TRACIE THOMS (‘Gwen’) has had wide-ranging success in film, television and theatre throughout her busy career.
Tracie starred last fall with Oscar nominee John Hawkes in the world premiere of David Auburn’s “Lost Lake.” The Off-Broadway production at Manhattan Theatre Club was directed by the renowned Daniel Sullivan.
Tracie realized a long-held dream when she starred as ‘Joanne’ in the final weeks of the historic 12 year run of the Broadway musical, “Rent”. She played the same key role in Sony’s film of “Rent” opposite Rosario Dawson, Taye Diggs and Jesse Martin. Tracie was recently seen opposite David Morse in “McCanick”, with Zoe Bell and Dawson in “Raze”, opposite Bruce Willis and Joseph Gordon-Levitt in Christopher Nolan’s “Looper”, and with Denzel Washington and Ryan Reynolds in “Safe House.” She also starred with Kurt Russell in Quentin Tarantino’s “Grindhouse: Death Proof”, opposite Anne Hathaway in David Frankel’s “The Devil Wears Prada” and in the Columbia Pictures remake of “Annie” opposite Jamie Foxx and Quvenzhane Wallis.
Tracie starred on Broadway opposite Dulé Hill and Mekhi Phifer in Lydia Diamond and Alicia Keys’ “Stick Fly,” and opposite Alfre Woodard in Regina Taylor’s “Drowning Crow.” She was a lead in the critically acclaimed “The Exonerated” at The Culture Project Off-Broadway, and she’s been featured in “The 24 Hour Plays,” “The 24 Hour Musicals,” the original productions of “10 Things To Do Before I Die” at New York’s Second Stage Theatre and “And Her Hair Went With Her” at LA’s’ Fountain Theatre.
Tracie was a series regular on the long-running CBS series, “Cold Case.” She starred on the Fox series, “Wonderfalls”, recurred on David Kelley’s CBS series “Harry’s Law” and guest starred on “The Shield.” Most recently she appeared on “Veep”, “Person of Interest,” “Suits” and “The Good Wife.”
Tracie began studying acting in her hometown of Baltimore at age 9. She attended high school at the prestigious Baltimore School for the Arts. Later, she received a bachelor of fine arts degree from Howard University and a graduate degree in acting from New York City’s renowned Juilliard School. In recent years, she’s been performing her cabaret act all over the United States.
GABRIELLE CARTERIS (‘Katherine’) is well known for playing Andrea Zuckerman for five seasons on the hit FOX show “Beverly Hills, 90210.” Other TV credits include roles on “Code Black”, “Longmire”, “The Middle”, “Criminal Minds”, “Crossing Jordan”, “Nip/Tuck,” “JAG”, “Touched by an Angel”, “NYPD Blue” and “Another World.” She has appeared as host on television shows like “Evening at the Improv” and “More Secrets Revealed”. She also served as host and Executive Producer on “Face the Hate” and “Lifestories” and hosted her own talk-show: “Gabrielle”.
On the web she’s been seen in “My Alibi” for Disney and appeared in the series “Dan’s Detour of Life”.
Among her film credits are “Christmas in L.A.”, “The Man with The Child in His Eyes”, “Print,” “Plot 7″, “Lover’s Revenge”, “Dimples”, “Combusion”, “Trapped”, “Jacknife” and Brian De Palma’s “Raising Cain.”
Gabrielle’s theatre credits include appearances at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre Conference, The George Street Playhouse, The Fulton Opera House and L.A. Theatre Works. Gabrielle currently serves as executive vice president of SAG-AFTRA.
JERRIKA HINTON (‘Heather’) landed her first professional role at age 11 as Cassie Logan in a theatrical production of Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry. This starring role would soon launch an impressive and varied career in the arts as an actor, writer, producer and director.
She attended Southern Methodist University (SMU) in Dallas where she studied directing and playwriting at the Meadows School of the Arts. By the time she graduated, Hinton had directed three productions, produced four experimental efforts, founded a small theatre company, written five shows and was awarded an SMU Rosenfield Award for Playwriting.
After college Jerrika traveled the US performing both classical and original works – including, most notably, Viola in Twelfth Night (Utah Shakespearean’s Festival) and the political satire she co-penned, Dreaming America (Echo Theatre). Continuing her commitment to developing new work, she eventually moved to Massachusetts to collaborate with New WORLD Theater’s annual Project 2050 program, a revolutionary multicultural and multidisciplinary youth arts program.
In 2012, Jerrika wrote, produced and directed the short film, The Strangely Normal, which received the distinction of being official selections of the San Francisco Black Film Festival, Out In The Desert LGBT Film Festival and Atlanta Black Film Festival.
Throughout her ambitious career, Hinton has maintained her commitment to fostering new work and community service, teaching at numerous theaters and most recently serving as an artist-in-residence at the East LA Classic Theatre. She currently volunteers with The Actors Fund.
In her free time, she studies French, picks locks and sneaks into graduate-level courses for a bit of free education (lately she’s been auditing criminal law). You can see her Thursday nights on ABC, where she plays the whip smart Dr. Stephanie Edwards on Grey’s Anatomy.
Jasika made her feature film debut in the ballroom-dancing movie TAKE THE LEAD with Antonio Banderas, and played the role of Wendy in the Dreamworks film SHE’S OUT OF MY LEAGUE with Jay Baruchel and Alice Eve. Ms. Nicole starred alongside Natasha Richardson and Molly Shannon in THE MASTERSONS OF MANHTTAN, the highly praised TV pilot directed by James Burrows; as well as on FOX’s THE RETURN OF JEZEBEL JAMES with Parker Posey and Lauren Ambrose.
Originally from Birmingham, Alabama, Jasika Nicole attended Catawba College, a small private school in North Carolina, studying theater, voice and dance, before moving to New York City to pursue a career in the arts. She starred opposite Bronson Pinchot in the title role of the musical “Chasing Nicolette,” and appeared in several stage productions, most notably in the off-Broadway 60’s musical “Café A Go Go” and the world premiere of “Believe In Me…A Bigfoot Musical” at the NYC Fringe Festival.
In addition to performing, Nicole has a degree in Studio Art and is an accomplished illustrator. A line of eco-friendly handbags adorned with her artwork can be found online, as well as her comics High Yella Magic and Closetalkers, which she writes and illustrates. Nicole is also a published author; her work can be seen in a new Scholastic book edited by Sarah Moon entitled “The Letter Q: Queer Writers’ Notes To Their Younger Selves”. An avid DIYer, Nicole knits, sews, and builds furniture in her spare time.
Miss Nicole currently resides in Los Angeles with her lovely wife, Claire. www.jasikanicole.com
AHMED BEST (‘Dexter’) started at Manhattan School of music in New York City. He was a founding member of the Hip Hop jazz group The Jazzhole. He moved on to star in the Broadway musical Stomp. Ahmed toured nationally and internationally with Stomp.
Ahmed then went on to star as Jar Jar Binks in Star Wars Episode One, The Phantom Menace. He appeared in all three of the Star Wars prequels.
As a voice actor Robot Chicken, ANNIE award winner Best Actor in a Animated Series (recurring), Star Wars the Clone Wars (recurring), Kangaroo Jack 2 and Armitage. He has also appeared on Nickelodeon’s Big Time Rush.
Features include Mother and Child (Director: Rodrigo Garcia), FDR American Bad ASS (Director Garrett Brawith) , Poolboy (Director Garrett Brawith) and Some Guy Who Kills People (Director: Jack Perez).
Ahmed has produced, executive produced and or Directed projects, The DL Chronicles (GLAAD award winner for Best Anthology series) videos for Flowrocks.com, commercials for The Body Factory, and web series Bandwagon, This Can’t Be My Life,and the Sci-fi comedy The Nebula.
CARLEASE BURKE (‘Grace’) is a high octane performer who never seems to run out of gas. She a series regular on the new NBC Comedy Crowded. Under the hood of her production company, Bits N Pieces Productions lies Laugh-A-Latte, a monthly stand-up comedy show that Ms. Burke hosts and produces in Long Beach, CA. Her reality solo show, FIFTY! It Doesn’t Look This Good on Everybody was the winner of the Actors Repertory’s 2nd Annual Solo Show Festival. Currently in development, Carlease is entering the literary world with writing her first book which will be a how-to guide for fellow actors/comedians pursuing a career in the entertainment industry.
Carlease played The Nurse in Boston Court’s Romeo & Juliet. Her exhilarating and confident performance earned her a nomination for Best Supporting Actress by the NAACP. Ms. Burke most recently portrayed Aunt Ester in August Wilson’s Gem of the Ocean at The Fountain Theatre.
She has appeared in the films Get Shorty, In Her Shoes, The Terminal and Back-Up Plan. Her extensive television credits include Shameless as Roberta, whose visit turns the Gallagher family upside down. Other notable credits include The Young and the Restless, Hot in Cleveland, Raising Hope, Hawthorne, Flash Forward, Heroes, Southland, NCIS, Grey’s Anatomy, Bones, The Riches, Desperate Housewives, Malcolm in the Middle, Without a Trace, Monk, How I Met Your Mother and Switched at Birth.
LIZ FEMI (‘Mirembe’) appeared in the final season of Parks and Recreation and is featured in Judd Apatow’s new Netflix series, Love. Liz is the creator of the award-winning Take Me To The Poorhouse —a comedy about a middle class Nigerian third grader who dreams of becoming poor in order to win the love of a poor classmate.
Her work has garnered: A Helen Hayes Award for Best Ensemble (Eclipsed), NAACP Award nomination for Best One Person Show (Take Me To The Poorhouse), Duende Distinction nomination (Take Me To The Poorhouse), Best of the Hollywood Fringe 2013 (Take Me To The Poorhouse) & Best International Show at the Hollywood Fringe 2013 (Take Me To The Poorhouse)
The Washington Times called her a “…fiery cracker of sputtery energy…”, KCET Artbound called her “a charismatic actress who moves seamlessly from character to character as she weaves a charming and poignant story of childhood”, and the Los Angeles Examiner called her “…a masterful storyteller with biting humor…[an] incredible tour de force”.
Born in the UK, raised in Nigeria and the U.S., and having lived on several continents, her work is enhanced by her international background. Liz brings her extensive training to projects on stage and screen including: No Child, Eclipsed (World Premiere), The Convert, and the short film Faith & Dreams.
Notable TV and film work includes: a supporting role in The Kroll Show (Comedy Central) Things Never Said, starring Shanola Hampton of Showtime’s Shameless and directed by Charles Murray (V, Criminal Minds, Sons of Anarchy), and a pilot for Adventures with Shondrella, starring Shondrella Avery of Napoleon Dynamite and The Secret Life of Bees.
Liz studied at the UR International Theatre Program and holds an an M Ed. in Education and an MFA in Acting from Harvard University. She currently lives in Los Angeles.
STEVE HARPER (writer/creator, Exec. Producer and ‘Peter’) is an award-winning writer of TV scripts and plays, an actor and a certified creativity coach helping people write dramatic scripts. His short films include the comic spy drama Intelligence (directed by Phil Kaufmann) – screened at Dances With Films in 2013, and the supernatural comedy Betty on the Bed (also director, producer and actor). He co-wrote the martial arts film Undefeatable. Steve worked for two years as an Associate Producer of audio projects, home video and worked on the South African version of Sesame Street. He spent two seasons writing for the USA Network show Covert Affairs.
Steve has written more than 20 plays including Princeton Theory – about a meeting between Paul Robeson & Albert Einstein. His plays have been produced and workshopped across the country including Classical Theatre of Harlem, New York Stage & Film, Chicago’s American Theatre Company, L.A.’s Celebration Theatre and the American Airlines Theatre on Broadway.
As an actor, Steve has appeared in theatre (The Guthrie, Cincinnati Playhouse and Williamstown), film (Chico and Rita, Broadway’s Finest) and TV including The Arsenio Hall Show, Matador, 90210 and Law & Order SVU. Steve is a graduate of Yale, The A.R.T. Institute for Advanced Theatre Training at Harvard and the playwriting program at Juilliard. He’s written for several online publications including: The Good Men Project, Medium.com and Huffington Post Black Voices.
TOM DeTRINIS (‘Trevor’) A native New Yorker, Tom has performed on seven international stages, has had the pleasure of working in multiple independent films, and has guest starred on several hit television shows (90210,Community, Switched at Birth, Mighty Med, Californication, Greek, etc). He is co-founder and producer/performer of the critically acclaimed company 30 Minute Musicals, which has created 13 (and counting) original parody musicals based on cult classic films. More at www.30mm.co and www.detrinis.com.
MOE IRVIN (‘Phillip’) is a Southern California native fast becoming a name to watch. He is a lifetime member of the Actors Studio and a founding member of the Whitmore Eclectic Theatre Group. His television credits include guest starring roles on NCIS:LA, CSI:NY, The Event, and is most recognized for his role as Nurse Tyler on ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy for seven seasons. He can also be seen in supporting roles in the upcoming feature films Mischief Night and Dutchbook. He has worked in over 40 national and regional commercials including spokesperson roles for ESPN and FRAWG WIRELESS and his theatre credits include lead roles as “Satan” in Last days of Judas Iscariot, “Rooftop” in Our Lady of 121st Street, and Ralph D. in the ACTORS STUDIO production of “Motherfucker with the Hat”. Stanford & Son is Moe’s second project as writer/director under his Underbelly Filmworks title but his first short film. The former is the award winning horror faux trailer, Wacko Jacko on Youtube.
JASON E. KELLEY (‘Kevin’) is a graduate of the Second City, Los Angeles and currently studies with Richard Seyd at his Seyd ways Acting Studio. He is the creator and a co-founder of LA’s all-black improv troupe, the TuskegeeXperiment and an alumni of the long running iO West sketch show, Top Story Weekly. Since 2009, he voiced the Emmy Award winning commercial campaign for NextTeacher.org and took to the stage in To Kill a Mockingbird at Sierra Madre Playhouse, One Woman Two Lives at Imagined Life Theatre (NAACP Theatre winner), originated the role of Kareem and extended the role of Jim Brown in Rogue Machine’s world premiere One Night In Miami by Kemp Powers (4x NAACP Theatre Awards, 3x Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Awards, 4x Ovation Nominee). Jason proved to be a dual-threat, writing and performing a show-stopping portrayal of Tupac Shakur at Fremont Center Theatre’s Inside Private Lives (San Francisco & Edinburgh Fringe Festival winner) and gave a pivotal performance in the festival-darling HBO short film A Different Tree. He joins the cast of TNT’s Murder in the First in summer 2015 as Detective Isaiah “Zai” Arthur.