THE CHARACTERS OF "ONLY GOD CAN CHANGE ME"

Synopsis ...

“Only God Can Change Me” focuses on the dark secrets that grip the dysfunctional Shepherd family and the tragedies that follow as one of their own succumbs to the grip of heroin addiction. The matriarch of the family turns to God as the only answer to the family’s struggle. This is a powerful and relevant account of the family’s battle against the ravages of addiction and the powerful faith that can potentially bring redemption. “Only God Can Change Me” touches audiences so deeply, one commentator put it, “Whether you are the black sheep of the family, the peacemaker, the dreamer, the troublemaker or simply the glue that holds everything together, you’ll feel right at home with the Shepard family.” 

Characters ...

 CHARLENE:  (singing role) the matriarch; wife of FRANK Shepard and mother to FELICIA, LISA, and LEE and grandmother to CHANTEL. CHARLENE is a very spiritual, strong, black woman, and caring disciplinarian.  She is a homemaker who struggles with failing health due to a heart problem and stress.  The love she feels for her family and for the Lord can be seen plainly on her face.   


FRANK:  the patriarch of the family and husband to CHARLENE.  He is also father to FELICIA, LISA, LEE and grandfather to CHANTEL.  He is a hard worker who struggles with alcohol.  Currently he is unemployed and bitter about his life.  FRANK is hot-tempered and uses force to discipline. He is also an unstable father figure.  Bitterness has destroyed what little looks he had.  


 FELICIA:  (singing role) oldest child of CHARLENE and FRANK; sister to LISA and LEE.  FELICIA is married to TONY WASHINGTON and they have a young daughter named CHANTEL.  She is a gentle person, who lovingly interacts with her family, particularly her husband, TONY.  She is strong and bold, and shows a caring mature love for all members of her family.  She works at the local community center as a counselor. 

TONY:  (singing role) husband to FELICIA and father to CHANTEL.  He is very affectionate toward FELICIA and is a God-fearing man, able to handle the word of God with boldness and confidence.  He is not afraid to touch, hug, or offer comfort.   He displays a great sense of humor.  He works as an assistant director in the community development relations department at City Hall.   


CHANTEL:  (singing role) a mischievous 10 year-old; daughter to FELICIA and TONY.  She is not shy, but full of energy.  She loves to have fun and learn, but she has a smart mouth. Because of her parents and grandmother, she is growing in the spirit of the Lord.   


LEE:  (singing role) middle child of CHARLENE and FRANK and only son.  He is disrespectful toward family and friends, especially his father.  He quits school because “it’s for fools and idiots.”  He is an angry, young, black man, showing signs of falling in with a bad crowd and becoming a street thug.  As the play unfolds, he slowly evolves and becomes sensitive - able to cry and experience love, joy, and happiness.   


LISA:  (singing role) incredibly young and vulnerable; youngest child of CHARLENE and FRANK.  LISA becomes a drug addict.  She is emotionally unable to deal with problems well.  She is in school, but becomes disillusioned with learning because of the instability of her home life.  She, too, evolves during the play, and ultimately becomes positive, uplifting, and encouraging.  


AUNT GRACY:  (singing role) older sister to CHARLENE. She is a church-going widow with plenty of money who dresses accordingly.  AUNT GRACY is very close to her sister CHARLENE, but hostile toward FRANK.     


JUDY:  a neighborhood kid.  She has sticky fingers and is always at the home of CHARLENE and FRANK.  JUDY is a friend to CHANTEL.     ANGIE 58: friend to AUNT GRACY and the Shepard family. She is able to display humor with a child-like ability. ANGIE is also a widow.   

 

MRS. GREEN:  (singing role) CHARLENE’S next door neighbor and a close family friend.  She is a widow; her husband had an industrial accident at work. 

THE CAST OF "ONLY GOD CAN CHANGE ME"

CHARLENE SHEPARD (Nanyare Thomas)

 Andrea Johnson is an actress and a freelance writer born in Columbus, Oh. As a child, Andrea moved back and forth between Columbus and small town named Waynesboro, MS, eventually settled in Columbus at the age 16. Andrea started working in the entertainment industry (promoting, dancing, acting, etc.), at a young age. Her educational experiences include Childhood Care Education taking at Columbus State Community College and Medical Assistant and phlebotomy degree from Kaplan University in 2011. 

FRANK SHEPARD (Jerry Weekly)

BIO COMING

LEE SHEPARD ( FLOYD )JACKSON)

 

Floyd Jackson went into acting at an early age due to people around him noticing his eagerness to play make believe as multiple individuals throughout his day to day life. He was an overachieving student who excelled in all he took on, yet he always did it with an overly charismatic spin. He not only thought outside the box, he was the box and everything in it. Teachers wrote home letters to his Grandmother (Janice) and even spoke with her at parent teacher conferences about programs they thought would stimulate his mind. She considered their referrals, but wasn’t convinced until his childhood best friend’s mother told her about the same program. That program was Odyssey of the Mind. He had to create along with others a play and act out the characters they created. Floyd did that for a couple of years until he transitioned over to another similar program called Destination Imagination. He did this for one year and soon realized acting is his calling, after hours spent mocking roles from television personalities and people he came across throughout his everyday life. His Grandmother (Hero) mustard up enough money to enroll him in professional acting classes at the Savoy Lounge Downtown in Springfield Ohio. He excelled in that but did not make it to the big play they held at the end of the class year. Floyd became discouraged due to being the only male in the classes (He was ten). Floyd then gave up on his dream and followed suit in his small town and began to chase basketball dreams. During that time he held onto his acting dream by keeping it forever in the back of his mind (Memory bank). It wasn’t hard to notice since everything he did, he did with a theatrical flair. It showed in the work place, school, basketball practice, and at family events. He was just a performer at heart and it cried out in every situation life presented him.

Floyd is also a very creative writer. He likes to consider himself a poet at heart. He even has his own poetry website titled (www.thoughtexplosion.weebly.com). Outside of everything else Floyd is a meditation teacher and has put in many hours as a redemption advisor for Project Redemption helping those who want it get their lives back on track.

LISA SHEPARD Nikka(Ervin) Galloway

 Nikka (Ervin) Galloway
Born to Zipporah (ERVIN) and Willie Moore in Saginaw Michigan. Nikka is the third oldest of 9.As a little girl Nikka had two favorite things God and a strong passion to sing.her life journey began while attending Apostolic Faith church under the leadership of Pastor Mattie Works and her Grandmother Evangelist Dorlean Morgan. There she was thought the word and Love of God while enjoying her passion for singing. Nikka attended many Elementary schools but it wasn't until her 6th Grade year at Jessie Rouse Elementary school when her gift was made known and heard by the schools minister of music and choir teacher Mrs. Herlet Dickinson. By her 7th Grade year her strong voice and passion for music opened up the doors for her to attend Ruben Daniels center for the Art's and science there she studied vocal arts and piano. Nikka was also a student of North intermediate Junior High School at the same time where she did many school concerts. At age 14 Nikka was faced with the lost of her older Brother which caused her to relocate to Muskegon Heights Michigan for a year. There she attended Muskegon Heights High.Nikka used her passion for singing to deal with her pain which landed her to lead soloist in the school choir. Nikka returned back to Saginaw a year later where she attended Victorious Believers Church of God in Christ under the leadership of Bishop Marvin C Pryor. As a member she was also in the Echoes of praise church choir. Where she also became a member of the Saginaw High City Soul Choir lead by Choir director and minister of music Ms.Ramona Reed.After High Nikka went on to record music with some of Michigan's Local Rappers such as Mr.Jason Young and many more of MPO productions and Mr. Vance Martin of UBU Records and Entertainment production's Not to mention Mr.Eniex Buchanan.After many years of going know where Nikka moved to Detroit Michigan there is when she realized that ad-libbing vocals for rap artists was getting her nowhere so in 2006 Nikka moved to Columbus Ohio and got a job working for medical warehouses and childcare.In 2015 Nikka was introduced to a producer by the name of mr. Z.F Taylor owner and president of IKAN-4U production.Mr Taylor was holding auditions for his stage play Ready2grow Part1 at that time Nikka had no stage play experience but to God be the Glory Mr.Taylor believed in her and give the role of Pastor Jude in both of his plays Ready2Grow part 1 and 2. Mr Taylor open up the door for her to work with other production companies. Nikka is now a member of Ralph kingdom community Church. 

FELICA WASHINGTON CONSTANCE NICOLE DAVIS

 

Constance Nicole Davis is a wife, mother, singer/songwriter, vocal coach and instructor, praise and worship leader, and psalmist.  She is a native of Williamson, WV.  Her mantra to live by is “your gift will make room for you”.  God has allowed her gift to do just that, by enlarging her territory to travel locally and nationally to minister.  She has ministered in Psalm and Prophetic Gatherings and starred in plays which include, “I Don’t Want No Corny Man”, “What Kind of Woman Are You”, and “Ready to Grow”. Additionally, she has sung with The Shining Lights, The Glorifiers,  and The Power of Praise Mass Choir.

In 2007, while under the ministry of Apostle Maurice and Pastor Sherry Broomfield, she accepted the call to ministry.  Her ministerial training was through Power and Glory Ministries and Pastor Elona Saunders School of Deliverance and Prophetic Ministry.  Constance is married to Dwayne E Davis and is the proud mother of Dwayne and Dajuan.   She has a heart for deliverance and to see the lives of God’s people be transformed.     The scripture that fits her heart is Psalms 9:1 which reads, I will praise thee, O Lord, with my whole heart; I will shew forth all thy marvelous work. For Father it is not my will but thine will be done.

TONY WASHINGTON (Z.F.TAYLOR )

  
 

BIO COMING SOON

AUNT GRACY (JOYCE STANKS )

 Joyce is a vocalist and actor. She has performed in several productions.  The Monkey on my Back I and II, The Piano Lesson, Sista, Find Herself a Man, Suzette's Saga and Holy Hustle. Joyce looks forward to the experience of diving deep into the spirit of her characters.  

AUNT GRACY ( ASHLEY STEPHENS )

 Ashley  is a native of Dover, Delaware.  She is a graduate of Dover High School '98-01' where she participated in the Activities Chorus and Show Choir.  She is has been an African Dancer for seven years (teaching one year) and has performed on several stages including several East Coast venues to Africa '96-03'.  She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Behavioral Science from Wilmington University, graduating in 2006.  She is only one class away from her minor in Drama. 

MRS GREEN ( MICHELLE UPSHAW

 

Michelle Upshaw, is a native of Columbus, Ohio. Psalmist, singer, writer, director, producer, and mom. 

She is a writer, producer and director of many stage plays in Columbus. She wrote, directed, and produced the Hit Stage play Could This Be The One? She has written all the lyrics and performed the music as well as released a sound track that accompanied the play. Some of her other plays include We Believe in the ResurrectionWorlds Greatest Gift, Hosanna In the Highest, Co-writer of Immanuel God with Us. 

Michelle is an accomplished singer and performer in her own right, performs with a local Christian jazz band entitled Fresh Wind. She is also a former member of the singing group Heirs International Ministries under the direction of John Stevenson. She was the Ohio winner of the "Singing in the Shower" a national contest sponsored by the Lever Brothers Soap Company. She had to both write and sing an original jingle and as part of her win, she traveled to Hollywood, CA where she competed against other nationwide winners. Michelle's voice is featured on many voiceovers trainings within the State of Ohio and she made a public service announcement that aired at the Ohio State Fair.

Michelle holds an Associates Degree in Chemical Dependency and a BA degree in Substance Abuse Counseling. Michelle is certified through the Ohio Department of Drug and Alcohol as a violence prevention educator. She is also certified as a bullying prevention specialist through the Olweus Bullying prevention program, at Clemson University. She is the creative force for CEO of Puppets for Peace (PFP), a non-profit, award winning organization which she established in 2003. As an off-shot of PFP, Michelle created and also directed a children's television show which first aired on WOCC-TV through the University of Otterbein in Westerville, Ohio. Her program addressed such topics as: bullying prevention, anger management and cultural diversity. Impressed by her work, The Ohio Arts Council presented Michelle With a Community Service Award for PFP. PFP was also featured in over 10,000 text books, printed by Loyola Press. Michelle is a member of the Columbus Puppetry Guild.

Michelle created a workshop, and developed her own curriculum entitled "Being Bully Free is on You and Me". This workshop includes a workbook as well as engaging activities that address the harmful impacts of bullying. Michelle has had the opportunity to present her program in Columbus City Schools and well as Worthington City Schools. Michelle was inducted in the Women's Hall of Fame, for her community and artistic contributions.

Michelle enjoys writing, singing, traveling and most importantly being a mom to her children. In the near future, Michelle plans to publish a series of books for children featuring the topic of bullying prevention. She is  currently creating  new interactive prevention workshops. She is a retired trainer from the State of Ohio in Leadership Professional Development. 

Thanks!

MRS GREEN (ANDREA JOHNSON

 Andrea Johnson is an actress and a freelance writer born in Columbus, Oh. As a child, Andrea moved back and forth between Columbus and small town named Waynesboro, MS, eventually settled in Columbus at the age 16. Andrea started working in the entertainment industry (promoting, dancing, acting, etc.), at a young age. Her educational experiences include Childhood Care Education taking at Columbus State Community College and Medical Assistant and phlebotomy degree from Kaplan University in 2011. 

CHANTEL WASHINGTON (KASSIDEE JONES )

 Kassidee is 8 years old and is currently a 3rd grader at Parkmoor Elementary School.  Her favorite color is Purple and she has a pet guinea pig named Buttercup.  She loves to sing, read and to travel and she recently joined her choir at school.  She plans to play soccer in the spring and also join a swim team. Her dream is to attend THE Ohio State University!!

ANGIE (CECE HARRIS )

 CeCe is not new to the acting world. She had a supporting role in a feature film “Symbol of Love”, 2 music videos and has performed in several stage plays including “Gus is Gone” & “Could this be the one”. She is extremely passionate about acting. “Acting is my outlet; it allows me to be free”. Cece is the former nationally reigning Miss Plus America ELITE. During her reign she has traveled all over the United States pushing her platform “Matters of the Heart” where she advocates for heart disease awareness teaching others the importance of living a heart healthy lifestyle. She is a heart survivor herself enduring 9 heart surgeries and currently has a pacemaker implant. In her spare time she enjoys spending time with her family, traveling and riding her motorcycle. She aspires to gain a role on the big screen someday. 

JUDY

LISA SHEPARD ( LAKITA KEYONA BRADFORD)

CAST

BIO COMING SOON

LaKita Keyona Bradford was born on July 17,1984 in Laurel, Mississippi. She was raised by her grandparents Joyce and Jesse Bradford. Her biological parents are Yvonne McCurtis and Sean Rogers Sr. LaKita is the oldest of 17 and she is the mother of Jonaiya (9) and Jonathon Stephens(4).

LaKita was the leading lady of "THE HOLY SHOP"  a play by Charlay Marie.  She attends Mt. Sinai COGIC and World Harvest Church. She loves God, puts him first, and is learning herself through him day by day. LaKita is an aspiring model, actor, businesswoman, and hairstylist. She hopes to use each God-given gift as a pathway to change lives all over the world. Her daily motto "USE THE TOOLS THAT YOU HAVE TODAY IN ORDER TO CREATE SUCCESFUL TOOLS FOR TOMORROW"

BIO COMING SOON

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THE CREW

THE DIRECTOR (Z.F. TAYLOR)

BIO COMING 

MUSIC DIRECTOR (TAMMY FREEMAN)

 Tammy began her musical career in Springfield, Ohio as a child of a minister where she learned to worship the Lord in music and in song. It was through these experiences that she also learned the art of harmonizing and vocalizing in a choir.Tammy attended Central State University where she majored in Music Education. She also received training from directors of the several choirs and singing groups that she has been involved in.She is currently directing a choir in her church, Greater “GLORY” Ministries, and an active member of the Columbus Chapter of the Gospel Workshop of America choir.“Only God can Change Me” is Tammy’s first theatrical production. She is excited and honored to be a part of such an on-time message for today.Tammy is a licensed minister and mother of 4. 

HOUSE MANGER /PRODUCTION MANGER (SANDRA CRAWLEY)

Born in Dayton, Ohio, Sandra is motivated, results-oriented, energetic and fun.  A success-driven professional with a wide breadth of leadership experience, Sandra is considered a valuable asset to any organization. 

Sandra's flexibility, as a team player, is only surpassed by her proven track record of prioritizing  and completing multiple tasks to achieve production goals.  

COSTUME AND MAKE UP

BIO COMING

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