Cast & Crew

Playwright, Lyricist, Director, Author

  

Jacqueline Hudson Thomas was born in Washington, D. C. and is the second of four children born Willie and Carrie Hudson. She is married to the Pastor Roy D. Thomas and together they have four adult children, and eight grandchildren.


Jackie’s writing career began while in middle school where she wrote a series of poems, and short stories. Her first play was written, produced, and directed at the Thomas Jefferson Junior High School where it received a standing ovation from the students and an “A” for the class project.


Continuing her writing in high school, Jackie was not prepared for what came next. Discouraged from writing and disappointed by the response to her writing by a high school English teacher, Jackie stopped of school but later continued her education in a night school program. It was during this program that her night school teacher asked to see her writing. Although hesitate, Jackie shared her poems and short stories with him. This teacher can be credited for reigniting her love and desire to write. 


In her twenties, Jackie began to write and product plays for her local church using the members of the congregation as the actors. These plays were sought after in the mid-nineties by other churches. The church theater group performed the plays throughout the Washington, DC Metro area. The most memorable event was when the play, The Eagle Stirs Her Nest, was featured at the National Theater in Washington, DC as part of their Monday Night at the National Series. The National represented was elated to see lines formed around the building with those wanting to see this production.


Soon after this event, Jackie and her husband opened a technology company. With the success of the business, there was little time to continue writing. During the next nine years writing took a back seat to the business which closed in 2002. Soon after closing the company, the writing quickly moved to the forefront once again. Remembering the experience at the National Theater, Jackie had the vision to move the productions to the next level of creativity. During this time she visualized the play, The Eagle Stirs Her Nest as a musical, formed GE Ministries, reestablished the theater group, and wrote the lyrics for the songs. Not being a musician, she hired a musician to put to music the songs for the shows. 


In April 2004, Mrs. Thomas formalized Grace Evangelistic Ministries (GEMinistries/GEM), a ministry dedicated to preaching and teaching godly principles through bible studies, conferences, workshops, retreats, and Gospel Theater where she writes, directs and produces Christ-centered plays.  


In 2008, Jackie rented a theater and once again began touring her shows locally and in 2016, Mrs. Thomas established GEM Theater Productions separating the theater portion of the organization into its own entity


She credits the success of her productions to the dedicated support team of talented people, which includes singers, actors, musicians, support crew, and the world renowned Dr. Kelsey E. Collie as a mentor and Show Director.  Dr. Collie’s support for these productions has had a major impact on the entire cast and crew. Key volunteers of the theater group are: Angel Sheppard, Vocal Director, Jamal Weldon, Music Director, Lead Actors and Actresses; Troy Thomas, Joy Sheppard, Tonya Sheppard, and Monica Freeman. Stage manager, O’Tisha Williams, and dedicated volunteers like Marshall Sanders, Teshawna Newton, and The Millennials singing group all make these shows possible.


Jackie Thomas believes that one of the greatest achievements in life is to help others reach their full potential through the gifts and talents that God gives to each of us.

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The Director

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Dr. Kelsey E. Collie

  

Kelsey E. Collie is a retired Howard University Professor and the founder of the Howard University Children’s Theatre. As an international prize-winning playwright, Professor Collie has directed performances at the Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center (NYC), Town Hall (Dundalk, Ireland), and the Wyndham Ambassador Hotel, (Nassau, Bahamas), as well as venues across the U.S. In summer of 2009 Professor Collie conducted workshops with intercity youth through The Kellie E. Collie Children’s Theater Experience, and in November 2009 he traveled to London, England with Kemet Productions where he conducted theater workshops.

Vocal Director

Angela Sheppard

  

Angela Sheppard is a very active member of the Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church in Alexandria, Virginia, She ministers through music, as a Deaconess, laboring in prayer with the prayer ministry, and giving her heart to the women of the church. She is a songwriter and composer and has written 10 songs divinely inspired by God. She has taught at numerous music workshops in the Northern Virginia area. She considers herself a part of the chosen generation and the royal priesthood of Jesus Christ. She trusts in the Lord as her All and All. Angel stands on the promises of God and believes that she can do all things through Christ who gives her strength. And that she is more than a Conqueror through Jesus Christ who loves her. Angel is a mother of 3 children of whom she is very proud and a grandmother of 8 wonderful grandchildren who have brought much joy and laughter into her life.

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Music Director

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Jamal Weldon & The Millennials

  

The Millennials was formed in June 2015, by a group of young visionaries, fulfilling their dream and pursuing their passion of ministering through music.

Born and raised in the church, singing in the choir and possessing deeply-rooted family values are just a few commonalities shared among the group members.

Jamal Weldon, Courtney Thorpe and Darrean Van Zant Harmon are alumnus of Duke Ellington School of the Arts in Washington DC. Through their education and specialized training, they have been blessed to receive many opportunities performing alongside world-class artists. Currently, they are pursuing their Bachelor’s Degree at Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts. 

Timothy Brown graduated in May 2015, from West Virginia Wesleyan College with a BA in Music. His musical background included singing and acting performances in the Opera and Theatre productions and playing the Saxophone for the Concert Band.

The Millennials have been blessed with opportunities to minister locally throughout the DC Metro area, in Moncks Corner (South Carolina) Boston (Massachusetts) and will continue to spread the gospel wherever the Lord leads.

As they continue to journey down the musical path, they are reminded to heed the instruction in Matthew 6:33, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you” and I Peter 2:9, “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into the marvelous light”. 

  

Standing left to right):

Timothy Brown (Tenor), Darrean Van Zant Harmon (Soprano), 

Jamal Weldon (Music Director/Keyboardist/Tenor) and Courtney Thorpe (Alto). 

GEM Theater Cast

Troy M. Thomas

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Troy was introduced to the arts as a early in life and has always found ways to be creative. Troy’s favorite instrument is guitar and he’s currently the drummer for the Nazareth Baptist Church Male Chorus as well as Lead sound engineer. In between projects Troy spends time repairing, rebuilding and riding motorcycles along with numerous other in devours. Troy has worked with GEMinistries since 2008 and thankful for the opportunity to work with such an amazingly talented Company. He feels is truly honored to part of this GEM Company and looks forward to see how God will use his 

Tonya C. Sheppard

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 A mother of three beautiful children. Tonya has been singing since she was a small child. As a teen she was apart if city at peace, an organization that put on plays based upon true stories. Tonya sings on the church choir and praise team and is a part of two gospel groups that travel the country spreading God's word. Tonya loves God and believes that he has given her a true gift to minister to his people through song.

L. Joy Sheppard

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Joy has enjoyed acting and singing for most of her life.  As a very young child she began singing in her church choir.  Her love of singing grew as she entered her teen-age years as she began singing with community choirs in addition to participating in various church activities.  When Joy was a pre-teen she began her acting career playing the role of Lydia in the stage play The Eagle Stirs Her Nest.  Joy's love for acting and singing has only grown as she has aged.  Joy is currently singing in 3 church choirs & 2 other gospel choirs and participating in GE events and productions. 

Marsha Sanders

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Marsha grew up in Alexandria, VA and is a member of the Mount Pleasant Baptist Church, Alexandria, VA where she has sung in the Mass choir and youth choir.  She has also been the directress of the Youth/Young Adult Choir and currently the Youth Choir and sings with the Voices Choir, Young Adult Choir and the Praise Team.  Marsha thanks her God and her family for their never ending love and grace.  Marsha has been working with GEMinistries for three years and truly believes that she “can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

Terrence D. Thomas

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Terence currently serves at Bethlehem Baptist Church and Union Memorial United Methodist church where he is has taken on the role of Ministry of Music. Terence started taking piano lessons at the age 10 and recognized it was his calling during the year of 2012. When he is not occupied with music ministry, he joins Bethlehem Youth and Young Adult choir in singing praises. 

TeShawna Stackhouse

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TeShawna currently serves in numerous capacities at Harvest Assembly Baptist Church, where she works closely alongside her husband on the praise and worship ministry, dance ministry; as well as the choir director for the young adult choir, youth and teen choirs, and the assistant director of the Evangelistic choir. She began singing at the age of 3, but didn’t realize the purpose of her gift until after ministering with and being ministered to by Shirley Caesar at the Bible Way Temple in 1990. She currently ministers with The Anointed Voices and Marcell Wyche & Octave Praise spreading the gospel of Jesus through song.

Crew

Telita L. Campbell - Company Manager, Actress & Dance Instructor

Monica Freeman - Acting Coach, Actress, Stage hand

O’Tisha Thompson - Stage Manager & Crew Supervisor


AUDITIONS

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What we are looking for

GEM Theater Productions is looking for local talent to join our production team.  To pre-register contact us at  gemcastingcall@gmail.com and provide your name and contact information.  Auditions for upcoming productions will be held on March 2, 2019 in Woodbridge, Virginia for our Spring and Fall Seasons.


We welcome new talent and use non-equity actors and/or volunteers in our productions.  If you have never acted before and want to give it a try, sign up to audition and show us what you have.


We foster and mentor new talent and young people in the ARTS.  Dr. Kelsey E. Collie renowned, actor, playwright, director, and theater professor along with our experienced acting and coaching team will guide you every step of the way.


Payment or stipends is not guaranteed there is no cost to audition.  What you can expect is a compensation through other means, and a great learning and growing experience with exposure to other ARTS organizations. 


As part of the Prince William County Arts Council, GEM Theater Productions is excited to bring our theater production, "Secrets of the Butterfly Club" to Northern Virginia.

Roles Available

Adult male and female roles are available for all ages.  Youth roles boys and girls pre-teen to mid-teens.

Musical Talent

Singers, musicians, and dancers needed for the production team. 

Stage hands, costumes and makeup

If you are a student and you need credit hours for volunteer services.  Contact us and let us help.