Cast Biographies

PRINCIPAL CAST

(in order of appearance)

unnamed-1Jamir Miller – (Craig), is extremely proud to be a part of such an amazing cast. Jamir lives in Bowie, MD with his family; he is in the 7th grade and attends a performing arts school where he majors in choral music. Jamir has appeared in several performances throughout the community since the tender age of 6, when his love for theater began. Aside from singing/acting, Jamir loves to cook, play sports, and volunteer at the local women and children’s shelter. Jamir would like to thank his mom and dad for their love and support. He also thanks director, Jason Ellis, for allowing him to enjoy this valuable experience.

15843944_10210212631407203_5534955367913044720_oSarah Infante – (Nicole) returns to the stage after a 3-year long acting hiatus. Previously, she had been involved in community theatre at the College of Southern Maryland. This is her first Momentum Inc. show and she hopes to be involved in more productions in the future. Enjoy the show!

 

 

mia-amado-headshotMia Amado – (Dominique) is excited to be in her first production with Momentum Collective. She is a Junior at George Mason University, pursuing a BFA in Acting and Directing. Previous roles include Milla/Flora in Boleros for the Disenchanted, The Woman Who Loved… in The Vagina Monologues (Mason Players ‘15), and Ensemble in Aida (Vienna Youth Players ‘13). She won a Cappie Award for Best Supporting Actress for her portrayal of Helen Keller in The Miracle Worker (WSHS ‘12). Her directing credits include: A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Crimson and Doug: A Buddy Cop Conclusion at GMU. Enjoy the show!

10968348_10155186959450453_7514645505089237958_nTerry Spann – (Pastor Joe) is thrilled to be a part of another Jason Ellis production and working with this fantastic cast and crew. Past credits include: A Soldier’s Play (Capt. Richard Davenport), Hoodoo Love (Director/Jib),  Radio Golf (Director), and Miss Evers’ Boys (Willie), for which he received a WATCH Award, all with Hard Bargain Players; Rent (Benny), Sweet Charity (Daddy), and You’re A Good Man Charlie Brown (Schroeder), all with Elden Street Players; Parade (Jim Conley) and The Wiz (Lion), with St. Mark’s Players; A Raisin In The Sun (Walter), Tantallon Community Players; Hansel and Gretel Eat Crabs (Pops), Active Cultures; Julius Caesar (Cassius), Vpstart Crow; How Succeed In Business… (Mr. Bratt), McLean Community Players; Godspell (John/Judas), Springfield Community Theatre; The Arabian Nights (Sharyar), Silver Spring Stage; Jesus Christ Superstar (Judas), Prince William  Little Theatre. He has also appeared in several productions with the Alfred Street Baptist Church Drama Ministry.  By day he is an attorney for the Department of the Army.  He thanks family and friends for their continued love and support!

2015-03-06Jason A. Ellis – (La’Darius) is excited to once again perform on stage for his many supporters and expresses his heartfelt gratitude for that continued support today. He has choreographed for and performed in several productions at his Alfred Street Baptist Church, as well as with theater companies in the DMV area in productions such as Hoodoo Love, A Soldier’s Play, Seven Guitars, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Company, Disney Dazzle, Dreamgirls, and Radio Golf . His ADHD won’t allow him to sit still, so his hand can be found in many aspects of this production, which has been the same for all of the other productions that he writes, directs, produces, etc. A son of Jamaica, he lives by the optimistic slogan for the country’s flag, “hardships there are, but the land is green and the sun shineth”. He would like to thank all those who came out to support him and his vision, especially those who traveled great distances to show him love.

320117_10150479116134056_1749796903_nAlani D’Lawren  – (Yvonne)  is delighted to work with Jason Ellis once again, having performed alongside him in the Tantallon Community Players’ production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. Though a lifelong musician and singer, Alani has recently begun performing on-stage in musical theater productions and she loves it. Alani has previously appeared in theater productions of The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie and A USO Christmas. She has also performed for church services and talent shows in multiple capacities, including singing, dancing, and playing instruments. Off-stage, she enjoys photography and learning languages, and spreads the Word of God through her online photography gallery, Sighted Blessings. Alani currently is a full-time Master’s student of Psychology at American University. She would like to thank God, her family, and close friends for their continuous support.

kasey-headshotKasey Murphy – (Anika) is ecstatic about being invited back for her second Jason Ellis Production!  She has performed in several musicals, including Shrek the Musical, High School Musical, and Alice in Wonderland (Alice) at the University of Maryland; Singin’ in the Rain with the Port Tobacco Players; and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat with the Tantallon Community Players.  As a student, Kasey has maintained a 4.0 for five years, serves as class VP, and participates in choir and drama. Kasey gives thanks to God for blessing her with a supportive family and the opportunity to do what she loves!

20160108_161146-1Tayhana Jackson – (Tanika) is excited to perform in yet another production by director Jason Ellis, having been involved in all 6 of his shows. She started out principally a dancer but over the years have caught the acting bug. She is the oldest 4 siblings and is a 7th grader at George Washington Middle School in Alexandria, VA where she can also be found doing dramatic presentations. She would like to thank Mr. Jason for working with her over these many years and inspiring her to always push for excellence in the arts. To all her family and friends who came out to support her, she also sends her thanks.

Screenshot_2015-11-29-08-34-57-1.pngTheodore Sapp – (Patrick) a native of Fort Myers, FL, is continuing to find his place in the bright lights of the theatre, and is delighted to share in this opportunity once again with Jason, cast, and crew after last year’s “U-Street”.  His musical performances include Carmen, Porgy and Bess, Carmen Jones, Oklahoma!, Guys and Dolls, and Once Upon This Island. His most recent production credits include Eyen’s Dreamgirls (C.C. White,  Rice/Webber’s Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (Levi), Leigh’s Man of La Mancha (Pedro), Mozart’s The Magic Flute (Priest), and Porter’s Anything Goes (Captain).  Theodore was also featured as one of the ‘Three Tenors’ in ASBC’s Christmas production Because This Child Was Born, at the John F Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.  Theodore thanks his friends and family, both near and far, for their unending support in this journey.  He hopes that you not only enjoy the show, but take a nugget of information away with you as well.

darnell_hkjedrosz_0167_lowres-2016Darnell  Eaton – (Emmanuel) is an up and coming DC artist. Darnell has a niche for bringing physical, emotionally ranged, and high energy characters in his scene work and has been trained in a number of acting, clowning and movement technique classes and workshops. His passion lies in theater of which improv has been a significant foundation used to enhance the life and charm he brings to the characters he plays on stage. Darnell has performed in DC Capital Fringe Festival, DC 1 Minute Play Festival, and Atlas Intersection Festival and has participated in other local theater projects in the DC area.  He can be seen performing regularly in Washington Improv Theater’s Love Onion Ensemble and has performed in a number of improv venues in New York City, Chicago and all throughout the Washington, DC area. He has put on productions such as SubCo De Mayo, Hot & Sweaty Improv Wars in Washington, DC and Corn Abroad, at the Adelaide Fringe Festival in Australia. He also performs with several other improv troupes around Washington, DC, including California Kings, Darboretum, and Allergic to Winter. Darnell spends his time offstage teaching improv to adults and children through Washington Improv Theater and works on a number of web series and short films projects.
He is a native Washingtonian with an M.S. in Systems Engineering from Johns Hopkins University and a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Virginia.  Darnell maintains an actively lifestyle and has a variety of voluntary projects he pursues.  Darnell is also a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., and has supported community service and scholarship projects sponsored by the organization.

nyetaNyeta Videl – (June) is an Alexandria native and  portrays the fun and quirky Esther in the 2016 production of U-Street by Jason Ellis. Videl is also known for her roles as Bernadette in Ellis’ 2015 production of Senior Moments, Hattie Mae Bemry in Angels and Winnie Mandela in The Nelson Mandela Tribute. She played Park Singer in the cast of Hope Springs, and was an active participant in the 2015 Washington DC Black Theater Festival. Nyeta has studied drama at George Mason University, as well as vocal performance and music theory at the Shenandoah Conservatory. She continues to hone her craft through various practices and coursework related to the art. Nyeta enjoys spending time with her family and friends, and looks forward to telling real-life stories through the medium of performance.

4-DSC06771-14_Facebook_profileTamieka Jones – (Wednesday) is an actress and recording artist, and a native of Harvest, AL, which is where she began her music and singing career in church at the age of 14.  She has been featured and held lead roles in theatrical productions of, “Hope Springs”, “Angels”, “The Lord’s Table”, “Real Cuts”, “Promises”, “Senior Moments”, and “U Street”.  Tamieka was honored to be a part of the 2009 and 2010 Kennedy Center Honors productions, where she provided background vocals for the Bruce Springsteen and Jerry Herman tributes.  Most recently, she was a featured vocalist and performed an original dramatic monologue at the Kennedy Center Opera House during a production of “Good News of Great Joy – A Christmas Musical”.  She has performed in establishments in New York City, to include the legendary Joe’s Pub and City Winery.  Beyond the stage, she has also been featured in a YouTube web series titled, “The Called”, where she had a recurring role. Tamieka is excited to be a part of the “Not My Baby” cast and looks forward to other opportunities to explore and share her love of music through theatrical and vocal performances.
mary-ayala-bush-border-bMary Ayala-Bush  – (Ruby) is thrilled to be joining the wonderful cast and crew of “Not My Baby”.  Thank you Jason for the opportunity to be a part of your creation.  Other credits include:  Little Women, In the Heights, Cabaret, Secret Garden, Heaven Can Wait, Man of La Mancha, Oliver!, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, A Street Car Named Desire, Two Gentlemen of Verona, Importance of Being Earnest, Glorious!, It Runs in the Family, The Producers, The Wiz, South Pacific.  Special thanks to her family for their love and support.

15726769_1327378873979695_8477120445912170773_nJackie Skinner – (Keeva)  was born in Marquette, Michigan. Her mother was a music teacher and her father retired as a chief master sergeant with the United States Air Force. After moving around for much of her childhood, the Skinner’s settled in San Antonio, TX where Jackie was a two-sport athlete excelling in both track and field and basketball.  She also excelled at basketball at the Division I level in college. As a young adult, Jackie won a number of singing competitions to include Best of Show while singing the hit Gladys Knight song “Love Overboard.”  A few years after giving birth to her son, Jackie moved to Virginia where she reconnected with the Lord through Alfred Street Baptist Church and dedicated her talents to helping to spread the gospel through drama and song. She has served as both an alto and a tenor in several choirs and is currently a tenor in the Voices of Triumph at Alfred Street Baptist Church. Jackie has also participated in countless theatrical presentations – both as a lead actress, and as a supporting cast member.  Jackie now lives in Accokeek, MD.”


vjr-1Virginia Raye – (TaSchica)
 is a native of Staten Island, New York, where her passion for the performing arts began. She trained as a dancer and choreographer in Ballet, Modern, Tap and Jazz, and later expanded into Hip Hop, African, and Stepping.  She also began her desire for acting in church and school plays. Following graduation from Virginia State University, Ms. Raye joined Step Afrika!, a Washington, DC-based dance company as a swing cast member. In 2000, Ms. Raye became a member of Alfred Street Baptist Church (ASBC) and discovered a new love for singing. Between her vocal talent and trained stage presence, she has sung for nationally televised programs such as The Kennedy Center Honors (CBS Network), Christmas in Washington (TNT Network) with Grammy-award winning artists, and performed at major events in Washington, DC such as former President Barak Obama’s Inauguration Concert. Ms. Raye’s latest singing endeavor was performing background vocals for Ms. Diana Ross during her 3-night concert at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.  Since 2010, Ms. Raye has shared her talents with Momentum Collective, Inc. as an ensemble dancer, background vocalist, supporting actor, and assistant choreographer in productions such as The Berg Diaries, Senior Moments, and U-Street: The Musical. Ms. Raye has served as the director of the ASBC Liturgical Dance Ministry and continues to be active in the church’s Worship Arts ministries as a singer, dancer, choreographer, and actor. Working with Washington Performing Arts, Ms. Raye currently serves as the choreographer for the Children of the Gospel choir.  Her latest endeavor as an aspiring voice-over artist is yet another testament to  her endless passion for the performing arts. Always excited for the next opportunity she continues to stay active in the church and community, studying and sharing her knowledge with youth and adults. Ms. Raye is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated and resides in Alexandria, Virginia.

13122994_1210480452303203_8275690152124819488_oKevin Warner Jr.  – (Walter) is currently starring in the award winning web-series “Willology”, as William. He also had roles in past web-series including “Damage Control” and “Whorizm”. He started singing and performing in church and school at a very young age and has always had a passion for the arts. This is truly what he feels he was born to do. This is his first time performing in a stage production and he thanks the director for giving him this opportunity. This is a great first step as he looks forward to working in the next Emmy or Oscar winning project in the future!

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540435_3581257568147_267529232_nDwight Tindall
– hails from Ruston, Louisiana where he grew up in a house filled with gospel music. That early introduction led to him now becoming a seasoned gospel vocalist and writing and co-producing several gospel songs including, “Worthy”, “Real Love”, “Tell Somebody” and “I Need You”. In his earlier years he directed the Louisiana Tech Gospel Choir, started a gospel Quartet bases out of Alexandria, LA., along with providing background vocals to Gospel and R&B artist Mary Griffin. A recent transplant to the DC metro area, this is his first production with the playwright and he is excited about this opportunity to use his gifts for a worthy cause.

10703874_10152896960849687_1834734467836879702_nSheron Nelson – is a  Washington DC native and has been singing since the age of seven. She has performed in choirs, show choirs, and bands throughout the city. She also has done local theater, performing in record breaking plays such as Tantallon’s theater group production of Dreamgirls where she played Lorrell. Sheron Has dabbled in play and song writing. Singing to Sheron is like breathing, she just can’t live without it. One of her favorite people in the world is Iyanla VanZant. Who talks about ” Living in your truth and doing the work” This is something that Sheron Lasha loves to live by. “I know you all will enjoy the message that this show will send”.

249358_2074705193085_4599031_nBianca Moore –  is a Northern Virginia native and a recent graduate of Old Dominion University. She has been participating in different productions for 10 years, but has been singing for 13. She has had leading roles in multiple church productions including “Angels” and school and community stage plays including “Real Cuts” written by Jason Ellis. She would like to express her greatest gratitude for her family who could attend and the cast for making this production a great one to be apart of.

fullsizerenderMichelle  Hogan – wishes that she could live in a world where people laughed, loved and dreamed more. This is the positive attitude that she uses in her position as an elementary educator in the City of Alexandria. Because of her love of the educational ministry, she has been revered for the nurturing relationships that she forms with all of her students.  In her spare time she loves to sing and write, where she offers encouraging words of wisdom, with scriptural references for all real-life events. When she’s not teaching, writing, or being “Mommy” to her 4 grown kids, you can find her watching Jeopardy or some mysterious Sy-fi movie.

602636_3548731677017_1105486418_nTerrance McLeod – has worked over a decade in the music and entertainment industry. He has worked as a model and  talent scout for Wilhelmina Modeling Agency, Choir Director at Hampton University (his alma mater), and for the past few years has been employed with recording studios and production companies. He has written and produced several songs for local and up-and-coming artists. He has performed for the Washington Performing Arts Society as well as made several appearances at the Kennedy Center Honors, performing background vocals for the likes of Sting, Al Green, Steven Tyler, and Eddie Vedder. He has also provided background vocals for: Shakira, Mariah Carey, Bruce Springsteen, Pattie Labelle, Amber Riley, Megan Linsey, and at President Barak Obama’s Neighborhood Ball. A member of Alfred Street Baptist Church, he sings in various choirs as well as on the praise and worship team. The gospel community has also noticed his talent and  he has been blessed to sing along side Patrick Lundy & The Ministers of Music, Tramaine Hawkins, Dorothy Norwood, Vashawn Mitchell, and Clevel Francis and Friends. He is thankful for this wonderful opportunity to continue to use his gifts and talents to make an impact on the community.

 

img_3179Michelle Brown – is a two time graduate of Hampton University and a Silver Star and Life member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.  In addition to committing 30 years of service to mankind in this prestigious organization, she has dedicated her life to sharing her 47 years of experience in cheer, dance and gymnastics with various teams.  She serves in the Fine Arts Ministry at Alfred Street Baptist Church where she sings and dance.  Currently, Miss Brown is a Social Studies Department Chair for Prince George’s County Public Schools, an adjunct professor and former Head Cheer Coach at Hampton University, certified member of the American Association of Cheerleading Coaches and Administrators, Cheer Official for the Virginia High School League and a middle school Cheer Coach.  Truly believing in the motto, the only way to fail is not to try, Miss Brown freely gives back daily to the youth what has been given to her.  Her extensive background includes cheering from a mascot at Hampton Institute to holding captain positions throughout Junior High School and College; an actress and singer for the Chesterfield Children’s Theater and a member of Iron Street Productions, LLC.; dancer for a AFL2 league; dancer, coach, and choreographer for a minor league football association; middle and high school cheer coach; an announcer for two high school bands; majorette and flag core advisor for a high school band; head girls and boys track and tennis coach; forensics coach, crime solvers advisor; and selected as Who’s Who Amongst Young Women of America.


img_5893-1Eboni Jones –
is the Liturgical Dance Ministry Director at Alfred Street Baptist Church located in Alexandria, VA. Her love for dance began at a young age. She graduated from Stivers School for the Arts, Dayton, OH. While in high school she also trained with Jeraldyne’s School of Dance, the training studio for the Dayton Contemporary Dance Company. Her senior year in high school she became a member of the Dayton Contemporary Dance Company’s pre-professional company. She went on to receive a BFA in dance from the Ohio State University on a department talent scholarship. She has trained and worked with numerous choreographers throughout her career including Terrance Greene and DeShona Pepper to name a few. Since then, she has had numerous performance and teaching opportunities throughout the Ohio, Georgia, and DMV areas including her current position as Dance Ministry Director and two seasons as a member of the Taurus Broadhurst Dance Company.

17baa1bCelena Noel – was exposed to the visual and performing arts at an early age; however, she began her technical dance training at the age of fifteen in Baton Rouge, Louisiana with the Scotlandville Magnet High School Dance Program in which she studied under and performed works by Molly Buchmann, Susan Perlis and Garland Goodwin Wilson. In 2001, she continued her dance training with the Louisiana State University Department of Theatre under Molly Buchmann. She was invited to dance with the Mid-City Dance Project in Baton Rouge under the direction of Renee Chatelain in which she performed several of her works including “The Fading Line: Commemoration of the 1953 Baton Rouge Bus Boycott”, “The Nutcracker”, and “Redemption”. She also taught ballet classes for the organization. In 2008, Ms. Noel traveled to Austria with The Bridges Project where she danced on a two-week tour across the country for thousands of people for the Young! Tanzommer Dance Festival. In the Washington DC metropolitan area, Ms. Noel has danced in local theatrical productions including “Hope Springs”, “Real Cuts”, “Promises”, and “Senior Moments” under the direction of Jason Ellis. She currently enjoys teaching private ballet lessons to aspiring young ballerinas and dancing with the Liturgical Dance Ministry at Alfred Street Baptist Church.

 

img_1719Terrell Miller  age 11, is excited to participate as part of the ensemble in this performance. He is a sixth grade, honor roll student at Samuel Ogle Middle school where he is an integral part of the schools chorus as a male soprano. He enjoys singing and acting but his passion is writing. He is in the process of writing and publishing his own book as well as creating his own rap album. He has participated and won several competitions throughout the state for his poetry and other showcased talent. Terrell also likes playing/watching sports, drawing animation for comics and spending time with his family. He is thankful for this wonderful experience to participate in this play.

20170124_170352Summer Mayes – is a 7th grader at George Washington Middle School, Alexandria VA. She is participating in her very first stage play and thanks the director for the opportunity to explore and grow her talents. She would also like to thank her family and friends for coming out to support her.

 

20160108_161826-1 Janiyah Hooks – is a 5th grade student at Matthew Maury Elementary School in Alexandria, VA. She has a passion for dance and has now been involved in 5 musicals written and directed by Jason Ellis. She has performed several times at the city of Alexandria’s Youth Arts Festival as well as other special events across the city. She also has a love for music and is currently developing her talents with the clarinet. She would like to thank her family, friends, and teachers who came out to support her.