WHO's WHO IN THE CAST & CREATIVE TEAM
(TO BE UPDATED ON JUNE 15, 2017 FOR JULY RUN)
Coyote T. Lee (Dorothy)
With a powerful and melodic soprano voice the 25 year old vocalist Coyote Lee takes audiences on a vocal high. Standing today as a bright vibrant African American vocalist and actress in Harlem NY, where she performs with Ray Chew and the Crew. In the last year she's performed with the David Letterman Choir lead by Lady Peacheana, behind Stevie Wonder and Patti Labelle.
Jordan Burns (Scarecrow)
ordan has been dancing and acting since the age of three. A regular as a Dance Competition youth as well parades. Later receiving professional training in college at Henderson State University studying theatre and dance graduating with a Bachelors of Theatre Arts, special minor in dance. While apart of Henderson State University, Jordan trained with the HSU Modern Dance Company, and served with the theatrical fraternity Theta Alpha Phi. Jordan began freelancing his teachings, and talents as an assistant choreographer at Executive Dance and Fitness dance studio in Arkansas. Jordan has been featured in shows such as Wizard of Oz, Chicago, and 12 Angry Men. Jordan has choreographed productions, conventions as well The Arkansas State PRIDE Drug Free Youth Convention, Scrooge: The Musical, and 101 Dalmatian Kids. Just as well a member of the Posse as a performer in the "Downtown" Macklemore Music Parody. Jordan spent the summer of 2016 in the Dominican Republic, working with Club Med as a choreographer, as well as performing with Cirque Du Soliel Creactive Troupe.
Tramar Pettaway (Tinman)
Tramar Pettaway was born and raised on Long Island. He started his music career at a very very early age when he was casted ...in a professional opera where he worked with Opera of The Hamptons. He appeared in all of the school musicals being the principle ensemble member. In April of 2008 he sang back up for the late Godfather Of Gospel Music Elder Timothy Wright in Bridgehampton, NY. Tramar has shared the stage with many many local and national artist including Apollo winner Dylan Jenet Collins, Apollo winner Tiffany Obi, Actress and Singer Dhonna Harris Goodale, singer/ rapper Lem Payne. Tramar has the pleasure and was graced with the opportunity to perform with Metro Opera Singer Earl Huie and jazz vocalist Laura Mann. Being asked to sing with those two was defiantly an "honor that shouldn't be taken lightly" . In 2010 Tramar had the opportunity to sing with the Hot 8 Brass Band. He is a member of Futura Entertainment.
Jonathan Rion Bethea (Lion)
onathan Rion Bethea is a writer/actor/director/singer who is thrilled to be performing in "The Wiz", fulfilling one of the roles on his bucket list! Other credits include: Driving Miss Daisy (Hoke Coleburn), Two Gentlemen of Verona (Valentine) Hands On A Hardbody (Ronald McCowen), Midsummer Night’s Dream (Theseus/Oberon), "Frankenstein by Sgoros & Bell" (The Monster), and many others. Jonathan would like to thank the good Lord, his family and friends for all their support.
Christopher Cherry (The Wiz/Uncle Henry)
hristopher Cherry (The Wiz) is incredibly honored to be playing one of his dream roles and thanks Andre and the rest of the company for this opportunity. His favorite roles include: Gabriel in "Gloria" at Busch Gardens, Tom Collins in "Rent", Otto in " Spring Awakening " and Herod in "Salome". Christopher thanks GOD, Pastor Bobby, his family, and his church family over at New Light Baptist Church. He also thanks his best friends Sam, Pilar, Anthony and Gabe for everything!
Tionna Hall (Evillene)
ecent performances include the musicals Hairspray and Crowns, Rumors, Black & Blue, and some film work. Choirs: Harlem Gospel Choir, current: East Coast Inspirational Singers. She is honored to work with this amazingly talented cast and crew and is humbled by the sacrifices of their wonderful families so they could “come out and play”!
Whitney Leigh Brown (Addaperle)
Whitney Leigh Brown aka Rue Brown was born and raised in Washington D.C. where she received most of her early training in Dance. She is a graduate of the Duke Ellington School of the Arts. Whitney has studied with Dance Theater of Harlem, Washington Ballet, and Dance Institute of Washington. She continued her studies at the Conservatory of Dance at SUNY Purchase College. Ms. Brown has also had the opportunity to work with some of the best choreographers in the world such as Debbie Allen, George Faison and Desmond Richardson as well as various hip-hop choreographers such as Jamal Sims and Rosero. In 2003, she joined her first company, Creative Outlet Dance Theater. Ms. Brown's film credits include Step Up, HAIRSPRAY, Big Momma's House: Like Father, Like Son and FOOTLOOSE, she has also performed in the musical theater production Lost & Found as well as the 1st National tour of the Broadway production of MEMPHIS. Her performance experience includes a host of international dance festivals, concerts,and music videos. She has instructed international Hip-hop workshops in Poland and with Russia's Open Look Festival. As a soloist, Whitney performed with contemporary ballet company Ballet Noir for two seasons. She is also an accomplished singer and songwriter and has performed in the Jamaican Jazz and Blues Festival, and a host of other festivals and venues across NYC. She has most recently performed with the tour of Broadway production FELA and 2016 VMA Awards with Beyonce.
Veronica Dawkins (Glinda/Aunt Em)
Veronica's passion for great music shows began at the tender age of 15 when she was accepted for excellence in vocals and music to the Greater Hartford Academy of Arts on a merit scholarship. It was there that she found her niche and began amazing her audiences on stage as a singer and actress, which led to her moving on to Berklee College of Music on a jazz soloist scholarship. Veronica began touring nationally while at Berklee. Her skills were sharpened on her first international tour, a Michael Matthews play called "Secret Lovers". While on tour and performing in shows with the likes of Alicia Keys, Robin Thicke, Kelly Rowland, Patti LaBelle, Celine Dion, The Boston Symphony Orchestra, David Foster, the Three Tenors and countless others.
Artistic Director of New York Black Arts Festival
Dreamgirls (Fashion Institute of Technology, FIT Theater NYC), The Wiz (Oberia Dempsey Theater), Dr. Seuss' The Cat in the Hat ( Langston Hughes Auditorium), A Hip Hop Story (WSU Auditorium in Detroit MI, Artword Theater in Toronto ON, and NWU in Chicago IL), West Side Story (Chicago), MTI/Disney's The Jungle Book (Magic Johnson Theater Special Event), Thriller: The Michael Jackson Tribute Show (Dante Hall Theater of the Arts, Atlantic City, NJ).Special thanks to Geoffrey Holder, George Faison, Charlie Smalls, and William F. Brown for creating the classic we all know and love so much! Especially myself! Info: www.newyorkblackarts.com
Brian Cunningham is a music mogul who has worked with various multi-platinum & Grammy award winning artists. He also composes music and playwright of "A Hip-Hop Story" and is currently working with BET & Viacom on season two of "My Current Situation."
William Michael Allen
(Associate Producer/Social Media Design & Production)
William Michael Allen has a degree in multimedia and graphic design from the Art Institute of New York City he is currently Associate Producer at New York Black Arts and oversees audience development as well as social media campaigns.
Charlie Smalls won a Tony Award for his music and lyrics for The Wiz and a Grammy for Best Cast Album. He toured Europe with Harry Belafonte's show and then joined Hugh Masakela as musical director. He formed his own group, Charlie Smalls & Co., and was signed by A&M Records. His work in films includes writing the scores for "Events," "Faces" and Dino Delaurentis's "Drum." For the film of "The Wiz," he wrote three additional songs. He won a Grammy for the Lena Horne album, "The Lady and Her Music." Tragically, Smalls passed away in 1987 at the age of 43.
William F. Brown
William F. Brown won a Drama Desk Award and a Tony nomination for The Wiz. He was head writer for New Faces of 1968 and the author of The Girl in the Freudian Slip on Broadway. His recent Broadway show was A Broadway Musical. He also wrote the book for the acclaimed How to Steal An Election. He has over 100 TV credits and has been a syndicated cartoonist ("Boomer"), an author and illustrator of books and a television producer.
Fashion and Costume Designer Steven Daniel was born in Trinidad & Tobago. Designer Steven Daniel a graduate of Fashion Institute Of Technology (NYC) where he received his Bachelors Degree in Fashion Design. Steven is a multi range designer designing everything from swimwear to couture. It is truly a test when you step outside the box and try different phases of designing. Currently I am the costume design supervisor at the American Academy Of Dramatic Arts (NYC). where I have been for the past 26 years, and handles costume design and construction for Broadway, Off-Broadway and regional theater productions.