￼ROSCOE ORMAN (Frank) Roscoe Orman’s film roles include the title role of Universal Pictures’ Willie Dynamite and also FX, Follow that Bird, Striking Distance, New Jersey Drive, Twilight’s Last Gleaming, The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland, 30 Days, Drive By, Jeremy Fink and The Meaning of Life. On television, he is best known for his many years as Gordon on “Sesame Street’ and has also been seen on : “Law and Order,” “Law and Order SVU,” “The Wire,” “Sex and the City,” “Kojak,” “A Man Called Hawk,” “All My Children” “Hard Time on Planet Earth, “Sanford and Son,” and “Cosby”. National Black Theatre Festival Audiences will remember Mr. Orman from his dynamic one man show Confessions of Stepin Fetchit and his performance in festival’s highlight production Do Lord Remember Me. Orman recently performed the role of Becker in August Wilson’s Jitney at Baltimore’s Murphy Fine Arts Center. A Bronx native, Orman was an early member of the Free Southern Theater in New Orleans and a founding member of Harlem’s New Lafayette Theatre, where he acted in and directed many plays, including Who’s Got His Own, We Righteous Bombers, The Duplex, The Devil Catchers, and The Fabulous Miss Marie. Additional stage work includes The Great MacDaddy, The Sirens, Every Night When The Sun Goes Down, The Last Street Play, Julius Caesar, Coriolanus, The Sixteenth Round, Driving Miss Daisy, Fences, The Talented Tenth and many others. He is a five time nominee and recipient of an Audelco Theatre Award for his performance in Do Lord Remember Me at Manhattan’s Sylvia and Danny Kaye Playhouse. As a voiceover artist, Orman has narrated many audio books, commercials, and documentary films for PBS, Discovery Channel, ESPN, National Geographic, and others. He is the author of two books, his memoir, “Sesame Street Dad: Evolution of an Actor” which was published in 2006, and his children’s book “Ricky and Moho” (which he also illustrated) published in 2007. In 2008 Roscoe was named “Chief Storyteller’ and national spokesperson for Audible Kids, the nation’s leading provider of digitally downloaded children’s literature.
PAULETTA PEARSON WASHINGTON (Lou) Pauletta’s return to the stage after raising her children has been exciting and fulfilling. She has been blessed to work with Jule Styne, Jerry Herman, Andrew Lloyd Weber, to name a few. Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, The Kennedy Center, Alice Tulley Hall, The Ahmanson, Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, on and Off-Broadway Theaters have been stages that Pauletta has performed and received highly acclaimed notices. Her studies include Juilliard, The North Carolina School of the Arts, and North Texas University. Her recent work includes Love, Loss ,and What I Wore, a limited presentation of Micki Grant’s Don’t Bother Me I Can’t Cope with Chapman Roberts. Pauletta just completed a run of Two Trains Running in Atlanta and prior to that: Regina Taylor’s Crowns at the Goodman Theatre. She is very excited to be a part of the production of POWER PLAY and share with a phenomenal cast of talent.
LIA CHANG (Carole Barbara) made her stage debut as Liat in the national tour of South Pacific with Barbara Eden and Robert Goulet, directed by Geraldine Fitzgerald, and last appeared onstage in Derek Walcott’s Marie Laveau at the Castillo Theatre (New Federal Theatre). She was featured as Sally and Joy in the Signature Theatre Company’s revival of Sam Shepard’s 1965 Obie award winning play, Chicago, directed by Joseph Chaikin at the Public Theatre. Off Broadway credits include: Jeff Weiss’ Obie Award winning Hot Keys (Naked Angels), Diana Son’s Raunchy Asian Women (Ohio Theatre), Lonnie Carter’s Gulliver opposite André De Shields ( La MaMa E.T.C.), The Confirmation (The Vineyard), Behind Closed Doors (MCC), Power Play (Billie Holiday Theatre), Marina Shron’s King of Rats at Soho Rep (New Georges), Two Gentlemen of Verona, Underground Soap, and Famine Plays (Cucaracha Theatre). Chang recently portrayed Sam Shikaze and Chuck Chan in readings of R.A. Shiomi’s Yellow Fever, with an all-female cast for Mu Performing Arts. Chang’s feature film credits include: Wolf, New Jack City, Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, and Taxman. Ms. Chang has had recurring roles as Nurse Lia on the daytime soap operas “One Life to Live” and “As the World Turns,” and guest starred on “New York Undercover”. Ms. Chang is an internationally published and exhibited photographer and an award-winning multi-platform journalist. She added photography and video to the mix in 1989 with her production company LIA CHANG MULTIMEDIA, where she produces online video content for the web, collaborates with organizations, artists and companies to build their photography archives and establish their social media presence. Selections of Ms. Chang’s archive of Asian Pacific Americans are now in the newly created Lia Chang Theater Portfolio in the APA Performing Arts Archives housed in the Library of Congress Asian Division’s Asian American Pacific Islander Collection. The historical importance of these rehearsal photographs is in its documentation of Asian American theater in a working and evolving environment. The camera captures the spontaneous interactions among actors, playwright, stage director, choreographer, producer, and musicians before opening night. Ms. Chang studied film and communications at Hunter College and photography at the International Center of Photography (ICP). She is a National Tropical Botanical Garden Environmental Journalism Fellow, a Scripps Howard New Media Fellow at Columbia’s Graduate School of Journalism, a Visual Journalism Fellow at the Poynter Institute for New Media and a Western Knight Fellow at USC’s Annenberg College of Communications for Specialized Journalism on Entertainment Journalism in the Digital Age. She is the recipient of the Asian American Journalists Association 2001 National Award for New Media and the Organization of Chinese Americans 2000 Chinese American Journalist Award. Avenue Magazine named her one of the “One Hundred Most Influential Asian Americans” in 1997. She is featured in Joann Faung Jean Lee’s book “Asian American actors: oral histories from stage, screen, and television”. www.liachang.com
LOREY HAYES, PLAYWRIGHT is a Broadway, Television/Film Actress turned writer (an original cast member of For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide). Hayes is a 2011 Princess Grace Playwright Finalist for Haiti’s Children of God, her play with music that enjoyed a critically acclaimed 2011 run in New York as a co-production between Mr. Voza River’s New Heritage Theatre Group (Broadway’s Sarafina and Asinamali) and Mr. Rudy Shaw’s Caribbean Arts Repertory. Ms. Hayes is also the proud recipient of a 2011 Harlem Arts Alliance Community Arts Fund Award to create a new historic play. The play created under this grant is Hell in a Hand Basket, the Unofficial Story of Condolezza Rice, recently read at Harlem’s Dwyer Cultural Center sponsored by Frank Silvera’s Writer’s Workshop. The Dragonfly Tale, co-written with Robert Crear is the winner of the 2007 Alabama Shakespeare Festival’s Southern Writer’s Project and a finalist for the Eugene O’Neill 2006 Playwright’s Conference from more than 800 entries. Several plays have enjoyed acclaimed productions. As an actress, Lorey Hayes (an original cast member of For Colored Girls) starred on Broadway with Melba Moore in the late A. Marcus Hemphill’s Inacent Black as well as in the Negro Ensemble Company’s production of Home. She starred in London, England at the Royal Shakespeare festival as Eunice Evans in Miss Ever’s Boys. A regular face on TV commercials, Hayes is featured in the film Dream Girls and has guest starred in numerous television shows; including “Judging Amy,” “Family Law,” “Sister, Sister” and “All My Children.” NBTF Festival Audiences saw Lorey perform her one woman show Little Lorey’s Song (about growing up in the one traffic light town of Wallace, North Carolina) in 2003. She returned with the two character Lipstick, Chilli, Grits and Grace in 2007 to sold out performances.
MARCUS NAYLOR (Jimmy Day) is a five time AUDELCO Nominee, and an Ira Aldridge Award Winner Los Angeles. Credits include: Fences (Denver Center,) Homage 3: ILLMATIC (Urban Stages) Cool Blues(B)Charlie Parker at (New Federal Theatre,) Requiem: Love Letters on Ripped Paper (The Joyce Theatre,) When the Chickens Came Home to Roost (NFT), Othello in Othello (NESE), Marc Antony in Julius Caesar (Shakespeare on the Sound), Waitin 2 End Hell (NFT), directed by Woodie King, Jr., Cave Dwellers (The Pearl Theatre Company), No Dogs (Primary Stages), Cast Me Down (Theatre Four), Malcolm X in The Meeting (Crossroads Theatre), True West (Lincoln Centers Clark Studio), Huey P. Newton in Servant of the People (JOMANDI Theatre), and Bobby in Rats directed by Al Pacino. Regional: Berkshire Playwrights Lab, Kennedy Center, Cincinatti Playhouse in The Park, The Cleveland Playhouse, Great Lakes Theatre Festival, Arizona Theatre Company, Oakland Ensemble Theatre, Arena Stage, and Karamu House Alumnus. Televison and Film: Boardwalk Empire on HBO, Law and Order SVU, Without A Trace, Law and Order, Only in America, Retribution on Showtime, The Meeting: KTOP Oakland, Slings and Arrows on the Starz Network, Malcolm X, Soliloquy, The Assassin, and Reunion A Jazz Fantasy.
PHYNJUAR (PENWAH) (Fifi) is a two-time Audelco award winning actor, a Grammy nominated singer, a music producer, a gifted lyricist, a music historian, a radio talk show personality and an original comedian from the world famous UPTOWN COMEDY CLUB…HARLEM……
Penwah hails from Boston, Massachusetts and is classically trained. She recently appeared in Naughty by Nature’s FLAG video as a distraught gang member’s mother, and is noted for her award-winning portrayal as Pearl Bailey in Cooking With Pearl at the Harlem Arts Theater. Her film work includes title roles in Yes Madame directed by Magaly Colimon, and Hush directed by Reg E. Gaines (Bring the Noise, Bring the Funk), as well as Manslaughter and Lavender. On television, she guest starred as Mitzi Monkhouse, the mother of Myra Monkhouse on “Family Matters,” and has appeared on “Tyler Perry’s Meet the Browns,” “The Cosby Show,” “A-List,” “100 Center Street,” “Unsung,” “Stars of Tomorrow Today,” and “Sister Talk”. At the age of fifteen, she appeared in the original Boston Broadway Company of Hair With Donna Summer at the Wilbur Theatre Boston. Her other theater credits include Shakin’ the Mess Outta Misery (Vital Theater); For Colored Girls (American Theater); Testify (National Black Theatre); The Colored Museum directed by George C. Wolfe (City Center); Power Play (National Black Theatre); Nothing But the Blues (Harlem Center Stage); Piano Bar (Inner City LA); Primitive World (Nuyorican Poets Café); C Above C above High (Nuyorican Poets Café); House on Fire (Theatre for the New City); and Tribes directed by George C. Wolfe (LA Theatre of the Arts). Penwah was the first female addition to super group Kool and the Gang; She has worked as a percussionist, vocalist and songwriter. Her voice can be heard in such classic recording as “Summer Madness” “Rhyme Tyme People” “Spirit of the Boogie” and Roy Ayres “Running Away”, in addition to countless television and radio voiceovers. She is also credited for discovering the likes of Wyclef Jean, world renowned visual artist Paul T Goodnight While grooming, raising and training “The Cosby Show” and “Family Matters” star Michelle Thomas, Phynjuar has traveled to all six continents and appeared in almost every major concert venue in the world.