Trouble in Mind Playbill

Trouble in Mind by Alice Childress
The video and/or audio recording of this performance by any means whatsoever is strictly prohibited.

Alice Childress Finally Gets to Make ‘Trouble’ on Broadway

Land Acknowledgement and DEI

We acknowledge that we live, work, and create art on the traditional lands of the Tsalagi peoples (now the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, and the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians) and the Tsoyaha peoples (Yuchi and Muscogee Creek).

We are indebted to these indigenous peoples for their stewardship, both past and present, of this beautiful land.

We recognize and value diversity in all forms, including age, ethnicity, family structure, gender identity, national origin, race religion, spirituality, sexual orientation, socioeconomic background, and veteran status.

We believe inclusivity and diversity in our workplace should reflect the increasing multicultural and global society in which we live. We seek to foster excellent creative research, scholarship and professional practice by creating a welcoming environment, ethical recruitment practices, and a diverse student body who will have lives of awareness and understanding through their creative research, teaching, practicing and advocating for others in a diverse world.

Detailed information on our DEI initiatives can be found here:

About Alice Childress

Alice Childress

Born in 1916 and raised during the Harlem Renaissance under the watchful eye of her beloved maternal grandmother, Alice Childress grew up to become first an actress and then a playwright and novelist. A founding member of the American Negro Theatre, she wrote her first play, Florence, in 1949. The script was written in one night on a dare from close friend and actor Sidney Poitier, who had told Alice that he didn’t think a great play could be written overnight. She proved him wrong, and the play was produced off-Broadway in 1950. Childress became, in 1952, the first African American woman to see her play (Gold Through The Trees) professionally produced in New York.

In 1955, Childress’ play Trouble in Mind was a critical and popular success from the beginning of its run off-Broadway at the Greenwich Mews Theatre, and it immediately drew interest from producers for a Broadway transfer. In an ironic twist echoing the tribulations of the characters in the play itself, the producers wanted changes to the script to make it more palatable to a commercial audience. Childress refused to compromise her artistic vision, and the play never opened on Broadway, ending her chances of being the first African American woman playwright to have a work on Broadway. In 2021, she made her long-awaited Broadway debut when Roundabout Theatre Company produced Trouble in Mind at the American Airlines Theatre, receiving four Tony Award nominations.

Childress is perhaps best known today for A Hero Ain’t Nothin’ But A Sandwich, her 1973 novel about a 13-year-old black boy addicted to heroin, which was subsequently made into a movie in 1978. Other plays written by Childress include Just A Little Simple (1950), Wedding Band: A Love/Hate Story In Black and White (1966) and Gullah (1984). Alice Childress died in New York in 1994. Throughout her career, she examined the true meaning of being black, and especially of being black and female. As Childress herself once said, “I concentrate on portraying have-nots in a have society.”

From the Director

I was first introduced to Trouble in Mind by Alice Childress in 2008 where I served as an understudy for the role of Wiletta Meyer. The production was my first black themed play. Needless to say, I was floored by the brilliance of the piece made even brighter when I realized how and when the play came into being. I then went on to direct and perform in two additional productions and the play continued to hold great power for me with its unvarnished truths and unflinching depictions of the social sensibilities of the day. As an African American woman, actor, and director I am able to track my internal growth and understanding of the large themes addressed within the play as I mature. Those themes include racism, sexism, classism, agism, generational divides within the African American and Caucasian communities and the very notion of self-identify. Oh, yes. This comedy, penned by Ms. Childress, manages to address all of that (and then some) in its 2-hour presentation. A stunning piece of work, the longevity of Trouble in Mind is a testament to its very value regarding the American theater canon.

For me, the greatest challenge in directing this play has been to guide my actors to unknow. That is, how do we as contemporary artists make real the uncharted, unrecognized, and unexplored realities of our very existence? Further, how do we as artists present the notion of unknowing in such a way that the move from said unknowing to knowledge rings with clarity and immediacy. In the theatre, we call this being “in the moment.” Being “in the moment” is an extremely hard thing to accomplish for a myriad of reasons. For example, I am keenly aware of my rights in the greater world and in the smaller world of the rehearsal room. I am aware of what I am willing to take, what is unacceptable for a director to ask of me or to do to me in the quest for a quality production, and I know when I can and must speak up concerning injustices that present themselves in the rehearsal hall. But what if these are truly unexplored territories? What if no one has yet to challenge the norms of the day because that speaking up is physically and emotionally dangerous? These are rich questions to ponder for any artist, to be sure.

I have watched my actors of color struggle with processing the micro-aggressions thrown at them in the play. I’ve watched them struggle to receive what they would never take in the present day all while pretending to unknow how history would eventually evolve into our current society.

The challenge for the Caucasian characters is equal for they are tasked with speaking and doing things within the context of the play that wrenches their contemporary selves with wrongness. They also have had to unknow what was previously and unabashedly afforded to them in the United States because of their skin color. I have watched them struggle to speak their characters’ words with a genuine flavor of entitlement.

As patrons, you are asked to take this ride with us and to process the contents of the play with an awareness of the time in history in which the story is set. Historically speaking, in 1955 the Civil Rights Movement as a campaign had just begun the year prior. Communism was still a perceived threat. Women had just gained momentum concerning their rights. The elderly and the poor were often dismissed. The ideals of the older generations were at odds with the youth. Further, all these conflicts were swirling around in a powder keg that was bound to explode. And, in the reality of the play, much like the reality of the world at the time, explode these conflicts do. I assert that the explosion is merely the aftershock of a series of happenings that join together in a shattering and palpable manner. It is grotesquely fascinating to watch…

The play begs the patron to consider a few things: First, Trouble in Mind by Alice Childress is a comedy. The play is funny until it isn’t. Second, as you witness our work, know that by presenting the wrongs of humanity through this very specific lens, we are also offering a means to highlight a path to universal rights. Lastly, as the character Wiletta Meyer so beautifully states, please remember, “We have to go further and do better.” Enjoy the show.

Marti Gobel

Marti Gobel


Shubert Foundation, Inc.National Endowment for the ArtsTennessee Arts CommissionArts & Culture AllianceKnox County Tourism ConsortiumThe Department of the TreasuryKnox County TennesseeKnox NewsWUOTWUTK




This project [is being][was] supported in whole or in part by federal award number 21.027 awarded to Knox County by the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Arts & Culture Alliance.


Marti Gobel – Director
Christopher Pickart ◊Scenic Designer
Devario D. Simmons ◊Costume Designer
Joshua J. Mullady – Lighting Designer
Joe Cerqua – Sound Designer and Composer
Davion T. Brown – Voice Coach
Topaz Cooks *Stage Manager
Kenneth Martin – Artistic Director, Department Head
Tom Cervone – Managing Director
Susan L. McMillan – Production Manager

The Director is a member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society, a national theatrical labor union.
The Designers in LORT Theatres are represented by United Scenic Artists, Local USA-829 of the IATSE.
* The stage manager appears through the courtesy of Actors’ Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States.


Marti GobelMARTI GOBEL (Director) Marti Gobel is a nationally recognized actor, director and teaching artist.  Upon graduating from UW-Whitewater in 2008 with a degree in Performance, Theatre and Philosophy (with an emphasis in Religious Studies), Ms. Gobel began a rich career in both theatre and television and film. Her need to add to the tapestry of the mid-west professional theatre scene led to the founding of the now defunct UPROOTED theatre. As Producing Artistic Director (from 2009-2015) she worked tirelessly to diversify the arts through her efforts. Ms. Gobel is a current member of both Actors Equity Association and SAG-AFTRA. Selected Stage Credits include: Milwaukee Shakespeare (Henry IV, part 2), Milwaukee Chamber Theatre (Well, Around The World In 80 Days, Broken and Entered, Fires In the Mirror) Renaissance Theaterworks’ (NEAT: Milwaukee, Sheboygan and South Africa, The Persians, Crumbs From the Table of Joy, The Violet Hour, Still, Sex With Strangers, The Roommate, and a reading of Tanya Saracho’s El Nogular and Gwendolyn Rice’s The Griots), First Stage Children's Theatre (The Neverendingstory and readings of Jackie and Me, The Promised Land), The Milwaukee Repertory Theater (Clybourne Park, A Christmas Carol: 2012-2014, Yankee Tavern, Trouble In Mind), Forward Theater (In The Next Room, Mr. Burns, Skeleton Crew, Mom, How Did You Meet The Beatles) and UPROOTED theatre (Beauty’s Daughter: Milwaukee, Chicago and Memphis, A Streetcar Named Desire, Yellowman, Crumbs From the Table of Joy, *Pink Champagne, Jack and Jill, HooDoo Love, Oleanna, I Have Before Me A Remarkable Document Given To Me By A Young Lady From Rwanda, The Philadelphia Story, *Man From Madisonville, The Sunset Limited, Suddenly Last Summer), Next Act Theatre (Perfect Mendacity, No Child, Twilight: Los Angles, The Taming, The Christians), and Theatre Lila (No Child). Marti plays an ongoing role as the Civil Rights suffragist, Ida B. Wells for the Kenosha Civil War Museum in Kenosha, Wisconsin, and is often featured in local and regional commercials and voice-overs. She appeared in the short film, Spare Change, as well as the web-series Gettin’ Grown; both directed by the award-winning film director Aaron Greer and Faith Flix’s Come Follow Me, Mary, Mother of Jesus and the feature film Game Day produced by Chicago Studio City. National television credits include NBC’s Chicago PD in addition to several regional commercials. Selected Professional Directing Credits include: National Project 1 Voice staged reading of Trouble In Mind, (Ten Chimneys Estate), A Soldier’s Story (Isitatha Theatre in South Africa) the staged reading of A Lesson Before Dying (Duncan Entertainment Group), and the world premiere productions of Reginald Edmund’s *South Bridge (The Broadway Theatre Center), Laura Lynn MacDonald’s *Through The Eyes Of Jim (Young Auditorium & Milton House Museum), and Caleen Sinnette Jennings’ *Hair, Nails & Dress (Tenth Street Theatre, Milwaukee) and *Freedom High, In The Red And Brown Water a collaboration with Marquette University and UPROOTED theatre. The Ballad Of Emmett Till, Native Gardens and Staged Reading of Philana Omorotionmwan’s Before Evening Comes (Renaissance Theaterworks). Exit Strategy (Forward Theatre) and The Brothers Size, Marcus: The Secret Of Sweet, Eeny Meeny Miny No (Milwaukee Chamber Theatre) and Blood At The Root, Principal, Principle, The Christians, Kill Move Paradise (Next Act Theatre). University Productions include: Airness (Hendrix College), Wine In the Wilderness, Crumbs From the Table of Joy, The Light (Marquette University), Trojan Women (UW-Milwaukee). Marti has served as a lead teacher at First Stage Theatre Academy in Milwaukee as well as a lead teacher and program designer for UPROOTED theatre’s education department. She is currently an adjunct professor at Marquette University, UW-Milwaukee and Carthage College. She is a JF Kennedy Center trained Teaching Artist who worked closely with Master Educator, Randy Barron for 6 months developing her residency which is now offered through The Young Auditorium and The Overture Center. She currently serves as Artistc Consultant for Black Arts MKE. Ms. Gobel will serve for a third term as a KCACTF adjudicator for Region III. She looks forward to her next project with A Red Orchid Theatre in Chicago as the director of Is God Is. Above all, Ms Gobel knows that she must “Stand Up. Take my people with me…” (Cynthia Erivo). *Indicates World Premiere’s

CHRISTOPHER PICKART (Scenic Designer) Chris was a freelance designer located in New York City for many years and a professor at Washington University in St. Louis before coming to the UT in 2005. He has designed numerous Off-Broadway shows including the critically acclaimed End of the World Party at the 47th Street Theatre, and Always…Patsy Cline at the Variety Arts Theatre. Other Off-Broadway shows include the long running Perfect Crime, The Bench, Between Daylight and Booneville, Washington Heights, Savage in Limbo, and Independence by Lee Blessing. Chris has designed the NY premieres of Hidden in this Picture and What is This Thing, by Emmy Award winning writer/director Aaron Sorkin. He has also designed the world premiere of Heaven and the Homeboy, directed by Tony Award winning director /choreographer George Faison. Regionally, Chris has designed over 150 shows at theatres across the country. Recent designs include productions at the Tony Award winning Utah Shakespearean Festival, the Tony Award winning Children’s Theatre in Minneapolis, Arden Theatre in Philadelphia, Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, Great Lakes Theatre Festival in Cleveland, Shakespeare Festival of St. Louis, City Theatre in Pittsburgh, Virginia Stage Company, Olney Theatre Centre in DC, Coast Playhouse in Los Angeles; among many others. In 1997-1999 Chris was the recipient of the prestigious National Endowment for the Arts/Theatre Communications Group’s Young Designers’ Fellowship. Chris has been nominated in the Outstanding Scenic Design category twice for the Barrymore Awards in Philadelphia and twice for the Kevin Kline Awards in St. Louis.

Devario D. SimmonsDEVARIO D. SIMMONS (Costume Designer) Simmons is an American Costume Designer of staged productions. His design credits include Between the Bars, TUMACHO, Thoughts of a Colored Man, The Merchant of Venice, In the Next Room or the Vibrator Play, Man of La Mancha, and A Streetcar Named Desire. Other credits include three seasons of AMC’s television show TURN, the 2nd National Touring production of the Broadway hit In the Heights and two seasons of the PBS television series Mercy Street. He is currently the Associate Costume Designer for all productions of Come From Away worldwide and Assistant Professor of Costume Design at Ithaca College. He received his MFA in Costume Design from Virginia Commonwealth University.

Joshua J. MulladyJOSHUA J. MULLADY  (Lighting Designer) Joshua is a third-year MFA candidate with a focus in Lighting Design. He previously designed lights at the CBT for She Kills Monsters and Murder on the Orient Express. He also designed lights for Marble City Opera, Dragonfly Aerial & Circus Arts Studio, Momentum Dance Lab, and groups in Knoxville. He is the Resident Lighting Director at The Shed Smokehouse & Juke Joint in Maryville, where he has had the pleasure to light national touring acts such as George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic, Puddle of Mudd, and The Steel Woods. He is incredibly grateful to Kenton, his classmates, and the rest of the faculty and staff for their knowledge, support, and kindness throughout his time here, especially all they gave last semester. He would also like to send his love and appreciation to his beautiful wife, Victoria, for her love and support during this journey. His work can be seen at

Joe CerquaJOE CERQUA (Sound Designer and Composer) Joe is thrilled to be back at the Clarence Brown Theatre after composing music and sound design for Alabama Story, Outside Mullingar, The Miracle Worker, and Charley’s Aunt. He is a freelance, award-winning composer, producer, vocalist and sound designer. Joe has composed/designed sound for over 300 productions nationally and internationally. Original music and sound design: Steppenwolf, Goodman Theatre, American Players Theater, Milwaukee Rep, The Alliance, Mark Taper Forum, Deaf West, Northlight Theatre, Skyline Opera, Cleveland Playhouse, Clarence Brown Theatre, Forward Theatre, Kansas City Rep, Indiana Rep, Berkshire Theatre Festival, Shakespeare and Co, Actors Theatre of Louisville, The Repertory Theatre of St Louis, Remy Bumppo. National Tours: Sideman, American Buffalo, How I Learned to Drive, The Laramie Project, Broken Glass, and Master Class. Joe is the Producing Director/Composer in residence for the Cerqua Rivera Dance Theatre and the Director of Production for the Music Department at Columbia College. Future projects include concerts with Cerqua Rivera, original music/sound designs for productions at American Players Theater and Forward Theater.

Davion T. BrownDAVION T. BROWN (Voice Coach), is a third-year grad student in pursuit of his MFA in Acting at the University of Tennessee/Knoxville. Before joining the UTK roster, Davion spent three years as a freelance Actor touring the country. Davion has been cast in a cornucopia of productions, and has held an assortment of iconic roles throughout his career thus far. Including: in Hamlet (as Hamlet), in Macbeth (as Macbeth), and in No Exit (as Joseph Garcin), just to name a few. Davion is excited and honoured to be the Voice Coach for this CBT production of Trouble In Mind. Lastly, Davion would like to take this time to thank You for continuing to support the Arts and her Artists."

Topaz CooksTOPAZ COOKS (Stage Manager) is an AEA Stage Manager based in San Diego. Originally from Minneapolis, Topaz was the Production Manager / Production Stage Manager of the Duluth Playhouse from 2016-2018 while overseeing the renovations and reopening of the historic NorShor Theater. Select credits include productions with: The Old Globe, La Jolla Playhouse, Utah Shakespeare Festival, The Children's Theatre Company, Clarence Brown Theatre, Moonlight Stage Productions, Theatre Latté Da, Lyric Opera of the North, The Public Theatre of Minnesota, Artistry Theatre, and Walking Shadow Theater Company. She received her BFA in Theatre from the University of Minnesota, Duluth, and her MFA in Stage Management from UC San Diego.

Kenneth J. MartinKENNETH MARTIN (Department Head, Artistic Director) Ken comes from the University of Missouri, at Kansas City, where he was the Patricia Mcllrath Endowed Professor and Chair of the Theatre Division.  His 26-year career in academia also included nearly 18 years serving as chair of the theater departments of Coastal Carolina University in South Carolina and Ashland University in Ohio. Tremendously successful as an administrator at both institutions, Martin navigated curricular revisions and development, managed resources effectively and efficiently, created innovative collaborations, cultivated significant enrollment growth, and forged international partnerships. A member of United Scenic Artists, his designs have been seen at theatres across the country including Kansas City Repertory Theatre, Florida Repertory Theatre, New Theatre, Ohio Light Opera, Cleveland Ensemble Theatre, Ocean State Theatre and many others. He has also designed shows for many colleges and universities including Marquette University, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, Coastal Carolina University, Cuyahoga Community College, and The Ohio State University. Martin has actively served his profession as a respondent for the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival, as a consultant for several regional theaters and through active participation in organizations like the United States Institute for Theatre Technology, Educational Theatre Association and the Southeastern Theatre Conference.

Tom CervoneTOM CERVONE (Managing Director) has dedicated most of his professional career (and life) advocating for and working in the best interests of the arts and culture industry, 25 years (and counting) serving proudly as the managing director for the Clarence Brown Theatre/Department of Theatre at UTK. He previously served as the first executive director of the Historic Tennessee Theatre Foundation and the executive director for Dogwood Arts. Cervone spent many years on the board of the Arts and Cultural Alliance of Greater Knoxville, and currently serves on the boards of the WordPlayers, the Knoxville Children’s Theatre, Department of Theatre and recently appointed to the Board of Governors of West Liberty University. Cervone remains active within the UTK community as a member of the Exempt Staff Council and Chancellor’s Commission for LGBTQ people. He received the Chancellor’s Citation for Outstanding Service to the University in 2010. He is a longtime member of the Actors’ Equity Association. Cervone holds his undergraduate degree in Speech and English Education with an emphasis in Theatre from West Liberty University in West Virginia and an MFA (1993) and MBA (2010) from UTK. He is a graduate of and was selected as the Class Representative of the Leadership Knoxville class of 2011.  Cervone is a member of his undergraduate alma mater’s class of 2015 Alumni Wall
of Honor.

Susan L. McMillianSUSAN L. McMILLAN (Production Manager) is in her ninth year as Production Manager at CBT and UT Department of Theatre. In addition, she teaches Stage Management. Prior, Susan was the Production Manager and Stage Management Instructor at the University of California, Santa Barbara, for 6 years. Susan is a member of Actors’ Equity Association, and was a Stage Manager at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival for 18 years. Additionally, she has stage managed at the Guthrie Theatre, Shakespeare Theatre Company, Portland Center Stage, PCPA, Rogue Valley Opera, Portland Civic Theatre, and has toured to the Kennedy Center. Through science and music (B.S. degrees in Biochemistry and Biology from Oregon State University), Susan found her passion in theatre. She is incredibly grateful for the opportunities and adventures, inspirational mentors, artistic and talented colleagues, amazing students, and the love and support of her family and friends.


Shinnerrie Jackson * – Wiletta Mayer
Tom Parkhill – Henry
Will Dorsey IV * – John Nevins
Amberlin McCormick * – Millie Davis
Rachel Darden * – Judy Sears
Rico Bruce Wade * Sheldon Forrester
Joshua Peterson * – Al Manners
Michael Najman * – Eddie Fenton
Terry Weber * – Bill O’Wray


Kisha Rockett – Wiletta Mayer
Malik Baines – John Nevins
McKinley Merritt  – Millie Davis
Steve Sherman *  Henry, Al Manners, Bill O’Wray
Linzy MonksJudy Sears
Kenneth Herring – Sheldon Forrester
Joseph Coram – Eddie Fenton

* The actors appear through the courtesy of Actors’ Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States.


(Understudy - John Nevins) Malik is super exited to be welcomed back to join the CBT family in their current amazing production! He previously performed in the CBT’s 2021 production Airness as “Golden Thunder” and can be seen performing with many theaters around East Tennessee, as well as in television shows on networks such as TV One and the ID channel. Malik feels that Trouble in Mind will definitely be one for the books!

(Understudy - Eddie Fenton) is the son of Melissa and Jeremiah Coram and is a Sophomore at UT. You may have seen him in his debut performance in A Christmas Carol this past fall. He has participated in many different shows at the Knoxville Children’s Theatre, the most recent of which was The Little Mermaid. He is enjoying his Sophomore year at UT. He would like to thank his parents for supporting him and pushing him to be the best that he can be, Coke Morgan for being an amazing vocal coach, Elizabeth Williams for being a fabulous instructor and director, Addison Coram, for being the best little sister ever, and Dennis Perkins for being his acting and directing mentor for many years.

(Judy Sears) Rachel grew up on the western slope of Colorado – a place that more resembles Mars than anything John Denver sang about. She earned a Bachelor’s degree in Musical Theatre from Colorado Mesa University before beginning a decade long journey away from, then back to acting (there was a yurt, questionable hair choices, and a lot of pie). She is currently in her final year of MFA training. During her time at UTK, she has had the opportunity to play such roles as Agnes in She Kills Monster, Greta in Murder on the Orient Express. Upon graduation she plans to pursue her craft in Washington, D.C.

(John Nevins) Will is a proud native of Flint, MI. He attended Central Michigan University (96-98) and is a Knoxville College Alum (98-02) Will is a certified personal trainer and amateur bodybuilder who operates his own business. Will began his local stage acting career in 2010. In 2011, he appeared in Carpet Bag Theater production Speed Killed My Cousin and years later, their Anniversary series Swopera and Red Summer. Will also appeared in River & Rail’s production SWEAT. Will is represented by Talent Trek Agency and has appeared in TV Commercials, music videos and Voice Overs. His television credits include Fatal Attraction, Homicide Hunter, Snapped, Murder Comes to Town and more. Will played the Honorable Judge Henry in an Off-Broadway stage play Justice on Trial by Greater Faith Entertainment. Will is the drama director at Overcoming Believers Church where he has written and directed over 30 drama skits. In 2014, Will wrote and directed his own full stage play The Guiding Light and from there went on to write and direct the first and second Annual Blessings on Bell St. full stage play productions. He recently acted in and directed the full stage play Worth It by Vet-to-Vet foundation.

(Wiletta Mayer) earned her Bachelors of Music at Oberlin Conservatory and her MFA at the University of Tennessee. She can be seen in 30 Rock and in Whit Stillman’s Damsels in Distress. Previous theatre productions include A Night with Janis Joplin (tour), Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike (Cincinnati Playhouse), and Ain’t I A Woman: a one woman show about the heroines of African American history.

(Millie Davis) is a fourth-year MFA Acting candidate at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Amberlin's credits include: Viola in Twelfth Night (National Black Theatre Festival), Eurydice in Eurydice (Warehouse Performing Arts Center) and Avigail in The Unusual Tale of Mary and Joseph (River and Rail Theatre). Amberlin would like to thank the wonderful instructors at UT, family, and classmates!

(Understudy - Millie Davis) McKinley, a UT Theatre alumni and Nashville native, is excited to be a part of Trouble In Mind after a long time away from the Clarence Brown stage! Her favorite roles include the ensembles of The Threepenny Opera, Monty Python’s Spamalot, Kiss Me, Kate and Sweeney Todd, as well as Logainne in 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, a member of the Shakespeare medley, Will Power!, and Bec in 4000 Miles all at the Clarence Brown Theatre. You can often find McKinley interning at a cappella conventions, singing with her 90s cover band, Teen Spirit, and probably laughing too hard at something really silly. Stay healthy, be safe, and, most importantly, enjoy the show!

(Understudy - Judy Sears) is a third year undergraduate student at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville where she is studying theatre with a concentration in acting. Linzy is originally from Coldwater Michigan, and has taken part in a variety of theatrical productions since age 10. Linzy’s credits include: Chutney Windham in Legally Blonde: The Musical (Coldwater Community Theatre), Tzeitel in Fiddler On The Roof (Coldwater High School Musicals), Dr. Melissa Smith in Anatomy Of A Murder (The Sauk Theatre) LeFou in Beauty And The Beast: The Musical (Coldwater High School Musicals), and #14 in The Wolves (River & Rail Theatre). Linzy is honored to be a part of this incredible production, and she hopes you enjoy the show.

(Eddie Fenton) Born and raised in Queens, NY, Michael moved to Knoxville to attend UTK's Master of Fine Arts in Acting program, and expects to graduate this Spring. He most recently appeared in the Clarence Brown Theatre's production of A Christmas Carol as Bob Cratchit, as well as in Murder on the Orient Express as Hector MacQueen. Additionally, Michael provided voice coaching for She Kills Monsters and voice, text, and dialect coaching for ACT's production of Twelfth Night. Watch him  play Dungeons & Dragons with his actor friends Sunday nights at 6:30pm at

(Henry) is the Founding Artistic Director of the Tennessee Stage Company. He began his career with The Playgroup, a Knoxville based improvisational ensemble and has appeared at the Manhattan Theatre Club, the Provisional Theatre in Los Angeles and been a company member with Charlotte Shakespeare, Flatrock Playhouse, Southern Appalachian Repertory Theatre, Playhouse On The Square, South Carolina Rep and Cumberland County Playhouse among others. He has performed at both the Picolo/Spoleto Festival in Charleston, and the Boombershoot Arts Festival in Seattle and has appeared in over a hundred national and regional commercials as well as feature films, television and radio.

(Al Manners) is the Founding Artistic Director of River & Rail Theatre Company here in Knoxville. He holds a Master of Fine Arts in Acting from Southern Methodist University in Dallas. Joshua is Texas transplant via Paris, France and New York City and now claims Knoxville as his home. Prior to moving to Knoxville, Joshua served as the Artistic Director of Firebone Theatre Company in New York City. He’s appeared in River & Rail Theatre’s productions of Constellations & Every Brilliant Thing. Previously at CBT he’s appeared in Of Mice & Men and A Christmas Carol. Other selected regional acting credits include Measure for Measure and Much Ado About Nothing (Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival), House and Garden (Theatre Three), Our Lady of 121st Street (Kitchen Dog Theatre) and Tape (Dallas Theatre Center.) Joshua would like to thank Amelia, his best friend and wife, and their children, Penny, Eli & Maeve for all their love and support!

(Understudy - Wiletta Mayer) Kisha has been performing for over 20 year. She has toured in many plays across the United States and several local plays here in Knoxville, Tn. with The Carpetbag Theatre Inc. Kisha has appeared on TVone, and recently can be seen in Dolly Parton's Magic Mountain Christmas special on NBC. Her passion for acting has been there since she was a child, and now she is pouring into other youth by teaching them how to create their own stories and produce and share their work. Kisha Rockett grew up in Milwaukee, Wi and now lives in Seymour, Tn. She is a mother of 3 and dedicated wife to her supporting husband for over 20 years. She is currently being represented by the Stair Agency. 

(Understudy - Henry, Al Manners, Bill O’Wray) Steve received his MFA in Acting from UT in 2016 and has performed in 12 productions at the CBT including The Whipping Man, Spamalot!, 4000 Miles, Of Mice & Men, The Open Hand and most recently King Charles III. In 2018 he began teaching acting and theatre undergraduate courses at UT. He has worked as an actor and writer all over the country including the new work process at The Kennedy Center and O’Neill Theatre Center. As an undergraduate at Western Washington University he was nationally recognized for acting and playwriting by the Kennedy Center for his play Brian and Joe. On camera work includes several independent films and commercials. He also serves as Artistic Director of the Knoxville Children's Theatre. Thanks to God, Hana and our little rock star William.

(Sheldon Forrester) is honored to return to the Clarence Brown Theatre. Previously, he appeared in the CBT production of Master Harold… and the boys. Mr. Wade is an associate artist with the Flint Repertory Theater, where he has appeared in multiple productions including Death of a Salesman, The Boatman and Into The Woods. Other credits include Ixion Ensemble's production of Broke-ology, the Riverwalk /CAP production of Jitney, and Williamston Theatre’s production of Blue Door. He worked extensively with the Second City-Detroit, collaborating on over a dozen revues. His film work includes Ken Nelson's Sincerely, Brenda, Scot Magie's  FOUR-NINETY and Jeff Wray's Songs for My Right Side. In 2022, he was the recipient of an Ohio Valley Regional Emmy award for his performance in Learning Through Art – A Black Anthology of Music. Rico is also an instructor at Wayne State University and has been a teaching artist with the Detroit Creativity Project, Planet Ant Theatre, and the Michigan Actors Studio. He'd like to thank all the connections at the CBT for their support and their commitment to artistic excellence.

(Bill O'Wray) is Professor Emeritus of Theatre at UT (retired after 31 years). He is currently Artistic Director of The WordPlayers. Terry’s acting career has taken him to theatres in New York, Seattle, Milwaukee, Louisville, Chicago, Kansas City, Montgomery, Knoxville, Toronto, Orlando, Charleston, Asheville, Cincinnati, and Avignon (France). Recent roles at the Clarence Brown Theatre: Chairman in The Madwoman of Chaillot, Scrooge in A Christmas Carol, Larry Morrow in Dream of the Burning Boy, Mrs. Bumbrake/Teacher in Peter and the Starcatcher; Sir Jealous Traffick in The Busy Body, Rev. Parris in The Crucible, Marcus in Titus Andronicus, Peter Quince in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Captain Keller in The Miracle Worker. 

SETTING – A Broadway theater in New York City, 1957

This production is 110 minutes with one intermission.
This production contains strong language including racial slurs.

Production Crew

Assistant Stage Managers - Blake Julian and Mayson Knipp

Assistant Costume Designer - M.J. Hromek
Wardrobe Supervisor - Amber Williams
Assistant Wardrobe Supervisor - Catherine York
Wardrobe Crew - Ariana Dotson and Caroline Poplawski

Deck Crew - Casey Crowe

Production Electrician/Deck Crew - Kate Henry
Light Board Operator - Joseph Coram

Assistant Sound Designer - Amoirie Perteet
Sound Board Operator - Alex Dally


CBT Production Staff


Artistic Director/Department Head - Kenneth Martin
Managing Director - Tom Cervone
Business Manager - Tara Halstead
Accounting Specialist - Le Anna Jacobson
Administrative Specialist - Bee Caruthers
Marketing & Communications Director - Robin Conklin
General Manager - Vickie Carter
IT Specialist - Mark Spurlock
Graphic Designer - Julie Anna Summers


Manager of Ticketing and Sales - Sarah Burton
Box Office Manager - Callie Bacon
Lead House Manager - David Ratliff
Patron Service Associates - Faridat Akindele, George Bull, Desirea Burke, Julie Carter, Jordan Gatton-Bumpus, Kidist Girmai, Diamond Leonard, Emma Massengill, Jordan McCready, Faith McManus, Anderson McNeil, Ariella Mingo, Whitney Priest, Brana Shankle, Ariyana Shaw, Emmy Sinclair, Savannah Smith, Lillian Snead, Justin Spinella, Emily Stone, Jenna Tiger, Jacob Toran and Avalon Trunzo

External Relations Manager - Shelly Payne
Grants, Education, and Outreach Manager - Hana Sherman
Tours, Workshops - David Brian Alley
Summer Acting Workshops, Actor Talk Backs - Terry D. Alford

Production Manager - Susan L. McMillan
Rental Coordinator/Assistant Production Manager - Phyllis Belanger
Production Stage Manager - Patrick Lanczki

Costume Shop Manager - Melissa Caldwell-Weddig
Cutter/Draper - Kyle Andrew Schellinger
Costumers - Elizabeth Aaron, Ellen Bebb, Laura Clift and Amber Williams
Costume Assistants - Alex Heder, M.J. Hromek, and Kaelyn Williams
Wig Design - Siobian Jones

Electrics Shop Manager - Travis Gaboda
Lead Electrician - Jon Mohrman
Lighting Assistants - Lisa Bernard, Rachel Clift, Liv Jin, and Mitch Wilson

Technical Director - Jason Fogarty
Assistant Technical Director - George Hairston
Lead Carpenter - Jerry D. Winkle
Senior Carpenter - Kyle L. Hooks
Scene Shop Assistant - Michaela Lochen
Scene Shop Volunteer - Grace Bartoo
Scenic Charge Artist - Jillie Eves
Scenic Artist - DJ Pike and Sophie Smrcka

Props Supervisor - Christy Fogarty 
Lead Properties Artisan -  Sarah Gaboda
Prop Assistants - Sophie Smrcka and Katie Stepanek

Sound Supervisor - Mike Ponder
Sound Assistants - Allison Bucher and Amoirie Perteet

CBT Society Members

Artists Circle

James Alan Carmichael and Cynthia Moxley
Dr. Jeffrey and Virginia Eberting
Laura Kimsey Eshbaugh
Pamela and James Given
Michael Higdon
The Lederer Family
Theresa Lee and Jacob Love
Mrs. Townes Lavidge Osborn and Robert S. Marquis
Linda and Terry Tyler

Producer Circle

Jennifer Banner
Larry and Jeanie Brakebill
Sandra and Peter Campbell
Lisa Carroll
Dr. Jimmy and Ileen Cheek
Michael Combs
Susan and Kent Farris
Drs. Joe and Jayne De Fiore
Drs. Nancy Duckles and Cameron Sears
Steve Drevik and Le Ann Rogers
Stanton and Alison Garner
Tara and Scott Halstead
Vickie Ellis and Joe Hoagland
Prof. Amy Morris Hess
John and Susan Hoffman
Julie Howard and Ted Flickinger
Susan and Jerry Kornegay
Robert and Brenda Madigan
Maureen Dunn McBride and Neil McBride
Mr. Arthur G. Mitchell
Margie Nichols and John Gill
Linda B. Norris
Hei Park
Meredith Peccolo and James Vaughan
Susan Sgarlat
Patricia Roux-Sharp
Jan and Mary Ann Simek
Donna Solod
Donald Thorne
Alice Torbett
Nancy Voith and Kenneth Stark
Donna and Terry Wertz
Wendy and Dale Wortham

Director Circle

Donna and Randall Riggs
Brooks and Karen Clark

Rising Star

Jeff and Laura Allen
Myrwood Besozzi
Will and Rebecca Brewer
Mr. John L. Butler, Sr.
Clay S. Davis, Jr.
Christopher and Kelly Herbstritt
Dr. Jeffrey D. Kovac
Dr. Samantha Murphy and Mr. Justin Roby
Sheena McCall
Sarah Phillips

Leading Player

Anne G. Armstrong
Amy Caponetti
Leann and James Dickson
Dr. Stuart B. Elston
Cynthia Gibson
Dennis F. Hayward
Lyle and Trish Irish
Michael and Nancy Lofaro
John D. North
Vladimir Protopopescu
CortneyJo and Calvin Sandidge
Robert Trigiano
Georgiana Vines
Alexander Oaks Waters

MBC Members

Priscilla Bright
Constance Burnett
Steve Drevik
Vickie Ellis
Mardel Fehrenbach
Virginia Kerwin
Susan Kornegay
Jerry Kornegay
Sharon Kreis
Stephen LaVie
Maureen McBride
Sheena McCall
Margie Nicols
Linda Norris
Sarah Philips
Donna Riggs
Fran Scheidt
Helen Sirett
Alice Torbett
Terry Tyler
Linda Tyler
Georgiana Vines
Donna Wertz

CBT Advisory Board

Julie Howard, Chair
Margie Nichols, Immediate Past Chair
Steve Drevik, At-Large
Alexander Waters, At-Large

Jennifer Banner
Larry Brakebill
Will Brewer
Amy Caponetti
Lisa Carroll
Jeff Cheek
Brooks Clark
Katharine Pearson Criss
Leann Dickson
Steve Drevik
Danielle Ely
Pamela Given
Amy Morris Hess
Julie Howard
Erica Lyon
Maureen Dunn McBride
Margie Nichols
John North
Sara Phillips
Vladimir Protopopescu
Lee Riedinger
CortneyJo Sandidge
Susan Sgarlat
Pedro Tomás
Alice Torbett
Bob Trigiano
Robin Turner
Terry Tyler
Georgiana Vines
Alexander Waters
Donna Wertz
Melanie Wood
Wendy Wortham


Charlie Brakebill
Joe De Fiore
Susan Ferris
Townes Lavidge Osborn
Jan Simek

Ex Officio

Kenneth Martin
Tom Cervone
Holly Jackson-Sullivan
Stephanie Wall

◊ Deceased