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2014 Artists

Julie Black
Critically acclaimed songwriter Julie Black captivates audiences with a soulful sound that is genuine and emotionally uninhibited. Her sultry, powerful voice weaves potent tales within sumptuous melodies & rhythms and brings together elements of blues, jazz, soul & rock.  Black receives worldwide airplay and has hit the charts with two all original albums (Call Me Angel for Blues, You Just Might Win). She is currently working on the release of her third album; Follow the Muse. Black performs at major music festivals, concert halls and select venues and has shared the bill with many of music’s greatest. Her passionate live performances are intensified by the superb musicianship of her world- class band; Dave Eichenberger (guitar), Michael Johnn (keys), Father Bill Spicuglia (bass) & Frankie Timpanelli (drums).  Julie Black leaves a lasting impression on listeners with a sound that transcends time & genre. More info, pictures & artwork at

“I love the sound and her voice.”Gibson Guitars

 “a majorsinging and songwriting talent”- Blues Revue Magazine

“amazing singer and an amazing composer… Incredible, unique & enchanting musical experience… Julie Black is a true and real refreshment on today’s music scene…”    - Blues Corner

“…Julie touches you deep inside…beautiful lyrics, beautiful voice and fantastic musicians”    -Rootsville

mitziPromoMitzi Sinnott – SNAPSHOT

Mitzi Sinnott received a Best Actress Nomination from The STAGE at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival for her performance in her one-woman show “SNAPSHOT; a true story of love interrupted by invasion.” Since the creation of the first 16 pages of the script, Mitzi’s work was immediately recognized by The Brooklyn Arts Council, NYC. She was awarded their NYSCA Individual Artist Regrant Award 2 years in a row to further develop the play. While at the Edinburgh Fringe, the CEO of the Cape Town Festival extended a special invitation to bring SNAPSHOT to South Africa for the Cape Town Festival. Following the European Women’s Theatre Festival invited Mitzi to participate in the competition class of this international festival held in Tornio Finland-Haparanda Sweden and two time recipient of: the Kentucky Foundation for Women Arts Meets Activism Grant.

SNAPSHOT was inspired by a friend asking Mitzi to perform in an anti-war rally in New York City. After agreeing to participate, she asked herself “What do I know about war?” In examining her own history, she realized that her entire life had been deeply shaped by the Vietnam War. In just one night, the play was born. In SNAPSHOT she bravely reveals her personal history as a daughter of an interracial couple from Southern Appalachia, who chose to love each other despite the terrifying reality of racism in the 1960s.

Jacksonville Dance Theatre – The Moments In Between


Emily Cargill, Tiffany Fish, Rebecca R. Levy, Kristen Sullivan, Jennifer Walker

Performed by:
Tiffany Fish, Sydney Keister, Rebecca R. Levy, Katie McCaughan, Paige Ricci, Kristen Sullivan, Jennifer Walker

Shoes at the Door Dance  – Ignorance Is Bliss? (2011)

“Ignorance is Bliss?” explores the choice we face between isolation and engagement. Using movement, gesture, partnering and text, the dancers maneuver to find a balancing point between avoidance and interaction.

Choreographed by: Danielle Boe and Sadie Lehmker in collaboration with the company.

Company: Brooke Bissell, Danielle Boe, Laurel Frye, Sadie Lehmker, Jennie Petuch, Amanda Roa, Brianna Childress, Sean McDonald, Esophia Higgins, Madeline Fitzpatrick, Latisha Howell

Music by: A Sunny Day In Glasgow, Gustavo Santaolalla, Nico Muhly, Alarm Will Sound and Allan Pierson, Amon Tobin, Windy & Carl, Zoe Keating, Valgeir Sigurðsson, Goldmund

Original Lighting Design: Jeff Boe
Original Stage Manager: Ashley Burr
Original Costume Design: Paige Arms

Brooke Bissell graduated from the University of South Florida in 2007 with a B.A. in Television Production and a minor in Dance. Her list of achievements includes working with Busta Rhymes and the Backstreet Boys. In 2007, she studied abroad through the USF Dance in Paris program. She is one of the founding directors and dancers for Shoes At The Door and is the Senior Creative Services Producer at WTTA My TV Tampa Bay.

Danielle Boe graduated with a BFA in Modern Dance Performance from the University of South Florida. In addition to enriching the Tampa dance community through her work as a founder and Director of Shoes At The Door, Danielle enjoys supporting the USF Dance Department in her role as Assistant to the Director.  Danielle would like to thank her husband Jeff for all of his love and support and her son Jasper for changing her world.

Brianna Childress recently finished her BFA in dance performance at the University of South Florida. Brianna grew up in Fort Myers, Florida where she began dancing when she was 4 years old. While raised in a small town Brianna managed to find dance opportunities. Her first performance, on a big stage in a performance hall, was with the Sarasota Ballet in The Nutcracker. She also had the opportunity to perform in the Orange Bowl Halftime Show. While at the University of South Florida, Brianna had the opportunity to work with Andrew Carroll and Paula Nunez. She also worked with Colleen Thomas while she studied dance abroad in Paris. In Paris Brianna had the chance to create and perform work in the city. During the summers of her time at the University, she spent it away at various summer dance programs. Among the programs were Saratoga Summer Dance Intensive (a 5 week program learning and partnering with NYCB dancers), Alvin Ailey, and Alonzo King’s LINES summer program. Brianna performed and learned works of George Balanchine, Alvin Ailey, and Alonzo King. She is grateful to be a part of Shoes at the Door and to perform with the great artists within the company.

Madeline Fitzpatrick grew up in Clearwater, FL where she began her dance training. After receiving a Walker’s Rising Stars scholarship, she moved to Philadelphia, PA where she attended The University of the Arts. In 2011 Madeline graduated with a BFA in Modern Dance. She worked with Philadelphia Dance Projects and performed in a number of works by Nicole Bindler, Megan Mazarick, and Gabrielle Revlock. Madeline teaches young dancers throughout Pinellas and Hillsborough counties. She is thrilled to be dancing with Shoes At The Door and looks forward to being a part of the Tampa Bay Area’s dance community.

Laurel Frye grew up in Dade City, FL, where she studied at Blackwood Studios for 15 years. Laurel is currently pursuing her B.A. in International Finance at the University of South Florida, where she has also studied dance. This is Laurel’s forth season with Shoes At The Door.

Esophia Higgins is a native of LaBelle, FL where she danced her entire childhood. She graduated from the University of South Florida with a BFA degree in Modern Dance Performance. This is her second  season with Shoes At the Door Company and she is excited about being a part of such an uplifting and powerfully talented family. As a performer, teacher, choreographer and student Esophia strives to explore and be a vessel as she continues on her perpetual journey of pouring the love of dance that God has placed in her heart back into the universe for all to experience.

Sadie Lehmker is a freelance dancer and choreographer based in the Tampa Bay area. Currently, she is a guest choreographer for St. Petersburg College, Florida Dance Arts and America’s Ballet School and serves as the Production Coordinator at America’s Ballet School. Sadie received her B.A. in Dance magna cum laude from the University of South Florida with a focus in Dance History and Honors College Distinction. Sadie has been a part of Shoes at the Door since 2010 and she currently is dancing, teaching and choreographing for the company. Sadie is thankful to Shoes at the Door for providing an outlet for her creative endeavors.

Sean McDonald was born in Fort Myers, Florida; Sean received his B.F.A in Modern dance at the University of South Florida. He is a 2012 Talent Grant recipient and also a former Pulse Dance Convention scholarship recipient. At USF, Sean has performed works by Jeanne Travers, John Parks, Paula Nunez, and Andrew Carroll. Sean has also performed in Doug Varone’s The Rite of Spring and in an excerpt of Rosie Herrera’s Pity Party. In 2012, Sean trained in Paris under Colleen Thomas, Daniel Madoff, and Prue Lang, where he performed his own work as well as Colleen Thomas’ work at Micadanses and had a private one-on-one class with Daniel Madoff, where he learned Totem Ancestor choreographed by Merce Cunningham. In 2013, Sean had the privilege to perform his B.F.A Solo in the USF Faculty concert.  At USF, Sean has studied under Michael Foley, Andee Scott, Andrew Carroll, Jeanne Travers, and Bliss Kohlmyer.  Currently, Sean is a dancer with Moving Current and Shoes At The Door Dance in Tampa.

Jennifer Petuch trained in her home town of West Palm Beach, Florida, on scholarship, at the Academy of Ballet Florida for fourteen years. She graduated magna cum laude, from the University of South Florida achieving a Bachelor’s in Dance Studies with a focus in Modern Dance incorporating multimedia choreography on stage.  Jennie participated in the USF Dance in Paris Program. She is a pre-professional photographer specializing in incorporating the beauty of nature and the art of dance into many successful compositions.

Amanda Roa began her dance training in Ft. Myers, FL as a dance major at the Cypress Lake High School Center for the Arts. In 2006, she received her B.A. in Dance Studies from the University of South Florida. She has taught curriculum classes for Patel Conservatory Youth Ballet, New Tampa Dance Theatre, America’s Ballet School, and WEBBY dance enrichment program in schools all over Hillsborough County. She loves teaching dance outreach classes at Redlands Christian Migrant Association Academy every week. She is proud to be a founding member and a new Director of Shoes at the Door.

Eileen Tull – Weight/Training 

 Eileen Tull is a performer and writer from Cincinnati, OH. She has performed her original poetry, performance art, stand-up comedy, and one woman shows in Cincinnati, San Francisco, Dayton, Indianapolis, Chicago, and New York City. Her short plays have been produced throughout the United States. Eileen’s work reveals societal challenges for women, people of color, assault victims, and people of all shapes and sizes.

Weight Training was inspired by the physical space it was originally performed in: an exhibit in the Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati. It was created to examine the pain and challenges of the pursuit of physical perfection. This piece is a personification of the obsession and self-hatred through the lens of weight loss, diet, and exercise. American culture is fixated on physical appearance. Attaining and maintaining the “perfect” physique is portrayed in society as more important than personal happiness or health and this piece throws light onto this dangerous mindset by exhibiting someone careening towards self-destruction in a private space.

 Laura King – Fact Check

Laura is an MFA candidate in playwriting at Hollins University in Roanoke, VA. Currently, Laura works as an instructor of theatre at Gordon State College in Barnesville, GA. Laura has had several 10-minute plays produced in the past season: Kitty of Sawbuck City (11/3/12) and Resignation (12/28/13) were produced by the Red Eye 10s Coast-to-Coast Play Festival, The Game was produced at the Original Works Festival at The Spot in Arroyo Grande, CA (9/27/12), For Annie’s Sake was produced by the Tesseract Theatre, St Louis, MO (11/1-11/10/13), and Christmas in Harmony was produced by Lionheart Theatre in Norcross, GA (12/20-12/22/13). Laura’s full-length play, Independence Day at Happy Meadows, received a reading at Onion Man Productions in Atlanta, GA, in June 2012, was workshopped at the Hollins Playwright’s Lab in July 2012, and was further developed during a week-long workshop with Bob Moss, founder of Playwrights Horizons, in March 2013. The play will premiere at Showtimers Theatre in June 2014.

Fact Check Cast:

Danny-Ray Polson (Fact Checker 3, Red Pencil) has been an actor and puppeteer in the Tampa Bay area for over 20 years, and is proud to be a part of Florida premiere of “Fact Checker.” Professionally, he has appeared in shows by Gypsy Stage Repertory, The Murder Mystery Company, Timeless Tales Theatre, Silver Glass Productions, Stageworks, Play Dead Murder Mysteries, MurderS She Wrote Dinner Theatre, Pig’s Eye Studio, the Child Abuse Council’s Kids on the Block, Clowning Around, Strictly Entertainment, and Shows to Go!. He has toured extensively with Bits n’ Pieces Puppet Theatre all across the United States, performed with them at the World Festival of Puppetry Arts in Prague, and most recently in the Bits n’ Pieces/Florida Orchestra’s 2009 collaborative production of “Petrushka.”

Stephanie Bell (Reporto) played the foole at West Coat Player’s Men Are Dogs, as “Loretta.”  And she survived directing Dunedin Showcase’s Loving Lives.  Favorite roles: “Miss Wiley,” from Radium Girls; “Martha Culver,” from The Constant Wife; and “Suzy Hendrix,” from Wait Until Dark.  Special thanks to wonderful cast, crew, and my sweet babboo, Brian.

Yvelisse Cedrez (Fact Checker 2) is thrilled to be a part of Fact Check. She has performed with various regional companies, including productions at Coconut Grove Playhouse, Spanish Lyric Theatre, and the Radio Theatre Project. Previous theatrical highlights include Roxie Hart (Chicago), Cha-Cha DiGregorio (Grease), Virtue (Anything Goes) and Margaret (Much Ado About Nothing). Yve is in her element when performing; she can be seen appearing as a mermaid at various festivals throughout North America or performing fire dancing, or stage combat for local audiences.  Yvelisse would like to thank her loved ones for their ongoing support and would to dedicate this, and every performance, to Owen Anthony.

Antonia Krueger (Fact Checker 1, Blue Pencil)  Antonia Krueger currently teaches acting at Eckerd College and serves as a Theatre Tampa Bay Awards judge. Stage credits include roles as Alexa Vere de Vere in As Bees in Honey Drown, Puck in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Feste in Twelfth Night, Lady Anne in Richard III, Mabel in The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told, Harper in Angels in America: Millennium Approaches (directed by Woodie King, Jr.), Clelia Waldgrave in The Nerd, Miss Casewell in The Mousetrap, Jenny Diver in The Threepenny Opera, Raina in Arms and the Man, Lady Macbeth in Macbeth and Elizabeth Proctor in The Crucible, among other roles. Film credits include Mrs. Stevens Hears the Mermaids Singing and Hiding Victoria. Tonia is delighted to be a part of the New Seeds Festival 2014.

Peter J. Konowicz (Editoro).  As part of a military family, Peter moved frequently while growing up, and lived in and among various peoples and cultures, from Greeks, to Belgians, to Nebraskans.  Peter would like to think that his exposure to the acts of life being played out in a multitude of varied fashions somehow awakened and inspired an inner creativity and desire to perform these acts in myriad ways on stage and film.  But Peter knows he just thinks it’s fun.  He is very happy to be part of another Silver  Glass  production, and would like to thank the cast and crew and his family and friends for their unwavering support.

RAin Christie

RAin, born in RedBank, New Jersey published her first album in Rochester, New York. After the Rain, a now global CD, continues to magnetize and ever growing fan base of people willing to offer the best of themselves in order to change this planet for the better. Her CD is a mixture of Spoken word, instrumental piano, acapella ballads, and traditional songs. As a pantheist, she is committed to the exponential potential of every living being.

Her music is a mixture of the church piano hymns I grew up playing, the classical music I was trained to perform, and the blues, jazz and hip hop I gravitate toward. My art is a mixture of poetry, music, and visual stimulants designed to create a space where the human soul will choose to evolve. I practice the art of Wu Wei, the Taoist principle of becoming as water and allowing life to take you where it may. I have a second album “This Many” and a third album “In Quiessence” lined up for recording. Follow me along my water way and I will show you many beauty filled things.

Warrior Poets

Lindsay Wright
Rosalind McDaniel
Nia Scott
Katie Curington

Warrior Poets are young women bringing the voice of their generation to the stage.  They are four very diverse and unique award winning writers.  This highly selective troupe holds auditions every fall and limits itself to the best six performers.  It is open to high school students at Howard W. Blake High School in the Creative Writing Department.  They have performed at many local and statewide venues including the Zora Festival, Deep Carnivale and Arts Rise. Winning numerous awards, the Warrior Poet members traveled to New York to receive recognition at Carnegie Hall for Scholastic Arts and Writers.  These young women include a Poetry Out Loud State finalist, a district Poetry Jam Finalist and Brave New Voices Winners. Their poetry affirms and reveals many aspects of navigating the world as free women.

Hillsborough District Poets

Danielle Valenti

Allison Figueroa  Allison got into poetry only recently, but she has always loved to write. She’s a staffer on the school newspaper the “Pep O’ Plant”, to fine tune her skills in informative prose, and she hopes to pursue an ecological career field. She looks up to her fellow poets and has become great friends with them following the Hillsborough County poetry jam