay Harris has produced plays in the USA and Canada, England, and Scotland, and has worked on 19 London productions including Fool for Love, Oleanna, Some Girls(s), Sunday in the Park with George, A Life in the Theatre, All About My Mother, Mary Stuart, Fat Pig, Rain Man, Three Days of Rain, The Little Dog Laughed, Design for Living, and In a Forest, Dark and Deep, with nominations and awards from the Laurence Olivier Awards, Evening Standard Awards and What's on Stage Awards. North American Productions include, in New York, Say Goodnight Gracie (Tony nomination, Excellence in Touring Broadway Award, Outer Critics Circle Award), American Buffalo, American Rhapsody (MAC Award, two Drama Desk nominations, Lucille Lortel nomination), Bump, Sophie Totie and Belle, and Evil Dead the Musical (Best Musical Off-Broadway, Outer Critics Circle nomination) and Wonderland. Over 39 regional productions with numerous nominations and awards, including South Florida, 24 Carbonell nominations, winning 14; Washington, DC, a Hayes nomination; Detroit, three Wilde nominations; Toronto, a Dora Award, and his most recent production of Little House on the Prairie staring Melissa Gilbert.
William Franzblau (Executive Producer)
Produced on Broadway - Tony-nominated Best Play, Say Goodnight Gracie, The Moscow Circus American Buffalo, WONDERLAND as well as touring versions of Beatlemania, Little House on the Prairie, the Musical and The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Mr. Franzblau also produced Robert Dubac's The Male Intellect: An Oxymoron? as well as the musical adaptation of Sam Raimi's Evil Dead, entitled EVIL DEAD the Musical and Jewtopia. He managed several multi-platinum international rock recording acts and founded Interfilm Inc., a publicly traded company combining interactive technologies with cinematic art, in which he produced three films. He also produced Disney's Virtual Reality Theme Park attraction, Ride the Comix in Orlando.
THE CREATIVE TEAM
Dorothy Marcic (Playwright)
Having played in 20 cities, her first musical, RESPECT,
tells the story of women from 1900 to the present through popular music. In 2010, her musical, Terms of Dismemberment, played at the NYC Fringe Festival. Dr. Marcic is a professor at Columbia Univ and a former Fulbright Scholar, author of 14 books, including Managing with the Wisdom of Love and RESPECT: Women and Popular Music (basis of her first musical) and most recently, Love Lift Me Higher. She is the proud mother of three awesome daughters: Roxanne, Solange and Elizabeth, who teach her every day how important is family. Dorothy Marcic started her career in the arts as a production asst on the TV program, Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, while in grad school. She has appeared on C-SPAN, CMT, and Bravo Network. www.drdorothy.com
Kenneth Ferrone (Director)
credits include productions at the Alley Theatre, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Bay
Street Theatre, Steppenwolf, and the Straz Center for Performing Arts. Kenneth was Associate Director of Wonderland on Broadway as well as the Off-Broadway Premiere of In Transit at Primary Stages. He is currently Associate Producer of the NBC/DreamWorks musical series, SMASH. Additional TV credits include NBC Universal's Deception and Ironside. Theatre graduate of Northwestern University.
Lauren Lim-Jackson (Choreographer)
Broadway: Finian’s Rainbow. Off-Broadway: The Wiz (Encores!). Regional: Memphis (La Jolla, 5th Ave.), High School Musical 2 (TOTS). Tour: West Side Story (world tour). Film/TV: The Smurfs, Mrs. Santa Claus, “Kidsongs.” Harvard graduate. Thanks and love to the Mine, Marguerite, family and B.
Kia Rogers (Lighting Design)
Kia makes her home in New York City now and collaborates with several different theatre companies. "The first time I read through a piece, I see light and shadow; when I hear music and mark through a score I feel the rhythm and want to support it with light." Off Broadway: Made In Heaven at The SoHo Playhouse, Passage through Light and Shadow at Theatre at St. Clement’s. Favorite Off-Indie credits: Dog Act, Venus Observed, Universal Robots, Jacob’s House, and All The Rage. Kia is the resident lighting designer at Manhattan Theatre Source and lighting director for Estrogenius since 2007. She also designs lights for events and concerts at The Asia Society, working with international artists Yeondoo Jung, KODO drummers and Indian Dance. Regionally Kia works as a returning guest artist at The Univ of NC- Wilmington.
Carl Casella (Sound Design) ~ In Memoriam
For more then twenty five years Carl Casella worked as a designer and producer for some of New York’s busiest studios, theaters, and Fortune 500 companies. Broadway and Off-Broadway credits include: Relatively Speaking; Baby I'ts You; Little House on the Prairie; Story of My Life, A Tale of Two Cities, American Buffalo, Xanadu; Mask, Ray Charles the Musical; Moon for the Misbegotten; Ring of Fire; Once Around the Sun; Sly Fox; Little Shop of Horrors; Raisin in the Sun; Sexaholix; Adult Entertainment.
Tricia Barsamian (Costume Design)
Credits include, Off-Broadway: Yank! A WWII Love Story (York Theatre Company). Other credits include The Mousetrap (The Alley Theatre), The Judy Holliday Story (FringeNYC), Fiddler on the Roof (John W. Engeman Theater), Little Shop of Horrors (John W. Engeman Theater), With Glee (The Prospect Theatre Company and NYMF) and Yank! (The Gallery Players). Associate costume design credits: Sondheim on Sondheim (Roundabout Theatre Company) and Wonderland (TBPAC and The Alley Theatre). Assistant costume design credits include Wicked (National Tour) and Election Day (Second Stage Theatre).
Zachary Ryan (Musical Director)
Zachary was in the All New Mickey Mouse Club and attended college for musical theater in Michigan, where he began his music-directing career. He served as musical director for A Chorus Line, Little Shop of Horrors, and Chicago, which garnered him a Best Music Director Award for Ann Arbor Civic Theater. Since moving to NYC 8 years ago, Zach has music directed What You Don't Know About Women (Singers Forum), On My Way (Laurie Beachman), Onstage/Offstage (The Producers Club), and his autobiographical musical I Stand.
Edward Staudenmayer (Assoc Director)
Broadway: Bitteroot Concert for the Victor School in MT. Acting, Broadway: Wonderland (White Rabbit) and in Martin Short: Fame Becomes Me. Worked 17 years with Forbidden Broadway: Off-Broadway, plus Spamalot, Beauty and the Beast, The Scarlet Pimpernel, Joseph…, Cats, Noises Off. A soloist with the Baltimore, Syracuse, Bartlesville, and Adelaide, Australia Symphonies, he also received nominations for the Barrymore Award, National Theater Award, and received the Carol Burnett Award while attending UCLA.
Reneé Marino (Associate Choreographer)
Renée is currently performing in a workshop of SUPERFLY directed by Mr. Bill T. Jones. She was recently seen on Broadway in both WONDERLAND (Ensemble) and WEST SIDE STORY (Rosalia) and toured nationally with JERSEY BOYS (Mary Delgado), Disney's HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL, and 25th Anniversary tour of CATS. Renée is blessed to be part of such an incredible team of people with SISTAS!!! reneemarino.com
Josh Iacovelli (Set Design/Assistant Stage Manager)
Josh is a grad of Stockton College and holds his MFA from the Actors Studio Drama School, New School Univ. Recent Designs include the Drama Desk Award-winning Zero Hour (St Clement’s Theatre). Josh has designed many successful shows at St. Luke's Theatre including the long running Danny and Sylvia: The Danny Kaye Musical, Dietrich and Chevalier: A Musical Love Story, Black Angels over Tuskegee, Lansky, Annulla, One Night With Fanny Brice, Harry and Eddie: The Birth of Israel and The Rise of Dorothy Hale.
Germono Toussaint (Additional Arangements)
A playwright, composer, arranger and lyricist, Toussaint wrote the book, music, and lyrics for Caged, based on interviews with thirteen women at a halfway house and The Anointed. He has composed music for Skylight Opera, Handful Players, Fishgrease Prod, Diversity Players of Harlem, New Dramatist’s Nocturnal Commissions, Tripping: The Musical and productions of The Pied Piper, Hansel and Gretel, The Laramie Project and Love Rides the Rails.
Robert Levinstein (Production Stage Manager)
Currently the Executive Producer of 22Q Entertainment, a NYC-based production company specializing in Off Broadway productions that he started with partner Alan Wager. Broadway: Waiting in the Wings (w/Lauren Bacall), Voices in the Dark (with Judith Ivy), Parade; Off Broadway: General Manager and Production Stage Manager for the hit Off Broadway shows: My Big Gay Italian Wedding/Funeral; Clue: The Musical; Forbidden Broadway; National Tours: Disney's Beauty and the Beast, Camelot; Most recently, Robert was nominated for a Daytime Emmy for his work on the web series Tainted Dreams. More information at www.22qententertainment.com.
Bernard Tansey (General Manager)
Mr. Tansey has worked in professional theatre for 48 years. Some of his favorite productions have been Heartstrings, Little Shop of Horrors, Man of La Mancha, The Peking Circus, The 10th Anniversary Tour of La Cage aux Folles, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Say Goodnight Gracie, The Make Intellect: An Oxymoron, Golda’s Balcony, and Little House On The Prairie.
Jamibeth has worked for Johnson-Liff Casting, Margolis-Seay Casting, and now is a freelance casting director with her own office. Jamibeth cast some of the longest running shows in Broadway history, including Les Miserables, Cats, Miss Saigon and The Phantom Of The Opera. She is a member of the Casting Society of America.
IN FOCUS (Marketing/General Press Representative)
Headed by Sindy K. Schneider, IN FOCUS is a progressive-thinking, comprehensive marketing agency. Some current clients include Ruthless! The Musical as well as the long-running hit Black Angels Over Tuskegee (6 years). Other productions include Soul Doctor, Cougar the Musical, Fabulous! The Queen of New Musical Comedies, Santasia, Search: Paul Clayton, Olympics Über Alles and The Harlem Rens, among others. IN FOCUS also represents St. Luke’s Theatre and Actors Temple Theatre. www.infocus-marketing.com
SISTAS began eight years ago, after the African-American cast members of my first musical, RESPECT: A Musical Journey of Women, asked me to write a similar piece, but geared towards Black women. These two women, Paula Chavis and Adrienne Ewing-Roush, told me they wanted something that spoke more to them. I asked Adrienne why a different musical was warranted. She replied, “I never thought that the weak damsel waiting for Prince Charming really spoke to us as African-American women.” So began my own journey of reading everything I could get my hands on and talking to every African-American person I came in contact with. One of my friends, Stella Reed, arranged for me to spend two mornings a week for a year at a Senior Center in North Nashville, interviewing many Black women, who ended up sharing with me story after fascinating story, some of which are in the current SISTAS. My friend Karen Streets-Anderson practically moved in with me for long periods while I was working on the play, making sure I got the tone and the issues right. Finally, after all these years of work, SISTAS went up in the Midtown International Theater Festival in July of 2011. We did not expect the overwhelming response that resulted in every seat of every show being sold out. Producers were interested in developing it further. Audience members begged for more. So here we are, playing SISTAS Off-Broadway. It’s a dream-come-true for many of us in the cast and crew, for the whole company. Thank you Paula and Adrienne for asking the first question. —Dorothy Marcic