School Fashion
Battle 2007

 
Tanisha Brady Christie

Tanisha Brady Christie is a founding member of Medusa Speaks: An Artists' Collective and the former Assistant Director of the Living Stage Theatre Company, the community outreach component of Arena Stage. Throughout her ten year career, she has acted, sung, danced, and taught with numerous theatre programs and other arts organizations across the country. She most recently facilitated workshops for the Bethesda Academy of the Performing Arts (BAPA) at Einstein High School and for Crossing the River, an arts and advocacy program for women in recovery based in Anacostia. As a performer, Tanisha was most recently seen in the Arena Stage production of A Street Car Named Desire, the Medusa Speaks production of Anatomy Lessons, and the Living Stage production of Oceans. Tanisha is the recipient of a 2000-2001 DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities Artist Fellowship.

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Rick Foucheux


Rick Foucheux has been performing in Washington area theatres since 1983. He is a member of the Woolly Mammoth Acting Company and a five-time Helen Hayes nominee. He received the Helen Hayes for Outstanding Lead Actor in 2000 for his role in the Source Theatre production of David Mamet’s Edmond. He last appeared in the Woolly/Theatre J production of Homebody/Kabul and will be seen early next fall in the Open Circle Theatre’s Jesus Christ Superstar. He is on the faculty of The Theatre Lab.

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Brianna S. Jackson

Brianna Jackson is an experienced actress, singer, and comedian. She is a long-time member of the University of Maryland's only sketch comedy group, Sketchup. As a performer, her theatre experience includes productions of Romeo and Juliet and Macbeth with the Baltimore Shakespeare Festival. She has directed several one acts, for example Running the Race with the St. Paul Theatre. She was recently a part of the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center's opening play, The Music Man (Ethel Toffelmeier). Her awards and achievements consist of the Maryland Distinguished Scholar, Tri-M Music Honor Society, and the Theatre Patrons Scholarship. She is currently a senior theatre/music performing arts major at the University of Maryland.

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Bina Malhotra

Bina Malhotra is an actor, singer, and assistant director whose directing credits include the national tour of What Every Woman Wants and Common Realities at the Lincoln Theatre. She was a company member of the Young Playwright's Theatre which toured regionally and has appeared at Woolly Mammoth, Olney Theatre Center, Warner, Living Stage as well as others. For over twelve years, she has been a professional vocalist performing at various venues on the East Coast. She was also a Dramatic Instructor for Interact Story Theatre. She received a BA in Theatre Performance from the University of Maryland at College Park.


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Elijah Perry

“Soulful”, “Honest”, “Incomparable” and “Amazing” are all terms and titles used to describe Elijah Perry. However, after one listen to his music or if you have ever been a witness of one of his live performances, you would agree that there are really no words to describe the genius of this emerging singer/songwriter. “I simply love music”, Elijah says with that signature smile. “Not to sound cliché, but I would die if I was unable to write, sing or whatever. Music is who I am.” And music is what he masters.

Growing up in the suburbs of Southern Maryland, a younger Elijah could be seen singing and rocking in the choir at Ebenezer A.M.E. Church in Fort Washington, MD. It is known that the church has been the training grounds for many of our musical greats, and Elijah is no exception. “I am grateful for beginnings. I feel that all singers should start out in church if possible. It instilled in me the importance of singing with feeling, emotion and conviction. Church folk know when there is a connection between you and the song. This is not the basis of only gospel but all genres of music. You can’t sing about something you know nothing about.”

“Being at my church, I was given many opportunities to be taught by the greatest of all time. The late Rev. Donald Vails, our Minister of Music at the time, made sure we knew the fundamentals of singing and songwriting. He settled for nothing less than excellent.” Influenced by gospels greatest legends, such as Rev. James Cleveland, Rev. Donald Vails, Daryl Coley, Walter Hawkins, Vanessa Bell Armstrong, Yolanda Adams and Kirk Franklin, Elijah not only matured as a vocalist, but he also discovered and nurtured his gift as a prolific songwriter. “Not to take anything away from other songwriters, but I didn’t want to sing my story and emotions through the eyes of someone else. I discovered that I had a voice that wanted to be heard, not only vocally but in the more artistic sense as well.” This gift Elijah found to be very useful not only in musical quest, but in his quest for life and answers. “I don’t want to get too detailed, but we all go through various experiences in life. It’s a known fact that good times plus bad times equals life. Songwriting is like my personal therapy session about life. I write songs in opposed to sharing those thoughts with someone. To me it is much easier to do it that way. If I’m in love, I’ll write about it. If I’m hurting, I won’t say it but I’ll write about it. Regardless of what I am writing about: the good, the bad or just the plain ugly; it’s all therapy.”

His training and influence did not stop at the church. Elijah also credits the likes of Aretha Franklin, Donny Hathaway, Stevie Wonder, Whitney Houston, Gladys Knight and Marvin Gaye as being major contributors to taking him from being a great singer to an astounding artist. “These were singers who my mom played throughout the house”, Elijah says as he reflects. “She would turn off everything and lay on the couch, listening to Patti LaBelle, Luther Vandross, etc. I would sit with her and we would sing to the records. My mom had a beautiful soprano voice, so I would try to compete with her note-for-note. Of course I would lose”, Elijah laughs. “It was always worth a try.”

“But it was the artistry of those vocalists that drew me in”, Elijah adds. “They had no huge productions or visual effects. It was simply a band, background singers and them standing behind the mic. Everything was so simple and basic. And the voices they projected out of their body left you speechless. I won’t stop until I accomplish that same affect.”

With these intimate yet memorable experiences, accompanied with years of experience doing background vocals for the same great artists he grew up listening to and admiring, as well as solo performances at many premier music conferences and events before the industry’s most elite and most faithful admirers, you can be assured this artist is poised and ready to take his rightful place among the legends who defined the standard of what we know as music today. Upon the release of his debut CD via Epiphany Entertainment, music lovers will be forced to concur with us countless believers, that Elijah Perry is the new definition and standard for music and will remain there for years to come. However, with all this great pressure and expectation, Elijah still remains humble. “I just want to produce and perform timeless music. Music that will impact and make a difference in whatever mood you are in.”

Embodying the heart and honesty of Marvin, the stirring soul of Donny, and the lyrical genius of Stevie, Elijah Perry is the very breathe the music industry has desired and longed to inhale.

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Caroline G. Pleasant

Caroline Pleasant is an experienced actor and in May 2003, graduated from Prince George’s Community College with an Associate of Arts Degree in Theatre. In July and August 2003, she was the instructor for improvisational theater with the Teens Count organization, CEO Ms. Tracy Cooper. Most recently, she played a role in a feature movie (“A Dirty Shame”) starring television star, Tracy Ullman, directed by John Waters. Caroline performed in “Flyin’ West”, which was the debut production of The Ebony Metropolitan Theatre, founded by Cheryl Collins. In 2002, Caroline performed a principal role in HBO’s “The Wire.” In February through March 2000, she was one of the lead performers at the Smithsonian’s Discovery Theater in an original play by Cheryl Collins – “A Little Child Shall Lead Them.” Caroline has performed in numerous productions such as: “The Gospel at Colonus” (Capitol Hill Arts Workshop); “Nuts” (Bowie Community Theatre); and “Happy Ending” (American Theatre Project). In 2002, Caroline portrayed a judge in an independent film by Hodge Productions, “Black’s Law”. Caroline studied improvisational theatre for one year under S.T.A.R. Improv of Washington, D.C. In 1999, she received the David S. Schroeder Award for the Spirit and Pursuit of Excellence in Acting for her performance in “The Pity Party”, by Laverne B. Hicks (Rapture, Inc.). Caroline also has experience as a counselor for the Prince George’s County Suicide and Crisis Prevention Center Hotline.

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Paula Reis


Paula started dancing at age three. Her mom, a former dancer, registered her for her first modern dance class – and a star was born. That star was Paula “Brazil” Reis! Paula grew her dance and performance skills with local groups and dance companies in Bahia, Brazil. In the summer of 1992, Paula was accepted into one of the most famous, internationally known dance companies – Oba-Oba. Paula performed with them in the U.S. and Canada, where she met a well known artist – Melvin Deal, Owner of The African Heritage Dancers & Drummers of D.C. Paula still performs with them.

In 1997, Paula became the Group Exercise Director for Gold’s Gym (Van Ness/DC), which was voted one of the best health clubs in America by Sports Magazine.

Paula created her own workout, the "Afro-Brazilian Dance Workout". This workout has Paula’s signature from beginning to end. The routine is a high-energy aerobics dance class, flavored with caliente rhythms of Brazil, Africa and the Caribbean – such as Salsa, Samba, Merengue, Soca, Calypso and Brazilian Batucada.

Paula is a certified Aerobic Instructor, Personal Trainer, and Sports Nutritionist – certifications provided by AFFA, AAA/ISMA & IFPA.


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Staci Tyler

Staci Tyler is a Personal Trainer and Aerobics Instructor. She is the owner of City Mile Fitness Company, Inc. Staci first started in the fitness industry by filling out a goals assessment form at a local health club eight years ago. City Mile Fitness Company. Inc. was started in March 2001 and has changed lives every since.

Staci is a native Washingtonian. Along with Personal Training she is an AFAA Certified Aerobic Instructor and Personal Trainer. She teaches several types of classes like kick-boxing, cycling, step & sculpt, water aerobics, boot-camp, yoga, body sculpt, hip-hop funk and butts & guts. Her company will also include that outdoor adventure if you are interested in learning to scuba dive, ride bike trails, or skiing. Staci graduated from the University of Maryland Eastern Shore with a concentration in Marine Biology.

Staci is the choreographer for the young girls group, Got It Goin’ On’. The foundation helps to motivate and teach young ladies a healthy lifestyle. The Foundation will be traveling to South Africa December 2004 to join the “Step Afrika” International Cultural Festival. Staci is also the leader of the Exercise Ministry at her church, Carolina Missionary Baptist Church.

One important fact Staci promotes is to remember your heart is the most important component part of your exercise program. You will learn to condition your heart through cardiovascular activity. A “cardio” routine works every muscle in the body. This can be remembered by some activities you currently enjoy such as walking, running or swimming.

The second half of your exercise routine is incorporating weights. By using weights you burn the fatty tissue and gain muscle mass.

So know the difference between being healthy and being fit, to be healthy, you must rid your body of disease. To be fit you must exercise regularly.

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Tamara Wellons Washington

Tamara, vocalist and teacher, has been directing and co-directing theater camps since her junior year at Bowie State University where she graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education to become a certified elementary teacher for Prince George’s County Public Schools. At Bowie State, Tamara was a member of the Bowie State University Jazz Ensemble and Gospel Choir for three years. She was a part of many theatrical plays including lead actress in the musical play, “Platinum” under the direction of Mr. Eliott Mofit. Shortly after being crowned Miss Bowie State University 1998-1999, Tamara formed a jazz band and began her journey to become a performance and recording artist.

In 2002, Tamara completed the Music Business and Artist Management Program at The Omega Studios for Recording Arts and Sciences in Rockville, MD. She has had formal vocal training and voice production training by the mezzo-soprano vocalist Anamer Castello and is currently studying music theory. Combining her educational training and experience in the arts, Tamara has worked at Huntington Community Center, Bowie, MD for four years first as a counselor, then as a director for two years for the children’s theater camp. After her successful years as director, she became a member of the Gateway Arts and Entertainment District of Prince George’s County, and for the past year, Tamara has been working at Joe’s Movement Emporium in Mt. Rainier, MD as an instructor for the Poolside Motion Theater Camp. She continues teaching fifth grade Reading, Language Arts, and Social Studies in Mt. Rainier, MD.

Tamara recently returned from a small promotional tour in Hackney, London, where she was promoting her self-titled EP “ . . . introducing, Tamara Wellons.” She currently performs in the DC Metropolitan Area at various festivals such as the Harlem Renaissance Festival and venues, such as Bohemian Caverns, Andalu, and Club Five. Since the beginning of her career, Tamara delighted children and adult audiences with her versatility in directing children’s plays, songwriting, vocal style and abilities. For more information on Tamara, you can visit her website at www.tamarawellons.com.

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Devron Young

Devron Young, of Baltimore Maryland, was a part of Arena Players, Inc. (the oldest black theatre). He received his Degree from UMCP in Theatre. He also attended Baltimore school for the arts, and upon graduation was awarded as a Presidential Scholar in Theatre. Devron holds the NAACP ACTSO Gold medal for Acting. He has starred in a NBC special called Drawing the line on Drugs, and has toured the US with the National Players (Touring Classical Group). Devron has performed in professional shows at Morris A Mechanic Theatre, Center Stage, Arena Stage, and Olney Theatre. Devron has spent this summer doing a mini tour of Twelfth Night. He currently has two songs on the orignal cast album of One Bad Apple, and is working with Kasier Permenente's Educational Theatre Programs.

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For more information, feel free to contact us at
(202) 413-2950
or via email at
info@teenscount.org