S11: Crowns


Music Director BACK Music Director Chika Kaba Ma’atunde, formally Carlton Leake, was an adroit student of Dr. Lulah Hedgeman (PBUH) and Prof. Merle Gartrell (PBUH). Chika began his professional career at 14 when he played bass for Erma Clanton’s theatrical production An Evening of Soul. During his career, he assumed the role of an actor/singer, […]


Andre’ Neal

CAST BACK Man/Elegba Andre’ Neal is and actor,singer,dancer,writer and director that’s known for his high energy performances, this artist started his career at the behest of his amazing mother Charlotte, whom he lost Christmas 2016.This diversely talented entertainer first started acting at the age of 5 when he was cast for a Dr. Pepper commercial

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Kristin Robinson

CAST BACK Mabel/Shango Portland native Kristin Robinson has played roles from Alma Hix in the Music Man to Harriet Tubman working in local NW Repertory Theatres over the last eight years. Most recently during the 2017-2018 season Kristin wowed sold out crowds at the Lakewood Center for the Arts in the lead role of Deloris

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Marilyn Keller

CAST BACK Mother Shaw/Obatala After 35 years as a revered member of the Portland music scene, Marilyn Keller has been inducted into the 2016 Jazz Society of Oregon’s Hall of Fame.  Not only has Marilyn excelled in Jazz, Ragtime and Dixieland- she started her career as a Top-40 Band Vocalist. Her style has morphed into

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Shalanda Sims

CAST BACK Velma/Oya Shalanda is making her Portland Playhouse debut in Crowns. Last seen in The Color Purple at Portland Center Stage at The Armory, favorite credits include Dreamgirls at The Armory, The Pirates of Penzance with the Oregon Shakespeare Festival at Portland Opera, and Gospel Christmas at Oregon Symphony. Shalanda studied theater at University

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Julana Torres

CAST BACK Jeanette/Yemaya Julana Torres is a Portland local with an extensive career in dance, music, and theatre. She has recently returned to the stage after a long hiatus of teaching with Portland Public Schools where she established the full time dance program for Franklin High School. Since returning, she has been seen in Cop

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Ithica Tell

CAST BACK Wanda/Oshun Ithica is delighted for another go round at Portland Playhouse, where she was last seen in How We Got On. Other roles including: Judas in Jesus Christ Superstar (PAMTA Award) Othello in Othello; Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing. Ithica has appeared on Grimm, The Librarians, The Benefits of Gusbandry, and Life

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Kelli Bee

CAST BACK Yolanda/Ogun Kelli is incredibly humbled to lead this production of Crowns at Portland Playhouse. She was last seen in Dreamgirls with Stumptown Stages. Previous musical theatre credits include Rock of Ages (Justice u/s), Annie (Lily St. Regis), Bare: A Pop Opera (Kyra), Hairspray (Dynamite), Ragtime (Ensemble), The Wiz (Glinda), Rent (Ensemble), and Urinetown

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DJ Curtis

CAST BACK Ensemble, Understudy Delphon “DJ” Curtis is honored to be apart of Portland Playhouse’s production of Crowns. DJ has been seen in A Christmas Carol, Topper, Molly, etc., and as Man 4 in Sides the Musical in this year’s Fertile Ground Festival. DJ is the Gold Medalist for best overall singer in the Ultimate

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CAST BACK Ensemble, Understudy Netty McKenzie is a performer born and raised in Portland, Oregon. She is also a Portland Playhouse Apprentice for the 2018-2019 season. When she is not on stage, she runs a non-profit organization called the Portland Prince/Princess program which serves adolescents in her community. Netty is ecstatic to be a part


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