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Founder's Row


Collette Hill Taylor

(Ann Margaret)

Collette hails from Clairton, PA  ("A small town girl, on a Saturday night"). She received her BFA from Howard in '83 then began her career as a professional actress. Her career has taken her on regional, national, and international tours over a span of 20 years. She received her Master of Arts Education from Roosevelt University in Chicago. Her life is now dedicated to teaching the passion and craft of the theatre to young people; "and I love it!" A diva forever!!!


Carla Faye Pardo (Debbie Allen)

Carla is a D.C. native and a Howard University graduate with a Bachelor's Degree in Fine Arts. She currently works as an Operations Director for a global company, specializing in shared office space. She is a certified Pilates instructor and has been teaching for 10 years. Carla lives in Connecticut with her husband and two children. Her motto is "Do what you can, where you are with what you've got!"


Gisele Jackson

(Gladys knight)

Brooklyn Raised –Baltimore Native Gisele Jackson toured as a 'Raylette' with Ray Charles, shared many a stage with the incomparable Donna Summer and grooved with James Brown, the Godfather of Soul. She has performed in 30+ countries; covering 4 continents: Africa, Asia, Europe, and North America. She has performed solo at leading jazz houses in the U.S. and been the opening act for Tito Puente, Bette Midler, The Commodores, the B-52's and a host of other music giants across a variety of genres. A most memorable performance was at Carnegie Hall the NY Pops, Marvin Hamlisch, Conductor. Ms. Jackson's worldwide smash hit "Love Commandments" reached #3 on Billboard's Dance chart and today is a bonafide "Club Classic". Other performances include festivals, major openings, numerous celebrity weddings, corporate events for Fortune 500 companies, Hollywood premieres, and award ceremonies. She was requested to perform at the Inauguration of U.S. President William H. Clinton, and so she did!


Danette Austin Wills (Ntozake Shange)

Sunset 8/20/2013

"Danette was an integral part of the Terrie Williams Agency family," the company said in a statement. "She was intelligent, aggressive and a driving force behind the success of each account she managed which included Ntozake Shange, Academy Award winner Mo'Nique, Michele Norris, Louis Gossett, Jr., The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture and Students. First to name a few. Prior to joining the TWA, Danette was the Director of Media Relations and Publicity at BET in Washington D.C. for 12 years. There she led publicity for the company's six subsidiaries that included BET, BETJazz, BET Movies, and as well as BET's Walk of Fame for Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston. She also spearheaded BET's exclusive interviews with O.J. Simpson, Mike Tyson and Oprah Winfrey. 

Before to her tenure at BET, she served as Director of Public Relations for the Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts in Vienna, VA. 

Danette achieved a B.F.A. from Howard University and an M.A. in Journalism & Public Affairs from American University. She was a huge basketball fan (and also played and coached), but most of all, she enjoyed her family, especially spending time with her grandchildren.

Danette is survived by two daughters , four grandchildren, her twin sister and her mother.


Crystal Jackson (Lucille Ball) 

Crystal Yvonne Jackson has been a member of Mojo Ensemble, West Coast Ensemble and now Actors Co-op.  She earned praise in the following shows The Grapes of Wrath as Ma Joad, To Kill a Mockingbird as Calpurnia and Our Town as the Stage Manager.  Crystal took a look g break from the theater business to open a Cafe with business partner Jennifer Ritchkoff called Cafe Muse. Having live performances from open mic night to live jazz kept her in reach of that creative outlet. 

Still itching to perform she joined a Sketch Comedy group called Crack'd Nutz performing in the LA area. Crystal also created many of the sketches performed. Crystal is also a rehearsal actor and has worked on many Award shows such as the Oscar's, Golden Globes, Emmy's and the BET Awards to name a few. Finding her way back has been long but rewarding as she is currently with Actors Co-op she has found another love in Producing and has been able to produce some amazing shows with outstanding reviews. Finding your voice in the World and leaving a mark is what being a Diva is all about. The sisterhood is something she is thankful for every day.  

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Harriett D. Foy (Bette Davis)

Broadway: Amelie, Amazing Grace, The American Plan, Mamma Mia and Once on This Island. Off-Broadway: The House that Will Not Stand (AUDELCO award, Drama League, Drama Desk, OCC Nominations), X or Betty Shabazz vs The Nation, Rimbaud in New York (BAM), On the Levee (AUDELCO nomination) and Crowns (AUDELCO Award). Original Cast recordings: Amelie, Amazing Grace, Inside Out, Lone Star Love and Reunion. Regional: Nina Simone: Four Women (as Nina Simone - Arena Stage), Ella: First Lady of Song (DTC), MotherFreakingHood! (NYMF – Outstanding Individual Performance Award), The House That Will Not Stand (Yale Rep; Connecticut Critics Award Nomination, Berkeley Rep; Theatre Bay Award); dance of the holy ghosts (Yale Rep), Breath and Imagination (ArtsEmerson); LMNOP (Goodspeed), Ambassador Satch (Dubai), The Women of Brewster (Helen Hayes Nomination), Polk County (Helen Hayes Nomination) and Piano Lesson (Arena Stage), Reunion (Ford's Theater - Helen Hayes Nomination) and Seven Guitars (Center Stage). Film: Winter's Tale, Collateral Beauty. Television: Series Regular on the upcoming "P-Valley" on STARZ, "Elementary" "Welcome to the Wayne", "Orange is the New Black," "Rescue Me," "Law & Order SVU," and "Law & Order." BFA in Acting – Howard University "WGATAP!" @divafoyh (Twitter) @HarriettDFoy (Instagram)

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