(theater for everyone)
Photography by Grace Dickinson
Joe Keller - Andre N. Jones
Kate Keller - Zuhairah McGill
Chris Keller - Jaron Battle
Ann Deever - Twoey Truong
George Deever - Steve Wei
Dr. Jim Bayliss - Anthony Wilcox
Sue Bayliss - Melanie Matthews
Frank Lubey - Jack Drummond
Lydia Lubey - Merceedes Simmons
Bert - Tai Jones
Technical Direction by Matthew Gephart
Stage Management by Aanika Allen
Dramaturgy by Chelsea Sanz
Carpentry by Tessa Young
Costume Design by Amanda Kroll
Scenic Painting by Daniela Draghici
Props Mastery by Samuel Fineman
House Management by Katherine Harris
Directed by Christopher King
Jaron Battle (Chris Keller)
Born in Philadelphia and raised in the small suburban town of Wyndmoor, Jaron Battle is an actor who has been influenced by the arts his whole life. Throughout Jaron's life, his father (the late John Whitehead of the singing and songwriting duo, McFadden & Whitehead) has not only been his hero, but his influence and motivation as well. Jaron's fascination in acting started when he was in middle school. While in high school, Jaron realized that acting was his passion and the thing he desired most. The stage felt like a home to him. Soon thereafter, he felt curious about exploring other types of acting out side of the musical theater realm. He started to audition professionally around the cities of Philadelphia and New York. Since then, Jaron has been cast in numerous projects, ranging from stage plays, musicals and film. Jaron has spent 3 years at Montgomery County Community College, studying theater and communications. He continues growing as an actor and always tries to seek new roles to pursue.
Jack Drummond (Frank Lubey)
Jack Drummond is a qualified and knowledgeable teaching artist from the Philadelphia community who is committed to helping people achieve an appreciation for the arts and performance skills through ongoing consistent instruction and involvement. Mr. Drummond is an actor/ musician (violinist). His latest work was with the South Camden Theatre Company in varied roles and at the Tenn X Ten Festival (A Celebration of Tennessee Williams 100th Birthday) in 2012. He is a graduate of the Philadelphia High School for the Creative & Performing Arts. He is a founding member and Directing Manager of Collage Of Talent, LLC. Jack is a member of the Stroke String Ensemble, a string trio established in 2012.
Andre N. Jones (Joe Keller)
Andre was recently seen as Bono in Fences at Plays and Players Theater and as Roosevelt in Radio Golf at South Camden Theater Company's Waterfront Theater, is a multi-disciplinary Artist, who hails from Philadelphia, PA currently living in Wilmington, DE. He is also the 2013 Delaware Division of the Arts Emerging Artist Fellow for Playwriting. He has also qualified as a semi-finalist for the 2013 Princess Grace Award for Playwriting. A gifted actor with credits including: Jitney (Doub) StageCrafters, Fences (Cory) The DramaGroup, Parade (Jim Conely, Barrymore Nomination) Villanova University, A Raisin in the Sun (Asagai) Barnstormers and many other challenging roles.
Tai Jones (Bert)
Tai started his acting journey playing roles in church skits and short plays. He made his professional acting debut in the play "M" as the character Dark Forrest. Now as he is making his follow up performance with Brainspunk, Tai is excited to share the stage with such a wonderfully talented cast. Tai would like to thank his mother and father for supporting his acting dreams.
Melanie W. Matthews (Sue Bayliss)
Regional Theatre: Doubt, Bloody Blackbeard (Triad Stage); A Christmas Carol (North Carolina Shakespeare Festival). Education: MFA, University of North Carolina at Greensboro; BFA, North Carolina A&T State University. Melanie would like to thank BrainSpunk Theater for this opportunity and her daughters for their eternal support.
Zuhairah McGill (Kate Keller)
Zuhairah originally hails from New York, NY, where she trained and studied. She is the Founder and Producing Artistic Director of First World Theatre Ensemble, under which she has produced 14 plays, 5 world premieres, including an all black cast of Marsha Norman’s 'Night Mother. She is also the Creative Artistic Director for the Master Griot Project, and was the Director in Residence at the Prince Music Theatre. Besides directing, she has appeared in numerous off-Broadway and national tours, some which include: Marcus or the Secret of Sweet, Fences, Gutta Beautiful, From Ancient to Hip-Hop: The African Continuum, which she conceived and directed, 'Night Mother, Wade in the Water: A Katrina Drama, Julius Caesar set in Africa, Trick the Devil, First Breeze of Summer, Blues for an Alabama Sky, Trouble in Mind, Hats on the Vine, For Colored Girls, and many more. Zuhairah received a Barrymore Nomination for Outstanding Leading Actress in a Play for her one-woman performance in Sojourner. She’s also the recipient of The Black Arts for Social Change Award. She also won the DC Black Theatre Festival award Excellence in Black Theatre, and 2012 Most Distinguished Director. Zuhairah’s current projects includes a new piece entitled: Castration of a Dark-Skin Woman. She is also honored to have been selected to make her film directorial debut on the feature film The Seventh Cypher.
Merceedes Simmons (Lydia Lubey)
Merceedes Simmons, a native of New Jersey, studied theatre and dance at Rowan University. Since then she has been passionate about pursuing Theater in Philadelphia. She is thankful for the opportunity given to her by BrainSpunk Theater. She would like to thank her family for their support and hope that the audience enjoys the show.
Twoey Truong (Ann Deever)
Twoey Truong is delighted to be a part of BrainSpunk Theater's 2014 season; this is her first role in a Philadelphia production. Twoey received her MFA in Theatre Performance from the University of Southern Mississippi, where she performed roles in The Last Five Years, A Streetcar Named Desire, Marat/Sade, and Ragtime. She also played in The Importance of Being Earnest, Almost Maine, and The Comedy of Errors for Southern Arena Theatre. She has been a member of Surflight Theatre's Surflight-To-Go TYA touring company in Beach Haven, New Jersey and taught creative drama to children in the New Jersey region. Twoey would like to thank BrainSpunk Theater and her fellow performers for making her Philadelphia debut a fantastic experience.
Steve Wei (George Deever)
Steve Wei is a senior at Temple University. He has been performing for most of his life, and studying theater for the past five years. His diverse body of work includes Shakespeare (Orsino, Twelfth Night and Prince Edward, Richard III), musicals (Michael, Tick, Tick… Boom! and Bobby Strong, Urinetown), a devised piece (Forever Midnite), and contemporary pieces (Walker, Two Rooms; Pip/Theo, Three Days of Rain; Doug, Gruesome Playground Injuries). This summer, he appeared in BrainSpunk’s “Actors in Black” production of Our Town. Offstage he works as a producer and director for Stage Left Theatre Company, and is a founding member of Axial Repertory Company. He is currently working on ARC’s You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown/Dog Sees God, and will appear in BrainSpunk’s Trading Races and Crazyface this season.
Anthony Wilcox (Dr. Jim Bayliss)
Anthony cut his theatrical teeth at the South Camden Theatre Company as the principle character Louise in Stop Requested; from here he ventured to the Haddenfield Players and Plays as Lt. Rooney in Arsenic and Ol' Lace. His talents have allowed him to be double cast as Mickey and Officer Dugger in Mamma Won't Fly at the Sketch Players Club in Woodbury, NJ. When Anthony is not on stage he enjoys drawing to relax. He lives in Deptford, NJ with his family, and is grateful for this unique opportunity to perform with a talented cast.