• Leslie Jones

    ACTOR

    Leslie Jones is a practitioner and an instructor of expressive arts, acting, film and theatre production. She received formal training from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in England before obtaining an MBA with a central focus in entertainment. In addition to her passion and belief of creative youth development, Leslie brings to Stax Music Academy her experience as a production/stage manager, director, wardrobe designer and sfx makeup artist. A few of her credits include FBI Takedown, Ice Cold Killers, God’s and Generals and Transformers: Dark of the Moon.
  • Ekpe Abioto

    Musician

    Ekpe is a traditional African musician living in Memphis. He teaches and performs regularly.
  • Cequita Monique

    ACTOR

    Cequita Monique is a vocal stylist that weaves stories, music, images, and ideas with a pure and honest unique delivery of art and exchange. Cequita Monique is based in Memphis, TN where she has been performing for over twenty-five years as a vocallist and actress. She performs locally and across the United States as a solo artist, an ensemble member, as a chorus member, and as a featured vocalist with various bands and musicians. She also performs for both private and public events including, arts education initiatives with projects such as the ' I Am a Genius' program, also a ensemble member of the Playback Memphis Improvisational Theatre Group. In April 2006 Cequita decided to spread her wings by working for Memphis based Pinnacle Airlines as a Flight Attendant and performing when she was not flying. She worked this position based in Memphis, Atlanta, and Detroit until October 2017.
  • Jeanelle Jones

    ACTOR

    Jeanelle "TBj" Jones: "Here to move the people and lift the spirit engaging the stream of consciousness." Tbj is a natural born mover and has been exploring movement since she was young, a theater child gone dancing. In high school she was a cheerleader and began to explore musical theater, as she had a focus in theater. After she became a part of the International Thespian Society in 2004 she annually attended Thespian conference where she took her first master classes in West African, Ballroom, silks and aerial, musical theater, hip hop, and pantomime. Once she started attending the University of Memphis she began learning different styles such as: jazz, ballet, improv, and modern dance. She has worked with local dance companies such as Collage Dance Collective, Project Motion, and Bridging Souls Productions where she was a company member for three years. She has been in shows as an actor, dancer, and choreographer with Playhouse on the Square and Hattiloo Theatre. She has taught movement classes at Boys and Girls Club, Firehouse Arts, and summer programs with Hattiloo, Playback Memphis and BSP. In 2015 she attended Urban Bush Women Summer Leadership Institute where she was taught to engage community and use her assets as a performer to aid her community. The next year TBj started Afrotense, a low-budget production company teaching and encouraging people to grow outside of their limitation with applied knowledge through art.
  • Bill Baker

    Actor

    Bill Baker has been a theatre practitioner in Memphis for over forty years. He is the founding director of the Our Own Voice Theatre Troupe, for whom he frequently acts, writes, and directs. He is a licensed clinical social worker and works as a psychotherapist for Alliance Healthcare Services.
  • Bob Klyce

    Actor

    Bob Klyce studied drama in NYC, and has been acting most of his life. A PhD candidate at the University of Toronto in Philosophy and Theology, he enjoys exploring ways to transpose his academic interests into experimental theatre (he is also a member of Our Own Voice Theatre Troupe) and creative writing. Bob also has a background in science, especially zoology, and is passionate about wildlife and habitat ecology and conservation. Married for 26 years, he and his wife, Christina, have three sons.
  • Holly Lau

    Actor

    Holly Lau is Chair of Theatre & Dance at the University of Memphis. As a choreographer, Lau works to expand the audience for modern dance. Significant works include; Private Words; The Hiding of Anne Frank’s Diary, Grandmas in Tennis Shoes and The Garden of Tranquility. She also reconstructed The Negro Spirituals by Helen Tamiris. Lau has published articles on the politics of race for which she received the Superior Performance in University Research award. In 2012 she was awarded the prestigious Benjamin Rawlins Meritorious Professorship. In 1996 she conceived, designed and implemented an arts-infused education model for an inner-city Memphis school.
  • Giovanna “Gio” López

    Actor

    Giovanna 'Gio' López, is a native Peruvian but spent her adolescence in Costa Rica. She graduated in Costa Rica with a degree in Theatre and a focus in Theatre for Development. She moved to the U.S. in 2005 and the very next year founded the Bilingual Theatre group Cazateatro in Memphis. From 2009 to 2010, Gio had a weekly radio show on Radio Ambiente, a local Hispanic radio station. Her program, called Mujer de Valor, focused on the development of women. Gio has worked at the Mid-South Peace and Justice Center since June 2010 and became the Training Director in 2014.
  • Glenda Mace

    Actor

    For the past 35 years, Glenda Mace has been involved in many aspects of theatre. She has performed, directed, taught and produced, been an administrator and a facility manager. Glenda has been a performing member of Playback Memphis since its inception.
  • Joe Murphy

    Actor

    Joe was a professional actor in NYC for 20 years before moving to Memphis with his wife, Virginia. He was an actor with Big Apple Playback Theatre in NYC from 2002-2005. He is currently the director of Music for Aardvarks, Memphis, an interactive children's music program.
  • Virginia Murphy

    Founder & Director

    Virginia is a drama therapist and teacher with over fifteen years experience in education and counseling psychology. A native Memphian, she was also an actor with Big Apple Playback Theatre in NYC from 2002-2005.
  • Portia Owens

    Actor

    Portia began her performing career at the age of 12 when she joined Watoto de Afrika, a local Afro-centric performing arts group. Since then she has studied jazz, modern, and liturgical dance. She is also an elementary school teacher.
  • Wayne Smith

    Actor

    Wayne, primarily a dance artist, is a native of Memphis, TN. Wayne is also an independent professional choreographer and an adjunct instructor at the University of Memphis as well as the University of Mississippi at Oxford, MS.
  • Ann Wallace

    Actor

    Ann Perry Wallace is an actor, writer and proud company member of Playback Memphis. Ann has written several short stories, plays, a children’s book and is currently working on a one-woman show. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theatre from UT Chattanooga. Ann’s other theatre credits include No Niggers No Jews No Dogs, The Trial of One Short Sighted Black Woman vs. Mamie Louise and Safreeta Mae, Blues for an Alabama Sky, From the Mississippi Delta, The Death of the Last Black Man in the Entire World, and Women in Shakespeare. Ann can also be seen in the independent films 100 Lives and The Romance of Loneliness. She is also a wife and mother of three delightful children.
  • Darius Wallace

    Actor

    Darius is an actor, writer, director, and founder of Circle 7 Productions. He began touring his one-man shows around the country through mobile productions which have been seen in forty-eight states. The show Malcolm X received rave reviews by the LA Times and LA Weekly.
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Playback Memphis is proud to be supported by Arts Memphis, the Tennessee Arts Commission, the First Tennessee Foundation, the Plough Foundation, the Thomas W. Briggs Foundation, and the Assisi Foundation of Memphis
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