Cast

Valerie Yvette Peterson

Banetta Mabry

Valerie Yvette Peterson; POET, Playwright Creative, has been writing for over 35 years. Her work can be found in the G.A.R.E. Annual Conference, Nashville Herald, Dr. Melinda Silva’s Podcast for Mental Health, Ethically Immoral Podcast, and many others. Her work has been included in four Anthologies: One, being published by the L.A. Poet Society Press; three contributions published by Moonstone Press. Valerie’s upcoming book will be released soon and published by TBN Christian Publishing. Her short film: The Knowledge of Good & Evil highlights supporting black men living with mental illness. Her work of Sadie and Myrtle was selected for the PNMC and Valerie received a commission by Portland Playhouse for her production of When We Cry. Valerie has worked with the Poetry Society of New York and Fertile Ground Festival of New Work’s Award Panel, helping to create a shift toward equity and inclusion in BIPOC Artistry. Her musical poems can be found on Apple and Amazon music, Pandora, iHeart Radio and most all streaming platforms. You can also listen to her music at the Numberz Radio 96.7FM.

Donterrius Ruff

Reginald Mabry

Donterrius Ruff (@mr_ruff706) is making his Portland Playhouse stage debut as Reginald Mabry. Since the age of nine years old, he has been in a number of theatre projects in west central Georgia. Marking his territory at the Springer Opera House located in Columbus, Georgia, some of these productions include plays such as Wizard of Oz, Les Misérables, A Christmas Carol, Damn Yankees, and The King and I to mention a few. Also, he is no stranger to television productions displaying work in projects like Homicide Hunter on the ID Channel, Dreamhouse Nightmare on Lifetime, Fatal Attraction on TV One, and Covenant on BET+. 

Chidube Egbo

Kenny Mabry

Chidube (he/him) is an actor/creative from Portland. He holds a BFA in acting from Syracuse University. Recent performance credits include Last Stop on Market Street at Oregon Children’s Theatre and Why This Night? at ART’s Mercury Festival. He feels so honored to be a part of this production and would like to dedicate his performance to his uncle Joey (1968-2019). I love and miss you! RIP

Austin Comfort*

Logan Leibowitz

Austin (he/him) (@austincomfort) is elated to be making his Portland Playhouse debut with this show! Recent Portland credits include RENT (Portland Center Stage), Buddy in Elf: The Musical (Lakewood Theatre) and The Wolf/Cinderella’s Prince in Into the Woods (Broadway Rose Theatre). Austin spent two seasons in the Acting Company of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, appearing in the U.S. premiere of Shakespeare In Love, among others. Other work includes the Fertile Ground Festival, Oregon Fringe Festival, Lunacy Fest, and Puppeteers for Fears. He holds a BFA in Theatre Performance and a minor in Musical Theatre from Southern Oregon University.

Brittney M. Caldwell*

Beverly Jenkins

Brittney M. Caldwell (she/her/hers) (@brittney.mc.caldwell) is an actor and playwright from San Diego, CA. She is a graduate of The University of Florida’s Master of Fine Arts Acting program and is excited to perform at Portland Playhouse. She has a passion for using performance as a teaching tool. This is exemplified in her work writing From Colored to Black, a fact-based play that explores the historical oppression and racism experienced by Black Americans. She is the recipient of the Advancing Black Art in Pittsburgh grant which will afford her the opportunity to be a playwright in residence at the August Wilson African American Cultural Center in 2023. A few of her performance credits include The Great Khan (San Diego Rep), The Shutter Sisters (The Old Globe-US), The Virgin Trial  (Cygnet Theatre), and Wakey Wakey (Urbanite Theatre).

Ashlee Radney^

La'Trice Franklin

Hello, my name is Ashlee Radney. I’m 26 years old and I’m originally from Denver, Colorado. Fun fact, I moved to Portland because I really liked the show Portlandia. I’m truly happy & thankful for moving to Portland because of all the opportunities it’s provided to me. I’ve been studying Acting & Writing for 4 years at Portland State University, but feel like I got my start when I was kid. My brothers and I would take the family video camera and create magical stories & adventures. I always played the princess. This playful imagination gave me the drive to pursue theater. I hope to own a production company and produce my own written work. I want to be able to share that adventure I experienced as a child with others.

Treasure Lunan*

Simone Mabry

Treasure (they/them) is excited to be back at Portland Playhouse for Chicken & Biscuits. Recent performance credits include Gem of the Ocean (Portland Center Stage), Barbecue (Portland Playhouse) Hot N’ Throbbing (Profile Theatre), Weighted Bodies (Risk/Reward), and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, School Girls; Or, The African Mean Girls Play, and Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley (Portland Center Stage).

Tamera Lyn*^

Brianna Jenkins

Tamera Lyn (she/her) (@_tameralyn) has set her sights on the boundless world of creative art as a young black woman. She has cultivated a passion for creating art through her ever-growing perspective, both in performance and filmmaking. She was born and raised in Atlanta, GA, and studied Theatre Performance & Public Relations at Florida A & M University, graduating with honors, and receiving her Bachelor of Arts in 2016. Tamera has worked with Artists Repertory Theatre, Profile Theatre, Shaking the Tree Theatre, Portland Center Stage, Confrontation Theatre, Vanport Mosaic, Passin’ Art, and other theaters in the PNW. Tamera has also done commercial, tv, and film work, and has worked with NW Documentary, POW Film Fest, Open Signal Labs, Hearts & Sparks Productions, BLVCK Film Collective, and others. She produces her visual work with Sunflower Creations. Watch her bloom at tameralyn.com peace + blessings. 

Creative Team

Douglas Lyons

Playwright

Douglas Lyons (@Chocolatehipster) is a multi-hyphenate artist. He recently served as a writer and composer on Apple TV’s: Fraggle Rock. As an actor Broadway: Beautiful (Original Cast), Book of Mormon, Tours: Dreamgirls and Rent. Douglas received a GLAAD nomination for his Broadway playwriting debut: Chicken and Biscuits. His other stage works include Polkadots (Off Broadway Alliance Winner Best Family Show), Beau, Five Points and more. He is currently developing television projects with Sony TV Comedy, Sky Dance and Stoopid Buddy and couldn’t be more thrilled for Chicken and Biscuit’s west coast premiere to be at Portland Playhouse! 

Cycerli Ash-Barlocker

Director

(@Cycerli) is a multifaceted artist, treading the boards as an Actor, sharing her knowledge as a Teacher and bringing her vision to life as a Director. Recent work includes: Riverdale Town Center (Riverdale GA) Adult Acting, Scene Study, Character Development, Blueprint (Sandy Springs GA) Meisner, Stanislavski, television and film, Actors models and talents for Christ (Atlanta GA) All age acting, commercial, film, audition technique, About Faces (Atlanta GA) Commercial, modeling, acting for all ages, Girard College (Philadelphia Pennsylvania) acting for high schoolers, script analysis, character development, playwright and production, RSAC (Rutgers University) Teens, acting, directing, University of Tennessee (Knoxville Tennessee) acting 101 for a college students, and AMTC (Chicago Illinois) television, film, commercial work. Furthermore, Cycerli is the CEO of the faith-based theater company called DAE productions and is currently a professor at Portland State University. She has been seen on TVone, BET, Amazon prime and Freeform. She has worked for The Red Door Project, Kenny Leon True Colors, The Alliance theater, Dominion, Clarence Brown theater, and the Denver Center.  She gives all glory to God and is very blessed to do what she loves for a living Cycerli went to Rutgers University on a track scholarship while majoring in theater and received her master’s in acting from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.

Charles Grant*^

Assistant Director

Charles (he/him) (@charlesLg_) is excited to be a part of the Chicken & Biscuits team, and to kick off the Playhouse season with this story of family, love, and LAUGHTER. As an actor, director, producer, and teaching artist, he’s worked with various companies over the years including Portland Center Stage, Fuse Theatre Ensemble, Many Hats Collaboration, Confrontation Theatre, and Portland Playhouse. Directing credits include AD on Barbecue at Portland Playhouse, AD on Loch Lomond at Broadway Rose, and upcoming — co-directing Great Wide Open with Jessica Wallenfels at the Playhouse in Spring 2023. Big love to Cycerli for this opportunity, and everyone in the cast, crew, and Playhouse staff working to bring this to life. AMEN! Check out thecharlesgrant.com to say hello.

Carl B. Hamilton

Scenic Designer

Carl B Hamilton is a designer based in Portland who has spent over the last decade designing sets for five feature films at Laika studios. Before getting into film he worked in London as a Designer on The Great Game (traveled to the Shakespeare in DC, The Skirball Theatre in NYC, The Guthrie in MN, and Berkeley Rep.), The Cherry Orchard Sequel at La Mama Theatre in NYC, and Othello at the Kennedy Center. In Portland he has worked at Artist Rep for two seasons of shows along with The NW Children’s Theatre, Profile, and Bag & Baggage. Most recently, he was the Scenic Designer for Bella: An American Tall Tale, right here at Portland Playhouse. 

Wanda Walden

Costume Designer

Wanda Walden is an award winning Costume Designer with an extensive amount of credits.  Portland Playhouse: Barbecue, Pipeline, The Wolves, Crowns, How I Learned, What I learned. Artist Repertory Theater: The Children,Indecent, Skeleton Crew, It’s Wonderful Life/Radio Play, An Octoroon, We are Proud to Present.  Portland Center Stage: Gem of the Ocean, African Mean Girls. Portland Opera: The Central Park Five. Van Port Mosaic:  Panther, Martha Bakes, Soul’d, Cottonwood in the Flood, Left Hook. Wanda is Resident Costumer for PassinArt Theater credits includes Neat, The No Play, Black Nativity,  Two Trains Running, The Gospel of Loving Kindness, Smoldering Fires. Clackamas Repertory Theater: Queen Girl in Africa. Oregon Children’s Theater: Last Stop On Market Street, The Journal of Ben Uchida.  In this Corner/ Cassius Clay. Profile Theater: The Oldest Profession, Fires in the Mirror, Mother Courage, Ruined, The Secretaries. Coho/ Media Rites: Brothers Paranormal.

Allison Knight-Blaine

Lighting Designer

Allisonis a lighting designer around the Portland area, in theatre, dance, and performance art. Recent designs include The Winter’s Tale with the Portland Shakespeare Project, Camelot with the Lakewood Center for the Arts, and Open Space Dance’s first company performance, Sheen. In addition to design work, Allison is Playhouse’s lead electrician, and this fall was the lighting lead for the 2022 Time Based Art Festival at the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art.
 

Matthew Gailey

Sound Designer

Matthew Gailey is a vocal artist, composer and music director with roots in the  gospel, electronic, soul and pop genres. Currently Matthew performs a solo live looping act as VoxOwl combining elements of augmented reality with both VR and real instruments, soulful vocals, lofi beats and ear-candy synths creating an extremely unique audio and visual experience for live shows.www.matthewgaileymusic.com.

Matthew’s life as a performer has taken him  from singing in gospel choirs and fronting big bands in the US and  Europe to performing in Opera and Musical Theatre.  Local collaborations  include the Portland Cello Project, China Forbes with the Bureau of  Standards Big Band, Andres St James, Ron Steen and others. Matthew has been a featured performer at events like Portland Monthly Magazine’s Light a Fire Awards, Weiden Kennedy’s Community Holiday Showcase and Portland Parks and Recreation Summer Concert in the Park series.  Other highlights include performances as a soloist with Brazilian world beat group PopGoji and Resonance Ensemble.  Matthew strives to create community through music whether in the role of singer, music director or songwriter.

 

Maia Denzler^

Properties Designer, and Assistant Costume Designer

 

Maia Denzler (She/Her) is a theater artist and technician based in the Portland metro area. While her primary interests lie in theater costuming and textile art, her work also extends into various other areas of arts production. Presently, she is also working on an art installation which will be located in the gallery at Lincoln Hall beginning in September. More information can be found at www.thebornproject.org. Maia is a graduate of Portland State University and was a member of the Season 14 Apprentice Company at Portland Playhouse. Examples of her work can be found on her website, www.maiadenzler.com.

Cassie Greer

Stage Manager

Cassie Greer (she/her) (@cassiegreer) began her professional career as a stage manager, and after spending the bulk of the past 20 years as an actor, director, and theatre educator, is thrilled to be returning to her roots with this incredible cast and crew! Cassie received her training in the MFA Acting program at Florida Atlantic University; the BA Theatre, History, and Music programs at Goshen College; and in the 9th Certification group of Fitzmaurice Voicework® teachers. In Oregon, she spent 11 years with Bag&Baggage Productions, working in a variety of capacities on more than 30 shows and serving as Artistic Director from 2019-2022. Find more details on all her various interests and past projects at cassiegreer.com. Huge love and thanks to the Playhouse team, and to her family and friends around the country for their continual love, support, and energy.

Keela Johnson

Cultural Competency Consultant

Keela Johnson, MS, works as a Cultural Competency Consultant for Portland Playhouse. She began her work in this role during the 21/22 production season and is continuing in her role for the 22/23 season. Keela also works as a private consultant for non-profit and other organizations, as well as an educator at Portland State University. She specializes in institutional, structural, and inter/intrapersonal oppressive ideologies, frameworks, policies, and narratives with an emphasis on healing spaces for all.  Her work over the past 7 years with Portland Playhouse has consisted of providing workshops and other facilitations for staff, critical dialogic spaces for the greater community and critical dialogic spaces for affinity groups. She is moving into her second production year in this role and is so happy, honored and humbled to be on this wonderful journey

Alea Tran

Assistant Stage Manager

Alea Tran (they/them) is a Seattle-born theatre artist and a recent graduate of Linfield University. They act as Front of House Coordinator for Third Rail Repertory Theatre and freelance in a variety of backstage roles. Alea’s work has received several awards from the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival for stage management and sound design, as well as their writing, which received an honorable mention in the National Undergraduate Scholarly Paper Competition. Recent productions include The Hombres (props assistant, Artists Repertory); 2022 JAW New Play Festival (production assistant, Portland Center Stage); and Heathers: The Musical (Stage Manager, Linfield University). 

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