Beavin Lawrence, tenor saxophonist has pursued the American art form of jazz starting at age twelve through study at New York’s Brooklyn Conservatory of Music. As a teen, he participated in the New York All-City Musical Organizations. He continued his education at the Hartt School of Music in Hartford, CT, under the tutelage of world renowned saxophonist, Jackie McLean. The Institute is now recognized as the Jackie McLean Institute of Jazz Studies. He received a BM in Jazz Studies and a MA in Music Education from the Brooklyn College Conservatory of Music. During his time in Hartford, he taught various ensembles and theory courses at the Artist’s Collective. In addition, he participated in the Lila Wallace Reader’s Digest Jazz Ensemble. He currently co-conducts the All-City High School Jazz Ensemble. Some of his academic involvements have included the position of Assistant Jazz Ensemble Instructor at Brooklyn College. Some of the Jazz world’s noteworthy musicians that he has performed with include Charlie Persip’s Superband, The Michael Carvin Quintet, The Frank Lacey Vibe Tribe and the Donald Smith Band. He currently freelances and performs in various venues in and around New York City. In 2008 he was featured as a CUNY Green Artist. Various other musicians and ensembles include Santi DeBriano Quartet, Harlem Renaissance Big Band, Nat Reeves, Salim Washington, Eric McPhearson, Eddie Allen, Warnard Harper, Bill Crow, Brooklyn New Art Ensemble, Blue Moon Ensemble, Ronnie Benhur, and S.E.M Ensemble. The Saxophonist will be Beavin’s acting debut.
BEAVIN LAWRENCE - "Lonnie"
ZOIEA OHIZEP - "Sidney"
Zoiea Ohizep is a native of New Rochelle, NY. He became interested in music at the age of 7. At the age of 13, he helped create a group in which he played drums. He quickly realized his talent as a singer and writer. His talents as a writer and vocalist are uncontested. As a veteran back up vocalist, Zoiea has recorded with Melba Moore, Freddie Jackson, Phyllis Hyman & Sara Dash. As a songwriter, he has written lyrics for Freddie Jackson & Glenn Jones. His fascination with writing has fueled a desire to write childrens books promoting imagination and belief in dreams. Some of his book titles include "Elle and Alli" and "Rainbow's Ring". As an actor, Zoiea has worked previously with director Andre´ Joseph in a supporting role capacity in the films "Priceless" and "Dishonorable Vendetta".
MICHAEL ANTHONY ROBERTS - "Art"
RONNIE CALDWELL - "Parker"
Ronnie Caldwell is an actor and screen writer that was born and raised in Harlem New York. At the age of 14 he expressed his interests in acting and took joy in performing for family. As an adult he has worked in various films and theater projects and is looking to continue building on his resume and skills. Besides the craft of acting Ronnie enjoys playing sports and traveling during his free time. Additionally he is an artist and takes great joy in drawing and painting portraits.
ANN FLANIGAN - "Lydia"
Ann Flanigan is an actor-singer-puppeteer who is fortunate to tell stories across different mediums. On camera, she's been on Oxygen Network and in films with NYU and Columbia as well as other independent shorts. In theatre, she's worked in NY and regionally on world premieres, classics, and everything in between including Chuck Mee’s The Immortals, The Two Gentlemen of Verona, The Tempest, Much Ado About Nothing, King Lear, Lincoln Center Originals, Rachel – A New Musical, The Bluest Eye, and A Christmas Carol. Many thanks to Andre' for the invitation to help tell this story. Proud AEA member. Above all, thanks be to God in everything.
RON'NETTA - "Jeane"
Ron'Netta is an American actress and writer residing in Brooklyn, New York. She is a native of Mobile, Alabama. It was in the 2nd grade when she purchased a book at a school book fair entitled A Day in the Life of an Actress by Betsy Covington Smith, that she gained an interest in the art of acting. Her mother was active in many local plays, including productions of To Kill a Mockingbird and Showboat, and appeared in a re-enactment on an episode of America’s Most Wanted with John Walsh. Watching and listening to her mother, she learned the art of verbal expression. She was trained in ballet and tap dancing in a community program called Culture in Black & White, but realized that "acting" was her thing. Since the age of 5, she had committed to memory several poems by Paul Laurence Dunbar, and continued through high school to recite poetry for church congregations, and community events. Ron'Netta eventually began writing her own poems. In high school, she joined the McGill-Toolen Catholic High School Drama Club for their production of OH, FUDGE! She began traveling to her father’s hometown of New Orleans, Louisiana on weekends to attend classes at John Casablanca's Modeling & Talent Agency. She completed the program, and entered Bishop State Community College a few years later with a concentration in theatre. She later switched to a nursing major. Remaining true to her poetic skills through penning raps, she eventually linked with a local D.J. and begin recording tracks at his studio. Ron’Netta performed at clubs on occasion, and entered a few rap contests in Atlanta. She loved the freedom of expression that rapping allotted, but her heart was still set on acting. She finished nursing school, and moved to New York for a couple years. It was there that she fell in love with the writings of Donald Goines, and The Coldest Winter Ever by Sister Souljah. She returned to Mobile, and continued her nursing education while writing her first novel, Tha’ Trouble Wit’ Shaun (re-released as Extradited: Murder was the case that they gave me). Ron’Netta relocated to New York where she resides in Brooklyn, and has authored three urban fiction novels (including Ecstasy & PUSSIfication: The Prostitute’s Revenge). She is a graduate of Bishop State Community College (Licensed Practical Nursing), University of Mobile (Associates Registered Nursing), and Lamar University (Bachelors Registered Nursing). Ron’Netta is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority. She received acting improvisation training from INStudios under the direction of Israel Savage. She has a recurring role as Tanisha Stills in Season 2 of the award-winning web series Love @ First Night.
Michael Anthony Roberts is an actor, singer, dancer and sometimes director and writer whose been performing for twenty years. He has performed on and off-Broadway, toured internationally, appeared in films and concerts. Over the past few years Michael has appeared in Public Works Shakespeare in the Park as Polixinese in “The Winter’s Tale” and Mentor in “The Odyssey”. He toured nationally as Langston Hughes in “Simply Langston” and originated the role of Tony Juice in the Jazz Musical Fantasy “Keep on Kick in." Michael Has performed at the Prudential Center at How Sweet the Sound with the 3 time regional award winning Marble Collegiate Choir and Power and Praise. Michael has sung with Richard Smallwood, Patti LaBelle, and performed in the national tour of Dream Girls with the legendary Jennifer Holliday. Presently Michael balances his performance career with leading a youth serving non-profit in New York City.
JARETT SMITHWRICK - "Carlton"
Jarett Smithwrick stepped away from the business, after many years working in theater, television and film. He returned to his hearts desire two years ago. Currently studying at Larry Singer Studios and a member of The New American Theater Company of New York. His second act taking shape with their presentation of Split Second, as Rusty Johnson a by the book ex-cop, followed with a turn as Scrooge in An Urban Christmas Carol. He is very much looking forward to the exciting opportunity of working on, The Saxophonist.
NADYA ENCARNACION - "Adella"
Nadya Encarnacion is an actress & vocalist who proudly hails from Manhattan, NY. She is ecstatic to be working on The Saxophonist. Nadya was a featured model for Linda Nieves-Powells' Latina Icons tribute to Afro-Latinas in music as the icon Irene Cara, images published in The Huffington Post, Vibe & Latina Magazines. She was last seen on stage playing the role of The Leader in the classic musical ZORBA with the Clay & Wattles Theater Co. at The Gary The Olivia Theater in Bethlehem, CT. Along with her passions for Film/TV & stage, she is also dedicated to juvenile justice. Nadya is a graduate of the American Musical & Dramatic Academy, M.A. from Manhattan College & B.A. from Fairfield University.