Cast & Creative
Leslie Odom, Jr.
Purlie Victorious Judson
Leslie Odom, Jr. is a multifaceted Tony and Grammy Award-winning, three-time Emmy and two-time Academy Award-nominated vocalist, songwriter, actor, and New York Times bestselling author. With a career that spans performance genres, Odom Jr. was most recently honored with a star on the Walk of Fame in his hometown of Philadelphia by the Philadelphia Music Alliance. Purlie Victorious, marks his return to Broadway after winning the Tony Award for his performance as the original “Aaron Burr” in Lin Manuel-Miranda’s Pulitzer Prize winning Hamilton. Film and television credits include his critically acclaimed performance as legendary soul singer Sam Cooke in Regina King’s One Night in Miami, Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery, The Many Saints of Newark, Apple TV+’s “Central Park,” “Abbott Elementary,” and many more. Next up, Odom Jr. stars in Blumhouse/Universal’s The Exorcist: Believer set for release in October 2023. Solo albums include The Christmas Album (2020), Mr (2019), Simpl
Billy Eugene Jones
Billy Eugene Jones’ Broadway credits include Fat Ham, A Soldier’s Play, The Book of Mormon, A Raisin in the Sun, The Trip to Bountiful, The Big Knife, The Mountaintop, Passing Strange, Radio Golf and Gem of the Ocean. Off-Broadway credits include Fat Ham (Public Theater [Obie Award]) On Sugarland (NYTW [Obie and Audelco Award, Drama Desk Nomination]), Where the Mountain Meets the Sea (Manhattan Theater Club), Much Ado About Nothing (NYSF), Pitbulls (Rattlestick Playwrights Theatre), The Jammer (Atlantic Theatre Company), In the Footprint (The Civilians), Waiting for Godot and Three Sisters (Classical Theatre of Harlem). Regional credits include Seven Guitars, Death of a Salesman, Good Faith, Richard II, Breath Boom (Yale Rep), Macbeth (Berkeley Repertory Theatre), The Good Negro (The Goodman), Stick Fly (Elliot Norton nomination for Best Supporting Actor/ Arena Stage and Huntington Theatre Company), Othello (CalShakes), Spunk (Actors Theatre of Louisville), The People Before the Park (Premiere Stages). Other stage credits include productions at Two River Theatre, Alliance Theatre, Hartford Stage, and numerous productions at The Dallas Theater Center. Billy is a graduate of Yale School of Drama.
Jay O. Sanders
Ol’ Cap’n Cotchipee
Currently in: Primary Trust. Past Roundabout as Doolittle in Pygmalion. He was most recently seen as Falstaff in TFANA’s open workshop of Henry IV parts 1&2, Nick Laine in Conor McPherson’s Girl From The North Country, and David Michaels in Richard Nelson’s What Happened?: The Michaels Abroad, which completed The Rhinebeck Panorama; a cycle of 12 new plays which began at the Public Theater in 2010, on which he collaborated with his wife, Maryann Plunkett. Sanders notably played the title roles in Uncle Vanya for Hunter Theater Project and Cyrano de Bergerac at the Guthrie Theater, as well as appearing in numerous television projects (True Detective, Sneaky Pete, The Sinner, Law & Order, Manhunt), films; (The Day After Tomorrow, JFK, Kiss the Girls, Edge of Darkness, Tumbleweeds, and most recently Alejandro Iñárritu’s BARDO and Jesse Eisenberg’s When You Finish Saving The World), and has narrated a long list of documentaries, mostly for PBS. As a writer, his play, Unexplored Interior, delving into the 1994 Genocide in Rwanda, was the inaugural production of Washington D.C.’s Mosaic Theater.
Heather Alicia Simms
Broadway: Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, A Raisin in the Sun. Off Broadway: Des Moines, Richard III, Fairview, Fabulation, By the Way, Meet Vera Stark, Barbecue, born bad. Television: “Swarm”, “Single Drunk Female”, “Kings of Napa”, “Luke Cage”, “Bull”, “Blue Books”, “High Maintenance”, “The Last O.G.” Film: Red Hook Summer, The Nanny Diaries, Broken Flowers, Head of State. Awards and Affiliations: Fox Foundation Fellowship, Audie Award, Obie Award, Columbia University MFA.
Vanessa Bell Calloway
Currently, Starring as well as Associate Producer on the BET+ hit series “Black Hamptons”, recently nominated for an Image Award. Also, Recurring on both NBC’s “Kenan” and “This is Us”, while exercising her comedy by recurring on Showtime’s “Black Monday”playing Regina Hall’s Mother. Can be seen in Paramounts, Coming 2 America and Nate Parker’s, American Skin as well as the critically acclaimed film “HARRIET” for director Kasi Lemmon. She is the Executive Producer and series lead on the Bounce TV series “Saints & Sinners”. Known for her role on Showtimes’ “Shamelss” playing Carol, Shanola Hampton ‘s Mother and can also be seen in the critically acclaimed film Southside With You (playing Michelle Obama’s Mother). Directing episodes of “Saints & Sinners”.
Noah Robbins has been seen on television most notably in Hulu’s UP HERE, Netflix’s “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” and on Amazon’s “Forever”. His feature credits include The Trial Of The Chicago 7, The Assistant, The Week Of, Set It Up, Indignation and Miss Sloane. He has also appeared in TV Land’s “Younger”, Showtime’s “Masters Of Sex”, and Fox’s “Grease Live”. Notable theater credits include his Broadway debut in BRIGHTON BEACH MEMOIRS, the Broadway revival of Arcadia, The Twenty-Seventh Man, Punk Rock, Clarkston, and the title role in the revival of Master Harold…And The Boys. Noah most recently appeared on Broadway in To Kill A Mockingbird opposite Jeff Daniels. He will next be seen on screen in the feature film Project Artemis with Scarlett Johansson and Channing Tatum.
Noah Pyzik has been seen on the New York stage in The Chimera (Lincoln Center), Alex & Eugene (Playwrights Downtown, NY Innovative Theatre Award), Other Than We (La MaMa), Elizabeth Swados’ Nightclub Cantata (The York Theatre), Addy & Uno (Off-Broadway Alliance Award nom), Botticelli In The Fire (Lenfest Center), The American Nightmare (Teatro Latea), Daughters Rising (Dramatists Guild Foundation), What I Want You To Know (George Faison Firehouse Theatre). Regional: The Tempest, As You Like It, Twelfth Night, Hand To God, Long Day’s Journey Into Night, The Cherry Orchard. Film: Loud & Longing, I’ll Never Forget, and the upcoming Higher Calling and Give It Back.
Broadway: NETWORK and ALL THE WAY. Off-Broadway: THE IRISH CURSE at the Soho Playhouse. Other NYC stage credits include PICKING PALIN at the NYC Fringe Festival, and THE MUNDY SCHEME at the Irish Arts Center. Bill is currently performing in the world premiere of ORIGIN STORY at the Cincinnati Playhouse-in-the-Park. His other regional theatre credits include American Repertory Theater (MA), Arkansas Rep, Penobscot Theatre Company (ME), Mill Mountain Theatre (VA), Cape May Stage, and NJ Rep. Film: Martin Scorsese’s THE IRISHMAN, Nadir Saribacak’s AN EXPECTATION. TV: 12 Monkeys, The Blacklist, Blue Bloods, Orange is the New Black, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Person of Interest, FBI, Mr. Robot, Billions, Hunters, and many years on All My Children portraying “Alfred Vanderpool.”
Lutiebelle Gussie Mae Jenkins
Kara Young made her Broadway debut in Lynn Nottage’s Clyde’s for which she received a Tony and a Drama Desk Nomination for Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play. This year, Young received her second Tony and Drama Desk nomination for Outstanding Featured Performance in a Play in the Pulitzer Prize winner, Cost of Living. Her other accolades include: an Obie Award, an Audelco Award and a Drama Desk nomination for her portrayal of Viola in Classical Theatre of Harlem’s, Twelfth Night; the inaugural Florence Mills Rising Star Award from Black Women on Broadway and a Theatre World Award. Her other stage credits include All The Natalie Portmans, Halfway Bitches Go Straight to Heaven, The New Englanders, The Revolving Cycles Truly and Steadily Roll’d, Syncing Ink, and Pretty Hunger. She will next appear as a series regular in the highly anticipated Amazon series, “I’m a Virgo,” created by Boots Riley. Previous TV credits include: HBO Max’s “The Staircase;” Amazon’s feature “Chemical Hearts;” HBO’s “Random Acts of Flyness;” and Netflix’s “The Punisher.”
u/s Gitlow Judson
Broadway/Tours: Death of A Salesman, Sister Act, Skittles Commercial: The Broadway Musical, Lion King and Little Mermaid. “Law & Order: SVU,” “Blue Bloods,” “Grey’s Anatomy.” Jaron, Stevie and Kae’s Dad! For my Purtly Lady.
u/s Missy Judson, Idella Landy
Willa Bost is a proud mother, seasoned actress, arts educator, and all-around renaissance woman from Lumpkin, GA with extensive regional credits. This is her Broadway Debut! MFA:UNCG @willabost
u/s Lutiebelle Gussie Mae Jenkins
Broadway: Clyde’s, A Bronx Tale. 1st Nat’l: A Bronx Tale. Select Credits: Trevor, Ain’t No Mo’ *Helen Hayes Nominee, Little Shop of Horrors, Nunsense. MSA, SAKS&. For my Grandparents. IG:@thebrandiporter
Donald Webber Jr.
Purlie Victorious Judson standby
Broadway: Hamilton, Motown (OBC), Holler If Ya Hear Me (OBC). Off Broadway: Whorl Inside A Loop. Renascence. TV: “Severance” (Apple+). “The Punisher” (Netflix). “The Wiz Live!” (NBC). 143, RCW.
Ossie Davis was born in Cogdell, Georgia. He graduated high school in Waycross, Georgia, and attended Howard University. In 1939, he began his career as a writer and actor with the Rose McClendon Players in Harlem. In 1946, Mr. Davis made his Broadway debut in Jeb, and went on to perform in many Broadway productions, including Anna Lucasta, The Wisteria Trees, Green Pastures, Jamaica, Ballad for Bimshire (which he co-produced), The Zulu and the Zayda, and I’m Not Rappaport (which he later reprised on film with Walter Matthau). In 1961, Mr. Davis wrote and starred in the critically acclaimed Purlie Victorious. He was inducted into the Theater Hall of Fame in 1994. After making his film debut in No Way Out (1950, with Sidney Poitier), Mr. Davis appeared in such films as The Cardinal, The Hill, The Scalphunters, Let’s Do It Again, Do The Right Thing, Jungle Fever, Grumpy Old Men, Get on the Bus, Doctor Dolittle, Bubba Ho-Tep and Baadassss. In 1970, Mr. Davis directed his first feature film, Cotton Comes to Harlem. He went on to direct four others: Gordon’s War, Kongi’s Harvest, Black Girl, and Countdown at Kusini, which he also co-produced with his wife, Ruby Dee. Mr. Davis’ small screen debut was in the 1955 production of The Emperor Jones, in the title role. He received Emmy Award nominations for his work in Teacher, Teacher, King, and Miss Evers Boys; in 2001, Mr. Davis was awarded a Daytime Emmy for playing the title role in the children’s special Finding Buck McHenry. He was a regular or recurring player in the series The Defenders, With Ossie & Ruby, B.L. Stryker, Evening Shade, The Client, Promised Land and The L Word. Additional television credits include Night Gallery, The Sheriff, Bonanza, Roots: The Next Generation, Alex Haley’s Queen, The Stand, Showtime’s 12 Angry Men, Touched By An Angel, Third Watch, City of Angels, and Deacons for Defense. His television writing credits include episodes of East Side/West Side and the teleplay For Us, The Living, for which he received the Neil Simon Jury Award. With his wife, Mr. Davis produced several television specials, including Today is Ours, Martin Luther King: The Dream & The Drum, and two segments of A Walk Through the 20th Century with Bill Moyers. They also co-produced the television series With Ossie & Ruby, which aired for three seasons. In 1980, Mr. Davis and Ms. Dee founded their own production company, Emmalyn II Productions Company, Inc. Mr. Davis was the author of three children’s books: Escape to Freedom (honored by the American Library Association and the Jane Addams Children’s Book Award); Langston; and Just Like Martin. In 1998, he and Ruby Dee marked their 50th wedding anniversary with the publication of their joint autobiography, With Ossie and Ruby: In This Life Together, the audio version of which won a Grammy. Mr. Davis received many honors and citations, including the N.Y. Urban League Frederick Douglass Award, the NAACP Image Award, the National Medal of Arts, and the Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award. In December 2004, Mr. Davis and Ms. Dee were recipients of the Kennedy Center Honors. Mr. Davis died on February 4, 2005 at the age of 87.
Kenny Leon is a Tony Award winning director who also has been honored with The Actors Fund Medal of Honor, an Obie Award and an NAACP Image Award. Mr. Leon is also a proud honoree of the George Abbott Lifetime Achievement for American Theatre. Mr. Leon is on the producing team of Some Like It Hot, the musical directed by Casey Nicholaw. Broadway: A Soldier’s Play; American Son; Children of a Lesser God; Holler If Ya Hear Me; A Raisin in the Sun; The Mountaintop; Stick Fly; August Wilson’s Fences, Gem of the Ocean and Radio Golf. Off-Broadway: The Underlying Chris, Everybody’s Ruby, Emergence-See! (The Public); Smart People (Second Stage). Television: Robin Roberts Presents: Mahalia; Colin in Black & White; 4400; Amend: The Fight for America; American Son (adapted for Netflix); Hairspray Live!; The Wiz Live!; Steel Magnolias; Dynasty; In My Dreams. Author: Take You Wherever You Go. Artistic Director Emeritus, Kenny Leon’s True Colors Theatre Company. Senior Resident Director: Roundabout Theatre Company. Leon most recently directed this fall’s critically acclaimed productions of Ohio State Murders by Adrienne Kennedy and Suzan-Lori Parks’ Topdog/Underdog.
J. Jared Janas
Wig, Hair, & Makeup Designer
The Telsey office
Will Cantler, CSA
Destiny Lilly, CSA
Kamra A. Jacobs
Production Stage Manager
Broadway credits include Fat Ham, Topdog/Underdog, Skeleton Crew, Lackawana Blues, Hadestown, American Son and Children of a Lesser God. Tour: 1st Broadway national tour of August Wilson’s Jitney. International: The Bitter Game, Dublin Theater Festival. Film: Netflic American Son and Apple TV’s 12 Angry Men the weight of the wait. Education: MFA, U.C. San Diego. For Ella.
Benjamin E. C. Pfister
Broadway: Carousel, Choir Boy, The Rose Tattoo, A Solider’s Play, A Strangle Loop, Kimberly Akimbo, Topdog/Underdog, Wicked. The Public Theater, Northern Stage, Yale Repertory Theatre. Lecturer in Stage Management: DGSD
Leslie Odom, Jr.
Willette and Manny Klausner
Salman Moudhy Al-Rashin
Creative Partners Productions
Mark and David Golub Productions
John Gore Organization
Patrick W Jones
National Black Theatre
Alan Alda appeared in the original Broadway production of Purlie Victorious as Charlie Cotchipee. Also on Broadway: The Owl and the Pussycat, The Apple Tree, Jake’s Women, Glengarry Glen Ross, “Q.E.D.”, Art and Love Letters. A seven-time Emmy winner, he played Hawkeye Pierce in the TV series “M*A*S*H” as well as roles in “The West Wing,” “ER,” “Ray Donovan,” “The Blacklist” and “30 Rock.” Films include The Aviator (Oscar nomination); Same Time, Next Year; Marriage Story; Bridge of Spies; Tower Heist; Flirting With Disaster; Everyone Says I Love You; Manhattan Murder Mystery; Crimes and Misdemeanors; Sweet Liberty; The Seduction of Joe Tynan; and The Four Seasons.
Latanya Richardson Jackson
is a Tony-nominated best actress, director and producer of the stage and screen. Her Broadway directorial debut reviving The Piano Lesson, starring Samuel L. Jackson, John David Washington and Danielle Brooks, made her the first female to direct an August Wilson play. Richardson Jackson and her husband, Samuel L. Jackson, executive produced the critically acclaimed limited series “The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey” in 2022 and the EPIX docu-series “Enslaved” in 2020. The Samuel L. & LaTanya R. Jackson Foundation carries out their commitment to philanthropic issues in the United States and Africa. They have one incredible Emmy-nominated daughter, the beautiful Zoe Dove.
Samuel L. Jackson
Appearing in over 100 films, Samuel L. Jackson is one of the most respected actors in Hollywood, having received Academy Award, Golden Globe and Tony nominations. Jackson received an Oscar for Lifetime Achievement and an Oscar nomination for Pulp Fiction. Last year, Jackson returned to Broadway in the revival of August Wilson’s Pulitzer Prize-winning drama The Piano Lesson (Tony Award nomination). Jackson made his Broadway debut in 2011 in The Mountaintop, directed by Kenny Leon. Jackson starred alongside Ossie Davis in Spike Lee’s Jungle Fever (1991). He and LaTanya executive produced the critically acclaimed limited series “The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey” in 2022 and the EPIX docu-series “Enslaved” in 2020.
This is the actor/director’s Broadway debut as a producer. A two-time Tony Award winner (A Raisin in the Sun and Skeleton Crew), her directing credits include Stephen Adly Guirgis’ Our Lady of 121st Street, The Roommate, Blues for an Alabama Sky, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Joe Turner’s Come and Gone (2014 NAACP Theatre Award for Best Director), Immediate Family, Fences, A Raisin in the Sun, Four Little Girls and Steppenwolf’s 2024 production of Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’ Purpose. Ms. Rashad currently serves as dean of the Chadwick A. Boseman College of Fine Arts at Howard University.