NETWORK AND LEARN WITH Celebrities & Special Guests
PNMC Festival Co-Chair. Playwright, director, producer, actor The Oval, Daddy's Little Girls, Boo! A Medea Halloween
Javon Johnson's career as a writer, actor, director, and producer spans the screen, stage and writers' room. He is perhaps best well known for his work with Tyler Perry - particularly The Oval, where he played Richard Hallsen. Javon is a member of the Screen Actors Guild, American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, Actors Equity Association, and the Dramatists Guild.
He is a founding member and resident playwright of Congo Square Theatre Company in Chicago. He received his MFA from the University of Pittsburgh. He regularly conducts artist development workshops and actors' bootcamps and intensives.
PNMC Festival Co-Chair. Playwright, six-time Emmy Award winning director, Stalker, K-Love.
Bobby is a second-generation Chinese American director and writer from New York City. He graduated from Tulane University in New Orleans and holds a Masters degree from NYU in Visual Effects. Starting his career with music videos, he has directed and edited over one hundred music videos and commercials and won seven Emmy Awards for editing and producing in sports television.
Born and raised in New York City as a child of immigrants, Bobby's early life was surrounded by the diverse cultures and melting pot of NYC, which displays heavily in his work today. An avid video gamer and lover of comic book culture, Bobby fuses pop culture influences with visual elements of hip hop culture.
With a focus on telling diverse stories that bridge communities, Bobby's work often explores topics and stories from a marginalized community perspective, exploring common bonds of ethnic/cultural heritage, gender, sexual orientation, and political identification. His work explores themes and genres of racial identity, LGBTQ, gender, and anti-Asian violence.
Bobby's first film, a proof-of-concept, award-winning narrative short titled Marz premiered at Frameline Film Festival in San Francisco and has been screened at more than 50 festivals worldwide.
Bobby is a participant in the ABC Disney Directing Program and Ryan Murphy's HALF Initiative Mentorship program. Bobby's directing credits include Stalker, which aired on TV One and Lifetime Network; movies for BET Network; and, nine episodes of K-Love a TV series from the Philippines streaming on VIU.
Bobby is currently in development for several film and TV projects including a feature film inspired by his own life story, an Asian American coming of age comedy-drama at the intersection of music and culture.
Aaron Watkins is a two time NY Emmy nominated television personality. For over a decade, he could be found in a variety of programming on BRIC TV in Brooklyn. More recently, Aaron can be found on screen and stage as part of NYC's vibrant acting community. Recent credits include IJT’s Singleville, Ava Jenkins’s Forbidden Fruit, Stephan Morrow’s Darkness At Midnight: Ukraine, Jeanette Hill’s Picking Up the Pieces as well as the 2022 AUDELCO nominated plays for Best Revival; Carl Clay’s Black Love and David Wright’s Oya. Follow his journey @apwatkins
Director of The Ghostmans by Jeannine Foster-McKelvia
Allie Woods, Jr. is a veteran theatre artist with more than 200 directing, performing and teaching appointments in the United States and internationally.
He is a founding member and resident actor with the historical , multiple-award-winning Negro Ensemble Company in New York. A multiply honored AUDELCO awardee and a two-time Pioneer honoree with the National Black Theatre Festival, Mr. Woods holds degrees from Texas Southern and Tennessee State Universities. He was a Ford Foundation Fellow with the University of Ibadan/Nigeria. He dedicates this reading presentation to the Woods/Wilson Families of Houston, Texas.
Actor, Don't Call Me Brother
Douglas' most recent performance was in Carl Clay's Timeless. Wade's other theatre credits include Jeanette Hills’ Picking Up The Pieces; Carl Clay's Black Love; Black Spectrum production of Thurgood (AUDELCO award - best actor); Kingfish Amos and Andy; Two Trains Running (AUDELCO award Winner - best revival); Fences (AUDELCO award - best revival; Levy Lee Simon's Smell The Power; The Piano Lesson; and Jeff Stetson's The Meeting. His movie credits include Return of Superfly, Mo Better Blues, Green Card, and Bonfire of the Vanities.
Actor, Don't Call Me Brother by Jeanette Hill
Gil Tucker aka Gil T. is an AUDELCO-award-winning actor who went to Performing Arts High School in New York City (FAME). He was one of only three students to receive a Certificate of Merit for Excellence in Acting during his senior year. As a comedian, he has performed in Las Vegas, Atlantic City, Madison Square Garden, The Apollo, and more. He was also on Def-Jam, Showtime, BET. As an actor he performed in several AUDELCO-award-nominated plays - two2 won Best Revival AUDELCO Awards. Reunion in Bartersville, produced by The Black Spectrum Theatre (seen in 2019 at the NBTF), and A Soldiers Play, produced by The Negro Ensemble Company for which he won the 2018 Best Featured Actor AUDELCO award for his portrayal of Sgt. Waters. In 2022, he performed in Greenwood with the Obsidian Media Group at the NBTF. He also has numerous film credits.
Playwright, Creative Activist
Jeanette Hill is an award-winning playwright and creative activist. She creates stories about real life the way African Americans live it. With a catalogue of over 100 plays, Jeanette has received numerous awards and recognitions from festivals including the Atlanta Black Theatre Festival, the DC Black Theatre Festival, the Kingdomwood Christian Film Festival, the National Black Theatre Festival, the Pacific Northwest Multicultural Conference, and the National Women’s Theatre Festival.
Jeanette is currently working on a new series, The Front Porch Divas, which chronicles the lives of several sassy, seasoned, sexy, and soulful Black women over forty! She is the founder of JWHill Productions LLC, and Sight Ain’t Seeing Productions.
Director, Actor, and Playwright
Jeannine Foster-McKelvia is a director, actor, and playwright who creates roles and stories that give voices to mature African American women.
The Ghostmans, developed at the Harlem Dramatic Writing Workshop at Columbia University, was presented at the 2022 National Black Theatre Festival Reader’s Theatre of New Works and the North Carolina Black Repertory Theatre Living Room Readings Series at Wake Forest University.
Jeannine is an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Theatre at the CUNY College of Technology and at Marymount Manhattan College. She is a graduate of Duquesne University, B.A Theatre Arts, Sarah Lawrence College, M.F.A. Theatre, and alumni of the Lincoln Center Theatre Directors Lab.
Actress, East New York, Minx, Cobra Kai, Being Mary Jane
Rose Bianco has been acting for many years on stage, television, and film. She is probably best known for her recurring guest star role as Miguel’s grandmother Rosa in the Netflix series, Cobra Kai. She attended DePaul University and majored in Speech and Drama. She also spent two years studying acting at the Ted Liss Studio, and has had classical training as an actress.
Currently Rose can be seen in the CBS/Paramount+ new show, East New York with Jimmy Smits. Soon Rose will be seen in a recurring role on Minx, on Starz. Her previous work includes Dopesick, the role of a drug cartel matriarch in the Netflix movie Project Power, and a guest starring role as Jane’s grandmother in Doom Patrol.
Born and raised in a Puerto Rican family in Chicago, Rose attended Catholic school and was raised by a strong working mom. She's lived in Minneapolis, San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles, New Orleans, and landed in Atlanta, her current hometown.
Actor, The Ghostmans
A gifted veteran character actress, Starletta DuPois has breathed life into a bevy of unforgettable roles both onstage and onscreen. Starletta is recognized from her roles in many cult classics including Friday After Next with Ice Cube and Mike Epps, Big Momma's House with Martin Lawrence, and Oliver Stone's South Central. She was recently seen in the faith based film Mosaic, the inspirational drama Boarding House, and the screen adaptation of the popular book True To The Game. She will next be seen in the film, Magic Max playing Mrs. Chambers.
Throughout her illustrious career she has shared the screen with many gifted luminaries such as James Earl Jones, Cicely Tyson, Jack Nicholson, Lou Gossett Jr. Robert Duvall, Steve Harvey, Gena Rowlands, Marla Gibbs, Denzel Washington and the late James Garner. However millions around the world still remember her playing the late Whitney Houston's mother in Waiting To Exhale. On television her resume is equally as impressive. Small screen highlights include: Lost, Cold Case, Any Day Now, Strapped, The Carmichael Show, The Rich & The Ruthless, and the Lifetime movie Michael Jackson: Searching for Neverland where she played Jackson family matriarch Katherine Jackson.
Her theater roots run deep and have garnered her numerous recognitions starting with her Tony Nomination for The Mighty Gents and a NAACP Theater Award nomination for Miss Evers Boys at the Mark Taper Forum. She has also done a ton of regional theater including Intimate Apparel, King Hedley II, and Before It Hits Home at St Louis Black Rep where she received The Woodie Award, named for her theatrical mentor and dear friend Woodie King Jr. She also has the distinction of originating the role of Bernice in August Wilson's The Piano Lesson directed by Lloyd Richards.
Another unique and remarkable feat is that fact that she has played all three female characters in Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin In The Sun. Not only did she receive an NAACP Image Award for her portrayal of Ruth Younger in the landmark PBS American Playhouse production opposite Danny Glover, she was awarded Best Actress award for playing Lena Younger at the Royal Exchange in London, England. Her work has also been lauded by the Los Angeles Women's Theater Festival which gave her their Eternity Award, and is the recipient of not one but two Living Legend Awards: one from The Giving Back Corporation and the second from the National Black Theater Festival in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
A Philadelphia native, Starletta holds a B.S. in Biology from the University of Maryland Eastern Shore and an MFA from UCLA in Theater Arts where she graduated magna cum laude. A lifelong philanthropist she has a passion for mentoring aspiring artists, Starletta has proudly served as an adjunct professor at USC. This unstoppable talent has successfully toured the solo play Order My Steps and is hard at work on her autobiographical solo play which will be premiering onstage in the very near future.
Starletta lives in Los Angeles, California and is the proud mother of an incredible young musician named Deandre.