New 2011 Cast Members of Running: AMOK
Colette Williams affectionately known to her friends as Colie was born and raised in the Bronx, New York where she attended the High School of Music and Art in Harlem. Her love of the arts led her to Syracuse University where she studied musical theatre. Since moving to the DC area, Colie began teaching in Prince George’s County schools, and she has appeared in a variety of performances from children’s theatre to her own one woman show Everything Must Change. In 2001, Colie began writing music and eventually formed her band Soul For A New Day. They have been performing in the DC area since 2006. Colie will be playing the role of “MAMA BELLE“.
Quineice will be playing the character “LESHELL” in Running: AMOK. This petite powerhouse has vocal stylings that blur musical genres. She began her career as a session vocalist and has traveled as far as Japan to lend her background support vocals to artists such as house sensation Crystal Waters. In the early 2000’s, Quineice began her foray into musical theater, starring in classic theater pieces produced in Baltimore, MD– including such hits as Little Shop of Horrors, Dreamgirls and The Wiz, in which she portrayed the main character, Dorothy. Quineice has used her art to champion many causes, most recently touring as a motivational force in the area of domestic abuse. She is often asked to share her own personal story through song with her original song “Mr. Crazy” which details how she escaped the grasp of an abusive relationship. Quineice is working on her debut CD which is slated for a Winter 2010 release while penning songs for R & B artist J. Holiday.
Rayona L. Young is a transplant from Michigan, still learning the waters of the Potomac and Anacostia. as a current resident of the Washington DC metro area. Currently teaching middle school girls the basics of drama and theater, she is a seasoned performer. She has performed with the likes of Jessica Care Moore, The Last Poets and Boog Brown, and has graced the theatrical stage of Historic Idlewild. With a strong background in musical theater, Running: AMOK struck her as a show she could not pass up. “Being a single mother is my first job”, she says, and she is excited to be involved with a project that hits so close to home. Her theatre resume includes features in Ain’t Misbehavin’, The Colored Museum, My One And Only, and many others. Most recently, she co-directed The Vagina Monologues at The Silver Spring Stage in Silver Spring, MD. In the future, she plans to continue teaching drama and theater, and aspires to run a theater company for youth. Rayona will be playing the role of “NINA” this season and serving as the production’s Assistant Director.
Lyn Artope will be playing the role of “BENNY” in the play “Running: AMOK”. Lyn is originally from Brooklyn, New York, but currently resides in Baltimore, Maryland with her husband and two sons. Running: AMOK is Lyn’s acting debut. DCist described her portrayal of CAMMILE‘s mother , BENNY in the 2010 Capital Fringe Fest production of Running: AMOK as a “pleasant surprise” with “comedic banter”. Lyn was drawn to this project because she identified with the plight of a “do it all” mother and understands the societal challenges women experience once becoming parents. She wanted to be a part of bringing this play to life.
Nia Simmons is proud to be one of many artists representing the talent-filled Washington DC Metropolitan Area. Born and raised in Alexandria, VA, Nia has been singing since age 3 starting in the church, then gradually moving on to local talent competitions and community events. She is a Howard University graduate; Bachelor of Music in Jazz Studies, Business minor. Nia was an original member of the premiere Howard University vocal jazz group, Afro Blue, and was featured with the group on two Howard University Jazz Ensemble recordings (2001 and 2002). She also recorded with gospel band Anointed Favour on their single, Advance the Kingdom in 2005. Though she enjoys assisting her fellow artists by contributing background vocals in the studio and at live performances, Nia is also a sought after solo artist and vocal arranger. Playing the role of “Lyn”, Running: AMOK marks Nia’s return to the theatrical stage after a long hiatus. She is very thankful for the opportunity to take part in a production that will not only entertain, but also provides a meaningful portrayal of the strength, struggles, and resilience of women that is truly inspiring.
“I was interested in being a part of Running: Amok because I truly enjoyed watching its first run in the 2010 Capital Fringe Fest,” says singer Deja Belle.”I remember thinking “Wow, this is my life, set on stage!” As a new mom and an aspiring artist, I related so much to the characters’ struggles into motherhood and felt that this avenue was a great, light-hearted way to talk about it. I am a singer/songwriter with an amazingly raw, sensual, raspy, and contralto voice. My lyrics are very anecdotal and revealing of my heart and life as a woman, a mother, a lover, a friend, a Congolese, and much more.” Deja will be playing the role of “CAMILLE”.
The Running: AMOK BandThis Spring 2011 Season, we are privileged to have a live band accompanying us on four of the five shows this season. The band is led by musician/singer Derrick Marquis who plays keyboards and includes Will Henderson on bass and Greg Bryant on drums.