September 12 – 29, 2019
Written by: Lanie Robertson
In 1959, Billie Holiday, or “Lady Day” as she was called, performed one of her final shows in a run-down bar in South Philly. In Robertson’s award-winning play, Holiday engages the audience with salty, often humorous reminiscences of her troubled life as a travelling performer in a segregated south. With the help of her piano man, Jimmy Powers, she lets music tell her story, sharing soulful and heart-wrenching songs from her memorable canon including: “Strange Fruit,” “God Bless the Child,” “When a Woman Loves a Man,” and “Taint Nobody’s Business If I Do.”
This show is rated: PG 15
Parents strongly cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate for children under the age of 15.
Beth & Alan Schaeffer
David & Dulie Greer
The Billie Holiday Fan Club
Marsha & Alan Pippenger
Lisa & Marc Biales
Tanesha Gary* - Billie Holiday
TANESHA GARY (Billie Holliday) is delighted to return to The Human Race Theatre to tackle the role of "Lady Day" after a successful run here in 2011 in the title role of Caroline, or Change. Tanesha hails from Chicago, but resides in NY, where she just finished a workshop of Stu for Silverton inspired by the true story of Oregon's 1st Transgender Mayor. Her Grammy-nominated choir, The Broadway Inspirational Voices, was honored with the 2019 Tony Award for Excellence in Theatre. Tanesha is a Broadway, TV & Film Actor, Recording Artist & Lover of Life. Some favorite theatre credits: Caroline, or Change on Broadway, Sheila's Day at Lincoln Center. Regionally: To Kill a Mockingbird, Clybourne Park, The Piano Lesson. Film: Bamboozled, Mr. Wonderful, HBO's short-film, The Cycle. TV: Law & Order: SVU, Bull. She lends her voice to Amazon's New Animated Series, Bug Diaries. Thanks to The Creator, H/H, family, Friends and my loving husband Eric Stickney. taneshagary.com
Keigo Hirakawa* - Jimmy Powers
KEIGO HIRAKAWA (Jimmy Powers) never imagined he would be discovering jazz by moving from Japan to the United States at age 10. He is now an in-demand jazz pianist, with frequent tours in Midwest and East Coast. He studied with Danilo Perez, Cecil McBee, Stephen Scott, and Alan Pasqua and shared stage with Joe Lovano, Donald Byrd, Carla Cook, and Duane Eubanks. His jazz piano trio album, “And Then There Were Three” has enjoyed airplay on over 100 radio stations nationwide. Hirakawa has a masters degree from the New England Conservatory of Music, as well as electrical engineering degrees from Princeton University and Cornell University. He is currently an associate professor of engineering at University of Dayton.
Deron B. Bell, Sr. - Percussionist/Music Director
DERON B. BELL SR. (Percussion and Music Director) is a percussionist, bassist, pianist, composer, producer, recording artist. He is also the Music Director in his tenth year of the 2018 Bessie Award-winning world-renowned Dayton Contemporary Dance Company. Deron recently added to his credits founder of the interactive technology Social Emotional Learning app MyMusicEd. Early in his career at the age of 14, he performed on drums with the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra original gospel music written by Renelle Hobbs. His purpose-driven music and community restorative practices work is phenomenal and making a difference in the lives of youth through music. Deron is intentional in his work with schools, communities, and faith-based organizations to provide children the opportunity to experience the creative beauty of the arts through music and technology.
Eddie Brookshire - Bass
EDDIE BROOKSHIRE (Bass) teaches acoustic bass, electric bass and jazz combo at Sinclair Community College and is bassist for Sinclair's Jazz Band. Eddie is a graduate of Central State University and Graduate studies at Northern Illinois University. He worked and recorded with Piney Brown (Blues), Rusty Bryant (Fusion), James Newton (Avant-Garde), Johnny Lytle, Jimmy Scott, Elvin Jones, Slide Hampton, Maria Schneider, Terrell Stafford and traditional jazz with the Eddie Brookshire Quintet and Big Band along with his wife Brenda Flowers Brookshire and some of Dayton's finest musicians. Recently, Eddie was given a proclamation by the Mayor of Dayton naming April 17, 2019 as "Eddie Brookshire Day" for his contribution to Jazz.
Lanie Robertson - Playwright
LANIE ROBERTSON (Playwright) writes about iconic artists and the societal issues they faced in Nasty Little Secrets, Alfred Stiegletz Loves O’Keeffe, and Woman Before a Glass. His plays have been produced internationally and at the Alley Theatre, Arena Stage, Delaware Theatre, Edinburgh Festival, Festival d’Avignon, George Street Playhouse, Kennedy Center, Old Globe, Philadelphia Theatre Company, Playwrights Horizons, Primary Stages, Theatre de la Huchette, Theatre Petite Montparnasse, Theatre Silvia Montforte, Vineyard Theatre, Virginia Stage, Walnut Street Theatre, Westside Arts, and Williamstown Theatre Festival. Current plays include nobody Lonesome for Me and The Gardener. Recently he completed his first novel, Monkey to the Solution. He’s a member of the Dramatists Guild, Writers Guild, East; and the Societe des Auteres et Compositeurs Dramatiques.
Scott Stoney*+ - Director
SCOTT STONEY (Director) is a Founding Resident Artist of HRTC, and his directing credits include Sweeney Todd, Thurgood, Master Class, Crowns, Man of La Mancha, The Spitfire Grill, Torch Song Trilogy, also Next to Normal at the Victoria Theatre; and August: Osage County in collaboration with Wright State University. He is thrilled to direct Lady Day... and to bring back to Dayton, Tanesha Gary, his lead actress in HRTC's 2011 production of Caroline, or Change, to play Billie Holiday. Scott has also received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Montgomery County Arts & Cultural District and is in the Dayton Theatre Hall of Fame.
Scott J. Kimmins - Scenic Designer
SCOTT J. KIMMINS (Set Designer) is very happy to be returning to The Human Race and the Loft stage. After spending 20 years as the Technical Director for The Human Race, Scott has spent the last 2 years working at Indian Hill High School in Cincinnati passing on his love for technical theatre. Scott has designed close to 20 productions for The Human Race some of his favorites include Under a Red Moon, Brother Wolf and Copenhagen for which he received a Daytony for Outstanding Set Design. Scott attended Wright State University in the Theatrical Design and Production program studying both technical direction and set design.
David M. Covach - Costume Designer
DAVID M. COVACH (Costume Designer) is thrilled to be back at The Human Race, working with Scott and this incredibly talented cast. David has been designing for The Human Race for over 30 years. His most recent Human Race show was Crowns. David’s other recent projects include Pippin, The Fantasticks, Musical of Musicals: The Musical, Marie Antoinette, Assassins, A Light in the Piazza and Mame. David works full time for Asolo Rep in Sarasota. This summer he is also designing Harbor for FSU’s Dog Days Theatre season. David has been designing and constructing costumes for over half of his life and loves the challenge that each new opportunity gives him.
John Rensel+ - Lighting Designer
JOHN RENSEL (Lighting Designer) is the long-term Resident Lighting Designer for The Human Race Theatre Company, Muse Machine, the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra Pops series and Dayton Opera Association. He also serves as the long-time Technical Director for the Fraze Pavilion and has provided technical advance production coordination, lighting designs, automation programming and performance operation services for many artists and productions that have visited that venue. John also has a diverse dance lighting background, having provided lighting designs and technical production services for many years to The Dayton Ballet and Dayton Contemporary Dance Co. John’s national credits included a lighting design package for a National Touring Production of the Elton John/Tim Rice collaboration Aida. Some of his most recent local credits include all the designs for The Human Race Theatre Company’s season at the Loft Theatre; Muse Machine’s productions at the Victoria Theatre and the Dayton Opera Association’s season at the Schuster Center. John likes cheese and pretzels as a late night snack.
Jay Brunner+ - Sound Designer
JAY BRUNNER (Sound Designer) has designed sound, music directed, performed and composed music for countless theatrical events and is proud to call The Human Race his artistic home. He has composed music and recorded audio projects for many musical groups, voiceovers, regional commercials, radio spots, training videos, collegiate theatre projects, marching bands, clubs, and organizations. Jay owns and operates a professional recording studio (Audio Forest) with his wife, fellow HRTC Resident Artist Christine Brunner.
Jacquelyn Duncan* - Production Stage Manager
JACQUELYN DUNCAN (Stage Manager) is delighted to begin her fourth season with HRTC! Jacquelyn received her BFA in Theatre Design & Technology with an emphasis in Stage Management from Wright State University. During her collegiate years Jacquelyn had the pleasure of working for Adam Pascal, Jason Robert Brown, and Tom Hanks. Her first show with HRTC was Hail Mary! back in October 2016. After nine consecutive shows as the Production Assistant Jacquelyn was promoted to Production Stage Manager in Spring 2018 during Brighton Beach Memoirs. She is a proud member of Actors' Equity Association and encourages you all to follow us on social media! “I never hurt nobody but myself and that's nobody's business but my own.” -Billie Holiday
*Member of Actors’ Equity Association, the union of professional actors and stage managers in the United States.
+Resident Artist of The Human Race Theatre Company.