Sarita Covington (Co-Conceiver/Core-Collaborator): is an actress/writer/educator from Harlem. As an actress she has performed in theater both regionally at Yale Rep in Connecticut and Capital Rep in Albany. As well as in many New York Theaters including, the Public Theater, the Henry Street Settlement and the Brooklyn Lyceum. Film: 1000 Cranes, Hey Diddle Diddle, The Interruption. TV: As the World Turns. She holds an MFA from the Yale School of Drama. As a writer she has performed her spoken word piece Daddy, at the Women of Color Festival. Back Alley Blindness: An Ode to Michelle, was featured in Obama Drama, performed most recently at The Tank. Her co-conceived piece, In the Cypher, was produced at the Yale Cabaret, the FAB Festival, the Nuyorican Poets Café, and the Drilling Company. Sarita works with inmates at the Fishkill Correctional Facility through Rehabilitation Through the Arts(RTA). She worked for three years with Community Works, teaching acting in NY Public Schools, and spent a year in Mexico where she taught theater games in a Tijuana orphanage. She has worked with the 59th Street Project’s Poetry In Performance Workshop, and collaborated with the People’s Theater Project, bringing Cyphering Education (In The Cypher’s educational branch) to young adults in Washington Heights. In 2011 Sarita received the Lower Manhattan Cultural Center’s Manhattan Community Arts Fund Grant, sponsored by the NY Department of Cultural Affairs, for her work with In The Cypher.
Gamal Palmer (Co-Conceiver/Core-Collaborator) a Native of Philidelphia, earned a dual BA degree in Liberal Arts and Theater Arts with a minor in Leadership Management from the University of Miami. After graduation, he worked full-time as an actor for the Pennsylvania Shakespeare, Georgia Shakespeare and The Shakespeare Theater Company of Washington D.C. As an MFA acting candidate at Yale University, Palmer co-developed an undergraduate study abroad course entitled, Arts in Action: Theater and Public Health in Swaziland and South Africa. He was then offered a Post-Graduate Associate position to study Organizational Leadership and Producing through a joint program at Yale School of Drama and Management. The Philadelphia native designed an interdisciplinary graduate program for Yale’s drama and divinity schools entitled, The Quest for Social Justice through Music, Theater and Liberation Theologies. In the summer 2011, the university will offer this course in Tanzania and Zanzibar where students will work with performing artists, ministries and communities to understand and explore the importance of music, theater and liberation theologies as vehicles promoting social progress. Currently, Palmer is the President and Founder of Global Eye Entertainment Film and Television Production Company in Los Angeles. Palmer holds several board and advisory positions for organizations including, The Working Classroom, the Yale African American Cultural Center, and Acting On The World Stage; Theater In Conflict Zones. Currently, he is living in Los Angeles to broaden his producing in entertainment career.
Dyalekt (Core-Collaborator): An MC, actor, playwright, and educator born in Philly, raised in St. Croix, residing in Brooklyn. Dyalekt has been ‘In the Cypher’ for two years now. He just got back from performing in Harvey Johnson’s ‘Deceit of Truth’ in the DC Black Theater Festival. He’s worked as an actor & playwright with Smokin Word Productions & Subjective Theater, and with good folks like Claudia Alick, Patricia McGregor, & Kamillah Forbes. He has rocked many stages in NYC, from the Public Theater, to Webster Hall & The Knitting Factory, and across the US. He has toured the country and Europe with his one man (+1 DJ) show Square Peg Syndrome. As a Hip Hop educator with Literacy Takes a Bow, Dyalekt has given thousands of students (in the US and the Virgin Islands) skills to succeed academically. He will be presenting ideas on Hip Hop Education to several teachers and administrators in this summer’s National Conference on Differentiated Instruction. Dyalekt has 2 tattoos and a dog named Vinyl. Oh & he had a cameo in Freestyle: The Art of Rhyme. Hear his new band at DeathrowTull.com (and/or see them at S.O.B.’s) & stalk him @dyalektraps.
Patricia McGregor (Core-Collaborator): Graduate from the directing program at the Yale School of Drama where she was Artistic Director of Yale Cabaret. She has worked at venues including Broadway, The Public, Second Stage, The Kennedy Center, BAM, The Kitchen, the O’Neill National Playwriting Conference, Lincoln Center Institute and Exit Art. Directing credits include Jelly’s Last Jam, Four Electric Ghosts, The French Play, Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill, Romeo and Juliet, Eleemosynary, Sidewalk Opera, Dancing in the Dark, The Covering Skyline is Nothing, In the Meantime, In the Cypher, Imaginary Audience, The Twenty-Four Hour Plays, Guernica-The Musical!, 365/365, Clarisse and Larmon, Totems, Three Sisters, Cloud Tectonics and My Children My Africa. She was Associate Director on Roger Guenveur Smith’s Juan and John, Assistant Director on Tarell McCraney’s Brother Sister Plays at The Public and Winter’s Tale at NYTF Shakespeare in the Park. Patricia was both a McDougal Scholar and Presidential Scholar and received the Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowship for New Americans. Upcoming collaborations include directing aJames Brown piece with Burnt Sugar at The Apollo, Invisible Dog, Building a Better Fish Trap with her sister and collaborator Paloma McGregor. She is co-founder of Angela’s Pulse, a company which creates vital dance and theater works and fosters collaboration among artists, educators, organizers, academics and other diverse communities in order to illuminate under told stories, infuse meaning into the audience experience and animate progress through the arts.
David Roberts (Core-Colloaborator) currently serves as an Associate Producer for SITI Company. Past producing and management credits include Associate Managing Director and Company Manager at Yale Repertory Theatre; line producer for Sonia Flew at Summer Play Festival 2006; inaugural Producer’s Chair Award recipient, a mentorship program of The Foundry Theatre, for his work as producer on The Brothers Size, presented at the Public Theater’s 2007 Under the Radar Festival. David holds a BFA in Acting from the Conservatory of Theatre Arts at Webster University and an MFA in Theater Management from Yale School of Drama. He is a member of the LXP producing collective and sits on the board of Palissimo.
Tommy Russell (Core-Collaborator) was last seen in New Theatre House’s Midsummer Nights Dream as Lysander and Francis Flute. New York credits include Obama Drama (45th St. Theater & Access Theater); On the Night of Anthonys 30th Birthday Party Again (Manhattan Theater Source); Ugo’s Last Dance (Medicine Show); Prayer of the Expelled (Soho Think Tank); Nuts and Bolts (Woodstock Fringe) as well as readings for Red Fern, Juilliard, Fordham and the Lark. As a director, Tommy has put up two shows in New York: The Gallery and The Hole (NY Theatre Barn). He also directed The Last Five Years, co-wrote/directed an original clown show Out of the Box and wrote/directed/starred in an 8-person mime show entitled Spring Nite O Mime (all Yale Cabaret). Classic work includes roles in Alls Well (Yale Rep), playing Clarence/Mayor/Stanley in Richard III, Mercade in Loves Labours Lost, Baron Tuzenbach in Three Sisters, Mr. Privates in Venus and Dean Williams in Run, Mourner, Run, a short-story adapted/directed by Tarell Alvin McCraney. Tommy received his MFA in Acting from Yale School of Drama; graduated from Univ. of Iowa with Honors in Theatre (B.A.) where he majored in Microbiology and received his Certificate in Sexuality Studies. In 2006, he received a fellowship to work for the City of New Havens Economic Development dept. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Yale Alumni Fund.
Jordan Mahome (Core-Collaborator) is originally from Cleveland, has lived in Manhattan for years, teaches in Brooklyn and as winter approaches, wishes he still lived in Los Angeles. Jordan is series regular in two completed television pilots, The Honkys and Huge, has been a guest star on TV shows and has done many national commercials. film: Life with Eddie Murphy, Memories of Days to Come, Disney’s Max Keeble’s Big Move. theatre: Katori Hall’s Mountaintop, Tarell McCraney’s The Brothers Size, Marcus Gardley’s Dance of the Holy Ghost, lots of Shakespeare. He is honored to be a part of In The Cypher. MFA from Yale.
Reza Salazar (Core-Collaborator) was raised in Argentina to a Peruvian father and an Argentinean actress mother. At the age of five Reza and His mother went on the road performing as clowns for children in community centers, and schools touring 5 countries in South America. By age eight, he joined a theater company in Argentina and earned rave reviews for a community theater performance of Aprendis de Juglar in El Rey Vanidoso alongside his mother. After launching his professional acting career in the theater, Reza and his mother teamed up again and moved to the United States at age 13. Reza continued to act on stage and in independent films. After coming to NYC, he studied acting with HB Studios, Austin Pendleton, and acclaimed theater Director Bill Hart. Favorite theater credits include: Sonnets for an Old Century, Romeo and Juliet, and Speak Truth to Power. He has also been seen on television in Nuestro Barrio, Honey Please, and as guest star in several episodes of Law & Order. Film Credits include: The Imperialist are Still Alive premiering this year at the Berlin Film Festival. An avid musician, Reza has taught music and dance at BAM, and can be seen performing around New York City.
Ashley Bryant (Poet, a.k.a. Salt Lake Pretty) excited to be a part of In the Cypher once again. Earlier this year, she traveled to South Africa to participate in The Crossroads Theatre Company’s production of Sheila’s Day. Other credits include: Cornbury: The Queens Governor (Theatre Askew); Obama Drama (Creative Destruction); King John (Shakespeare and Company). University credits include: Romeo and Juliet; Baal; Marat/Sade; Marcus; or the Secret of Sweet; In the Red and Brown Water; Godspell; Children of Eden; Agamemnon; The Darker Face of the Earth. BFA: University of Utah (Actor Training Program) MFA: Yale School of Drama. Ashley would like to thank her family for their support.
Ji-Youn Chang (Lighting Designer)
Charles Coes (Sound Designer)
Maria-Jose Fajardo (Poet) was born and raised in Bogota, Colombia among a very creative family. She started her artistic path as a little girl through music, and discovered her passion for acting while living in Miami, FL at Prometeo Theater. Then, she moved to NYC to continue her studies at The American Musical and Dramatic Academy. After graduating, Maria-Jose has been working in different film projects, commercials, and plays in New York City and has also worked as a producer. She has recently produced and starred in La Chunga by Mario Vargas Llosa and played Ruth in the film Carmen G. She is an active member of R.Evolucion Latina and Shakespeare Project with Ian Hersey from the Public Theater. She is honored to be part of such a valuable project as In The Cypher.
Kelly Irwin (Production Coordinator) is excited to a part of In the Cypher. She is a Michigan native and holds a BFA in Design and Production from the University of Michigan. Regionally she has worked for the Goodspeed Opera House, Music Theatre of Wichita, Light Opera Oklahoma, Jersey Shore Entertainment, and Northern Stage; she has toured with Neil Goldbergs Cirque Productions, Materiali Resistenti Dance Factory, and, for the last nine Christmases, the Radio City Christmas Spectacular. Thanks to Dad, M&J, Rie & Mr. T, and JDL.
Jennifer Lim (Poet, a.k.a. Dynasty Ming) was born and raised in Hong Kong but now resides, works and dreams out of NYC. After graduating with a BA(Hons) in Drama from Bristol University in the U.K., she attended the Yale School of Drama for her MFA in Acting. Favorite U.S. theater includes Songs of the Dragons Flying to Heaven (Young Jean Lee Theater Co.); YokastaS Redux and PITCH (East Coast Artists at La Mama, E.T.C.); Vengeance Can Wait (PS122); DEVIANT (Vortex Theatre); A Christmas Carol (ATL); Iphigenia at Aulis (Yale Rep); Peer Gynt, Intelligent Design of Jenny Chow, New, Empty Sky and Wild Party (YSD). International favorites include festivals in Vienna, Hannover, Zurich, Berlin, Brussels, Salamanca, Toulouse, Trondheim, Oslo, and Bergen with the Young Jean Lee Theatre Co.; This Isnt Romance at the Soho Theatre in London; Hamlet (dir by Richard Schechner) at the Shanghai Experimental Theatre Festival and Intl Grotowski Festival in Wroclaw; Three Children in Hong Kong at the Fringe Club, and Nine Stories High at the Edinburgh Fringe. This coming May, Jennifer is super excited to be traveling to Chicago where she will be playing the lead role in the world premiere of David Henry Hwangs new play CHINGLISH at the Goodman Theater.
Teresa Avia Lim (Poet, a.k.a. Tra La Lim), a recent graduate of The Yale School of Drama, Teresa will next be seen at Berkeley Repertory Theatre. TV credits: Law and Order Criminal Intent. Theatre Credits: The Shakespeare Theatre Company in Washington, DC: Macbeth, directed by Michael Kahn, Pericles directed by Mary Zimmerman, The Tempest, directed by Kate Whorisky, Lorenzaccio also directed by Michael Kahn, and Lady Winderemere’s Fan, directed by Keith Baxter. Played Jennifer Marcus in The Intelligent Design of Jenny Chow (Wellfleet Harbor Actor’s Theatre); originated the role of Eve in Jesse Cameron Alick’s SleepAwake (Subjective Theatre Company); Pantalona (etc) in an original commedia piece entitled, Even Maybe Tammy (or a cockamamie bucket of ruckus) (The Flea Theater). at Yale School of Drama: Marina and Thaissa in Pericles; Emerson Grace in Grace or the Art of Climbing; Cydney in Cygnus; Wang in MAN=MAN; Luise in Baal. At Yale Cabaret: Tra La Lim in In the Cypher; and Mika in The Underneath. at Yale Summer Cabaret: Tieriseus and Agave in The Bacchae, among many other roles.
Molly Murphy (Production Assistant) is thrilled to be apart of In The Cypher. Molly is a recent graduate of Southern Methodist University. While there, she was chosen by a committee of faculty to direct Intimate Apparel as apart of SMUs mainstage season. Her other directing credits include Fefu and Her Friends, bobrauschenbergamerica, and 4.48 Psychosis (SMU). Her assisting credits include The Misanthrope (Dallas Theater Center) and The Overwhelming (SMU). As a stage manager, her credits include Six Seconds in Charlack (Fringe NYC) and Emily (Theatre Row). Molly is a recipient of the Edyth Renshaw Award and the Garland Wright Award for Directing.
Barret O’Brien (Poet, a.k.a. Who Dat) is an actor, playwright, and novelist. His plays include Licking the Bowl, The Stand-Ins, Midnight in the Marigny, Mr. & Mrs. Hollywood, Breach, and Eating Round the Bruise. His works have been staged at Southern Rep-New Orleans, Montana Rep, Annex Theater-Seattle, Yale Cabaret, Vortex and Hideout Theatres-Austin, Gene Frankl Theatre-NYC, and as part of the NY International Fringe Festival. As an actor, Barret has performed at venues across the country and abroad including New York, Los Angeles, Boston, London, Paris, Budapest, and Tbilisi in the Republic of Georgia. He is a recent graduate of the Yale School of Drama.
Christopher Randolph (Poet, a.k.a. Professor C) Broadway: King Lear at Lincoln Center (with Christopher Plummer). Off Broadway: credits include Dash at MCC; Hollywood Scheherezade at Primary Stages; Clocks & Whistles with Origin; and The Survival of the Species at EST and The Becket. Regional: work includes Betrayal at The Old Globe; St. Joan at the Rep. Theatre of St. Louis; The Misanthrope at GeVa; The Revenge of the Space Pandas at Milwaukee Rep.; The Laramie Project at Chautauqua Conservatory Theatre; A Mans A Man and The Seagull at La Jolla Playhouse, and many others. At The Odyssey in Los Angeles he received a Dramalogue Award for his work in the world premiere of Angels Twice Descending, and was in the West Coast premiere of Terrence McNallys A Perfect Ganesh (8 LA DCC nominations). Film: Convention (directed by Ryan Fleck & Anna Boden); Pumpkin Hell; and Renee Albertas Dream Date. TV: Work on Will & Grace; Mad About You; Newsradio; Doogie Howser, MD; and numerous Soaps. He is also the voice of the character Otacon in Konamis best selling Metal Gear Solid game series for Playstation, Xbox, and Nintendo. He holds an MFA in acting from UCSD.
Tiffany Rachelle Stewart (Choreographer) was recently seen as Bottom in New Theatre Houses Midsummer Nights Dream, as well as Hurricane Betsy in the Harlem Stage production of Blood Dazzler, both here in New York City; Other NYC credits include: Requiem in the Key of H and Obama Drama, a production in which she created, choreographed, and adapted a one-woman piece entitled The Obama Interviews. Prior to that Tiffany appeared in the recurring role of Jill on All My Children and also played the leading role in the short film Play/Stop. Other acting credits include: Olga in Three Sisters, Helena in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Queen Margaret in Richard III, Thea Elvstead in Hedda Gabler, Evan in the sign-language play Fill Our Mouths, and Shun in the original cast of award-winning playwright Tarell McCraney’s In The Red and Brown Water. Aside from her pursuit of acting, Tiffany is also an avid choreographer, specializing in what she likes to call ‘soulful modern’. New York City choreography credits include: America Amerique, Matthew Takes Manahatta, The Children’s Hour, Obama Drama, and acclaimed latin hip-hop musical, Kingdom. Tiffany also created, choreographed, and starred in 5,6,7,8…, a night of original choreography. She has choreographed for the dance company Yale Dancers, as well as provided choreography for numerous theatrical productions at Yale University. Tiffany received her MFA in Acting from the Yale School of Drama in 2007.