CAST BIOS

Alysse McKai Davis (Featured Singer) has been performing for audiences for the past eight years. She enjoys dancing, singing, acting and competing in pageants. She enjoys every minute on stage. She’s won several dance competitions and has even been crowned a couple of times. Alysse would like to thank her parents, family and friends for all the love and support. Also the New Venture family for always welcoming her with open arms.

Angela Smith (Featured Singer) is excited to be back on the stage performing with New Venture. Angela has performed in many venues, including the Louisiana House of Representatives and Louisiana Senate. She has been in three films and a number of plays and musicals with New Venture. Last year, she won "Best Actress in a Play" for her portrayal of Grace Dunbar in “The Nacirema Society.” Her prayer is that in every performance, she empties herself of all the gifts God has given her so others may have laughter, peace and comfort.

Caleigh D. Franklin (Featured Dancer) is extremely proud to be a returning cast member of New Venture. She couldn’t be more excited about her role in “Black Nativity.” Caleigh is no stranger to the arts. This is her third production with New Venture and she has participated in several performances as a liturgical dancer.

Ceria Brown (Featured Dancer) is enjoying her first time performing in a production, and her passion for dance has been present from the age of 9 to today. She has performed before live audiences as an individual and as part of a team. She has been awarded various prizes and trophies including two trophies based on her individual performances. She would like to thank the New Venture family for her warm, inviting welcome and is excited as ever to make her debut on stage and show the world what she’s got!

Christian Jones (Featured Singer) is a Baton Rouge native who loves to sing and act. He has been singing from an early age and continues to do so today. This will be one of many productions for Christian with the New Venture family. One of his goals is to one day be on the big screen. He would like to thank his parents Arthur and Queen Jones and his spiritual parents Pastor Jeffery and First Lady Wilma Phillips for believing in him and pushing him toward his dream. His motto is "Live life like there's no tomorrow!"

Christian Osborne (Featured Singer) has been performing for local audiences for several years. She thoroughly enjoyed the productions of “High School Musical,” “Shrek,” ”The Wiz” and “Little Shop of Horrors.” Her passions will always be singing and dancing. She would like to thank her mother for always supporting her!

Dion Sideboard (Featured Singer) has been acting since he was 11. This is Dion’s fifth show with New Venture. Dion is thrilled to have the opportunity to lead a song in this production. He would like to thank his parents for their support.

Francilia Robertson (Featured Dancer) is the founder of Movements In Motion Performing Arts Studio. She is a proud native of Baton Rouge, and after graduating from Southern University in spring 2012, she became a certified dance instructor through the State Department of Education. She was welcomed with open arms to the East Baton Rouge Parish school system as not only a dance instructor for Glen Oaks Magnet High School, but also the president of the Dance Teacher Association. This is her first New Venture performance.

Hope Landor (Angel) is an avid lover of the arts. She is extremely grateful to share the stage with such a wonderful group of performers. “Black Nativity” celebrates one of her most cherished stories and she is grateful to be a part of such a production. She would like to dedicate her performance each night to the memory of her grandmother, Rosa Lee, who first shared with her the joy of the Christmas story.

JaMaal Edwards (Featured Dancer) is back right after his debut on stage as a featured dancer in “Love, Whitney.” He loves to dance and act and couldn't be more excited about returning for another show. JaMaal would like to thank his family for their support and the New Venture family for welcoming him once again.

Jarvis Stewart (Featured Singer) is excited to be in his third show with New Venture. He has many acting credits he’s earned over the years, such as Zeke Baylor (“High School Musical Jr.,” Plaquemine High),the Wiz (“The Wiz,” Plaquemine High), African choir member (“The Lion King Jr.,” NVT), and Uncle Henry (“The Wiz Jr.,” NVT). Jarvis is known for his work in children’s entertainment performing as a puppeteer, mascot performer and many other roles.

Jasmine Nicole Elliott (Featured Dancer) is a 19-year-old freshman at Southern University majoring in mass communication with a minor in dance theatre. Her major focus in a career is becoming an anchor in entertainment news and dancing in Broadway shows. Her hobbies are reading, dancing and talking on the phone.

Kanestra Mitchell (Featured Singer) makes her debut on this stage. For the last five years, she has sung with groups ranging from church choirs to chorales to local bands. She enjoys singing and dancing and has really enjoyed this live show experience. Kanestra would like to thank the New Venture family for welcoming her.

Karenna Mitchell (Featured Dancer) makes her second appearance on stage in this production. She has not had many experiences in theatre, but she is thankful for her roles. She enjoys singing and dancing and considers this experience a challenge that has made her a better performer and person. She would like to thank the New Venture family and her own family for the support and for granting her this amazing opportunity.

Kennedi Alejandria Davenport (Featured Singer) is a 17-year-old junior at Lee Magnet High School. She is a member of the Thespian Society Club at her school. Her aspiration in life is to pursue her dreams of becoming an actress on Broadway. Kennedi began singing in church at the age of 3. She has worked with New Venture for a year and is officially in her third production with them. Kennedi desires to make an impact on other young actors/actresses through her acting to go for it and never be ashamed to let their light shine.

Kimberly Kinchen (Featured Dancer) is a featured dancer whose passion for dance was fueled at the ripe age of 4 when she was selected to dance as a mini Dazzler for the Plaquemine High dance team. Off the football field and into the dance studio, she delved into formal dance training. Her passion has since allowed her to perform in various shows throughout the state. With her last performance being in 2012, in New Venture’s “What You Believe,” she’s eager to return to the stage after a six-year hiatus!

Kodie D. Brown (Featured Dancer) is a 14-year-old dancer and cheerleader who attends Madison Preparatory Academy. Kodie has been performing for local audiences for the last five years. She really enjoys performing on the stage. Kodie’s current future goals are to train for the 2020 Olympic Gymnastics team and study law. She would like to thank her parents and family for their continued support

Kyle Smith (Joseph / Featured Dancer) makes his second stage appearance as Joseph in “Black Nativity.” Kyle’s debut performance as a featured dancer in “Love, Whitney” was only the beginning of what he believes will be “A very challenging, yet exciting journey” into theatre! For him, there’s nothing like the love and support he feels from his fellow castmates, both past and present; and he is grateful to be a part of such a positive experience!

LaNea S. Wilkinson is a native of Baton Rouge, LA. Her acting career includes productions New Venture's “Sweet Georgia Brown” “Once on This Island,” and “The Color Purple.” Her first passion is singing, which she has done since the age of 5 years old. LaNea is a member of two of the hottest bands in Baton Rouge: called Lazz Ripp Band and Soulful of BR. She gives God all the glory for her accomplishments on and off the stage and thanks her immediate and extended families for all of their continued love and support.

Latosha Robertson (Angel / Featured Singer) has been performing for local audiences for the last three years. She has performed in several productions, such as “Shout,” “Soul,” “Dreamgirls,” “Soulful Christmas” and “Living Word.” She enjoys sharing the gift of singing. She would like to thank her family and friends for their support.

LaToya McCray (Featured Singer) makes her debut on this stage. She has never performed professionally before in a production, but has really enjoyed this experience. She enjoys singing and dancing and has found the challenge of a live show thrilling. She would like to thank GOD and her children for the support. Also thank you to this theatre family for welcoming her and hopes to continue to be apart of this awesome family!!

Mackenzie Lynn Thomas (Featured Dancer) is a 15 year old sophomore at Mckinley Senior High School. I am also Miss Sophomore for the 2018-2019 school year. I am in the Gifted & Talented program at my school. I have been dancing for 8 years and singing for 2.

Maniquwa M. Holmes (Featured Singer) is the second child of Oscar Holmes, Jr. and Ursula Clark Holmes. She is fourteen years old. She has been an avid dancer since age four. She has danced with Winter Dance Company and the All Stars. When she grows up, she aspires to be a doctor and she has promised herself that she will never give up on this goal. She attends Lee Magnet High School where she is a part of the Voices of Lee, JROTC, and the EBRPSS Talented Program in Vocal Music, Instrumental Music and Drama.

Martique Redditt (Featured Singer) is grateful for the gift to sing. She's excited about her recent portrayal of Glenda the Good in New Venture Theatre's the Wiz Jr. In addition she was cast as young Nala in The Lion King, Dorothy in The Wiz, and several lead singing roles in the summer arts program Bright Futures CLC of Donaldsonville, LA. Martique has also been featured in the Southern University's Department of Music's From Mozart to Motown. She would like to thank her parents for their love and support.

Misty Anderson (Featured Singer) makes her debut on this stage. She has never performed before a production, but has really enjoyed this experience. Singing is her passion and mixing it with a live show is exciting. She would like to thank the theatre family for welcoming her

Nevaeh Robertson (Featured Dancer) is a CEO at Movements In Motion Performing Arts Studio and has been performing for audiences for the last 9 years. Nevaeh has been in the newspaper on several occasions, radio interviews and even the September edition for the Parent Magazine. Nevaeh is not only an excellent performer, but she also excels in her academics and conduct, she is family oriented and enjoys giving back to her community. She would like to thank her family and friends. God Bless!

Omarion Jones (Drummer Boy / Featured Dancer) a true performer, with a love for theatre arts and dance. Omarion started his young dancing career with the Baton Rouge dance studio.Omarion began dance with the New Venture Theatre, appearing in several productions. Omarion made his debut in the "The Wiz." Omarion's hard work and talent got him nominated for Best Performance by a Featured Male Dancer in “Love Whitney”; and People’s Choice Award for “The Wiz." Youngest in his category nominated, a true testament to his talent.

Oscar Henry Holmes (Featured Singer) is the fourth child of Oscar Holmes, Jr. and Ursula Clark Holmes. Oscar plays the drums, the trumpet, and the trombone. Oscar also plays basketball for New light Baptist Church and Brec. Oscar aspires to be a police officer or a firefighter when he grows up. Oscar is a sixth grade student at Belfair Montessori Middle Magnet School in East Baton Rouge Parish where he participates in the Band, and the EBRPSS Talented Program in Vocal Music, Instrumental Music and Drama.

Queline Ketchens (Featured Dancer) is currently in her last year of high school at McKinley Sr. High School. She is actively apart of her school's Student Council, softball team, and the soccer team. As the reigning Miss Black Louisiana USA 2018, Queline finds pleasure in giving back, not only in her community, but everywhere she goes. With a strong passion for theater, her platform is Performing Arts for the Youth (PAY). After high school, Queline plans on attending an HBCU, playing soccer.

Rasheedah Carter (Featured Singer) makes her debut on the NVT stage. She has been in one production, “The Glass Menagerie,” at Southeastern Louisiana University, 2008. She enjoys singing, occasional dancing, acting, bowling, and traveling. She is lookin forward to growing with the NVT family, and would like to thank the team for allowing her an opportunity to showcase her talent. She has hoped of being an actess in future shows.

Rosalind Reynard (Featured Singer) is excited to be part of this talented cast. Since retiring from State Gov't, she has performed in community theater productions of Showboat, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (Jewel), Chicago (Matron),The Wiz (Evillene), The King and I (Lady Thiang), RENT, Hairspray (Motormouth), Once on this Island (Asaka), Soulful Sounds of Christmas, SHOUT, The Color Purple, Women of Brewster Place (Sophie), AIDA, Mary Poppins (Mrs. Corry) and Black Nativity. Many thanks to the NVT family.

ShaKayla Walker (Featured Dancer) makes her debut on this stage. She has never performed in a production before. She enjoys dancing and enjoys the challenges of this live production. She would like to thank the theater family for this and future opportunities to display her passion.

Shira Brown (Featured Dancer) made her debut on stage for New Ventures previous production LOVE WHITNEY Choreography. She has been teaching and coaching dance over 10 years. She loves dancing and has found the challenge of a live show thrilling. She is the mother of 4 beautiful children and the wife of Torynce Brown. She would like to thank the theatre family for welcoming her and hopes to learn more about performing in future shows. She also gives a special thank you to her family for their continuous support.

Trinity Ann Holmes (Featured Singer) is the third child of Oscar Holmes, Jr. and Ursula Clark Holmes. She is 12 years old. Trinity has been dancing since the age of four. She has danced with Winter Dance Company and All Stars of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. When she grows up, Trinity aspires to be a teacher. Trinity is a seventh grade student at McKinley Middle Magnet School where she also participates on the Dance Team and in EBRPSS Gifted and Talented Program in Vocal Music, Instrumental Music and Drama.

Trinity Star Alexander (Mary / Featured Dancer) has been performing for local audiences since she was a little girl, having won several awards with the most recent being The New V award for Outstanding Female Featured Dancer in  2017. Her favorite role thus far has been "Whitney" in Love Whitney. Trinity's passion is dance and she loves performing on stage. She would like to thank her family for their constant support and love as well as her New Venture family for always welcoming her and providing her with opportunities to live out her dreams.

Zaria Brown (Featured Dancer) is 13 years old and is an eighth grade student at Mckinley Middle Magnet. She has had dance training and been performing since the age of three and also has had performing experience with her school. She would like to thank her family for their support and is looking forward to more experiences with New Venture Theater.