Tennessee Williams (Playwright) One of America's greatest playwrights, and certainly the greatest ever from the South, Tennessee Williams wrote fiction and motion picture screenplays, but he is acclaimed primarily for his plays—nearly all of which are set in the South, but which at their best rise above regionalism to approach universal themes. Tennessee Williams drew heavily on his family experiences in his writings. When The Glass Menagerie hit Broadway in 1945, it not only changed Tennessee Williams' life, it revolutionized American theater. A Streetcar Named Desire, The Night of the Iguana and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof are among his other masterpieces. Among his many awards, Williams won two Pulitzer Prizes and four New York Drama Critics Circle Awards. In addition to twenty-five full length plays, Williams produced dozens of short plays and screenplays, two novels, a novella, sixty short stories, over one hundred poems, and an autobiography. His works have been translated into at least twenty-seven languages, and countless productions of his work have been staged
around the world.
DEBBIE ALLEN (Director) a graduate of Howard University in Drama and Classics, continues to be one of the most respected talents in the entertainment industry today. Ms. Allen received the Golden Globe for Best Actress as “Lydia Grant” in the hit series Fame. A three time Emmy winner for Choreography, the series Fame, and The Motown 25th Anniversary Special. Ms. Allen has won 10 Image Awards as a director, actress, choreographer and producer for A Different World, Motown 25th, The Academy Awards, Fame, The Debbie Allen Special, and Amistad. She has directed and choreographed legendary artists Lena Horne, Michael Jackson, Mariah Carey, Cynthia Gregory, Gwen Verdon, Sammy Davis Jr., Janet Jackson, Whitney Houston and Placido Domingo to name a few. Debbie made her Broadway debut in the chorus of Purlie, created the role of Beneatha in the Tony Award winning-musical Raisin, in the 1979 definitive revival of West Side Story she received the prestigious Drama Desk Award, as well as her first Tony nomination.
Allen received her second Tony Award nomination in
1986 for her performance in the titile role of Bob Fosse’s Sweet Charity. Trained by Uta Hagen at the HB Studio in NY, Ms. Allen has worked for over a decade as artist in residence at The Kennedy Center as a writer, director, choreographer, composer and actress collaborating with James Ingram, Arturo Sandoval, Diane Louie, Andrew "Tex” Allen and Karen-----? creating SRO productions of Pepitos’
Story, Brother of the Knight, Pearl, Soul Possesed, Harriet's Return, Dreams, Dancing in the Wings and Alex in Wonderland. Artistic Director and Founder of The Debbie Allen Dance Academy in Los Angeles, Ms. Allen has had the privilege of working with Jerome Robbins, Bob Fosse, Lloyd Richards, Donald McKayle, George Faison, Derek Wolcott, Kenny Leon, Kent Gash, Allan Johnson, Mike Malone, Martha Graham, Alvin Ailey, Steven Spielberg, Milos Forman and Vivian Ayers. She is mother to Vivian and Thump, wife of NBA All Star, Norman Nixon, sister to Phylicia, Tex and Hugh, daughter of Dr A.A. Allen and Vivian Ayers. Ms.
Allen hopes that her work will inspire other To Dare, To Dream, To Do.
RAY KLAUSEN (Scenic Designer)has designed over 350 shows for theatre and television. Broadway: On Golden Pond, Brooklyn The Musical, Big River, Comedy Tonight, Waiting in the Wings and Bea Arthur On Broadway. Regional theater: The Mark Taper Forum (5 shows), St Louis Rep (3), The Kennedy Center (6) directed by Debbie Allen, Prince Music Theatre (2) and Reprise! in Los Angeles (3). Other productions: Jubilee! (Bally’s Grand Las Vegas), My Favorite Broadway (City Center & Carnegie Hall) and My Fair Lady (Lincoln Center). He is the recipient of the Los Angeles Drama Critic’s Circle and Ovation Awards and 3 Emmy Awards. Graduate of the Yale School of Drama. RAYKLAUSEN.COM
WILLIAM H. GRANT III (Lighting Designer) has designed lighting for Dance, Opera and Theater throughout the United States, Europe, South America, Africa, and Asia. Cat on a Hot Tin Roof is his fifth collaboration with Debbie Allen. He was lighting designer for her productions of Dreams, Pearland Soul Possessed. He also designed the Geffen Playhouse production of Harriet’s Return, starring Ms. Allen. Cat on a Hot Tin Roof is Mr. Grant’s first Broadway show.
JANE GREENWOOD (Costume Designer) More than 100 Broadway/Off-Broadway credits including Heartbreak House, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, On Golden Pond, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, The Caretaker, A Delicate Balance, A Moon for the Misbegotten, The Scarlet Pimpernel, Master Class, Passion, The Heiress, The Sisters Rosensweig, Plenty, The Ballad of the Sad Cafe, Burton's Hamlet, Burn This, Vita and Virginia, Sylvia, The Lisbon Traviata. Metropolitan Opera: Dialogue of the Carmelites, The Great Gatsby. Film: Arthur, Can't Stop the Music, Glengarry Glen Ross. Awards: Theatre Hall of Fame, 14 Tony nominations. Professor, Yale School of Drama.
JOHN H. SHIVERS (Sound Designer) Broadway Sound Design credits include: The Little Mermaid, Tarzan, In My Life, Billy Crystal's 700 Sundays, Julia Sweeney's God said 'Ha'. He is also credited as the Associate Sound Designer for Broadway and worldwide productions of Mary Poppins, The Lion King, The Producers, Hairspray, Elton John and Tim Rice's Aida, Titanic, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, Big, The Who's Tommy, Guys and Dolls, and The Buddy Holly Story. Other credits include work on various productions of Ace, Savion Glover, Dionne Warwick and Burt Bacharach and Gregory Hines. John is married to singer/songwriter Catherine Porter with whom he has a daughter, Ruby.
TEX ALLEN (Original Music) Accomplished composer of many styles of music and a performer of the trumpet and piano, has composed for major international jazz artists, as well as for film and network TV specials. CD’s include Late Night, The Tex Allen Songbook, Prince of Peace - Solo Piano, and No Room for Pain. Tex has performed and recorded extensively in the U.S. and at international jazz venues in Europe, Lebanon and Panama.
Smitty/THEATERSMITH, INC. /Christopher C. Smith (Production Supervisor) Credits include, Secrets of a Soccer Mom, Cat On A Hot Tin Roof, August: Osage County, Tale Of Two Cities Pre-Bway, Legally Blonde, All Shook Up Tour, On Golden Pond, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels(NY/Tour), Almost Heaven, Brooklyn, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Aida NYC/Tour/Osaka, Imaginary Friends, Def Jam, Salome, Disney's Berlin Hunchback, Charlie Brown, Capeman, Show Boat, Spider Woman, On The Waterfront, Kentucky Cycle, Most Happy Fella. Smitty lives in N.J. with wife, actress/producer Nancy Ringham, and daughters Caitlyn and Madeline.
GWEN GILLIAM (Production Stage Manager) is happy to be back on Broadway in such distinguished company. Previous Broadway credits include Bring In Da Noise, Bring In Da Funk, Topdog/Underdog, Chicago, and The Wild Party. She was Associate Producer on several shows including Imagine Tap!, Harlem Song and Natvity: A Life Story for which she also produced the album. In addition, Ms. Gilliam has brought her managerial skills to numerous charities and corporations; including events for the Jackie Robinson Foundation, Merrill Lynch, New Line Cinema and National Minority Suppliers Development Council.
CHARLES UNDERHILL (Stage Manager) Broadway: Les Misérables (2006 Revival), The History Boys, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Bombay Dreams, Thoroughly Modern Millie, The Wild Party, The Scarlet Pimpernel (1.0, 2.0, 3.0). Off-Broadway: Elaine Stritch: At Liberty (Public Theater). National tour: Carousel. International: Jimmy Buffett’s Don’t Stop the Carnival. Love and thanks to my family.
BARABRA MONTGOMERY (Dialogue)
SHAUNEILLE PERRY(Dramaturg) is a Director, Writer and Educator. Director: 100+ plays, U.S. and Caribbean. 4 Audelco Awards. February: Celebration, 15 years touring. March: Robeson with Kevin Maynor (National Black Theatre). Writer: 6 plays, 2 musicals, Daddy Goodness, Pearl, A Short Story Collection,. Contributor: Black Masks, American Theatre Magazine. Screenplay: Old Settler, on PBS. Professor of Theatre/ Black Studies at CUNY.
NINA LANNAN ASSOCIATES (General Management) Current Broadway productions include Mamma Mia!, Legally Blonde and The Color Purple; Mamma Mia! and The Color Purple on tour; and Mamma Mia! in Las Vegas. Recent Broadway productions include Gypsy, Thoroughly Modern Millie, The Pillowman. Upcoming productions include a tour of Dirty Dancing and Legally Blonde and Broadway productions of the new musicals Billy Elliot, 9 to 5 and Ray. Devin Keudell first worked with Nina Lannan in 1992 and currently manages two productions of Mamma Mia! among others.
SPRINGER ASSOCIATES PR (Press Representative) is a full service entertainment public relations firm, ranging from theatre, film releases, film festivals, personalities and events. Upcoming Broadway: Busker Alley and Treasure Island. Broadway: Hot Feet, Side Man. Off-Broadway: Gazillion Bubble Show (New York & Las Vegas) and various theatre companies. Film: Murderball, Rape of Europa, O’ Jeruselam, The King of Kong, The Treatment, Macbeth as well as the following film festivals: Sarasota, Hamptons, High Falls, The Other Israel, and the upcoming Sephardic.
PETER WISE & ASSOCIATES (Casting) Smokey Joe’s Café, the longest running musical revue in Broadway history, Grammy winner for Best Musical Album and nominee for seven Tony Awards: Cast International Companies, and National Tour. Associate producer for I’m Ready Productions Men, Money & Goldiggers, Cheaters, Friends & Lovers, the Broadway Musical, Street Corner Symphony, I Love you Your Perfec,t Now Change, Sisterella, National Tour Jesus Christ Superstar, International play, Burn the Floor and the original creative casting director for Caesar Magical Empire in Vegas. Feature films The Hustle, Chain Letters. Lifetime Network “The Fantasia Barrino Story, Life is Not a Fairy Tale.” Co-producer for Nite Tales, The Movie & TV series, NBC “The Jaime Foxx Special Unpredictable.”
ART MEETS COMMERCE (Website Design, New Media Marketing) is a full-service new media solutions firm specializing in the arts and entertainment field. Our services include website design, comprehensive content management and the development of interactive online marketing campaigns.
STEPHEN C. BYRD (Producer) is the founder of Front Row Productions, Inc. which is dedicated solely to producing quality theatrical productions, and has a slate of major theatrical projects in the works. As the producer of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Mr. Byrd is realizing a 15 year vision emulating his favorite producers, Merchant and Ivory. Byrd, a native of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania has over 27 years of experience as an Investment Banker with major Wall Street firms. Following his work as an Investment Banker in M&A with Goldman, Sachs & Co. in the London office and as Managing Director of the Kuwait Investment Office in both the London and Paris offices, Mr. Byrd founded Innovest Capital Group, Inc. As a Principal, he was instrumental in the formation of a Private Equity LLC, Thurn & Taxis, for Prince Karl Von Taxis of Austria. He is currently a Principal and Co-Founder of StoneHedge Capital, Inc., a Private Equity firm. Mr. Byrd holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics from Temple University and an MBA in Finance from the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School, in addition to attending the Alliance Française in Paris. He now brings his proven success in business to the stage with Front Row Productions’ inaugural and historic production of Tennessee Williams’ classic.
ALIA M. JONES (Co-Producer) is thrilled to make her Broadway debut with this historic production. She joined Front Row Productions to bring classic works featuring actors of color to Broadway. The Spelman, Georgia Tech, and NYU Stern graduate has spent ten years in marketing, strategic planning, finance, and technology across leading consumer brands and financial products. Working with NatCreole.com, the global arts & culture magazine and board member of The Canon Project, a non-profit exposing young adults to leadership roles in media and entertainment. Special thanks to her parents and teachers for cultivating her esteem for the Great White Way!
IN ASSOCIATION WITH
CLARENCE J. CHANDRAN, NORM NIXON, MICHAEL FUCHS, EDWARD JONES, ANTHONY LACAVERA, SHEANNA PANG, JOVAN VITAGLIANO, and AL WILSON
BEATRICE L. RANGEL (Associate Producer)
TERRIE WILLIAMS (Associate Producer)