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Music City Jubilee Playbill

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We hope you enjoyed the show!
Featured Artist
6/18/22 7:30 show

Greg Johnson

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Featured Artist
6/18/22 3pm show


Austin Wilhoite also known as AyyWillé is a Hip Hop/Jazz Saxophonist and Recording Artist from Nashville, TN. Inspired by Jazz greats like Miles Davis and John Klemmer, AyyWillé has used his Saxophone to spread his sound throughout the community specifically amongst the hip hop generation. As a product of the city, coming out of Nashville School of the Arts and Tennessee State University, his goal is to present to the world that Black Jazz in Nashville is not only alive, but evolving as well. 

Featured Artist
6/17/22 7:30pm show

Adrienne Ewing-Roush

Adrienne Ewing-Roush has been using her warm, soulful voice as worship since becoming part of the Baha’i Faith community in 1988. She has traveled extensively throughout Western Europe, Canada, and the United States on several teaching trips with the Voices of Baha Choir and the Metro Washington Baha’i Chorale. She also was a participant in the 1992 World Congress inaugural Gospel Choir in New York City, helping to infuse Gospel music into Baha’i worship. Adrienne has also traveled extensively as a member of the non-profit One Human Family (OHF) Workshop Choir Inc. She is the former director of the Nashville Chapter of OHF and saw this activity as a means of further developing her own spiritual life while sharing the message of Oneness. She is included on “My Prayer, My Praise,” album recorded by Eric Dozier and the One Human Family. Adrienne has recorded on several albums, both secular and Baha’i. She is especially proud of recording work she completed with the late Randy VanWarmer and on “Eastwind,” a CD of songs inspired by the Baha’i Faith and its spiritual principles. Adrienne has acted in stage performances with a group formerly known as Black Taffeta and Burlap Theater Company in Nashville and she performed extensively with Dr. Dorothy Marcic, an author and creator of the show “Respect: The Musical Journey of Women.”  Adrienne is a native Nashvillian, and she works as a clinical social worker.

Featured Artist
6/16/22 7:30pm show
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Daryl Epling

Daryl is originally from Virginia but lived most of his life in Livingston, TN before moving to the Nashville area. He was self-employed for over twenty years in lawn care and construction. His love of music started at an early age before he started school when his sister brought a guitar home from school. His dad then taught him to play. He has an affinity for such artists as Johnny Cash, Alice in Chains and Jimi Hendrix.  In 2012 his Rock-A-Billy group Carried Away did a Biker bar tour across the country. Daryl is currently a resident of the Village at Glencliff United Methodist Church that was recently featured on Fox 17 local news station a couple of weeks ago.

Featured Opening Night Guest
6/10/22 7:30 show

Marie Baskerville
Thomas Rutling's Great Great Niece

Marie Baskerville Marie Baskerville is a native of Waterbury, Connecticut and the daughter of Dr Nathaniel & Lillie Baskerville.  She had worked for many years as a Guidance Counselor at Crosby High School. She received her B.S. degree in education from Tennessee State University, M.S. degree from University of Hartford, and her 6th year in Educational Administration and Supervision from Southern Connecticut State University.   A lover of the performing arts, Marie is a direct descendant of one of the original Fisk Jubilee Singers, Mr. Thomas Rutling. Marie is the founder and Artistic Director of the Unity Dance Ensemble a performing arts program.   One outstanding dance project was traveling to Trinidad with students as a part of the Inter-District Music Exchange program. Marie has been the recipient of the following awards: The Mayor's Council on Culture, The Waterbury Club of the National Association of Negro Business and Professional Woman's Clubs, NAACP Waterbury Branch, Connecticut Commission on the Arts, and Clock City Temple #895 Community Service Award.  Affiliations include Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Jackie Robinson Scholarship Committee, NAACP, Waterbury Symphony Board past member, National Alliance of Black School Educators, CT Alliance of Native Americans and other organizations. Favorite pastime and hobbies are collecting art listening to listening to jazz. reading, traveling, and being with family and good friends. " Infusing an awareness of one's cultural identity through the arts, sharing talent and knowledge is my way of giving back to the community."

Cast and Crew

Chantae Kirkwood
as Young Cornelia & Jennie Jackson 

Chantea Kirkwood (Jennie Jackson) has returned to the stage, after a 6 year focus on TV and film. She can be seen in commercials for Blue Cross Blue Shield, Hughes and Coleman and the TV Series Nashville. Recent Theater Credits: Our Town, The Devil’s funeral and Let’s Straighten it Out and The WIZ Adaptation. This will be her first project with Dream 7. Chantea hopes that her portrayal of strong unapologetic female warriors will be the catalyst that makes love popular again, bringing healing to a hurting world.


Naudia Cartmell
as Ella Sheppard

Naudia Cartmell was born in Nashville,Tn. She currently serves as the Senior Executive Officer with the rank of Major at the 118th Wing. She attended Nashville School of the Arts with a focus in acting, followed by Tennessee State University and  Trevecca Nazarene. She is a wife, a mother of 3 sons, and loves helping to empower women to unlock their fullest potential.

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Aja Ledford
as Julia Jackson, Cook, & dancer

Aja Ledford is a 13 year old actor and is a member of her school’s choir. This is her second stage play with Dream 7 productions. Aja also acted in Actin’ Up Media’s indie film ‘Drought’ . She is excited to be apart of this musical  ‘ Music City Jubilee’.


Lia'Niya Ledford
as Maggie Porter

Lia’Nya Ledford is a 15 year old actor who has been acting since the age of 9. This is Lia’Nya’s second stage play with Dream 7. She has also acted in Wings lifted production ‘ Shadow Of An Eye’ and Actin’ Up Media’s indie film ‘ Drought’. Lia’Nya is thrilled to be in Dreams 7’s first musical production ‘ Music City Jubilee’.

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Leonard Ledford
as Lt. Col. Dr. Augustus, Frederick Loudin, & Asst. Director

Leonard Ledford III (Frederick J. Loudin, Asst. Director) is an actor, writer, & director. He has been performing on stages in the Nashville area since 2016 in performances such as The D, Stick Fly, Sweat, & The Piano Lesson. And has been in performances with other companies like Destiny Theatre Experience, Centerstage Theatre, & Humanity Theatre Project. He wrote & directed the feature film DROUGHT that is streaming on Tubi. After being in many productions, he is now the Asst. Artistic Director of Dream 7 Productions. Learning from Dream 7 founder, Michael L. Walker, Leonard is now ready to help take D7 to new heights. He also a hip hop artist and songwriter ( Boogie Dollars) & also Co-founder of Actin Up Media & host of The Session.


Artisha Ledford
as Sarah Sheppard & Harriet Loudin

Artisha is a Los Angeles, CA native. She is an actor, writer and director. Artisha was introduced to theatre as a child, as a coping mechanism to creatively express herself and developed a love for performing arts. Her journey has since led her to Nashville, TN where she was inspired by her mentor Micheal L. Walker, founder of Dream 7 productions, to return to the stage. She has performed in Dream 7 production’s  ’Me Too’ , ‘Fathers, Sons, Uncle, Nephews’ ,  Wings lifted production’s stage play ‘Shadow of an Eye’ , MADD Max films webseries ‘Moverz 615’ and Actin’ Up Media’s indie film ‘Drought’ and wrote & directed Actin’ Up Media’s short film ‘Down For The Cause’. ‘Music City Jubliee’ is Artisha’s first musical performance and is delighted to be apart of this beautiful cast. 


Shaun Hill
as Greene Evans & Dancer

Shaun Hill , a jack of many trades , and Nashville native.  Shaun is a character within himself , honey, and the spirit to light up any space.  Shaun has aspirations to do voiceovers and narrations.


Tierra Simpson
as Sally, Leona, & Georgia Gordon

Tierra Simpson is a singer, choir director, & all-around lover of music. She is also the assistant music director of the "Music City Jubilee " theatre production.  She serves as worship leader/ Choir and youth dance ministry director at" New Hope Baptist Church", and co-director of "The Volunteer State Mass Choir". Tierra is a licensed cosmetologist that enjoys pampering her clients. Alongside of being a full-time mom, she is also a Madrina Nanny Tee Tee, which is one of the greatest joys of her life. Grateful to have gotten to work with such a great CAST!!!

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Zariah Readus
as Young Maggie Porter & Eliza Walker

Zariah Readus is debuting her very 1st acting experience in the "Music City Jubilee "theatre production. Zariah is 14 years old, a participant of her church's youth choir/dance ministry, and former member of the "Nashville Children's Choir". She will be entering Glencliff high school this fall as a freshman cheerleader. Zariah loves fashion, swimming and traveling with her family and friends.


Jessica Young
as Mistress Phereby, Frau Schaeffer, Laura White, & Queen Victoria

Jessica Young is 22 years old from Lebanon, TN. She loves theatre, and has been active in the community for about 8 years now. She loves her family and appreciates everything they do for her to help her chase her dreams. Jessica is very excited for this show to be put on stage, a story that has become near and dear to her heart. She hopes you enjoy it, beginning to end.

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Allen Rucker
as Troy & Isaac Dickerson

Allen Rogers Rucker is a 33 year old African American Male Actor from Greenwood South Carolina. This is his 2nd production with Dream 7, but Allen has featured in other plays like SHADOW OF AN EYE (Brother Devin) HOLES (Sam) and his role as Brother Ross in MILITANCY.


William Finley
as Thomas Rutling & Little John

William Finley isn’t any amateur to the theater scheme, he’s been in many works involved since the age of nine like “Bud not Buddy, Twelfth of Whatever, and Man up Chronicles written and directed by Michael L. Walker. He’s also well trained in the backstage arena with experience working with Nashville Shakespeare and Kenny Playhouse Theater. Thanks to his parents Vida and Aaron Finley, William has grown to live and appreciate theater and definitely has the chops for it, you’ll see…

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Gabe Atchley
as Massa, Dean Cravath, & Mob Man 1

Gabe Atchley got his roots in performing through stand-up comedy. But once that first dramatic play was completed, he knew where he truly belonged. He enjoys tinkering with hand tools, helping friends and family, and pondering the meaning of the universe. One wish he has is for everyone to become more reliable on themselves when it comes to living more sustainable.


Peter Davis
as President Spence, Mob Man 2, & Hotel Proprietor

This is Peter's first show with Dream 7 Productions. He has been acting a long time, playing such roles as Gollum, Ralph in A Christmas Story, and countless ensemble roles. Peter is grateful for this opportunity to work with the group and honor God in art.

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Aariyah Caldwell
as Young Ella, Rosa, & dancer

This is Aariyah's first Dream 7 Production. 


KeiAndrea Zoey Caldwell
as Minnie Tate

KeiAndrea fell in love with theatre after her first performance of the Wizard of Oz. She later went on to be featured in productions such as Your Arms Are Too Short To Box With God, Wizard of Oz, Oklahoma, and Fame. KeiAndrea plans to continue performing for Nashville and abroad after this opportunity with Dream 7 Productions. 

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Mark Maddux
as Pastor Bennett

Mark was born and raised in Nashville, TN. He is a father of 3 children. This is my first time acting and really love the experiences in acting out characters. He is 43 years old and now have a new hobby that he hopes grows like a well-watered weed.

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Angelo Tate
as Simon Sheppard & Frederick Douglas

Angelo Tate is an actor, producer, award winning writer, and award-winning director from Nashville, Tennessee. Angelo graduated from Trevecca Nazarene University with a degree in business administration and double majored in theatre. When he is not dedicating his time to working or developing his craft, Angelo loves to spend time with his wife, family, walking, and gaming. 


Alice Nunn
as Hannah, Housekeeper, & Lady In Waiting

Born and raised in Nashville TN, Alice graduated from Hume Fogg Tech and received a BA in PSYCHOLOGY. She is a mother, grandmother, singer, & homemaker.


Bonita Thompson
as Cornelia

Bonita Thompson was first bitten by the acting bug when she made her debut as the character of Sister Hubert in the production of Nunsense at Encore Theatre. She has also appeared in several other plays at Encore Theatre. Most recently, she has enjoyed playing the characters of Judge Judy in Contempt of Court, and Abby in Arsenic and Old Lace. She has also played the outra­geous role of Fairy June in Southern Fried Funeral at SPAM Community Theater.  

Bonita retired after a thirty-four year career as an elementary educator in the Wilson County School System. During that time she taught second, third, and fourth grades. She served as an assistant principal for her last twelve years in education. She laughingly says that she has had the shortest retire­ment in history, since it lasted just seventy-five hours! She currently works as a part- time historical interpreter at The Hermitage, home of Andrew Jackson and a part-time elementary music teacher at Friendship Christian School in Lebanon. What happened to retirement?

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Henry Jones
as Mr. Toussaint, Willis Porter, Duke of Hastings
& Set Designer

For Music City Jubilee, Henry L. Jones is the set designer, a co-producer and an actor. Award-winning artist, poet, playwright, performance artist and actor, Jones exhibits in museums,  galleries, and universities with recent exhibits at the Parthenon Museum, the Scarritt Bennett Center and an art projection installation at Union Square in New York City. He has designed and helped create many sets  for plays and performance for many companies such as: (Visual Art Fellowship) Nashville Symphony Orchestra's National Endowment for the Arts Program  Tennessee at the Millennium, Sterling Capricio Couture, Steeple Players Theater Company, Neke's Theater Company, Thespians de Imani Ensemble, Kids Kingdom Puppetry Show, Kemet Jubilee and many others. As writer who's featured and showcased often, Jones' past writing achievements includes: Art Wire Fellow (poetry) of the Porch Writers Collective and OZ Arts Nashville, Poet Laureate of Hendersonville, TN, Line Breaks Reading Series Poet, Nashville Scene's Top Picks play to see, selected play for Walter Pope's Nashville Visionaries arts installation, many published poems and recently co-editor of the anthology, SINEW: 10 Years of Poetry in the Brew (April Gloaming Publishing). Jones is a Fisk University graduate, who lives in Middle Tennessee with his wife and children, and has enjoyed his first Dream 7 production.


Christan Riley
as Ellen Porter, Pearline, Dancer, & Music Director

Christan is a native of Nashville, Fisk Alum, music director and co-writer of this production. She was a Fisk Jubilee Singer back in '04/'05 and has always wanted to produce a show about the Original Jubilee Singers. She finally got her chance after 20 years of service with Dream 7 Productions. She takes pride in her work as an all-around artist, but mostly as a wife and mother of 3 daughters and 1 son. She aspires to write more scripts, direct, and act in more films. She hopes for the day Dream 7 has it's own theatre for the world to travel to and see it's productions. "Miss you, Uncle Mike!"

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Music Director Notes

"This was my first time being a music director. I will never forget how God positioned me for it. It was a challenge, but I live for a good challenge. I grew a lot as a leader, an ambassador for Dream 7, a community activist, and teacher. I loved working with each person that breathed life into the script, but the singers have blown me away. I think my singers, all of which had no formal vocal training or experience as a Fisk Jubilee Singer, were able to go above and beyond just making a joyful noise. They truly transformed into Jubilee Singers and helped me tell the story in an iconic way. They all worked so hard and surprised THEMSELVES with how well they can sing! These people are teachable, kind, and so blessed with great talent. It was an honor working with each and every cast mate. 

Thanks to Vida Finley for taking the reins of Dream 7 and inspiring me to step up my leadership skills. Michael Walker believed in my talent and always pushed me to walk in my purpose, but Vida inspires me to LEAD. I love the learning curve we all get in Dream 7. Come as you are and God will handle the rest. We are a family oriented organization and it feels like home to me. I am grateful to my husband, Raymond Jennings, for his support for me throughout this production. I'm grateful to my Grandma and Uncle for caring for my oldest children, Kira and Isa, as I navigate car troubles and health issues. I was able to do what I could in this production. I hope that I made my Jubilee proud. May Fisk, the city of Nashville, and all of us in the community always honor our ancestors in song and dance and togetherness. Ase, Ase, Ase!"

~Christan Riley

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Stella Reed-Patterson
as Spoken Word Artist


In Music City Jubilee, Stella Reed-Patterson recited the poem, Jubilee, Great Jubilee (by Henry L. Jones). She is a director and a veteran actor as well as one of the Founders and the Producing Artistic Director of Nashville’s Black Taffeta And Burlap Theater Company.  She served as Performance Coordinator for the Langston Hughes Center for the Arts. Stella performed at the Nashville Repertory Theater, Nashville Children’s Theater, Nashville Shakespeare Festival, the American Negro Playwright Theater, Kennie Playhouse Theater and now with Dream 7 Theater Production. Some plays in which she acted include: The Vagina Monologues, Jonestown, A Raisin in the Sun, Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse, Intimate Apparel, Dance on Widow's Row and many others. Two notable awards won are a Theater Fellowship with Nashville Symphony Orchestra's National Endowment for the Arts Program, Tennessee at the Millennium and The First Night Award. But her longest and most rewarding run is as the mother of three sons and grandmother of six grandchildren. Her educational background includes Fisk University and Trinity Rep Conservatory (which is now part of Brown University). Stella is written about as an historical person for her theater contributions in the Tennessee Encyclopedia of History and Culture, a joint venture published by the Tennessee Historical Society and the University of Tennessee Press.


Craig Hartline
as Professor George White

Craig is so honored to be a part of this wonderful cast.  The story you are about to watch is full of hope and beauty.  In a troubled world, Craig hopes you walk away with a sense of determination to make the world a better place.

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Garry Lyons
as Benjamin Holmes

Garry J Lyons is a member of dream 7.  He previously starred in Militancy, Creole and Essays written by Michael L Walker. He is also a hip hop artist based in Nashville and has a love for the craft.


Khalil Lyons
as Little John

Khalil is the one son of castmate, Christan Riley. This is his first staged appearance. He loves going to church, making paper action figures, and playing with his little sister Zoey. He is really excited to play little John in his very first play. He makes his mom so PROUD! This little guy is turning 7 in a couple of weeks and is going to the 2nd grade in the fall.

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Aaron Finley
Tech Director

Aaron has been with dream7 since it's inception. Being a Dream7 original member, he credits founder Michael L for instilling in him a love for theatre. He is the Technical Director and primary light designer for D7.  He has also performed in several D7 productions and has provided lighting and sound for theatre companies in the Nashville area. Having his son's E.J. and William working on this project is an added bonus. #Dream7forlife 


Lakissha Taylor
Costume Coordinator

Founding member of Dream 7 Productions.

Wife and mother of 3 brilliant children.


Rossi Turner
Producer & Dance Choreographer

Rossi chooses to substitute his credits for information about Human Rights abuse in Saudi Arabia. A text from a friend in Kenya sharing the death of her sister Beatrice last year led him to traveling to Dubai in May to do an investigation of working conditions. The abuse is equivalent to Apartheid in South Africa. I'm calling for international sanctions against Saudi Arabia and a boycott of the 2022 FIFA World Cup, His forthcoming article will be entitled "Harriet Tubman" will you please come to Dubai. Rossi is an International Correspondent for the Tennessee Tribune Newspaper.

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Sherry Collier
Assistant Stage Manager

Sherry Collier-Reid has been a member of D7 since 2015. She has performed in multiple films and several theatrical performances within and outside of D7 Productions. Giving all the glory to God!

Erik Werner
Film Director
Also Known as Phil Davoyd, the rapper who gave special permission to use his song FLAW$$ in this show. 

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James Rudolph II

Nashville native James Rudolph II has been on stages all around town and abroad. He is currently Felix La Mer in Nashville Children’s Theatre's production of Baby Shark. He is also very excited for his next role as choreographer of "The Little Mermaid Jr." He would like to thank his folks for their continued love and support and you for supporting live theatre. You rock.


Vida Finley
Director and Stage Manager

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Director's Notes

Music City Jubilee is a full circle moment for so many in my village. I am extremely proud of this cast and production team.  Their hard work and sacrifices over these past months in dealing with life in the midst of covid has been challenging, but they persevered with energy, grace and fervor.  As one of the playwrights and the Executive Artistic Director, watching them breathe life into the characters has been humbling and exciting. After directing my first one act in college, I swore to my then professor in directing class I’d never direct again and here I am. I know Tom has a huge smile on his face.


To my parents Clara Gillis and John Otis Cochran for always loving, inspiring and encouraging, my sister, Julia Adele who believes in me no matter what, my grandparents Daisy and Troy Gillis for instilling the 

 storyteller in me, my educators in such as Mr.Ross, Mrs. Humphrey , my drama teacher, Betsy Mashburn,  Bill Black, Bonnie Gould, Al Harris, L. J. DeCuir, Patrick Schmidt, Christopher Schario and Linda Parris-Bailey, formerly of Carpetbag Theatre of Knoxville, TN. 


Before I graduated from the University of Tennessee -Knoxville May 1989, with a B.A. Speech and Theatre Communications and Audiology I was touring professionally as an intern with Carpetbag in 1988. My multifaceted professional arts career spans over 30 years including acting on Broadway in Dark Cowgirls & Prairie Queens with The Carpetbag Theatre of Knoxville,  TN, a certified Wolftrap Teaching Artist,  curriculum writer for the United Methodist Church, stage manager for Absinthe Cabaret, national voice-over artist, former director and co-producer for Gil Williams Productions and the Centers for Disease Control and prevention.


 I am excited for Dream 7’s collaboration with A.R.T.S. and honored  to be one of the playwrights along with Christan Riley of the lyrical drama, Music City Jubilee ,the story about the original Fisk Jubilee singers. The Black Girl Magic of Ella Sheppard was truly with us while writing this story. Dream 7 Theatre Productions was founded by Michael Walker and its founding members in 2002.  I am thankful to God for the talents bestowed upon me and Michael Louis Walker’s confidence that I could carry on the mantle and vision of Dream 7. As a founding member of Dream 7 and now the second Executive Director of Dream 7 since February of 2020, Dream 7 Theatre Productions is the only independent African-American Theatre in the Middle TN Region,  currently celebrating its 20th year Anniversary. 


I am reminded of the sacrifice of our ancestors from Guinea-Bissou to Jamaica, the Cherokee, the Chickasaw to our enslaved victims whose children rose out of enforced poverty to become doctors, lawyers, educators, inventors and world renowned artists such as the original Fisk Jubilee Singers.  These talented young people sang and shared the cabin songs of the Underground Railroad in melodic harmonies. We tell their story not because it is Black history but because it is American history and reminds us how sharing our talents create full circle, blessed moments such as raising thousands of dollars to save one’s school, such as the Fisk Jubilee Singers did and such as putting Nashville, TN on the map as the Music City.  HAPPY SESQUICENTENNIAL FISK JUBILEE SINGERS! FINGER POPS!!


Special Thanks to the following:


Maryanna and Chris Clarke of TWTP

Persephone Felder-Fentress

Sharde Curry & Family

Marie Baskerville

KeiAndrea Zoey Caldwell

Jared Dalton Agency

James Rudolph

Kellis Cockrill

Nashville Repertory Theatre

Honorary Members:

Sharde Curry

Fernando Ochoa

Laneese Cosby

Jaymes Campbell


What's next for Dream 7?
Dream 7 introduces Sheila Ashton, one of it's featured New Works playwrights for the Shades of Black Festival.

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We hope you enjoyed the show!

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