Daveed Diggs is an Award-winning American actor and rapper. He is the vocalist of the hip hop group clipping., and originated the roles of both the Marquis de Lafayette and Thomas Jefferson in the 2015 musical Hamilton, for which he won a Grammy Award and a Tony Award in 2016. He was in the national tour ensemble for Marc Bamuthi Joseph’s choreopoem Word Becomes Flesh, has done numerous theater productions around the West Coast at venues like SF Playhouse, Berkeley Rep & Intersection for the Arts, and has released a solo rap album, Small Things to a Giant. He is a member of freestyle rap theater troup Freestyle Love Supreme with fellow Hamilton Cast members Lin-Manuel Miranda and Chris Jackson.
Rafael is nationally celebrated poet, rapper and playwright. A seasoned spoken word artist, He featured on Seasons 4,5 & 6 of HBO’s Def Poetry, is a member of the Living Word Theater Ensemble, and served as Creative Director for the first Hip Hop Theater undergraduate poem in the country at the University of Wisconsin Madison. There he developed their 4-year arts curriculum and curated 3 annual theater festivals. Under his direction, the program was granted the Governor’s Arts Award for creative programming, and featured works with presenters like the Hip Hop Theater Festival NYC, the New Amsterdam Theater (Broadway) and Contact Theater in Manchester. In 2011, he was given an Art’s Residency with UW to research and create works that combined poetry, contemporary music (rap) and theater. He has released 3 music projects with band mate Daveed Diggs (Broadway’s Hamilton), toured nationally and internationally, and has had his music featured on shows for MTV and Showtime. His Youtube & Facebook work has earned him close to 4 million views for his music, poetry and comedic shorts.
In November 2012, Director Carlos Lopez Estrada won a Latin Grammy for an animated video he directed for artists Jesse & Joy. This event established him as the youngest director to win a Latin Grammy to date. Carlos’ diverse body of work includes animations, live theater, music videos, commercials and narrative films. His work has been showcased at the Hammer Museum, Cartoon Network, SXSW, Los Angeles Film Festival, Reading and Leeds (UK), as well as various publications including Interview Magazine, TIME Magazine and Vice. Carlos’ short film Identity Theft, starring Bill Irwin and Kate Burton, premiered in Palm Springs on 2015. He is in post-production of Scumbag Superhero, a digital show for Warner Brothers. It will premiere in the Spring of 2017.
CHRIS WALKER, Associate Professor of Dance at UW-Madison is the recipient of numerous awards including the New York-Thayer Fellowship, Government of Jamaica PM Award, and was most recently awarded the prestigious UW-Madison Romnes Fellowship. He is choreographer with the National Dance Theatre Company of Jamaica and program director for the New Waves Dance & Performance Institute based in Trinidad & Tobago with intensive programs throughout the Diaspora. As founding artistic director of the First Wave Urban Arts and Leadership program at UW-Madison, Walker developed devising approaches to creating contemporary performance based in narrative. Walker is known for his unique blend of traditional and popular dance to create critical conversations in contemporary dance language. His works investigate performance in the African Diaspora with focus on how rhythm and movement language is generated, shared, stored and passed down, and the spaces that make this possible. Current projects include collaborations with visual artist Laura Anderson Barbaata, “Intervention Indigo” presented in NYC and currently on exhibit, and “What Lives Beneath” for TBA21 The Current. His collaboration with Kashedance, FACING HOME: Love & Redemption is currently on tour in North America.
Samora Abayomi Pinderhughes is a composer, singer, & pianist, known for large multidisciplinary projects and for his use of music to examine sociopolitical issues. A graduate of Juilliard, Samora has performed in venues including the White House, MoMA, the Sundance Film Festival, and Carnegie Hall, and has toured internationally with artists including Branford Marsalis, Christian Scott, and Emily King. His album The Transformations Suite was released on October 12, 2016, to great critical & popular acclaim. A composer for film and theatre as well, Samora is the musical director for the Public Theater’s #BARS workshop, and is a Sundance Composers Lab fellow for film scoring. Samora is also a member of Blackout for Human Rights, the arts & social justice collective founded by Ryan Coogler and Ava DuVernay; and was musical director for their 2016 #MLKNow and #JusticeForFlint events. For more info on Samora, you can visit www.samorapinderhughes.com; for more info on The Transformations Suite, visit www.transformationssuite.com.
Tony nominated actress
Award-winning poet & playwright
Celebrated poet and educator
Actress/Singer, Hamilton cast member
Actor, Hamilton cast
Actor/Singer, Hamilton cast member
Writer/Musician. Last Tiger in Haiti (composer, La Jolla Playhouse/Berkeley Rep); The Woodsman (lyricist, New World Stages). Currently workshopping And the War Came. BFA SUNY Purchase
Jalene Goodwin is an Actor and Singer from Trinidad and Tobago. Currently she is in California performing as Deloris in Sister Act the Musical at the Pacific Rep Theatre. It was such a blast being part of the second cohort of #BARS. I miss my group dearly and cant wait for everyone to see the final product of our art! Follow me for what I’m up to next.
Shannon Matesky is a actress, writer, producer, director, educator, beast. Originally from Berkeley, California. Theatrical experience includes American Theatre Company, The Inconvenience, Urban Theatre Co., The Hypocrites and Steppenwolf Theatre. Shannon assisted directed at the Court Theater and Goodman Theater. Shannon is the author of three solo plays, “She Think She Grown” “We Gotta Eat” and “The Saga of the Return.” Shannon’s spoken word poetry has been featured on stages across the country from as well as the final season of HBO’s Def Poetry Jam. Shannon recently worked with Youth Speaks Inc. to produce national festivals and campaigns such as Brave New Voices International Teen Poetry Festival and the national Life is Living Festivals. Shannon Holds a BFA in Acting from DePaul University’s Theatre School.
Ricardo Pérez González (MFA NYU Tisch ’12) is a bicoastal writer and performer. His first play, In Fields Where They Lay, was hailed by the NY Times as “gripping” and “moving drama.” He participated in Sundance’s Inaugural Writer’s Intensive and his Turing Biopic, The Tender Peel, won a Sloan Grant. He is an alumnus of the Public’s EWG and #BARS workshops. Select writing credits: Neon Baby, a drag ball musical (book writer/co-lyricist, Pregones); Ashé, a Puerto Rican style two brothers myth (UP Theater, MetLife Award winner); Separate & Equal, an old-fashioned romance set in racially segregated gay bars in 1950s Houston (NY Public). Upcoming projects: a December reading of his play Ashé at Labyrinth Theater, directed by David Mendizábal.
Carvens Lissaint is a Haitian American International award winning poet, actor, singer and playwright, gracing stages across the United States, United Kingdom and The Caribbean. Featured on TEDYouth, Sundance Film Festival, on Broadway at The New Amsterdam Theater and the Off Broadway Hip Hop Theater Festival, debuting his one man show “Walk” at the Ohio Theater. A Graduate of The American Academy For Dramatic Arts and St. John’s University with degrees in Acting and Dramatic Arts For Film & Television. He is currently in his final year at NYU-Tisch School Of The Arts, Graduate Acting Program, pursing his MFA in Acting. He gives all his glory to God.
STACEY SARGEANT- Credits include: Homos, Or Everyone In America (LAByrinth Theater), The Taming of the Shrew (Delacorte Theater), Eclipsed (Public Theater, Yale Rep, McCarter Theatre (workshop)), Signature Theatre’s, Our Lady of Kibeho and Big Love, Legally Blonde (1st Nat’l Tour), The Commons of Pensacola (MTC), Two Gentlemen of Verona (Delacorte Theater), Vanya, Sonia, Masha, & Spike (Hartford Stage), Intimate Apparel (Two River), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (McCarter Theatre & Paper Mill Playhouse); Film: Top Five, Obvious Child; TV: “Elementary”, “The Blacklist”, “Gossip Girl”, “Glee”, “Law &Order: SVU”. Visit www.staceysargeant.com.
Janelle McDermoth is a multi-platform creator and performer from the Bronx, NY. Favorite stage credits include: HAIR International Tour, Ghost (Fulton Theatre, Maine State Music Theatre), and Soul Doctor (Off Broadway). She is a singer, arranger and beatboxer for RANGE a cappella and has been featured in video content with Nickelodeon, Billboard and E! For more about Janelle’s work, check out @janellemcdrmth or www.janellemcdermoth.com
Nora Fox is thrilled to be a part of #BARS. She has performed on Broadway in The Sound of Music, recently sang in Macedonia, acted and lead master classes at the Belarus International Festival of Modern Dance. Fox has performed at Goodspeed, NYMF, Women Center Stage Festival, and RI’s Shakespeare in the Park. She frequently travels to give concerts, and holds a Literary Arts degree from Brown University, where she will be a guest lecturer next week. She will also join David Dorfman Dance Company as a musician this month, and is currently working on her first album. www.norafoxmusic.com
brokeMC (Theo Copeland, SAG/AFTRA) is an artist living in Brooklyn, NY. His play That’s My Moonbeam! was just produced for the 2016 FringeNYC Festival. As an actor, he has three pilots and three films in festivals this year. Since 2005, brokeMC has released six solo albums as well as countless contributions to crew albums for Deathrow Tull, MINDSpray Crew, brokeNdomer, and more, performing at SXSW, NXNE, and other festivals. He is also the Hip Hop Editor for The Deli Magazine. brokeMC is amped to be performing at The Public Theatre as part of the #BARSWorkshop.
Born in 1984 in Oakland, California, Matt Werner (@mattswriting) is a writer currently living in New York City. He works as a technical writer for Google, and is the author of Oakland in Popular Memory, Bay Area Underground, and editor of the satirical website Oakland Unseen. His writing for Google has been translated into 40 languages and quoted in dozens of publications, including The Wall Street Journal. He’s currently collaborating with the composer Gene Back on Burning Man: The Musical.
RyanNicole Austin is overjoyed to join this cohort of brilliant talents. She practices her gifts as a multidisciplinarian: Artist. Actress. Athlete. ACTIVIST. Subsequent to #BARS, she will join the Marin Theater Company in Nambi E. Kelly’s production of Native Son as “Bessie”.
Recent credits include: Maima, Eclipsed, Broadway; title role of Hamlet, (The Wilma Theatre), A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Romeo N Juliet (Classical Theatre of Harlem), The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner, (Atlantic Theater, NYC), Prudence The Convert, Josephine, Ruined, A Doll’s House ( Williamstown Theatre Festival), Helen of Troy, Trojan Women, (Classical Theatre of Harlem), In Darfur, (The Public Theatre /NYSF), Peter Sellars’ Children Of Herakles, ( European Tour) Film / TV credits: New York, I Love You (Short), Law & Order SVU, Outliving Emily (with Andre Braugher and Philicia Rashad), Along Came Love, with Vanessa Williams. Awards: Philadelphia Critcs’ Circle Best actress Award (Hamlet ) Los Angeles Stage Alliance Ovation Award Best Featured Actress (The Convert); San Francisco Bay Area Critics’ Circle – Oustanding Performance Female Featured Role (Ruined); and Best Featured Actress, Philadelphia Critics’ Circle Feautured Actress Award (The Convert).
ATO BLANKSON-WOOD was most recently seen in The Public Theater’s production of The Total Bent. Previously he performed in the off-Broadway revival of HAIR, as well as in the Broadway and West End productions. His additional credits include The Foundry Theater’s production of O, Earth ; Iphigenia in Aulis at Classic Stage Company; and Lysistrata Jones Off and on Broadway. His film credits include It’s Kind of a Funny Story. Upcoming: She’s Gotta Have It (Netflix) He is a member of The Actor’s Center and a graduate of The Tisch School of the Arts and Yale School of Drama.
Juan Drigo Ricafort is honored to be creating, writing, and rapping with this amazing #BARS cohort. He recently took the artist’s leap, leaving his job in the tech startup world to become a full-time performer and storyteller. Favorite credits include IN THE HEIGHTS (Graffiti Pete) at The Cocoa Village Playhouse and producing the superhero-action musical MESCALINE for the Midtown International Theatre Festival. He graduated from Georgetown University with a degree in Foreign Service and is currently writing an original sci-fi radio drama. Love and thanks to God, Pops, Ma, and Ate for all their guidance and encouragement. www.jdrigo.com
Karl “Oye” Iglesias is an (AEA) actor, musician, writer, director and teaching artist from Milwaukee, WI now residing in New York. He received his Acting Specialist BA at UW – Madison as a First Wave Scholar. Karl has been a featured performer at The Hip Hop Theatre Festival (NY) and the Contacting The World Theatre Festival (UK). Karl is beyond thrilled to be a part of The BARS Workshop family at The Public Theatre. Siempre Pa’lante.
ZENIBA BRITT is so grateful for this experience! She is a LA native and Harlem Transplant. She spends her days writing, directing, and producing Musical Film & Television through her company SoyFierce Productions. She also does Vegan Education Outreach and is the Social Media Manager for Seasoned Vegan and the Editor of their blog. She is a proud graduate of The Boston Conservatory c/o 2013. And a former multi-disciplinary student of The Independent Film School. She would also like to make sure that no one forgets that she was named West High’s Funniest Senior. @soyfierce ZenibaBritt.com