Directed by C.J. Walton
Music Direction by William Hadden
Choreography by Sarah Fye
May 13, 14, 19, 20, 21, 26, 27, 28, 2022 (7:30)
May 15, 22, 29, 2022 (3:00)
For Group Tickets (10 or more tickets purchased in one transaction), use promo code birdie5off when purchasing your tickets to receive $5 off per ticket. Simply enter the promo code before selecting your seats.
Group tickets can also be purchased at the box office one hour prior to each performance.
Meet the Cast!
Chilton Stewart is a local actor singer
musician songwriter and filmmaker who loves to act and bring joy to people's hearts.
You may follow Chilton on IG: @chiltonmusic
DéYonté Jenkins received his B.F.A in Theatre Performance from The University of Evansville in 2016 and has been a working artist here in Nashville ever since. A native of Tennessee, he has performed on multiple stages in the Nashville area including The Nashville Children's Theatre, The Nashville Shakespeare Festival, Actors Bridge Ensemble and The Manna from Heaven Dinner House. You may have also caught a glimpse of him in a few episodes of the hit T.V. series Nashville. DéYonté would like to thank his family and friends for their continued support in his career. Also, The Most High for blessing him with gifts to help motivate and inspire others through the magic of Theatre.
John Koski is delighted to make his debut with the historic Circle Players. Credits include KALEVALA (NYC development with composer Johanna Telander) where he originated the role of Vainamoinen. In addition to other NYC based development projects, John performed with Master Voices under the direction of Tony winner Ted Sperling in OF THEE I SING at Carnegie Hall and ORPHEUS at The Lincoln Center. Other favorites include ANNIE (Warbucks), and A CLOSER WALK WITH PATSY CLINE at Playhouse on the Square, Memphis. John is a two-time EMMY Award winner (regional), a former TV and radio sportscaster and broadcast manager, and currently is a brand specialist for iHeartMedia & The Tennessee Radio Network in Nashville. John is also regional director of The Yuletide Carolers – Nashville and a voice-over artist & jingle writer/producer. Big thanks to CJ, Alexis & Sarah for including me on this journey! Cheers to CJ on her brilliant directorial debut! IG: @johnekoski
Ladon, who has been acting for film and TV since the age of 9, is happy to say that this will be his first live performance. Not only is this his first Broadway, it's also his first musical. Ladon Williams is definitely built for a viewing audience. He loves the spotlight, and his magnetic personality and energy attraction is perfect for his love of acting and performing.
Anthony Lyons more commonly known as LEO, is a Rap and Hip-Hop artist who was born in Louisville, Kentucky, but later raised in California. Growing up around multiple places, this gave LEO many things to talk about. Growing and being exposed to certain situations that adolescents are not normally prone to be around, LEO has a much broader vision for what he wants his life to be. By using his personal struggles and dealings as motivation towards his craft, this shaped the way he creates music. Doing everything he could to make it out, LEO takes determination to a whole different level. Starting off with basically nothing, LEO had to go out and make things happen for himself. Quickly teaching himself the different processes that go into make quality music, LEO found a passion for making catchy, upbeat Rap releases that blend elements across many different genres as well like R&B and Trap. Releasing a number of tracks in 2020 like Candy and Used 2, LEO was able to build up a solid supporting cast on Soundcloud. Releasing content to his YouTube as of this year, LEO has shown his lasting potential in this industry with tracks like Wifin You. Gearing up for new music soon in 2022, make sure to stay up to date via LEO’s social media pages.
Grace is a Nashville native! She is a hairstylist and cat mom. Her favorite roles include Bianca/Lois Lane in Kiss Me Kate and Chava in Fiddler on the roof. She is so excited to be back in the theatre with her first show at Circle Players!”
Having developed a Love for the Arts at the young age of 6, Kenyana Hampton is not new to the Theatre Scene. She has been involved in a variety of local shows, some of which were written and Directed by her own playwright father, Roger Trent. Kenyana has played a plethora of different roles and enjoys all genres of plays and movies. She is involved in several small projects and variety shows for up-and-coming writers here in Nashville. She acts in music videos and also does background vocals for her brother Kenneth “Kenny Dewitt” Hampton. She is actively seeking new opportunities to expand her portfolio and is open to accepting new roles as she sees fit.
Emma Faith, 15, has been involved with theater for eight years. Having performed in 15 previous shows with 6 other companies, she is excited to be joining Circle Players and diving further into the world of musicals under their expert guidance. This soon-to-be sophomore also enjoys fashion design, archery, and spending time with family. She would like Circle Players, and her director CJ, to know she is grateful for this opportunity and hopes to make them proud.
Enjoy the show!
Khristal Majors a Nashville Native by way of Mt. Juliet is better known as Comedian Khristal (With A) Eye. Although Comedy is her first love, when she's not bringing smiles to others, she enjoys writing poetry and music. Coming from a troubled background Khristal has overcome many battles and faced a lot of fears. As her stage play debut, she has faced yet another one while hoping to yet again bring a smile to someone. Always Remember No One can hold you back but YOU! SO, GO FOR IT!!
Mayor’s Wife/Mrs Merkle/Ensemble
Monica Hyde-Collins is a native of Nashville, Tennessee, she knew acting was her calling and this resulted in acting debuts in the play "Romeo and Juliet" directed by Barry Scott and in the movie "Keyed" directed by Howard Lee Bell. Known now as an actress who masterfully contributes to help bring projects to life, she stays busy. She transforms herself into characters to project their flaws, strengths, weaknesses and challenges. Combined with her powerful voice and her eyes she's a force of talent. This is because her past made her, and she connects well. She doesn't allow obstacles to stop her. Her journey of determination has earned lead roles for Monica. She sees herself in the future as a producer, director or writer. Some movies in which she's known include: "Keyed: A Deadly Game of Sex, Lies and Betrayal," "Blemish," “To the Max,” and "The Lift."
Jeff is somewhat of a rarity in these modern days. A native, born and raised in Nashville. He grew up in the Green Hills area and attended Hillsboro Comprehensive High School. When he's not singing anywhere there's an unattended mic or open space, he is bringing laughter to the masses w/his offbeat comedic presence. This self-proclaimed movie fanatic has been singing and dancing since he was able to walk and talk. He exudes an aura of confidence and cool that is unmatched by most. This dynamic vocalist has incredible range as well as phenomenal fluidity between musical genres seemingly w/o effort. This is his theatrical debut but strongly believes it's his calling since all the world's a stage.
Since her debut in 2019, that initial jump off the porch has transcended to an infinite victory lap for Ashley Dee who was a crowd favorite on the Hawaiian comedy scene (where she resided until early 2021) and now the Nashville comedy scene (where she currently resides), as she has shared the ticket with headliners such as Katt William’s protégé Big Weezy, Comedy Central’s 2018 “Up Next” comic Amy Miller and Netflix featured comedian Beth Stelling. Crediting her “colorful life experiences'' as the foundation of her success, there is no mystery to why Ashley Dee is able to captivate her audiences. Delivering countless punchlines of relatability while assuming a self-assured demeanor not only secures the laugh but ignites the transmission of empowerment that Ashley Dee undoubtedly brings to the stage each night. As a fan of comedy giants Cory Holcomb, Monique and Eddie Murphy (in his prime), Ashley Dee is undeniably set to make her own comedic imprint on this world. One stage, one screen and one experience at a time, Ashley Dee is destined to be your next favorite comedian.
Born in Pittsburgh, PA and raised in Nashville, with a playwright/singer-songwriter father and a dancer mother, Keiala was always surrounded by and loved the arts. She began acting at the age of 10 in “The Storm of Euroklydon” featured at TPAC in 2004. Over the years, Keiala has gone on to perform in countless plays and short films, sing in the choir, and most recently, began voice acting. Keiala is grateful to God for every opportunity to grace the stage and is thrilled to be featured in her first lead role as Kim McAfee!
LaQualla has been acting for many years, but this is her first role with CIRCLE PLAYERS. She is a talented stand-up comedienne as well as a versatile actress which opened doors for stage, screen and television. She hopes that you all will enjoy this production and realize that it’s never too late to live your dream.
Emily Elrod has been singing since she started her school chorus program at the age of 12. Though this is her first principal/speaking role, she is no stranger to musicals, performing in productions of Thoroughly Modern Millie and Anything Goes as a chorus member. She has also been called back to The Voice before and recently released her first full length album, “Devil’s Night”, under the artist’s name Elrod. The album is available on all streaming platforms and consists of all original music.
Madison Crosby has been performing since she was just two years old. She earned a Bachelor of Science in dance from Missouri State University. Her previous roles include Etcetera in Cats, Abigail in The Crucible, and Peter Pan in Peter Pan. She is so excited to bring Ursula to life!
Emma B. has been in theatre since her freshman year of high school. From Cinderella to A Midsummer Night’s Dream, she has loved every moment onstage. This is her second opportunity to be in Bye Bye Birdie, and she is honored to be portraying the role of Margie. She hopes you can Put on a Happy Face and enjoy the show!
Making her musical theater debut in Bye Bye Birdie, some of Courtne’s previous acting credits include Jessica Barnes in the crime series “Homicide Hunter'', Suzanne Harrison in the ID Channels series premiere of “Southern Gothic”, and Rebecca in the family film “Horse Camp: A Love Tail”. Courtne was also honored to be nominated for a Young Artist Academy Award for Best Young Actress in a Feature Film just this year.
Ezekiel is an aspiring young actor looking to make a splash in the industry. Once nominated for best supporting actor in the spotlight awards for his role as Schroeder in You're a Good Man Charlie Brown. He loves nothing more than giving his all to the character and holding nothing back. He also likes sunsets and long walks on the beach.
Nashville born film producer who has roots in music and production. For 6 years, William toured as the lead singer to a band before leaving his music career to pursue film. He has written/directed/produced 2 feature films and 5 short films in addition to owning and operating a successful videography company. As co-owner and founder of Water Fire media company, he has successfully produced and launched an online talent competition & has many other film & TV projects in the works. William has now stepped into the stage production world and is excited to bring his experience and passion to the stage.
Andre Churchwell Jr is a stand-up comedian who did Guys and Dolls in high school in 2005 so he thinks he can do any theatre production. Was in the Nashville Improv Company for 2017-2018. Taught acting at John Casablancas Acting and Modeling Agency from 2018-2020. Got back into stage work when he played Captain Le Bret in the 2019 New Star Nashville's Production of Cyrano de Bergerac. Played the Librarian/Chorus in New Star Nashville's Production of Beauty and the Beast in 2021. Currently hyped to play the 6 roles I inhabit in the Circle Players' Bye Bye Birdie directed by his friend Chandra Walton.
Jermarius Hastings, 27, from Nashville, TN is a local Comedian/ Dancer/ Actor.
I love reminiscing, but I also love "what if's." When I performed this musical in high school, as Ursula Merkle, having the time of my life, never did I imagine that I would have the immense pleasure and opportunity to actually direct my all time favorite show? Not only is it near and dear to my heart but it is a timeless, funny classic that brings together all ages and all generations. I know how easy it is for classic musicals to seem dated and I’ve looked forward to finding ways to make this story feel modern and personal to each one of us. Much of this will be accomplished through the design: set, costumes, and lighting.
Bringing this story to life has always been a dream of mine but I wanted to make it a little different. I wanted to modernize it just a little more. As I went back over the script, and saw things that could be done anew, I thought to myself how can I bring it from the 50s into the 2020's? That's when it hit me! Being away from Chattanooga, Tennessee, and then moving up here to Nashville, the only part of the story I was never really connected to was Sweet Apple, Ohio. Now, I don't know if music is in Sweet Apple, Ohio, but I know for a fact it is in Nashville! And I wanted to bring Conrad Birdie to the Music City!
Looking at the script I thought what if? And how? How can I make it more modern? How can I make it reflect today and yet still keep that same reminiscent style of yesterday? I think I did just that with the talent that I chose. What's funny is that going through the script after all these many years makes you realize that all the funny nuances from the 1950s still have relevance today. There is a Harry McAfee in each one of our fathers who is always protective, always hard working and wants to look out for his family. There is always a Doris McAfees who loves her husband and knows how to keep her family calm. And there is always a wild and crazy Ursula who thinks she’s grown as soon as she hits age 15 in each of us.
All my favorite dance numbers will be there like “Gotta Lot of Livin’ to Do” and "Honestly Sincere" and of course it's all happening right here in the heart of Nashville. Because why not! Why not put Albert and Rosie on Lower Broadway and why not change up a couple of zany characters and bring them up to date as well!
I am so proud to be a part of this Theater company and make this my directorial debut especially seeing as this show has been a part of my life since the age of 14. .
I would like to thank Circle players for giving me this opportunity, especially Ashley Morrison and Clint Randolph who saw something in me that I didn't even see in myself. I want to also give a huge shout out and a special thank you to my stage manager, Alexis Levon, my music directors William Hadden and Deshan Jones, and Gary Jenkins and Kenny Smoov for being huge supporters and helpers.
The cast, crew, production staff and our many community volunteers have worked tirelessly to bring this story to life for you amidst laughter, excitement, and the new pure joy of working together. I am honored to be a part of this organization - one that truly belongs to the community. So please sit back, relax and enjoy Bye Bye Birdie…2022!
Creative Team and Crew
Artwork and Photos
Click Poster to Download a PDF
Photo Credit: Bralyn Stokes
Opening Night Pre-Show Entertainment
Bye Bye Birdie is Presented through special arrangement with Concord Theatricals (www.concordtheatricals.com)