The Charleston Performing Arts Center takes us back to the 1970s, when Disco was king and everyone was shaking their Groove Thing. I was given the chance to talk to the cast to find out why Disco was worth bringing back. Give a listen and check out the photos from this exciting show.
The Charleston Performing Arts Center, or C-PAC, on James Island has developed a reputation for creating exciting and new entertainment and Disco is probably their best one yet. Featuring many familiar faces, we’ve also a pair of newcomers to the C-PAC stage, including Tracy Byrd and Waynathia Drake. I had a chance to sit down with some of the cast, both old and new, to talk to them about Disco, both the 70s craze as well as the C-PAC revival. After checking out the interviews and the pictures, be sure to head over to the C-PAC website and order your tickets before it’s gone!
CHANBRIELLE BEASON (Paris, company performer) is overjoyed to be performing in her sixth production with C PAC! Originally from Bowling Green, Kentucky, Chanbrielle expressed a love for the performing arts at a very young age; growing up singing in the church choir, competing in pageants, and taking dance classes. She has appeared in several C-PAC productions including Christmas Cabaret, Dreamgirls, the Revue, and Nashville Nights. Some of her favorite roles include FEVER! (Janet Jackson) and Dreamgirls of the 1960’s (Diana Ross). An outgoing introvert, Chanbrielle is captivated by the thrills and challenges of live theatre. She is incredibly grateful to Kirk and Scott for the experience she has gained at C-PAC, and is optimistic about what the future holds. She dreams of one day joining the ranks of Covergirl models! Chanbrielle would like to thank her parents and grandparents for their unconditional love, and her family and friends for their unwavering support.
DEIDRA H. BROOKS (Coco, guest company performer) is delighted to be returning to C-PAC for DISCO. As a Broadway veteran, (The Color Purple) and Gospel Recording artist, Deidra’s joy is in lifting spirits and encouraging hearts through her gift of song and musical theatre. After the 2012 Aurora, CO Batman Massacre in which her son was shot helping a young mother and her children out of the theatre, Deidra began developing a foundation called From Hurt to Healed that will assist people impacted by tragedy to deal with their hurt and or grief in order to successfully move forward. Thank you to her amazing husband, Pastor Jeffrey Brooks for allowing her the freedom do what she loves and to Scott and Kirk for believing in her!
TRACY BYRD (DJ Sly, guest artist) is thrilled to be making his Charleston Performing Arts Center debut. Tracy is from North Carolina, but now resides in New York City. Some of his credits include “Singing in the Rain” as Don Lockwood, Ain’t Misbehavin (Choreographer) as Andre, Brooklyn as The Street Singer, The Wild Party as Mr. Black, and Smokey Joe’s Café (director/choreographer )as Adrian. He would like to thank Kirk, Scott, Deidra and Joy for the opportunity and belief in him. Now let’s shake a groove thang!
WAYNATHIA DRAKE (Roz, guest artist) is excited about making her acting debut at CPAC! She has been singing gospel soul and jazz all her life growing up in a musical family! “Way”, as she is affectionately called, learned early to sing three part harmony and loved to harmonize with her sisters! She has performed in her local community churches and other local events. This show is especially sentimental for her because she gets to perform alongside her baby sister, Deidra H. Brooks. Way thanks C-PAC for this awesome experience and her wonderful support system back home. She would like to thank her Pastors James and Donnie Boyd of The Lord’s Way International. To her amazing children, Vernathia Brooks, Wayonna Brooks-Wells, Wayne Brooks-Wells and Nevaeh Brooks-Wells thanks for letting Mommy live out her dream! Also, thanks to my amazing husband, Damon Drake, for holding down the fort; and last but not least, to my mother, Vernadine Wilkerson, for always supporting every endeavor I set out to accomplish. To God be the Glory for the things He has done!
LAKEIA HODGES (Nikki, company apprentice) is extremely proud of joining the cast of DISCO. She is beyond EXCITED!! This is her second production since graduation at the age of twenty-two from Charleston Southern University in 2015, where she received a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre. She fell in love with singing and acting while she was in school participating in plays: Footloose, Peter Pan, Another Antigone, and West Side Story. Later, this led to participating in open mics, salsa class, and singing contests. Hodges realized that since she had so much energy, why not be surrounded by individuals that possess the same amount of passion to bring the theatre world to LIFE. Enjoy the show!
SARAH M. TAYLOR (Shasta, company performer) is a native of Charleston, South Carolina. She is an alumna from the College of Charleston, where she obtained her Bachelor of Arts degree in Theatre. Under the mentorship and guidance of Myra Chamble (Artistic Director at the Cannon Street YMCA, downtown Charleston) she has been dancing since the age of 4 (Ballet, Tap, African, Hip Hop, Modern, Jazz). She continues her training, even as she is one of the dance instructors at the Y-Dance Program. Along with appearing on Broadway and screen, she aspires to one day own her own dance company. She is so excited to further grow in (musical) theatre — hence she thanks Kirk and Scott for the opportunities. Here at C-PAC, you may recognize her from her debut performance in the original production of Dreamgirls, the Revue, and FEVER!.
TIFFANY WEST (Kit, company performer, dance captain, company manager) is in her third year as a company performer and DISCO marks her thirteenth production with C-PAC. Originally from the Outer Banks of North Carolina she has been dancing for over 20 years; and has studied Acting, Voice, and Dance with C-PAC’s South Carolina Musical Theatre Conservatory, and continues to study with C-PAC’s Artistic Director, Kirk Pfeiffer. Tiffany sits on the Board of Directors for C-PAC and is thrilled to continue her role as dance captain and now company manager. Her C-PAC credits include: Santa’s Naughty & Nice Burlesque, The Charleston, Santa’s Fancy Femmes & Follies, FEVER! (2014 & 2016), Charleston, The Musical; Summer Lovin’; Duke:King of Jazz; Christmas Cabaret; DreamGirls the Revue; Nashville Nights; and Dream Girls of the 1960s. She wants to thank her family, friends, and co-workers for their unwavering support as she pursues her dreams of being on stage; and most of all Kirk and Scott for the continuous opportunity to do so! She would like to dedicate her future performances in memory of “Momma Sue”.
Steve is the founder of Straight Talk Entertainment and currently produces and writes for the audio drama Aural Traditions, recently voted Charleston City Paper’s Best Local Podcast. He’s also an Information Security professional and avid shark tooth hunter.