Black Nativity 2012 Cast Bios
All Photos by Ron Abrams unless noted
Aaliyah Frazier (Vocalist/Praise Dancer) studies at Bradley Middle School. Her gifts and talents include dancing, singing, and she is an aspiring artist as well as a stellar athlete. These gifts have made room for her, enabling her to dance and sing at weddings and other social events, play on her school volleyball team, and minister at New Creation Christian Fellowship Church. Aaliyah is no stranger to the stage and looks forward to ministering to you and impacting you forever.
Aishiana Thomas (Vocalist/Praise Dancer) makes her stage debut in TRG’S The Black Nativity. She is a ninth grader at Milton B Lee Academy of Science and Engineering where she plays on the varsity volleyball and basketball teams. She’s a member of Shiloh Baptist Church and serves as President of Youth Usher Board, sings in choir and praise dances. She has done Auditioning/Improv/On Camera workshops with Alpha Tyler and Babs Sheppard. Singing is her Blessing from God.
Amanda Dansby (Young Woman/Vocalist) has always had a passion and desire to entertain others. She started pursuing acting career after she graduated from New Life Christian Academy in 2010 as valedictorian. She is now a Junior at the University of Texas at San Antonio and has rekindled her passion for performing by becoming a part of the 2012 production of The Black Nativity. She hopes to continue performing professionally in the future.
Andrew L. Johnson, Jr. (Ensemble) is a 61 year old aspiring actor/comedian. He is an Army vet and has a lovely daughter and grandson. He has performed in Corporate films, done plays in school also was a Narrator in the Black Nativity in 2011. He loves the Lord and everything and everybody.
Anquinette Thomas (Ensemble) is excited to perform in this show for the second time! She is a native of San Antonio, Texas and a recent Graduate Nurse with an Associate of Applied Science from Lamar State College – Port Arthur. She enjoys writing poems and songs. She is a wife, mother and grandmother. She gives God all the glory for giving her the strength to stand.
Anthony Hall Jr (Praise Dancer/Ensemble) continues with his fifth production with TRG. His passion for dancing and singing & acting started when he was 7 yrs old. He has participated in many plays and different events. Just this past summer he was TRG’s choreographer for their theatre camp and was a part of the amazing cast of The Wiz. Anthony wants to thank God, his family & Paul Riddle the amazing Producer of the best theater company in San Antonio and Danielle King the wonderful co-founder.
BlackWolf Sanchez (Innkeeper/Ensemble) was born into the Apache/Yacci/Tariacuri Nation (Native American). He is a professional story teller and also plays flute for his nation, and for the healing of others. He has spoken in many universities, schools and libraries throughout Texas, as well as other states like New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado, and Oklahoma.
His desire is to simply let other cultures know “Yes, there are still Native Americans in the U.S. of A.”
Blake Willeford (Shepherd#4/Ensemble) is a Junior home-schooled student, and an Eagle Scout. He loves to entertain people and bring glory to God. He has participated in Leadership Training for Christ with his church, where he has helped write skits, and performed in dramas and puppet shows since 2007. He starred in a student short film with Crater Productions, “Reversal of Fate”, in 2009. He is currently training with Actors, Models and Talent for Christ.
Charles Riley (US Narrator #1) was born and raised in San Antonio, Tx. In 1998 he graduated from John Jay High school. With TRG he has done “Fences”, “Dearly Departed”, “Ma’ Rainy’s Black Bottom”, “Runors” and numerous One Acts. He is also appearing on the TLC channel’s show “Personal Justice” and in a commercial for Amazon.com. Charles is very excited about how everything will come together. All praises due to God!!!
Cheyenne Norman (Ensemble) is an eighth grader in Sul Ross Middle School. She plays violin, cello, and desires to grow in the world of arts. That is, she loves to draw, paint, act and sing. Every day she grows toward a newer tomorrow that will light up her experiences to this colorful world known to us as role playing.
Dan Walker, III (Sound Tech) is a Colorado-born military brat from a family of six. He has been singing since age 5 and is a published songwriter. He has performed on stage with various acting troupes since childhood – having appeared in Our Town; Into the Woods (Awarded: Best Supporting Actor); West Side Story; The Hobbit; and Porgy & Bess. This production is Dan’s first with The Renaissance Guild. He is a licensed minister at The Rock Fellowship (San Antonio).
Dwayne Wilson (King#3/Vocalist) hails from Tallahassee, FL and traveled the world as part of an Air Force Family. He has been involved in music ministry since he was a teenager. He currently is in the Air Force inactive reserves as a Lieutenant Colonel. He works at Fort Sam Houston, TX as a civilian physician working with the Physical Evaluation Board (doing fitness decisions for the Wounded Warriors). His previous performances include Oklahoma, Easter Pageant, Handel’s Messiah, Passion of Christ, and The Road to Bethlehem.
Edward Lawrence Burkley IV (King #1/Vocalist) is a native of Houston. He received a Bachelor of Music from Alcorn State University and was soloist with the Concert, Men’s, Gospel, and Inter-faith Choirs. He was soloist with Natchez Music Festival: “Songs of the South”, Natchez Opera: “Porgy and Bess”- Mingo; “Treemonisha” –Zodzetrick, “Show Boat and was selected to be “Lake Junaluska Singer”. In 2010, while pursuing a Master of Music he performed “Candide” – King of Eldorado with Texas State University and this summer he was TRG’s and Pennington’s production of The Wiz as the Lion. He continues to perform across the United States.
Ellen Washington (Angel#4/Vocalist) is a Texas native, born into a world of music and Ministry. From a young age, music was a part of her life. She sang in her local church youth choir, then on to a group with her siblings. She has sung with the San Antonio Youth Ensemble, the Davidian Project, Psalmist La’Toya Alexander and others. She also has sung background vocals for three Bobby McMorris plays. She shared the stage with Kirk Franklin and Donald Lawrence. She is the wife to Jonathan and mother of Donavan & Aniyah.
E’Mya Edwards (Ensemble) is a delightful aspiring actress. This is her first play and she is excited to be doing it with the Renaissance Guild. She would like to thank her aunt for driving her to rehearsal, her grandmother for cooking dinner and all of her new fans
Ezra B. Edwards (Ensemble) makes her performance debut she is excited to participating. This shy young lady has blossomed on stage and dreams of doing more on stage. She would like to thank TRG for having the vision and believing in her. She would like to thank her mother and Aunt Ella for encouraging her to dream.
Felicia Williams (1st Lady/Narrator #3/Vocalist) makes her stage debut in The Black Nativity 2012. She is a native of South Texas, a graduate of the University of Texas at San Antonio (Accounting) and is currently pursuing a certification in Lay Counseling at Community Bible Church. She is the founder of Repairer of the Breach Ministries International and is a worshipping intercessor with a passion for making Disciples of Christ through the teaching of God’s word and bringing healing and restoration to those who are hurting and wounded in spirit.
Gwendolyn Page (Vocalist/Ensemble) has been singing since she was a small child. Her voice is always present in church choirs and ensembles. On several occasions she is a featured soloist at weddings. She is currently a Choir Director at church. Gwen has also performed in some other local theatre productions – to include “Dish Me This Dirt”.
Harmony Jonez (Narrator #1/ Vocalist) has been a stage performer since the age of eight. Her first major stage performance was at the Apollo Theatre in NYC. She most recently relocated from Atlanta, Ga, to San Antonio to record her solo music project. She has also just opened up for R&B recording artist Elle Varner on her summer tour, she is currently honing her craft in San Antonio as an actress, model, & singer songwriter.
J. Bernard Brown (Narrator #3/Vocalist) is a native of Fort Worth, Texas. He began his singing career at the age of 5, and his acting career at the age of 14 at his home church. He had the opportunity to audition and secure a lead role in a Tyler Production Gospel Stage Plays production “Darkness before Dawn”, performed in the Civic Center Corner Theater in DeSoto, TX. He now resides in San Antonio and is a member of the Antioch Missionary Baptist Church.
Jamizia Manous (Praise Dancer/Vocalist) is a middle school student this is her second appearance in a TRG Production of Black Nativity. She has been singing and dancing in church and for special occasions since the age of four. She sang the National Anthem for the MLK and Cesar Chavez opening marches in 2011 and 2012. Her love for family and friends is awesome. Jamizia truly expresses her love to God
Jillian Jones (Dancer) has been with The Renaissance Guild in The Black Nativity 2010 and 2011 cast as an actress and dancer, and again in Silent No More. Jillian is a choreographer, dancer, athlete, and writer and is heavily involved in the community. She is a junior at the University of Texas at San Antonio and is majoring in psychology. She wants to thank God for giving her this opportunity to work with such a diverse and wonderful cast and crew. She also thanks her parents, family and friends for their support.
Johnique Bowzer (Angel #5/ChurchWoman#1) she has been singing since the crib. So grateful God chose her for the gift of song. Originally from North Carolina, and grew up in the military. She currently serve in ministry at Resurrection Baptist Church under Paster Ray D Brown Sr.
Joy Hart (Woman #1/Ensemble) Is an anointed wife, mother, business owner and entrepreneur. She is an ordained minister of the gospel of Jesus Christ. She is commissioned to teach the word and preach the gospel. Her passion is to evangelize around the world. She loves ministering to broken, shattered, and scorned women. Her mission is to see women and girls become whole. She has done mission work in Zimbabwe, Africa, and has traveled many states. God has inspired her to use her gifts for His glory.
Karim Torres (Shepherd #4/Ensemble) is a Slam poet and founder of “Visionary Poets Movement”- a group dedicated to the advancement of children’s education in selected countries of Africa. He is also a model and dancer and has performed at the World Discipleship Summit at the AT&T center. He has been a performer since 8 yrs old when he played drummer boy at Beethoven Hall. He is the proud father of Karim Joseph Torres, III, age 3.
Kenny Patterson (King #2/Ensemble): This marks Mr. Patterson’s third year with the Black Nativity cast. In addition, he has been seen performing on stages in the Midwest, including performances with Footlite Musicals and Indiana Repertory Theatre in Indianapolis. In San Antonio, he’s performed with the Woodlawn and Trinity University theatres and most recently, in My Fair Lady at the San Pedro Playhouse. When he’s not performing, he is at Texas State University pursuing a doctoral degree in education.
Kevin Majors (Male Narrator #1/Ensemble) is an aspiring actor who began his acting career in Indianapolis, Indiana where he participated in numerous high school plays. Kevin’s long list of credits includes: commercials, corporate videos, and an appearance on Showtime at The Apollo. His TRG performances include Dearly Departed, Spell #7, Riff Raff, and In the Blood, for which he won a Best Supporting Actor Award from A.T.A.C. This “brotha” is keeping it real!
Lorenzo Hall (Praise Dancer) is very excited to be in the Black Nativity 2011. This isn’t his first time with TRG he has participated in many events with TRG his latest one was The Renaissance Guild’s annual gala where he ministered in dance with his other dance members Jillian and Anthony. Lorenzo is a freshman at The University Of Texas at San Antonio majoring in biology. Lorenzo wants to thank God and TRG for this great opportunity.
La Sandra Melton-Dolberry (Narrator #2/Vocalist) is Founder/Director of Reflections Christian Drama Theatre (San Diego), and Harambee Creative Dance & Arts. Her focus is the synergy of Ministry and Arts. Two of her productions are “From Hedges to Highways” and “Excess Baggage.” Her Texas dance troupes have worked with Morgan-Scott Dance Company (New York), Amazing Grace Liturgical Dancers (Atlanta), and the Carver Fiesta Praise Dance Celebration, annually. Rev. Dolberry’s chief passion is for disenfranchised children and the people who love them!
Monique James (Praise Dancer) was born on December 31, 1996 in Monterey, Ca. She received the Lord at the age of seven. She loves to dance and sing and has been dancing for two years and singing for ten years now. She attends Judson High School. She won the UIL competition First place in poetry. She is fifteen years old and participates in AFJROTC. When she grows up she wants to be an Air Force Vegetarian.
Myles Avery Harris (Shepherd #2/Vocalist) is a talented well rounded person, academically, spiritually and morally motivated. Presently, he is in the 7th grade at St. Anthony Catholic School, where he is on the A-B Honor Roll. Many of his talents were developed during his educational career and summer programs at the Carver Community Cultural Center. Myles participates in the youth choir at St. Paul United Methodist Church, where he is a member. He is constantly singing everywhere he goes, from the time the sun comes up until the sun goes down and beyond. Singing is his true love in life.
S’keyah Mackey (Praise Dancer) is a senior at Wagner High School and a member at Childress Memorial C.O.G.I.C. She minsters with the high P.R.A.I.S.E dancer. This is her second year with the Black Nativity and also member for the C.S.V.P.A. She has been dancing for nine years and also active with the youth department at her church.
Sarah Ruth Williams (Mary/PK Kid) is a Sophomore at William Howard Taft where she enjoys climbing the ranks of leadership as an AJROTC cadet and conducting research to prepare her arguments for the Debate Team. Her favorite past-times are reading, acting, watching movies and traveling. She has appeared in The Herdman’s Christmas (Gladys), The Secret Garden (Maid 2) and The First Good Friday (Sarah). When she graduates, she endeavors to join the US Air Force as a Physical Therapist.
Scharlette Donald (Angel #2/Vocalist) is a multi-talented singer & actor. She reprises the role of an Angel for the third year. She is blessed to be a Board Member with the Renaissance Guild. Scharlette is a talented performer and continues to pursue her musical endeavors. She is working on several projects. Keep your eyes and ears open for more to come
Taylore Gills (Praise Dancer) dances everyday of her life. She has been praise dancing at New Creation Christian Fellowship since the age of 4. Taylore is 13 years old and attends Cornerstone Christian School where she is an honor student and a member of the 8th grade basketball team. Black Nativity is Taylore’s second production with the Renaissance Guild She thanks God, her family.
Thomas Givens (Narrator #2/Ensemble) has been in Acting for at least 20 yrs. He has done a numerous plays at St. Phillips College and this is his second time doing the Black Nativity. He is working on doing Voice overs for Radio and Television. His motto is To God Be The Glory.
Tremayne Moraldo is Shepherd #2 in this is his first performance with Renaissance Guild Theatre Company. He began with certificates of recognition and award for participation in One Act Play Festival presented by Corporate Landing Middle school, VA in 2010. He is a graduate of AMTC 2012. He takes Theatre Arts 1 as one of his curriculum at Judson High School and is currently a major asset to SOLD OUT Teen ministry at Center of Worship.
Vianne McKinney (Church Woman #2/Vocalist) was born in New Orleans, La. where she began singing lead vocals at the age of 9. She graduated from Tulane University, is an architect, and HEB Grocery company employs her as a Construction Facilities Manager. Her church home is Antioch Baptist Church. Having been involved in various productions in school and church in her formative years, Vianne began her community theater experience locally with Hornsby Entertainment. She blesses God for her many talents.
Musical Staff Bios
Rev. William Butler (Music Director/Keyboard) is currently the Music Director at St. Paul United Methodist Church. He has 35 years of gospel music experience playing for church and community choirs. He currently performs with Reconciliation, a Christian Jazz ensemble which recorded their first Christmas cd in 2002.
William D. Cogdell (Bass Guitarist) bought his first guitar without having any skills at playing, just a desire to learn. With kind words and encouragement from his brother Ray Cogdell and friend Reverend Lemelle Taylor, Brother Cogdell is playing bass for Chosen Generation Baptist Church, Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church and sometimes Mount Zion Baptist Church.
Michael Alexander (Drums) is a seasoned gospel, R&B, funk, rock, Latin, fusion, and smooth jazz Drummer from San Antonio, TX. Michael has been performing for over 20 years at various churches and festivals all around Texas. He has shared the stage with artists like Peter White, Jeff Kashiwa, John P. Kee, and George Benson just to name a few. Michael is honored and blessed to be a part of this remarkable production with TRG, and to share this opportunity with so many talented people from his community.
Johnel Bowzer (Lead Guitar) is self taught. Born in Germany raised in North Carolina, he has a great passion for music which he has passed on to his children, and playing his guitar.
Danielle King (Director) is a Christian, Co-Founder of The Renaissance Guild-San Antonio’s Premiere Black Theatre Company, and founder of DramaChild Productions. Her recent theatre performances include roles in Hairspray, Rumors, Crimes of the Heart, Ethics Follies, Black & Blue, and the musical Crowns. She has won several Alamo Theatre Arts Council Globe Awards, including her last two for Best Actress in a Drama for Blues for An Alabama Sky, and Best Supporting Actress in a Musical for Nuncrackers. She is especially proud to be a member of the Rose of Sharon Ministries and enjoys sharing the “Good News”! “I believe there is still a massive amount of untapped talent in this area that must be seen, heard, and experienced – So bring it on!” She is overjoyed by the wonderful people who have dedicated so much to this production and mostly to God for letting it all happen.
Ella Edwards (Stage Manager/Ensemble) is no stranger to the stage as she has been performing for over 20 years. She is really excited to be working again with the Renaissance Guild. She performed as a Citizen in The Wiz Stage and Managed Miss Evers Boys. When she is not performing she can be found writing or working on issues concerning children and the elderly. She is thankful for her children and family. She is also excited about return to school to work on her Ph.D
Evonne Nathaniel (Angel #1/Vocal Director) was born in Ft. Ord California to military, native Texan parents. From an early age, music has been a part of her life. Recognizing their children’s natural harmony and singing ability; Evonne’s parents pushed her & two older siblings to develop their own musical style. Evonne has shared the stage with Kirk Franklin, Mary Mary, Michael Ward, and Kirk Carl as well as been a featured soloist for artist the likes of Donald Lawrence and Lamar Campbell.
Shelley Daugherty (Assistant to Director) began acting in high school and studied the art in college. She has been a part of the Renaissance Guild for two years as an Usher and helper under the awesome Paul Riddle Jr., now she is under the tutelage of Ms. Danielle King as her assistant. She gives God ALL the Glory in her life.
Cathy Maduro (Choreographer/Praise Dancer) Born in Tortola, BVI and lived in San Antonio most of her life. This marks her debut performance with TRG and is she grateful for the opportunity. She has been dancing and teaching the ministry of dance for over 10 years and enjoys it to the fullest! She is a member of New Creation in Windcrest Texas for almost 4 years and truly loves the Lord. Cathy would like to thank family and friends for all their prayers and support over the years but most of all Jesus Christ, “My Hero”.
Vicki C. Root (Madame Seamstress/Costume designer) began her behind the scenes love of the theatre in the 9th grade when she directed scenes from The Music Man. After that, she managed backstage for her Senior Play, Hillbilly Wedding, and began building costumes for One Act Play during her first years of teaching at East Central High School.
She costumed Oliver! Annie, and The King and I for Harlandale ISD’s fine arts academies (1991-1993). She received a UIL best costumes award for Many Moons. She costumed and dressed for Fiesta Texas’ award winning season 2004. Her inaugural event with TRG was 2012 Summer Camp at The Carver.
Pam Willeford (Production Assistant) is happily married, with three wonderful kids. She graduated from Harding University with a BA in Education and is passionate about molding young minds. She volunteers in the Youth Ministry at her church, and has written, coached and directed youth plays and puppet shows. She has worked with several play productions as a tech. This is her second time working with The Black Nativity.
Ron Abrams (Photographer – abramsphotography.com) is a graduate of Webster University with a BS degree in Management and is currently pursuing dual masters degrees in Procurement Management and Human Resource Development. He honorably retired from the US Army in 2005. He has been the lead photographer for the Renaissance Guild since 2007 and is responsible for the great head shots you see on our website and brochures.
This Years’ show is a tribute to the Memory of Paul Riddle Jr.
Paul Riddle Jr. [August 11, 1960 – April 20, 2012]
(Producer) was a co-Founder and President of (TRG). Paul began his acting career 17 years ago and some of his onstage appearances include The Gin Game, A Soldier’s Play, The Colored Museum, and Fences. He appeared in TRG’s premiere play Betrayal, as well as Spell #7 to name a few. His credits also include the S.T.A.G.E production of Blessed Assurance winning Bulverde’s Best Actor award for the 2002 – 2003 season. He also produced several Act One Series and main stage plays including A Raisin In The Sun (2006 winner of 6 ATAC awards).
Black Nativity was one of Paul’s favorite productions and he was always happy to watch others on and off stage enjoying the magic of theatre. Till we meet again – God Bless you all!