Ms. Vanessa Lynn
As a world-renowned writer, producer, visionary and entrepreneur, Vanessa Lynn is one of the foremost voices on the independent theatrical scene and beyond. Having a love of theater, yet no background, she set out on a journey nearly twenty years ago to write plays. After many setbacks and mistakes, Urban Playwrights United was formed to help bridge the gap between the independent artist and professional resources. Her debut book, Beyond the Chitlin’ Circuit: The Ultimate Urban Playwright’s Guide, is the first book of its kind and speaks to the myths, the challenges and the successes of the urban playwright industry. Lynn hails three nationally distributed theatrical DVDs (Unequally Yoked, Affairs and Boss Lady), and was a contributing writer to Church Girl and Deranged, national touring, best-selling plays produced by Angela Barrow-Dunlap. She currently serves as the CEO of Parables Entertainment, and is the owner of The Crystal Room and The Crystal Place, banquet halls located in the Metro Detroit area. Ms. Lynn currently serves as a board member of Avengers Mentoring 501c3, and continues to be a public speaker, script writer, content writer, mentor and theater consultant for clientele nationwide.
Ms. Teleah Scott
Teleah Scott is an award-winning playwright of the one-act play, The Healing Floor. She is also a self-published author of three books for young children, including Brother: A Grief Story; Daddy, Why Did Grandma Leave; and Lou, The Grief Dog. She also wrote and self-published an autobiography, Free To Grieve: A Mother's Memoir in Black and White, which profiles the tragic recount of losing her son. Teleah serves as president of the Timothy Q. Scott Foundation, whose mission is to spread education and awareness for the prevention of sudden cardiac death in young athletes. In her spare time, she maintains a social media page to support upcoming African-American female authors.
As a multiple-award winning playwright, producer and director, Jeanette Hill’s work tells ‘our stories with our voice’. As a creative activist, her plays and workshops educate, enlighten and entertain from an African-American perspective. She is the founder and creative director of JWHill Productions LLC and Sight Ain't Seeing Productions (SASP), a non-profit organization that creates plays and workshops that highlight issues facing African-American youth. She is an advisory board member of several organizations, including the Atlanta Black Theatre Festival.
Ms. Robyn Rease
Robyn is originally from Pensacola, FL and graduated from Mercer University in Macon, GA. She holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English and African American Studies. and studied Creative Writing at Northeastern University in Boston, MA. Robyn is the founder and artistic director of Stage Praise Productions – a theatre, film, and television company whose mission it is to change the face of entertainment – and the world – one story at a time, having written more than a hundred skits and full length plays. She joined UPU in 2011, attending the conference for the first time in Orlando, FL. Robyn is a middle school assistant principal and is also an associate pastor and Bible teacher at her home church in Providence, RI.
Mr. Michael McCorkle
For more than 12 years, Michael McCorkle has been a writer, producer and director of original local theatre productions. In addition, he’s served as a drama and playwriting instructor for D.C. middle and high school students. As an instructor, Michael has served as a “Teaching Artist” for Young Playwrights’ Theatre and the Arena Stage Community Engagement Program, as well as a “Theatre Arts” Instructor for the Sitar Arts Center. As a producer, Michael is the founder and producing director of OneStage Productions, Inc., a theatre and film production company based in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. Mr. McCorkle has written and directed stage plays, which all have been filmed for DVD and released nationally by Maverick Entertainment for nationwide retail distribution, including Like Father, Like Son, A Change is Coming and Home is Where the Heart Is.
Ms. Cheryl Davis
Cheryl A. Davis has been a writer and educator for over 25 years. She is also an award-winning playwright, who focuses primarily on social issues that impact our communities. Her titles include Love on the Other Side of the Game; Oh Ye of Little Faith; When a Good Girl Loves a Bad Boy; Love's Last Victim, and From My Heart to Yours with Love. She is a graduate of Fayetteville State University and holds a BA in English/Psychology. She is currently pursuing her MBA at Strayer University and is an ordained minister.
Mrs. Tangie Beaty
Tangie Brickhouse-Beaty is the founder and CEO of Walking on Water (WOW) Productions in Columbia, SC. With over 14 years of experience, Tangie is a national award-winning playwright, film writer and director, who has produced over 15 productions along the east coast. Tangie received a national distribution deal, which caused her first stage play Yesterday is Still Gone to be awarded Best Stage Play Director at the Kingdomwood Christian Film Festival. Tangie also was listed as The Top 12 Most Interesting Minorities of 2013 and selected as one of The Top 40 Under 40 in South Carolina. Her company was awarded Best Theatre Production Company and Best Theatre Director by Black Women in Jazz and Arts in Atlanta, GA as well. Tangie and her business partner opened the first Urban Black Box Theatre in South Carolina.
Mrs. Sharon Y. Judie
A Los Angeles resident, Sharon Y. Judie is a writer and inspirational speaker who has penned several stage plays, one murder mystery and more than a dozen skits, including the popular monologue series, “Women of the Bible Speak to Today’s Women”. Her latest production, “MisLeading Lady I" opened to six sold out shows and "MisLeading Lady II" recently debuted with three sold out shows.
Always seeking to encourage and mentor youth, Sharon hosts the "Daddy's Girl Empowerment Summit", an annual conference for girls being raised without their father in the home. Earlier this month, Sharon published her first book, "Heart to Heart: Encouragement, Advice and Inspiration for Teen Girls", a compilation book of letters and advice, written to encourage teen girls.