bios THE PLAYERS

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Nathan James, Ellis
As an Actor/Poet/Playwright, Nathan James is a proud native of Pittsburgh, PA, where he began his career with Kuntu Repertory Theater. He has most recently performed his acclaimed One Man Show, Growing Pains, on Theatre Row in the heart of Times Square, NYC at The United Solo Theatre festival (The largest solo performer festival in the world). Prior to Growing Pains, he was seen in the Off-Broadway production, Playing with Fire, with The Negro Ensemble Company and The August Strindberg Repertory Theatre for which he and his cast has been nominated for an AUDELCO Award 2012 for “Best Performance by an Ensemble”. Nathan has most notably appeared as a plain-clothes police officer on the fifth season of HBO’s hit series, The Wire, and aided Young Money recording artist TYGA by performing his original spoken word poetry for the TYGA R.O.A.R Tour. He received an M.F.A. in Acting from Penn State University and a B.A. in Africana Studies from the
University of Pittsburgh. He has also studied Voice and Dramatic Literature in London with voice coach Charmaigne Hoare; as well as Acting for the Camera in Toronto, Ontario at the Pro Actors Lab with David Rotenberg. You may also look for him Co-starring in the role of AL in an Indie Film Pain Within, which was screened at the Sundance Film Festival 2006.

Some of his other theater credits include: Work Song (Pittsburgh City Theater), Singing on Holy Ground (South Africa International Theater Festival), Revenge of a King (Ray, The National Black Theater Festival). As a playwright, Nathan is a recent recipient of the August Wilson Playwriting fellowship from the August Wilson Cultural Center, and his play Contrary to Popular Belief was featured in the Reader’s Theater at the National Black Theater Festival 2009, The Standardized reading series at Center Stage NY, and in the Cultural Conversations Festival 2009 at Penn State University.


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Ley Smith, Lenora
Ley Smith is an Atlanta, Georgia native and honors graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where she was awarded the Andy Griffith Award for Excellence in Dramatic Art given in honor of its namesake alumnus.

Now based in New York, Ley's recent credits include a national commercial with MTV, the production "Follow Me toNellie's," and several short films. Infinite thanks to God, her family, and Walter for their unwavering support as she continues to live and dream boldly.
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DeSean Stokes, Benjamin
DeSean Stokes is proud to make his debut with the August Strindberg Repertory Theatre. Other theater credits include The Time of Your Life (Shakespeare Theatre NJ), Freedom Train (National Tour / The Town Hall NYC), Rope of Sands (Robert Moss Theatre), Mercy Street: A Hip-Hop Musical (Ars Nova), NYMF's Next Broadway Sensation (New World Stages), Within Untainted Wombs (Kraine Theater / Fire This Time Festival), Footloose (CFRT). TV/Radio: Voice of America, MTV, TV-One. *Proud member of AEA. Graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill (Charles Kuralt Fellow).


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Jolie Garrett, Lindy
Jolie Garrett is a graduate of the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in NYC. NYC credits include: The Father in Playing with Fire (August Strindberg Repertory Theatre), Hoke Coleburn in Driving Miss Daisy, The Messenger in Antigone, Grand Inquisitor in Glyn Maxwell's The Lifeblood, Wilhelm in Kafka's The Trial, Paul Robeson in Are You Now or Have You Ever Been, Lampito in Lysistrata, Montjoy in Henry V, Delroy in Sus (Directed by Woodie King, Jr.), Acaste in The Misanthrope, Mageeba in Tom Stoppard's Night and Day, Bassanio in The Merchant of Venice, Dauber in The Cradle Will Rock, Jason in Medea, Roger in Jean Genet's The Balcony (Jean Cocteau Repertory), Domingo in Don Carlos (Prospect Theatre), Ben/William Still in Freedom Train (Theatreworks/USA), Othello in Othello (Shakespeare in Delaware Park, Katharine Cornell Award), Banquo in Macbeth (Drama Committee Repertory), Cassius in Julius Caesar Set in Africa (Nuyorican Poets Cafe), Benedick in Much Ado About Nothing (Gorilla Repertory), and Philoctetes in The Cure at Troy (BlueHeron Performing Arts Center). Regionally he has worked at Arkansas Repertory Theatre, Shakespeare Theatre of Washington (DC), Arena Stage, American Shakespeare Center, Virginia Shakespeare Festival, and Shakespeare's Globe Theatre in London.


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Chudney Sykes, Christine
Chudney Sykes is thrilled to be working with the August Strindberg Repertory Theatre for the first time. Chudney received her MFA in Acting at Harvard University/ART/MXATT and is a proud member of Actors Equity and SAG/AFTRA. She has been acting in and around New York City in various theater and film projects for the past several years, but credits her time acting in Moscow for providing one of the most enriching acting experiences she has had to date. Chudney is very grateful to have the support of her husband, daughter and family in all that she does and thanks God every day for their love. www.chudneysykes.com

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Carol Carter, Mrs. Morgan
New York credits include Lavinia Penniman (the Heiress; Uncle Vanya, Ghosts, The Night of the Iguana, The Vise by Luigi Pirandello and the Late Bus To Mecca by Pearl Cleage. Carol recently played the part of Lena Younger, the matriarch, in the Morningside Players' production of Lorraine Hansberry's "A Raisin In the Sun" which was nominated for a 2012 AUDELCO award.

She is thrilled to be working with such kind and talented artists.

Her performances are dedicated to her beloved mother Dorothy carter who was a Broadway actress and superb educator.