Colette (Colie) Williams is a singer/songwriter, actor, teacher and writer born and raised in the Bronx, NY. She is currently promoting her debut CD “Light Up The Darkness” released March 10, 2011. Colette has identified her music as-“Holistic Soul”-music that infuses a variety of rhythms, feel good music that lifts and inspires. In 2011, she appeared in Khadijah Ali Coleman’s “Running:Amok” as Mama Belle, and she is humbled and delighted to be part of the cast of “In Her Own Words” for a second year. “This piece is so powerful,” she says. “It is imperative to me to be a part of art that speaks truth and empowerment.” Colette continues to spread her words and music in live performance. She and her band have enjoyed a 5+ year music residency at Jo-Jo’s Restaurant in the U Street corridor of Washington DC. “I can connect to all the ancestor artists depicted in “In Her Own Words”. Their lives and experiences reinforce my passion and dedication to using art as a vehicle for change.” Colie will portray Lucille Clifton. Visit her online at ColieWilliams.com
Naomi Rose is a Baltimore born vocalist who has been singing since the age of five. She has been inspired by such artists as Patti LaBelle, Aretha Franklin, and Phyllis Hyman with her roots stemming from gospel. Since making her debut on the local music scene in 2009, Naomi Rose has performed with Legacy Musiq of Upper Marlboro, MD and the all girl rock/soul band Mzery Loves Company. She is currently working on her first CD which is set to be released this year.
Naomi Rose’s sound is derived from soul, funk, and R&B combined with her gospel roots that she feels makes her an exceptional vocalist. Naomi was prompted to participate in this production because she has been inspired by the characters and feels people should know more about those who laid the foundation. Through social networking she found the opportunity to work with Liberated Muse Arts Group and is happy to be a member of the cast. Visit her online on here.
Nia Simmons is proud to be a solo artist, background vocalist, and vocal arranger representing the talent-filled DC Metropolitan Area. Born and raised in Alexandria, VA, Nia is a Howard University Music Department graduate and was an original member of the premiere vocal jazz group formerly known as Afro Blue. Nia has participated in various groups/ensembles over the years in the R&B, Gospel, Jazz, and Pop genres allowing her opportunities to share the stage with nationally and internationally acclaimed artists.
2011 marked Nia’s return to acting in the 2011 Liberated Muse Arts Group production “Running: AMOK”. Of her participation in this project, she says, “I was empowered by the stories of these artists that used their talents not solely for entertainment, but also to promote change in the world. In spite of the consequences that would befall them, they stood their ground with confidence, dignity, and class.” Nia will portray Lena Horne. Visit her online HERE.
Quineice will be playing the singer “Billie Holiday“. This petite powerhouse has vocal stylings that blur musical genres. She began her career as a session vocalist and has traveled as far as Japan to lend her background support vocals to artists such as house sensation Crystal Waters. In the early 2000′s, Quineice began her foray into musical theater, starring in classic theater pieces produced in Baltimore, MD– including such hits as Little Shop of Horrors, Dreamgirls and The Wiz, in which she portrayed the main character, Dorothy. In 2010 and 2011, she portrayed the characher “Leshell” in the play Running: AMOK. Quineice has used her art to champion many causes, most recently touring as a motivational force in the area of domestic abuse. She is often asked to share her own personal story through song with her original song “Mr. Crazy” which details how she escaped the grasp of an abusive relationship. She is owner of Soul Pixie Productions. Visit her online HERE.
Anisha “Mama Moon” Newbill is a singer, poet and actress. She has performed throughout the east coast as a solo artist and part of the band Uninterrupted, sharing the stage with such greats as Saul Williams, Fertile Ground , Amiri Baraka, Kevin Powell, Ndambi, Raheem Devaughn, Fishbone, John Legend, Asheru, and a host of others.. She has been featured in The Washington City Paper, WPFW 89.3’s news show Sophie’s Parlor, Joe’s Place on WHUR 96.3 and other media outlets. Giving birth to her second daughter less than two months before the debut of “In Her Words” in 2012, Anisha is dedicated to this performance, portraying a woman who she has described as one of her premiere artistic muses. She will be portraying the artist Nina Simone. Visit her online HERE.
Lyn Artope will be portraying writer Zora Neale Hurston. Lyn is originally from Brooklyn, New York, but currently resides in Baltimore, Maryland with her husband and two sons. Lyn is an aspiring writer and an emerging actor, beginning her career in 2010 in the Capital Fringe Fest production of the play Running: AMOK. DCist described her portrayal in Running: AMOK as a “pleasant surprise” with “comedic banter”.
About the Directing Playwright
She has an extensive resume in the performing arts, appearing as a performer on numerous stages across the country. As an actor and poet, she has won awards and recognition for her moving work as a performer, producing artist and wordsmith, awarded recognition as a “Woman of Power” from eMedia in 2011, and in 2012 recognized by the Prince George’s County, Maryland Innovation Fund as a “Top Forty UNDER 40″ awardee in the Arts & Humanities and a 2012 Artist of Distinction by the organization Womanifesting, Inc.
She edited the books Liberated Muse Volume I: How I Freed My Soul (Outskirts Press, 2009) and Liberated Muse Volume II: Betrayal Wears a Pretty Face (Liberated Muse Publications, 2012) and released her first poetry chapbook Revisionist Tale in 2010. She has appeared in numerous books, journals and creative writing online sites. Since then, she has worked with numerous writers as a creativity coach and freelance editor. Currently, she serves as an adjunct faculty member at both Prince George’s Community College and Northern Virginia Community College in their departments of Communication Studies and Theater. Besides “In Her Words”, two of her full-length original plays have been produced, her second play “Running: AMOK” debuting in the 2010 Capital Fringe Fest. Two of her 10-minute plays have been produced, performed by the The Saartjie Project theater collective as part of their “Deconstructing the Myth of the Booty” tour 2008-2010.
She lives with her family in Maryland.
Learn more about her HERE.