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MCC Theater Announces All-Star Cast for Benefit Performance of SCHOOL GIRLS; OR, THE AFRICAN MEAN GIRLS PLAY - December 13, 2020
Posted by: Official_Press_Release 04:04 pm EST 11/23/20

MCC THEATER

ANNOUNCES

A VIRTUAL BENEFIT PERFORMANCE OF

SCHOOL GIRLS;
OR, THE AFRICAN MEAN GIRLS PLAY


BY JOCELYN BIOH
DIRECTED BY KAMILAH FORBES

FEATURING
CYNTHIA ERIVO, SHAHADI WRIGHT JOSEPH, WUNMI MOSAKU, ASHLEIGH MURRAY, DA'VINE JOY RANDOLPH, STORM REID, AMBER RILEY, AND LYRIC ROSS

STREAMING
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 13, 2020 AT 3PM ET
TICKETS ON SALE NOW

(November 23, 2020 - New York, NY) MCC Theater (Bob LuPone, Bernie Telsey, Will Cantler, Artistic Directors; Blake West, Executive Director) announced today that they will present a benefit performance of the Lucille Lortel and Drama Desk Award winning play School Girls; Or, The African Mean Girls Play written by Burnt Umber Playwright-in-Residence Jocelyn Bioh and directed by Kamilah Forbes (Executive Producer, Apollo Theater; Hip Hop Theater Festival).School Girls will stream on Sunday, December 13, 2020 at 3PM ET on MCC Theater's YouTube channel. Tickets are available now at mcctheater.org.

The cast of School Girls will include Tony, Emmy, and Grammy Award winnerCynthia Erivo (The Color Purple, Harriet), Shahadi Wright Joseph (The Lion King, Us), BAFTA Award winner Wunmi Mosaku ("Lovecraft Country"), Ashleigh Murray ("Katy Keane," "Riverdale"), Tony Award nominee Da'Vine Joy Randolph (Dolemite Is My Name, "High Fidelity"), Storm Reid ("Euphoria," A Wrinkle in Time), Olivier Award winner Amber Riley (Dreamgirls, "Glee"), and Lyric Ross ("This Is Us").A live talkback with the cast will follow the performance for select ticket holders.

"We're so thrilled to be bringing this play back for what can now be considered the third and virtual time! We've been immensely lucky to have such powerhouse casts and this one is no different," said Bernie Telsey, Co-Artistic Director. "This remount will have us bringing together yet another cast of phenomenal women - this time straight to your home. We couldn't be more excited about the limitless nature the digital realm is allowing us to have for this production."

Paulina, the reigning queen bee at Ghana's most exclusive boarding school, has her sights set on the Miss Universe pageant. But the arrival of Ericka, a new student with undeniable talent and beauty, captures the attention of the pageant recruiter-and Paulina's hive-minded friends. This 2018 Lortel Award winner for Best Play and New York Times Critic's Pick explores the universal similarities (and glaring differences) facing teenage girls across the globe. MCC Theater first produced School Girls in 2017, followed by a return engagement in 2018.

Limited early-bird tickets are on sale now beginning at $15 (performance only) and $50 (performance and talkback). Subscribers are guaranteed $5 tickets that include access to the talkback. School Girls will be available on MCC on DEMAND two weeks after the Dec 13th air date and will not include the talkback. Tickets and subscriptions can be purchased at mcctheater.org.

ABOUT MCC THEATER

MCC Theater is one of New York's leading nonprofit Off-Broadway companies, driven by a mission to provoke conversations that have never happened and otherwise never would. Founded in 1986 as a collective of artists leading peer-based classes to support their own development as actors, writers and directors, the tenets of collaboration, education, and community are at the core of MCC Theater's programming. One of the only theaters in the country led continuously by its founders, Artistic Directors Bob LuPone, Bernie Telsey, and Will Cantler, MCC fulfills its mission through the production of world, American, and New York premiere plays and musicals that challenge artists and audiences to confront contemporary personal and social issues, and robust playwright development and education initiatives that foster the next generation of theater artists and students.

MCC Theater's celebrated productions include Aziza Barnes' BLKS; Jocelyn Bioh's School Girls; Or, the African Mean Girls Play; Penelope Skinner's The Village Bike; Robert Askins' Hand to God (Broadway transfer; five 2015 Tony Award® nominations including Best Play); John Pollono's Small Engine Repair; Paul Downs Colaizzo's Really Really; Sharr White's The Other Place (Broadway transfer); Jeff Talbott's The Submission (Laurents/Hatcher Award); Neil LaBute's reasons to be pretty (Broadway transfer, three 2009 Tony Award® nominations, including Best Play), Some Girl(s), Fat Pig, The Mercy Seat, and All The Ways To Say I Love You; Michael Weller's Fifty Words; Alexi Kaye Campbell's The Pride; Bryony Lavery's Frozen (Broadway transfer; four 2004 Tony Award® nominations including Best Play, Tony Award® for Best Featured Actor); Tim Blake Nelson's The Grey Zone; Rebecca Gilman's The Glory of Living (2002 Pulitzer Prize finalist); Margaret Edson's Wit (1999 Pulitzer Prize); and the musicals Coraline, Carrie, and Ride the Cyclone. Many plays developed and produced by MCC have gone on to productions throughout the country and around the world.

Blake West joined the company in 2006 as Executive Director. MCC opened the doors to its new home in Manhattan's Hell's Kitchen neighborhood, The Robert W. Wilson MCC Theater Space, on January 9, 2019, unifying the company's activities under one roof for the first time and expanding its producing, artist development, and education programming.

FOR MORE INFORMATION VISIT
MCCTheater.org

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BIOS

CYNTHIA ERIVOis a Tony®, Emmy® and Grammy Award-winning actress as well as a SAG, double Golden Globe®, and double Academy Award®-nominee. Erivo burst onto West End and Broadway stages in The Color Purple and has since taken the big screen by storm. This year Erivo has been honored with the "Breakthrough Performance" award at the Palm Springs International Film Festival, received a "Virtuoso" award at the Santa Barbara Film Festival and received the "Rising Star" award from the American Black Film Festival.

Erivo recently starred in Kasi Lemmons' Harriet, where she brought the legacy of Harriet Tubman to the big screen. She told the story of how Tubman helped free hundreds of slaves from the South after escaping slavery herself in 1849. Focus Features premiered the film at the Toronto International Film Festival and released the film on November 1, 2019. In addition to leading the cast, Erivo lent her voice to the movie's title song, "Stand Up," for which she also co-wrote. "Stand Up" won "Best Original Song" at the Hollywood Music in Media Awards. Both Cynthia and "Stand Up" were nominated for two Academy Awards as well as two Golden Globe Awards in the categories of "Best Actress in a Motion Picture - Drama" and "Best Original Song" respectively. The film also garnered ten NAACP nominations as well as AAFCA and Society of Composers & Lyricists Award wins.

Erivo can soon be seen as Aretha Franklin in the next installment of National Geographic's Emmy-winning global anthology series "Genius: Aretha." This upcoming season will be the first-ever, definitive and only authorized scripted limited series on the life of the universally acclaimed Queen of Soul. It will premiere on National Geographic channels which are shown in 172 countries and 43 languages.

Erivo currently stars on the HBO series "The Outsider," which premiered on January 12, 2020. The series is based on the Stephen King novel of the same name. Erivo stars alongside Ben Mendelsohn in the series, which follows an unorthodox investigator and a seasoned cop investigating a gruesome murder of a local boy.

It was recently announced that Erivo will star in Universal's "Talent Show", directed by Gandja Monteiro and written by Lena Waithe. "Talent Show" is the story of a failed songwriter (to be played by Erivo) who returns home to Chicago to lead a group of at-risk youth in their annual talent show.

In August, Erivo launched her production company, Edith's Daughter, and announced her first-look deal with MRC Television & Civic Center Media. Edith's Daughter will focus on projects that express the beauty in the stories and people who are often overlooked and underrepresented. Erivo named former BRON Studios Director of Development, Solome Williams, as Vice President of the company.

Additionally, Erivo has many upcoming projects. She will star alongside Daisy Ridley and David Oyelowo in Doug Liman's highly anticipated sci-fi thriller, Chaos Walking and will join Orlando Bloom, Freida Pinto, and Leslie Odom Jr as the star of John Ridley's Needle in a Timestack. She will executive produce and star in Warner Brothers' musical take on the American folk tale of Rip Van Winkle. Erivo is also set to produce and star in the film adaptation of the QCode scripted thriller podcast, Carrier. Erivo will lead the cast as a long-haul truck driver who, during her all-night trip across rural America, discovers she's transporting a trailer with disturbing, mysterious contents. Erivo both voiced and produced the podcast which premiered on July 1, 2019.

Continuing to push the boundaries of her versatile career, Erivo stars in John Cameron Mitchell's music-driven podcast anthology, "Anthem: Homunculus," which combines music, drama and theater to create a dense and masterful musical journey, in the style of a radio play, produced by Topic.

In 2018, Erivo made her film debut in Drew Goddard's Bad Times at the El Royale, which is set in the 1960s in a dilapidated hotel in the Lake Tahoe region of California. 20th Century Fox released the film on October 12, which also stars Jeff Bridges, Chris Hemsworth, and Jon Hamm, among others. Erivo also starred as 'Belle' in Steve McQueen's drama, Widows, opposite Viola Davis, Michelle Rodriguez, and Elizabeth Debicki. Set in contemporary Chicago, amidst a time of turmoil, the film follows four women with nothing in common except a debt left behind by their dead husbands' criminal activities, who take fate into their own hands, and conspire to forge a future on their own terms. 20th Century Fox released the film on November 16 following a successful premiere at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival. Erivo rounded out the year with a 2019 BAFTA EE Rising Star Award nomination for her exceptional work in film and on stage.

Erivo made her Broadway debut reprising her starring role as 'Celie' in the critically acclaimed revival of The Color Purple. She first played the role in 2013 at London's Menier Chocolate Factory, earning rave reviews and an Evening Standard Theatre Award® nomination for Best Musical Performance and a WhatsOnStage Award® nomination for Best Actress in a Musical. Her performance on Broadway earned her several awards, including the Tony Award® for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical, a Grammy award® as a principal soloist on original cast recording of The Color Purple (Best Musical Theater Album), a Daytime Emmy Award® for Outstanding Musical Performance in a Daytime Program, the Drama Desk Award®, Theatre World®, and Outer Critics Circle Awards®.

In spring 2015, Erivo appeared as 'Puck' in the Liverpool Everyman & Playhouse production of William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, directed by Nick Bagnall. In fall 2014, she returned to her classical roots in the Donmar Warehouse's acclaimed all-female production of Henry IV, opposite Dame Harriet Walter, directed by Phyllida Lloyd. In summer 2014, she played the lead in the European premiere of Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty musical, Dessa Rose, at Trafalgar Studios.

Erivo's additional theatre credits include the Perfect Pitch musical, Lift, directed by Steven Paling; Kneehigh Theatre's production of The Umbrellas of Cherbourg at the Gielgud Theatre; the starring role of 'Deloris Van Cartier' in the UK tour of Jerry Zaks' production of Sister Act; Harry Hill and Simon Cowell's critically acclaimed musical, I Can't Sing, at the London Palladium in the West End; Simon Stephens' Marine Parade, which premiered at the 2010 Brighton Festival, John Adams' experimental song play, I Was Looking at the Ceiling and Then I Saw The Sky, at Theatre Royal Stratford East; and Dominic Hill's The Three Musketeers and The Princess of Spain at Traverse, Belgrade and English Touring theatres.

In addition to her stage career, Cynthia is an accomplished songwriter, having written the song, "Fly Before You Fall," for the 2014 feature film "Beyond the Lights." In March 2015, she made her solo concert debut with the show entitled "Hear My Soul" at Kings Place in London. In September 2016, Erivo starred as 'Cathy' alongside Joshua Henry in a one-night benefit concert performance of Jason Robert Brown's "The Last Five Years," with proceeds going to the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence. Erivo has performed with symphonies and music spaces including the Kennedy Center Honors, the 2020 Academy Awards, the 2017 Governor's Ball (the official post- Oscars celebration) and the 2017 Grammy Awards.

A UK native, Erivo graduated from the famed Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) in 2010.
SHAHADI WRIGHT JOSEPH. At just fifteen years old, star on the rise Shahadi Wright Joseph has quickly become known in the entertainment industry for the diverse and dynamic characters she has brought to life on screen and stage, having starred in some of the most buzzed about films in theaters in 2019.

Shahadi will lead Amazon Studios' highly anticipated horror/thriller anthology "Them: Covenant," opposite Deborah Ayorinde and Ashley Thomas. Shahadi most recently starred as Young Nala in Walt Disney Pictures' The Lion King, a CGI re-imagining of the 1994 Disney classic directed by Jon Favreau. Shahadi lent her voice to the character alongside talents such as Beyoncé, Seth Rogen, Keegan-Michael Key, Donald Glover, and more. This marks the second time Shahadi has appeared as Nala- at just nine years old she made history as the youngest actress to play the character in Disney's The Lion King on Broadway.

Another breakout project for Shahadi was her starring role in the Universal Pictures horror/thriller film Us opposite Lupita Nyong'o, Elisabeth Moss, and Winston Duke. Written and directed by Academy Award winner Jordan Peele, the film follows a family who takes a seemingly harmless vacation to Santa Cruz, California, only to find themselves fending for their lives against their psychotic doppelgängers. Shahadi shines as Zora Wilson, the daughter to Gabe (Duke) and Adelaide (Nyong'o) and sister to Jason (Evan Alex). The film made its official premiere at the esteemed 2019 South by Southwest (SXSW) festival in March 2019, followed by a national theatrical release that broke box office records, pulling in over $70M during its opening weekend in North America alone.

In fall 2015, Shahadi joined the original Broadway cast of School of Rock, playing the role of Madison, with performances recognized by the AUDELCO Theatre Committee and earning her the 2016 AUDELCO Rising Star Award. Shahadi's pride in being a part of a Tony Award nominated musical and working with legendary composer Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber grew even more, when she joined the star-studded cast of NBC's three-time Emmy Award winning "Hairspray Live!" (2016), performing alongside Jennifer Hudson, Harvey Fierstein and Ariana Grande. Shahadi was nominated for a Young Artist Award, for her work in the special.
As a vocalist, Shahadi released her debut holiday EP entitled "Love for the Holidays" in 2018, and has since released "The Remixes" album, available now on iTunes and across all major digital distributors. Shahadi has also lent her voice to artistic and fundraising events for Radio Disney, The Broadway Star Project, City Harvest, The United Negro College Fund, The Young Entertainers Awards, White Plains Youth Bureau and Harlem School of the Arts.

WUNMI MOSAKU. BAFTA award-winning actress Wunmi Mosaku has established herself as an international acting presence on the rise.
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Wunmi can currently be seen in JJ Abrams's HBO series "Lovecraft Country." Based on the novel of the same name, the series explores the juxtaposition between the horror fiction of HP Lovecraft and the struggle and survival to overcome racism in 1950s Jim Crow America. Since its premiere, critics have lauded Wunmi's standout performance of 'Ruby Baptiste' as "magnificent" and "powerful."??
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Wunmi can also be seen as the lead in the New Regency/BBC Films His House, opposite Sope Dirisu and Matt Smith. Directed by Remi Weekes, the film follows refugee couple Bol (Sope Dirisu) and Rial (Wunmi Mosaku) who make a harrowing escape from war-torn South Sudan, but then they struggle to adjust to their new life in an English town that has an evil lurking beneath the surface. The film, which premiered at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival to rave reviews, was acquired by Netflix released on the platform on October 30, 2020.??
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Most recently, Wunmi can be seen opposite Idris Elba in the fifth season of the Emmy-nominated crime drama "Luther" and in the feature film Sweetness in The Belly, a powerful love story based on the bestselling novel by Camilla Gibb alongside Dakota Fanning - in which The Hollywood Reporter cited Wunmi's portrayal as "luminous." Additionally, Wunmi appeared in Hector Dockrill's Goldfish, which was nominated for a BAFTA award in the category of Best British Short Film in 2020. ??
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In 2016, Wunmi played the lead role of 'Gloria Taylor' in the award-winning television drama "Damilola, Our Loved Boy." She went on to win her first BAFTA TV award for this role in the category of Best Supporting Actress and was highly praised at the time of release, with The Telegraph saying "Wunmi Mosaku…was superb."??
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In 2010, Wunmi was named one of "The Seven Fresh Faces of Toronto International Film Festival" for her role in the BAFTA award nominated film I Am Slave. She played 'Malia,' a girl who has been kidnapped from her village in Sudan and sold into slavery. The Hollywood Reporter called her performance "heart-wrenching"; The Telegraph said Mosaku "rose to the challenge with a performance of incredible maturity. Her fear and vulnerability were deeply affecting and tangible throughout." For this role, Wunmi won awards such as Best Actress at the Birmingham Black Film Festival, Best Onscreen Performance at the Cultural Diversity Awards and Best Female Performance at the Screen Nation Awards. Wunmi was also featured on the front cover of Screen International Magazine in 2009 as one of their prestigious 'Stars of Tomorrow' and in 2011 was featured in Nylon Magazine's 2011 Young Hollywood issue.??
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Other notable credits include David Yates and JK Rowling's blockbuster Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them, Zack Snyder's Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice opposite Amy Adams, Ben Affleck and Henry Cavill, Stephen Frear's Oscar-nominated Philomena with Steve Coogan and Judi Dench, as well as the independent British features CITADEL and WOMB. On the small screen, Wunmi can be seen in "Temple" opposite Mark Strong and Carice Van Houten, the BAFTA award nominated series' "Through The Gates (On The Edge)," "Kiri" and "The End Of The F***Ing World," "Guerrilla" with Idris Elba, Rory Kinnear and Frida Pinto, Charlie Brooker's "Black Mirror," Euros Lyn's "Capital," the BAFTA award winning drama "Don't Take My Baby," Dominic Mitchell's "In The Flesh," the Golden Globe-nominated drama "Dancing On The Edge" and "Moses Jones" alongside Eamonn Walker and Shaun Parkes.??
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A RADA (Royal Academy of Dramatic Art) graduate, Wunmi made her onstage debut at the Arcola Theatre in a production of Pedro Calderón de la Barca's The Great Theatre of The World. Since then, Wunmi has worked extensively in theatre; most recently in Vicky Featherstone's Cyprus Avenue at the Abbey, Dublin and Royal Court, Nina Raine's Tiger Country at Hampstead Theatre, Robert Icke's Mr. Burns at the Almeida and Rupert Goold's Rough Crossings.??
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Born in Nigeria and raised in the UK, Wunmi currently resides in Los Angeles.?

ASHLEIGH MURRAY is an American actress and singer. Ashleigh can currently be seen as Josie McCoy in the "Riverdale" spin-off, "Katy Keene;" the role of Josie began as a series regular on "Riverdale" for the CW. Ashleigh can also currently be seen in MGM's Valley Girl remake, which premiered on VOD in May 2020, as Loryn - a high energy, spacey, and boy-crazy popular girl. Other credits include: the lead role of Deidra in Netflix's Original Movie, Deidra & Laney Rob A Train, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2017; The Following; Younger; and Alex Inc. Murray was born in Kansas City, MO and studied at the New York Conservatory for Dramatic Arts. She plays piano, sings and is a jazz and hip-hop dancer.
DA'VINE JOY RANDOLPH. Tony Nominee Da'vine Joy Randolph is currently recording a role opposite Jake Gyllenhaal and Ethan Hawke in Antoine Fuqua's Netflix thriller The Guilty. Up next, Da'Vine is recurring opposite Martin Short, Steven Martin, and Selena Gomez in the Hulu series "Only Murders in The Building." Da'Vine co-stars opposite Richard Jenkins and Ed O'Neill in the Sony film The Last Shift for producers Albert Berger and Ron Yerxa and opposite Evan Rachel Wood in the Plan B/Annapurna for Focus Features film Kajillionaire from acclaimed director Miranda July. Both premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2020 and are currently in theatres. She also recently wrapped the independent feature The Watermark opposite Michael Shannon, currently in post-production.

Da'Vine will be seen as 'Roslyn' opposite Andra Day and Trevante Rhodes in Lee Daniels' upcoming Paramount Pictures film The United States Vs. Billie Holiday.

Da'Vine was a scene stealer and fan favorite in the multi-award winning Netflix feature film Dolemite Is My Name opposite Eddie Murphy, gathering rave reviews for her performance and earning the following nominations: NAACP Image Award for 'Best Supporting Actress,' and Black Reel Award for 'Outstanding Supporting Actress' and 'Outstanding Breakthrough Actor - Female.' Randolph went on to win 'Best Supporting Actor' at the African American Film Critics Association Awards, and 'Best Supporting Actress' at the Kansas City Film Critics Circle Awards. The film was a Golden Globe nominee for Best Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy, won the Critic's Choice Award for Best Comedy, and is Certified Fresh at 98% on Rotten Tomatoes.

Last year, Da'Vine was named one of Variety's 10 Actors to Watch for 2019. In television, she most recently starred opposite Zoe Kravitz in the Hulu series "High Fidelity," based on the critically acclaimed film of the same name, playing the role made iconic by Jack Black and concurrently opposite Kirsten Dunst in the hit Showtime series "On Becoming A God In Central Florida." Her other television credits include a regular role on TBS' "People Of Earth," and recurring arcs on "Empire," "This Is Us," and ""Veep."

On stage, Da'Vine was nominated for a Tony Award for "Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role" in Ghost , which marked her West End and Broadway debuts. After that, she starred opposite Chris Bauer in the critically acclaimed What Rhymes With America at the Atlantic Theatre Company, for which she was nominated for the Lucille Lortel Award. Regional stage credits include Servant Of Two Masters at Yale Repertory Theater and Hair at Prince Music Theater. She also received rave reviews for her performance in the Encores! Off-Center production of The Cradle Will Rock. She earned a BA from Temple University in classical vocal performance and transitioned into acting by attending Yale School of Drama for her MFA. Prior, Da'Vine attended the Interlochen Arts Academy for singing.

STORM REID is best known for starring as 'Meg' in Disney's live action adaptation of the acclaimed children's novel A Wrinkle in Time, which was directed by multi-award winner Ava DuVernay. The film also starred Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon and Mindy Kaling. With numerous credits to her name, Reid is a fresh face and she has emerged as one of Hollywood's most sought-after young actors.

Most recently, Reid was seen in the Blumhouse film Don't Let Go, opposite David Oyelowo. Don't Let Go premiered at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival and was released on August 30, 2019. She will next be seen in Blumhouse's Invisible Man alongside Elizabeth Moss, which will be released on February 28, 2020. Recently, Reid recently wrapped production on Suicide Squad 2, which will be released in 2021.

On the small screen, Reid can be seen in Ava DuVernay's Netflix limited series "When They See Us," based on the Central Park Five - the series launched on May 31, 2019. The series racked up 16 Emmy Nominations and garnered two wins. She also stars alongside Zendaya in HBO's "Euphoria." Storm plays Gia Bennett, Rue's (Zendaya) younger sister. The story follows a group of high school students navigating issues of drugs, sex, and violence. The all-star cast also includes Jacob Elordi, Algee Smith and Sydney Sweeney. This gritty drama premiered on June 9, 2019 and will return for a second season in 2021.

Reid landed her first feature film role opposite Brad Pitt, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Michael Fassbender in the Academy Award winning film Twelve Years A Slave directed by Steve McQueen and has constantly booked work including Judy Greer's directorial debut A Happening Of Monumental Proportions, and Sleight which premiered at Sundance and was picked up by Blumhouse. Reid's television credits include guest star roles on Chicago Pd and Ncis: Los Angeles.

Storm currently resides in Los Angeles.

AMBER RILEY. Actress and singer Amber Riley is best known for her role as 'Mercedes Jones' in the Golden Globe Award-winning musical comedy, "Glee."

She was most recently seen on the big screen in Tyler Perry's Nobody's Fool, opposite Tiffany Haddish, Tika Sumpter, Omari Hardwick, and Whoopi Goldberg. Riley made her West End debut in 2016 in of the revival of Dreamgirls in the iconic role of Effie White. The production marked the UK premiere of the award-winning production. Riley won the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actress in a Musical for her performance.

In 2013, she won season 17 of ABC's hit competition series "Dancing with The Stars" alongside her partner Derek Hough. Additional recent television appearances include a starring role in the UPtv original movie, My One Christmas Wish and a starring role alongside Queen Latifah, Mary J Blige and newcomer Shanice Williams as Addaperle, the Good Witch of the North, in NBC's live production of The Wiz. Riley's numerous theatre credits include Alice In Wonderland, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Into the Woods and Mystery On the Docks with the Los Angeles Opera. In November 2012, she made her New York stage debut to rave reviews in New York City Center's Duke Ellington's Coton Club Parade.

LYRIC ROSS. Born in Evergreen Park, IL, Lyric started demonstrating her acting talent at age 2 when she would recite lines and scenes from some of her favorite films. Lyric's television debut came at the age of 11 when she appeared in an episode of the USA Network series "Sirens" and NBC's "Chicago Fire." Shortly thereafter, Lyric joined the cast of the Indie film The Year That Changed Us; the Untitled Lena Waithe Project and the indie film, Canal Street where Lyric portrayed the daughter of a Chicago prosecutor (played by Mekhi Phifer).

In 2017, Lyric booked a breakout role on NBC's hit series "This Is Us," as Randall Pearson's (Sterling K. Brown) troubled foster teen daughter. Early that year, the network and show creator, Dan Fogelman conducted a nationwide search for the young actress that would play the captivating role of 'Deja'. Lyric taped her first audition for 'Deja' from her home in Chicago, IL and shortly after got the call to come to Los Angeles, CA to meet the creative minds behind "This Is Us" and after was cast as a series regular on the award-winning series.

Lyric's performance as 'Deja' has earned her several award nominations and one win including; Teen Choice Awards nomination for Choice TV: Breakout Star (2018), BET Awards for Young Stars (2019) and 2 NAACP Image Awards nominations for Outstanding Performance by a Youth (Series, Special Television Movie or Limited Series) in 2019 & 2020 and also Lyric was also nominated in the category of Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series in 2020. In 2019, alongside her "This Is Us" castmates, Lyric won a Screen Actors Guild Award in the category of Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series.
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