Stephen B. Walters
Cheryl “Che” McClendon
Illona S. Dixon
Denise Fair Grant
Andrew Garrett Hicks
Richard Cummings on Piano, Adrian J. Bridges on Banjo and Bass,
Bria Barfield on Acoustic Guitar and Saxaphone, Jason Stein – Harmonica,
Guy Barfield on Organic Percussion
Andrea J. Fulton, (Playwright/Composer/Lyracist), born and raised in Chicago, is the youngest of a family who all but her, hail from the New Orleans area. Her influence of small-town, slow-paced ways, juxtaposed by big city life, resulted in her having multiple sensitivities and a love of self-expression. She found beauty and gratitude in many things and delved into art at an early age. She was recognized early on as being creative and enjoyed communicating via written and spoken words, music, drawing, painting and all manner of crafts. At eight, she became fascinated with lyrics and was inspired to begin writing her own songs. She also wrote poetry and began reciting hers and also that of legendary poets. She won many speech and literary contests and was successful to the point where her audiences often could not distinguish her poetry from that of famous poets.
Her goal has always been to communicate in classic ways. That is why her songs have transcended time and can maintain relevance for people regardless of their age or background. Many of her songs were written more than 30 years ago yet no one would know. Her love of great songs and her desire to create them was inspired by soul, soft rock, folk, blues and jazz greats. Balladeers consistently gained her respect and she aimed to write what she thought they'd want to convey. “After all,” she says, “just about everyone understands the concept of being in love. Those who are not so fortunate certainly understand the concept of wanting to be loved.” So, these are common themes that have resonated with her.
Andrea is a graduate of Northwestern University and has held positions in New York City government in Human Resources, Health and Hospital Administration. When asked why she wrote this play and all but one of the songs in it, she explained she wanted to challenge common ways of thinking, to coax folks out of their boxes and also to give them a way to return to romance. She wanted to remind people of some very simple yet important things like the power of love, faith and acceptance, not only of others but also of ourselves. She was excited at the possibility of sparking conversations and inspiring people to find value in their own family histories. She wanted folks to realize we are all connected and when we ponder from whence we came, it helps us realize not only where we can but also where we must go. She believes strongly that when you are given a gift, you have an obligation to give. And, she not only quotes Gandhi in saying “we must be the change we wish to see”, she truly believes it and it shows. Write her at OneRightAnswer@aol.com with any comments or questions.
Ward Nixon, (Director), is delighted to be working with Andrea J. Fulton on her wonderful play, "One Drop". His career spans over twenty years as an actor, director, acting teacher, acting coach and commercial print model. This Spring and Summer, he will direct the plays, "Love Hurts", Gertrude Jeannette's, "Gladys' Dilemma" and the children's musical, "Tony And His Dog". Some of the plays he has directed include the musical, "Willy Wonka, Jr", "HollerLula!", "Honra Nan", "Happy Ending", "Precious", "Curacao", Neil Simon's, "Last of the Red Hot Lovers", "Lady of Fadima", "Papiamentu", "Laundry and Bourbon", "Lone Star", "Sisters", "It's a Sin To Tell a Lie", "North of Providence" and readings for the drama, "Mrs. Streeter". As an actor, some favorite roles in theatre and film include, "A Soldiers Play", James Baldwin's, "Blues for Mr. Charlie", "Miss Evers' Boys", Gertrude Jeannette's, "This Way Forward", "Three Sisters", Martha Thomas', "Benefits", "Nobody Knew Where They Was", "Time Out", "Sammy and Marry," and, "As An Act of Protest". Most recently, he appeared on stage in Russell L. Goings', "The Children of Children Keep Coming", "Making Money and 19 Other Very Short Plays", "Hello Out There", "Thunder and Lightning" and the comedy, "Miss Hazel's House of Heavenly Rest". Later this theatre season, Ward will appear on stage in the dramas, "Driving Miss Daisy", "Nize Baby" and "Rain". As a commercial print model, he can be seen in many national and regional print advertisements, such as "Harrahs' Casino", "Computer Associates", "The New York Sun" and "AT&T". Recent commercials include "Black & Decker", "The New York Sun", "The Speckled Door", and "Union Memorial Hospital". Ward currently teaches acting and directs at The Sledge Project Studio, From Stage To Screen, and, at his acting studio, TCA Acting Studios in New York City where he resides. Ward extends his thanks to Andrea, and to a wonderful cast and crew! He is a proud member of AEA, AFTRA and SAG. firstname.lastname@example.org
Tony Lewis, (Musical Director (Initially), Arranger), an alumnus of the High School of Music and Art in NYC has built a career as a professional drummer and songwriter. He has toured the world playing with such prominent entertainers as Little Richard, Dizzy Gillespie, Special EFX, Vernon Reid, the Chi-Lites, Richard Street’s Temptations, B.B. King, Michael Hill’s Blues Mob and Cyndi Lauper. He has formed and been Musical Director for his own band and has played in trendy and upscale night spots throughout New York City. After arranging most of the songs for “One Drop” and working with it’s original singers, he began an international tour playing with R&B inductee Sam Moore of the original R&B duo Same and Dave. He thanks Andrea for the opportunity to broaden his career even further with the Musical Direction for her Folk Musical Drama. On his way out of the country for another international tour, Tony passed the torch of managing the music to Richard Ainsworth Cummings and of managing the singers to Illona S. Dixon, both noted below.
Richard Ainsworth Cummings, (Musical Director (currently), Arranger, Pianist), is the eldest of five musical sons born to Ruby and Richard Cummings Sr. At the age of five, he was given piano and music theory lessons by his grandmother, God rest her; MAUDE BASCOME CUMMINGS TAYLOR, renowned piano teacher and organist/choirmaster of Cornerstone Baptist Church in Brooklyn, N.Y. After only four years of lessons, he entered New York’s, Juilliard Preparatory School. He became well versed with eastern european classics and ethnic musical forms into which he found himself daily immersed. While still a teen, his musical styles reflected Jazz, R&B, Soul, inspirational music, and the gripping rhythms of the Caribbean Islands, Cuba and South America. In 1973 he began his played professionally with local groups, experimental rehearsal bands and eclectic tribal orchestras in New York City and beyond. His prolific piano talents have been visited upon luminous artists as: Noel Pointer, Jon Lucien, Harry Belafonte, Dianne Reeves,Hugh Masekela, Zubin Mehta, Iyanla Vanzant, Melvin Van Peebles, and more.
Illona S. Dixon (Assistant Musical Director, Composer, Lyracist, Vocal Coach) is an alumnus of the High School of Music & Art and Queens College where she minored in Musical Theatre. Ms. Dixon has performed at Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, The New York Philharmonic, Radio City Music Hall, Avery Fisher Hall and Madison Square Garden and is a member of the All-City Concert Reunion Choir. Ms. Dixon, an accomplished pianist, received formal training at The Brooklyn Music School and Playhouse. Credits include: Fame (the original); The Wiz (the original); Guys and Dolls; Merrily We Roll Along; Carmen; and Finian’s Rainbow. She also enjoyed the honor of writing and also singing one of the songs in “One Drop”.