James Craven, from Minneapolis, happily returns to ATC for the third time. In the 2006-2007 Season, he performed as Turnbo in ATC’s production of Jitney and again in the 2010-2011 Season as Cutler in ATC’s production of Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. Most recently, James portrayed Detective Valentine in an as of yet untitled and soon to be released Brendan Guy Murphy vampire film, shot here in Tucson.
Erika LaVonn counts this as her 9th production of an August Wilson play, and the 6th within his cannon. She’s worked small and big screens, in soaps and dramas, including Law & Order: SVU, and War of the Worlds. From historical human, to a fictional feral, Erika has portrayed the likes of Marion Anderson in My Lord, What a Night, to Nala and Serabi in Broadway’s The Lion King. She’s had the privilege of working overseas and at numerous theaters from coast to coast, including Portland, Denver, Louisville, Kansas, Minneapolis, Baltimore, Delaware, Hartford, Boston, and the Kennedy Center. Erika counts The Christians (Wilma Theater and Syracuse Stage), What I Learned in Paris (Indiana Rep), The Mountaintop (Guthrie Theater, Blumenthal Center, Arizona Theatre Company) and The Lion King, amongst favorites.
It is a pleasure to be working with such a fine group of people! Here’s to the continued belief that I approach this work with: “To behold with wonder like it’s the first time and to work like I’ll never have the privilege to do it again.”
Lester is a veteran actor living in Los Angeles and is a long time company member of Penumbra Theatre; founded by Lou Bellamy and where August Wilson was discovered and nurtured. His Penumbra credits include King Hedley II (King), Fences (Troy Maxon), Two Trains Running (Hambone), Dutchman (Clay), Jitney (Booster), The Piano Lesson (Lyman); Seven Guitars (Philadelphia Theatre, Floyd Barton); Othello (Guthrie Theatre and Nebraska Shakespeare, Othello); Mixed Blood Theatre: The Grapes of Wrath (Al, Grandpa), The Tempest (Cole); A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Shakespeare LA, Oberon/Theseus); Alabama Theatre: Antony and Cleopatra (Scarus), Measure for Measure (Provost). TV/Film credits include The Work Wife, His Secret Family, Miss Ever’s Boys, Boston Legal, The Reveal, The Remake, A Very Good Man, The Sea of Dreams, Surrender, Non Reactive, Bookie, Trauma, Droppin’ Knowledge, and The Eyes of Scott Robbins.
Alan has appeared in over eighty professional theatrical shows which resulted in him receiving a dozen best acting awards from a variety of theatre companies across the United States. He became an international actor when he performed in Driving Miss Daisy in Ontario, Canada. Alan has 25 years combined teaching experience at Dayton Public School, Sinclair Community College and Wright State University. His film credits include Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil, and Vile (2019) with Zac Efron, Native Son (2019) with Nick Robinson, White Boy Rick (2018) with Mathew McCanaughey, Criminal Activities (2014) with John Travolta, and Blue Car (2003) with David Strathairn. When not acting and directing Alan travels to Schools, Colleges and Universities offering his highly praised one-man shows. He would like to thank his beautiful supportive wife, Becky Barrett-Jones, for being his rock.
Dennis W. Spears is a proud Penumbra Theatre Company member. He has performed major roles at Penumbra, Children’s Theater Company, Indiana Repertory, Syracuse Stage, Guthrie, Actors Theater of Louisville and Ten Thousand Things Theater. Dennis was awarded the Ivey Award for Excellence in Acting for his portrayal of Nat King Cole in I Wish You Love. As an accomplished jazz vocalist, he has traveled nationally and internationally. He was inducted into the Minnesota Music Hall of Fame. Dennis is also the Artistic Director for LEGENDS Music Series at the Capri Theater in Minneapolis.
is returning to Arizona Theatre Company where he appeared as Sylvester in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. He is an Emmy award-winning multidisciplinary artist most recently seen in his solo production Aklound Sowell at Pillsbury House Theatre. Ahanti is a long term company member of Penumbra Theatre whose credits include The Day The Bronx Died, Geneva Cottrell – Waiting for the Dog to Die, Jitney, Black Eagles, Darker Face of The Earth, Two Trains Running, and Zoo Man and the Sign. His work has also been featured in The Brothers Size and Marcus and The Secret Of Sweet at The Guthrie Theatre. Other productions with Mixed Blood Theatre, Ten Thousand Things Theater and he is an active musician with renowned vocalist PaviElle French.