Long before ‘women in rock’ became a media catchphrase, Rosetta Tharpe proved in spectacular fashion that women rocked.
Inspired by Gayle F. Wald’s book Shout, Sister, Shout!, this new theatrical work tells “The Godmother of Rock ‘n’ Roll’s” incredible story.
Ambitious, courageous, and uncompromisingly public, Sister Rosetta Tharpe became a legend who redefined the national and international music scene in the 1930s and 40s.
Experience her incredible life through this rousing musical portrait.
ASL Interpretation, Audio Description, and Open Captioning
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|Event Type||Event Dates|
|Preview Performances||Nov. 9, 10, and 12 at 7:30 p.m.|
|Opening Night||Nov. 13 at 7:30 p.m.|
|Pre-Play Design Talk||Nov. 12 at 6:45 p.m.|
|Post-Play Actor Talks||Dec. 4 at 2:00 p.m. and Dec. 13, 17 at 7:30 p.m.|
|Post-Play Panel Discussions||Nov.14, Dec. 11 at 7:30 p.m.|
Playwright & Co-Creator
Cheryl L. West
Cheryl L. West’s plays include, Last Stop on Market Street (composed by Motown great, Lamont Dozier and son, Paris Dozier), Shout Sister Shout, a new adaptation of The Watsons Go to Birmingham, 1963, Pullman Porter Blues, Jar the Floor, Before It Hits Home, and Akeelah and the Bee. Her plays have earned Ms. West several awards, including the Helen Hayes/Charles MacArthur Award, the Susan Smith Blackburn prize, the Beverly Hills/Hollywood NAACP Best Playwright Award, the National Endowment for the Arts Playwriting Award, the American Alliance For Theatre & Education Chorpenning Award, an award which acknowledges her body of work writing for children. Ms. West’s plays have been produced in England, off-Broadway, on Broadway (Play On!) and in numerous regional theaters around the country, including Seattle Rep, The Goodman, Indiana Rep, Minneapolis Children’s Theatre, Seattle Children’s Theatre, Seattle Rep, Arena Stage, Old Globe, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Bay Street Theatre Festival, Syracuse Stage, Cleveland Play House, South Coast Rep, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, and Off‐Broadway's Manhattan Theatre Club, Second Stage and Atlantic Theater Company. She has written TV and film projects at Disney, Paramount, MTV Films, Showtime, TNT, HBO, CBS, BET and is the Webby-nominated writer for the original web series Diary of a Single Mom, directed by Robert Townsend. Ms. West is currently working on commissions for Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Chicago Children’s Theater, Seattle Children’s Theater, and a co-commission with Seattle Rep and the Goodman Theatre.
Director & Co-Creator
Randy Johnson certainly doesn’t lack for ambition, or vision, or social conscience. In the strictest sense of the word, he isn’t a theater director - that might be too much of a constricted space for him, although he’s certainly succeeded in almost every medium including the Tony award-nominated Broadway production of A Night with Janis Joplin, as well as various productions presented Off-Broadway, in regional theaters across the U.S. and Canada, the concert world (including Radio City Music Hall, Carnegie Hall, and Madison Square Garden), and PBS.television . Recently nominated as Best Director for his direction of Shout, Sister, Shout! at the Pasadena Playhouse by the NAACP Theater Awards. “If there is a trademark for Randy Johnson’s productions, it’s that they’re going to be nothing that you might expect.” The New York Times. www.randy-johnson1.com
Cast, Production, Band
Sister Rosetta Tharpe
Broadway: The Color Purple, Holler If Ya Hear Me. Off-Broadway: Daddy, Sistas the Musical. 1st National Tour: The Color Purple, Shrek the Musical. Film/TV: “Many Saints of Newark” (2020), “Dead Men Tell No Lies” (2020), “Seven Seconds” (Netflix), “NYC 22” (CBS), “Show Boat: Live at Lincoln Center” (PBS). Thanks to God, my husband, Jerry and our children, Isaiah and Pneuma. To my manager Susan Campochiaro Confrey (CBU Management) and JC William Agency. For you Jeanne! 2 Cor. 9:15 Social media: @carriecompere Inquiries: firstname.lastname@example.org
Praise Brother/Little Richard/Ensemble
Christin Byrdsong is from Dallas, TX by way of Los Angeles, CA, and now resides in New York City. Some of his roles have been in Jesus Christ Superstar (Jesus), Sweeney Todd (Beadle), The Little Mermaid (Sebastian), Ragtime (Ensemble), Songs For A New World (Man 1). Christin thanks his agents at Uzan Talent Agency, Florence Birdwell and Dr. Christensen at Oklahoma City University, and the wealth of support from his family and friends. Psalms 100
Praise Brother/Cab Calloway/Ensemble
Joseph Anthony Byrd
Joseph is beyond excited to be making his debut here at Seattle Rep. He has been seen in Kinky Boots on Broadway as well as in the touring productions of The Lion King and Mamma Mia! Select regional credits include Emmett Till in The Ballad of Emmett Till at Goodman Theatre, the Emcee in Cabaret at Paramount Theatre, Annas in Jesus Christ Superstar at Chicago Lyric and Tinman in The Wizard of Oz at Chicago Shakes. All thanks to God for William, Stewart Talent, Antonio, and Mom and Dad!
Jason Kappus has appeared on Broadway in American Idiot, on national tours of Jersey Boys and Legally Blonde, and has recently returned to Seattle where his heart stayed the whole time. Local credits include: Million Dollar Quartet and Hairspray (Village Theatre); Rock of Ages, West Side Story, and Catch Me if You Can (The 5th Avenue Theatre); High School Musical and The Wizard of Oz (SCT); A Man of No Importance and Legally Blonde (Showtunes). Love to Loni, Bubs, and Neemers.
Allison Semmes has appeared on Broadway as Diana Ross in Motown the Musical and The Book of Mormon as Nabalungi u/s and Swing. Other theater credits include OoBlaDee (Two River Theatre), Little Shop of Horrors (Kennedy Center), Soul: The Stax Musical (Baltimore Center Stage), Dreamgirls, Bubbling Brown Sugar, and The Wiz. National tours: Motown the Musical (Diana Ross), The Color Purple (Squeak). Concerts: Kurt Elling’s “The Big Blind” (Jazz at the Lincoln Center), My One and Only (Roundabout), sang at Stevie Wonder’s Songs in the Key of Life (Toronto). TV: “Blacklist.”
Praise Brother/Dizzy Gillespie/Lucky Millinder/Ensemble
Chaz Rose is making his Seattle Rep debut. His Off-Broadway credits include Black Angels Over Tuskegee and She Like Girls (GLAAD Award winner). He co-produced and appeared in the film Writer’s Block, starring Bryan Cranston. Other credits include Ragtime, Little Shop of Horrors, Full Monty,Topdog/Underdog, Elf, The Little Mermaid, Court-Martial at Ft. Devens, Pro,m and Our Town. He is a graduate of The University of the Arts in Philadelphia and a proud member of Actors’ Equity. He is thankful for the never-ending support from his beautiful wife, family, and friends.
Porscha has appeared in Justin Huertas’ The Last World Octopus Champion; Nina Simone: Four Women; Seattle Children’s Edward Tulane;12 Ophelias; By The Way; Meet Vera Stark; Sound Theatre's Hoodoo Love; As You Like It; Anne Washburn’s The Octavia, Iphigenia, and Other Daughters; and Wooden O's Love's Labour's Lost and Force Continuum.
Katie Bell Nubin/Mahalia Jackson
Was the original Church Soloist on Broadway in The Color Purple. She later joined the national tour. She received 2003 and 2004 L.A. Ovation Award Nominations for Best Actress in a Musical for Raisin and The Hot Mikado. Her Broadway Credits: Street Corner Symphony and Big River original casts. Broadway National Tours: Once On This Island and The Wiz original casts. Additional theater Off-Broadway: Abyssinia, Mom’s, The River and Mama I Want To Sing. She toured/recorded with Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Stevie Wonder, Burt Bacharach and Pastor Andrae Crouch. TV/film: “Sparks Sparks & Sparks,” “Good News,” HBO’s The Josephine Baker Story (the soundtrack vocals of Josephine Baker). She gives thanks to God and her family.
Ty is excited to be part of this talented cast and beautiful musical tribute to Rosetta Tharpe. A veteran actor, Ty has participated in many local Equity productions. Some of Ty's appearances include: Booker T. Washington in Ragtime, Paul in Kiss Me Kate, Marty in Dreamgirls, Roscoe Dexter in Singing in the Rain, Voice of Audrey II in Little Shop of Horrors, Papa Ge in Once On This Island, Captain Hook in Peter Pan, and Reverend Hobson in Memphis. Additional shows include tours of My One and Only as Mr. Majix, and Dreamgirls as James Thunder Early. When not on stage, Ty is the proud patriarch of the Willis clan which consists of his talented daughters Bethanie, Madison, and Shelby and his wife Kelly Willis, a local musical theater arts educator.
Praise Brother/Pastor/Russell Morrison/Ensemble
Timothy Ware is grateful to join the cast of Shout Sister Shout at Seattle Rep. He was last seen as Lola in the 1st National Tour of the Tony Winning musical Kinky Boots, after performing the role 186 times in the Original Broadway Company. Other Broadway National Tours include Dreamgirls, Mamma Mia!, and Jesus Christ Superstar. This is for Barry. Follow him on Twitter @BeatPoetIsI and Instagram: Timothy_Ware
Understudy for Sister Rosetta Tharpe
Previous Seattle Rep credits include Nina Simone: Four Women and As You Like It. Other credits include Barbecue, The Wedding Band, Black Nativity (Intiman); Crowns (Intiman, Prince Musical Theatre); Hairspray, Matilda, My Heart is the Drum, Chicago(Village Theatre); The Pajama Game (The 5th Ave Theatre); Rejoice (True Colors Theatre); The Wiz, Constant Star (Ensemble Theatre); Hi Hat Hattie (Ensemble, New Horizon Theatre); Caged Bird (Book-It Rep). Tours: Menopause The Musical, Ain’t Misbehavin’. TV/Film: “The Librarians,” Last Seen In Idaho, Alt. Voice-over: Madison Grant in the State of Decay video game. Awards: Gregory, Footlight, Broadway World, Gypsy Rose Lee, and The 5th Avenue Subscribers Award. B.A. from Southern University and A&M College. FB: Shaunyce Omar
Alexis Tidwell has appeared in Beautiful: The Carole King Musical First National Tour as Little Eva, Little Shop of Horrors as Crystal (Portland Center Stage/Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park), Dreamgirls as Lorrell, The Wiz as Dorothy (Alhambra Theatre), Ain’t Misbehavin’ as Charlaine (Oak Ridge Playhouse), and a host of shows with Norwegian Cruise Line. She thanks GOD, her husband Channing, her family, and Shelli (RKS Management) for their continued love and support! This Memphis native holds a Master’s degree from The University of Tennessee. Alexistidwell.com, IG: @tinytidwell
Nehemiah is excited to be on land, in his hometown and make his debut with Seattle Rep. Over the past nine years, he has been performing on the high seas with Norwegian Cruise Lines. While on the ocean he was a featured singer/dancer in shows like Vegas! The Show, Paradis, and many more. He has performed with the New York Metropolitan Opera and has appeared in Beauty and the Beast at Disney World MGM.
Darryl Reuben Hall
Darryl Reuben Hall has appeared in Porgy and Bess (New York City Opera Lincoln Center); Godspell, Linda Eder: The Holiday Concert, Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular, Cinderella (Broadway); The Color Purple (Milwaukee Rep); The Civil War (Ford’s Theatre); Kiss Me, Kate (Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, Music Theatre of Wichita, Alhambra Dinner Theatre); The Wiz (American Stage, Stage Aurora Theatrical Company); Crowns (Cincinnati Playhouse); and Miss Saigon (Actor’s Playhouse). Darryl is Artistic Director/Founder of Stage Aurora Theatrical Company and is a lead vocalist at Times Square Church. His most recent TV credit is “Godfather of Harlem.”
William Carlos Angulo
William Carlos Angulo happily returns to Seattle Rep where he choreographed In the Heights last season. Other choreography includes Ars Nova, The Public Theatre, Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, Goodman Theatre, Portland Center Stage, Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Marriott Theatre, Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, and more. He holds a B.F.A. in Musical Theatre and Drama from Indiana University, and he studied on scholarship at Hubbard Street Dance Center and Ballet Chicago. Love and endless gratitude to Elisabeth, Braden, The Gersh Agency, Crybaby Theatricals, Team 540, Familia, and Diego. Joshua 1:9
Music Director & Additional Arrangements/ Orchestrations
Sheilah V. Walker
Conductor, music director, and keyboardist. Highlights: Broadway: Fiddler on the Roof, Don’t Get God Started. National and international tours: Ragtime, The Color Purple, Fiddler on the Roof, Porgy and Bess, Funny Girl, South Pacific, Hello Dolly, Singin’ in the Rain, The Mystery of Edwin Drood. Ms. Walker has conducted and/or accompanied Brian Stokes Mitchell, LaChanze, Audra McDonald, Norm Lewis, David Alan Grier, Theodore Bikel, Topol, Fantasia, Carol Channing, Jean Stapleton, Tyne Daley, Patina Miller, Robert Goulet, Joel Grey, Debbie Gibson, and a host of other actors and musicians. She is a former choral director/vocal coach at Dallas’ High School for the Performing and Visual Arts.
GW Skip Mercier
Mercier is delighted to return to Seattle Rep where he designed The Last of the Boys, Ibsen in Chicago, Well, and The Time of Your Life. In NY he designed the sets and costumes for Juan Darien: A Carnival Mass, which received a Tony Nomination and two Drama Desk Nominations. At the Vineyard Theatre, Dream True and Bed and Sofa procured him two additional Drama Desk Nominations. He received the AUDELCO award for outstanding set design for Tyrell McCraney’s Head of Passes at the Public. Regionally, he was honored with the Bay Area Critics Award for Outstanding Scenic Design for The Time of Your Life at ACT and Head of Passes at Berkeley Rep. He proudly received the Daryl Roth Creative Spirit Award for Outstanding Talent and Vision in Design.
Broadway and London: On Your Feet!, Motown, Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill, The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess (Tony nom.), Topdog/Underdog. Off-Broadway: The Light, Eve’s Song, Me and My Girl, By the Way Meet Vera Stark, Venus, Invisible Thread, Romeo and Juliet, The Misanthrope, Sex with Strangers. Regional: Man in the Ring, The White Card, Seize the King, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Radio City Rockettes, Trustee American Theater Wing. @esosafashion
Mr. Wierzel has worked with artists from diverse disciplines and backgrounds in theater, opera, and dance on stages throughout the country and abroad. New York/Broadway: Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill, the musical FELA! (Tony Award Nomination), David Copperfield’s debut Dreams and Nightmares. Theater: A.C.T., Shakespeare Theatre, Chicago Shakespeare, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Guthrie Theatre, Goodman Theatre, Old Globe, Asolo Rep, and the Center Theatre Group LA, among others. Opera: Paris, Tokyo, Norway, Toronto, Vancouver, Glimmerglass Festival, Atlanta, Boston, Seattle, Houston, Dallas, Austin, Washington D.C., Miami, Minnesota, and Chicago. Dance: Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company (34 years). Wierzel is a creative partner at Spark Design Collaborative and is on the faculty of NYU Tisch School of the Arts in NYC.
Joanna Lynne Staub
Joanna Lynne Staub has previously designed at The Alliance Theatre, The 5th Avenue Theatre, Goodman Theatre, La Jolla Playhouse, New York Theatre Workshop, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, The Public Theater, Nashville Children’s Theatre, Kansas City Rep, and WP Theatre. She works with both the St. Louis and New Jersey Symphonies. Ms. Staub has extensive credits audio engineering and associate designing Broadway shows and national touring companies. She holds degrees from Ithaca College and the University of Illinois, and teaches Sound Design at Ithaca College and Princeton University. jlssound.com.
Kwame Braun is a documentary filmmaker and teacher of filmmaking (currently in UW Seattle’s School of Drama) with a growing career in projections design for performance. Projects include The Lasso of Truth (2014, Marin Theatre Company), Chavez Ravine (2016, UC Berkeley), Mary’s Wedding (2017, Portland Center Stage), By the Way, Meet Vera Stark (2017, Meany Studio Theater). He recently completed a short experimental fiction film, Meg and Siggy Go Swimming with theater artist and UW colleague Jeffrey Fracé. Shout Sister Shout! is his first show at Seattle Rep.
Tyler is a NYC-based director/writer/producer working on Broadway and 1st National tours of A Night With Janis Joplin, Guys & Dolls, Garry Marshall’s Happy Days, and Little House on the Prairie. His NYC credits include Chasing Rainbows, Empire, Giant, and co-writer for 92nd Street Y. Tyler’s theatrical homes include Paper Mill Playhouse (12 productions), Goodspeed Musicals, Smith Center, The 5th Avenue Theatre, McCarter Theatre, Pasadena Playhouse, ACT, Alley Theatre, Signature, NCT, and Zach Theatre. Tyler is an Austin Critic’s & Payne Awards winner – and thrilled to be joining Seattle Rep!
Musicals: Striking 12 (Off-Broadway & regional), Sleeping Beauty Wakes (CTG, McCarter, La Jolla), Wheelhouse (TheatreWorks), Toy Story: The Musical (Disney), Long Story Short (regional), Ernest Shackleton Loves Me (2nd Stage, Seattle Rep), Watt?!? Village Theatre), The Behavior of Broadus (CTG, Sacred Fools), Beautiful Poison (The 5th Avenue). Film: four movies about Tinker Bell (Disney). Awards: Jonathan Larson, ASCAP/Richard Rodgers, LA Ovation, LA Drama Critics Circle, LA Stage Raw. Proudest productions: Mose (14), Arlen (3), and Rory (1). Thanks to Makaela for holding down the fort.
Emily Madigan has previously appeared at Seattle Rep in In the Heights last season. She is excited to return as Assistant Choreographer for Shout, Sister, Shout! She has performed at Milwaukee Repertory Theater, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Portland Center Stage at the Armory, Guthrie Theater, Ordway Center for the Performing Arts, Chanhassen Dinner Theatres, Theater Latte Da, and Marriott Theater. She would like to thank William for always believing in her, Crybaby Theatricals, and her family, near and far for their continued love and support. @emilydmads
Production Stage Manager, Seattle Rep. Select credits: The Servant of Two Masters (Seattle Rep, Shakespeare Theatre Company, Guthrie Theater, ArtsEmerson); As You Like It, MAC BETH, The Odyssey, Here Lies Love, Well, A Raisin in the Sun, All the Way, The Great Society, The Piano Lesson, Boeing Boeing, Fences, You Can’t Take It With You, Gem of the Ocean (Seattle Rep); The Sound of Music, Cinderella, Guys and Dolls, White Christmas, Cabaret (The 5th Avenue Theatre); Angels in America, A Doctor In Spite of Himself (Intiman Theatre); Brooklyn Bridge, Lyle the Crocodile (Seattle Children’s Theatre).
Assistant Stage Manager
Credits include: As You Like It, Nina Simone: Four Women, In the Heights, The Humans, The Odyssey, The Vaudevillians, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Venus in Fur, Boeing Boeing, Clybourne Park, The Imaginary Invalid, Birdie Blue, Twelfth Night (Seattle Rep); Rock of Ages, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Romy & Michele’s High School Reunion, Grease, A Chorus Line, Oliver!, Secondhand Lions, The Music Man, RENT, Cinderella (The 5th Avenue Theatre); The Little Prince, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (Seattle Children’s Theatre).
Assistant Stage Manager
Cristine Anne Reynolds
Select work at Seattle Rep (over the last 20 seasons) includes: Two Trains Running (coproduction with Arena Stage), Dry Powder, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Clybourne Park, The Great Gatsby, and Jitney. Locally, she stage manages at Seattle Children’s Theatre (20 seasons), Seattle Opera (25 seasons), including assistant stage managing Seattle Opera’s Ring Cycle from 1995 - 2013. Most recently she stage managed Vanity Fair, a co-production between Shakespeare Theatre Company and American Conservatory Theater, directed by Jessica Stone.
Associate Music Director
Emma Weiss is a music director, educator, and pianist from New York City. She holds an M.A. in Musical Theater Music Directing from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. She has music directed productions, concerts, and cabarets in New York at Radio City Music Hall, Joe’s Pub, Feinstein’s 54 Below, The Django, The Duplex, and The Tank. Emma has worked regionally at The Weston Playhouse and the Parallel 45 Theater Company. She is thrilled to be in Seattle for the first time with Seattle Rep.
Elisa Money is a songwriter and musician from Vancouver, Canada. Elisa has performed at 54 Below, Village Theatre, The Commodore Ballroom, Seattle Musical Theatre, and played for The 5th Avenue Theatre. She has worked on new musicals at The Arsht Center in Florida, California, New York, Pennsylvania, Vancouver, and Seattle. Select credits: Howl’s Moving Castle (Book-It, MD), Hart Island (Village, Asst. MD), Rosie the Riveter (The 5th Avenue, MD), Mamma Mia (Seattle Musical Theatre, Conductor/Keyboard). Original music: The Seed EP and Canadia, PA. www.elisamoney.com
New York Casting
Laura Stanczyk, CSA/Brick Wall Theatrical
Broadway, Off-Broadway & Tours: Encores! Off-Center, Side Show, After Midnight, A Night With Janis Joplin, Follies, Lombardi, Ragtime, Impressionism, Seafarer, Radio Golf, Coram Boy, Translations, Damn Yankees, Dirty Dancing, The Woman in Black, The Glorious Ones, Cripple of Inishmaan, Urinetown, All Our Children, The Brother Sister Plays, Fetch Clay Make Man. Other theater includes: Broadway Center Stage at The Kennedy Center, the premieres of Make Believe, Harps and Angels, Me Myself & I, Gruesome Playground Injuries, and Golden Age. Regional work with McCarter, Signature, Studio Theatre, The Shakespeare Theatre of Washington DC, The Wilma, Hartford Stage, Druid Theatre Galway, Theatre Royal Bath, Hampstead Theatre, London. Artios Award for Follies.
Associate Sound Designer
Justin S. Davis
Sheilah V. Walker
Keyboard 1/Rehearsal Pianist
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Delve into the unabridged audiobook of Gayle F. Wald’s 2007 noted biography, Shout, Sister, Shout!, the eye-opening story of the “Godmother of Rock and Roll,” GRAMMY® nominee and 2018 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, Sister Rosetta Tharpe. Read by Emmy® and Tony® Award-winner, Leslie Uggams, as well as Shawn T. Andrew and author and record producer, Anthony Heilbut, the audiobook was just released by Beacon Press and includes recordings by Sister Rosetta Tharpe.
Laurents/Hatcher Foundation, Inc.
Matthew & Kim Bergman