Maiesha McQueen, who was last seen on Broadway starring in the hit musical WAITRESS, is an award-winning singer, actor, songwriter, and lecturer of the arts. An Atlanta native, Maiesha attended the illustrious Tri-Cities High School of the Visual and Performing Arts where she studied performance along side of some of the brightest stars in business. Upon graduating from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, she traveled the globe as co-founder and musical composer of the touring company Progress Theatre, whose work has been presented at spaces such as The Public Theater, The Kennedy Center, The Apollo Theatre and World Music Festival in Amsterdam. Since then, she has performed on countless regional stages across the country and is currently working on her own one-woman show with plans to begin pre-production this year. Other notable credits include: Until the Flood (Merrimack Repertory Theatre); The Color Purple, His Eye is on the Sparrow, Ain’t Misbehavin’ (Portland Center Stage); ‘Da Kink In My Hair (Horizon Theatre); Sirens of Song (Milwaukee Rep); Chasin’ Dem Blues, East Texas Hotlinks (True Colors Theatre) Thank you to Dominion Entertainment for this amazing opportunity! @maieshamcqueen
SHAMEKA DWIGHT – PIANO/MILDRED/ENSEMBLE
Shameka Dwight, is an American singer, songwriter, record producer, and actor. Her talent as a songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and producer are all evident in her first self-penned and produced releases “Love UnMastered”, “No Good at Love”, and her debut album “Lovelations”. Others have described her music as refreshing, organic, authentic, and meaningful. Shameka Dwight has since collaborated with other producers and writers, having scored a number of song placements on film and television shows, as well as independent artists’ records. She appeared in a Marriott Bonvoy commercial as well as Ariana Grande’s “God is a Woman” music video. She has also appeared on a number of TV productions including the BET Awards, the American Music Awards, Stand up 2 Cancer, and CBS presents Aretha! A Grammy Celebration for the Queen of Soul. Shameka partnered with Jeep for the nationwide “Release Your Renegade” campaign under the moniker Uri Grey, as an artist to watch out for. Shameka completed an artist residency at Quincy Jones’ Q’s Bar & Lounge in Dubai, UAE. “It absolutely makes my soul smile to have the lovely Shameka Dwight return to my Q’s Bar & Lounge…taking center stage! She’s got the soul, the swag, and most of all she can SING!…” quoted Mr. Jones. Shameka’s music is available on all major digital music outlets.
MARK NELSON, SR. – ORGAN/ BLIND FRANCIS
A native of Toronto, Ontario Canada, Mark Nelson, Sr. is a singer/songwriter whose musical journey has taken him across North America in Jazz Festivals and concerts from Toronto’s du Maurier Jazz Festival and the World-famous Apollo Theater in Harlem, New York, to faithfully serving Church Music ministry as a musician, worship leader, and Minister of Music. A lover of theater, Nelson has also acted and/or served as a Musical Director in critically acclaimed works such as “Mahalia” starring Bernadine Mitchell and the gospel stage play “Green Grass”. Along with currently serving as Minister of Music for two ministries (Atlanta Boulevard SDA Church and Seeds of Faith Ministries), he has penned songs and done production for various artists. He’s married to the former Sherida Heard and they are the proud parents of 3 year-old Mark Jr., and 6 month-old Naima. In this season of life his focus is on completing his master in Marriage and Family Therapy to support the mental health of his community, care for his growing family, and uplift God’s people through Music Ministry.
JENNIFER MYLES – AUNT DUKE/ENSEMBLE
Jennifer Myles is delighted to join the cast of Mahalia: A Gospel Musical. Jennifer is a featured vocalist in Dominion Entertainment’s production of Black Nativity; or as she describes it “a life-transforming, unforgettable depiction of Christ’s birth, incomparable to anything you have experienced in this lifetime!!” No stranger to Dominion, this New York City native played Velma in Crowns: The Gospel Musical (Thomas W. Jones II/The Southwest Arts Center). Additional credits include: Genius – Aretha: Respect (National Geographic), Jesus Christ Superstar Gospel (Susan V Booth/Alliance Theatre) and Baptism by Fire (Hilda Wills/Theatrical Outfit). This soul-stirring vocalist made her gospel music debut with her single “In Due Season,” inspired by Galatians 6:9, which is a true testament to her life-long faith walk with God – she’s faithful because He’s faithful and always comes thru in due season. Jennifer most enjoys ministering to others through song, using her gift to the glory of God. Whether it be leading others into the presence of God as a praise and worship leader, singing at weddings, galas, conferences, etc., she takes advantage of every opportunity to use her gift to touch the hearts of others. Stay connected with Jennifer at www.jennifermyles.com and follow her on all social media outlets @TheRealSouljen.
LAMONT J. HILL – MLK/ ENSEMBLE
Lamont J. Hill Cincinnati, OH native now residing in Atlanta, GA. Atlanta Regional Theatre Credits include: Jennie T. Anderson Concert Series: Sunday In The Park With George; White Christmas; Once On this Island; Aurora Theatre: Christmas Canteen In July; Song & Dance. City Springs Theatre: Elf the Musical; Into The Woods, Atlanta Lyric Theatre: Jekyll & Hyde; Lead Male Vocalist (Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings), Actor’s Express: Suzi Bass Award Winning The Color Purple, (Harpo); Wallace Buice Theatre Company: PARADE, Kenny Leon’s True Colors Theatre Company: The First Noel, Education: BA in English, Theatre, & Speech Communications (Berea College), The Company Acting Studio (Buford, GA). Lamont is currently represented by BMG Talent agency. Lamont is both thrilled and thankful to make his debut with Dominion Entertainment.
DAJA M. RICE – FEMALE ENSEMBLE/ MAHALIA U/S
Originally from Spring Valley, NY, Daja is a Performing & Teaching Artist. She obtained her Bachelor of Arts degree in Theatre Performance and Education from North Carolina Central University and her Master of Fine Arts degree in Theatre from University of Georgia. Daja has spent most of her career performing on the stage in roles such as Effie White in DreamGirls and Deloris Van Cartier in Sister Act. She has simultaneously created performance opportunities for herself and others through original works such as MisEducation of Hip Hop, which she and her colleagues premiered in Florence, Italy in the summer of 2015, and her Daddy’s Girls: Re-Identified Docu-film, which is now available on Amazon Prime Video. Daja has also dedicated time to enhancing the personal, professional, and artistic development of youth through the performing arts, touring nationally with Missoula Children’s Theatre as a “Tour Actor/Director” for one year. Now she is the co-founder, along with her husband, Jonathan, of Rice Performing Arts Camp for children, grades 1st-8th. She is also the Theatre Director at Landmark Christian School in Fairburn, GA where she teaches 6th-12th grade acting classes.
DATHAN THIGPEN – THOMAS DORSEY/ENSEMBLE
Dathan Thigpen is the season eight winner of BET’s “Sunday Best: All Stars.” Dathan returned to win the hit competition series in 2015 after first making an indelible impression on season three of “Sunday Best” in 2010. The Atlanta-based singer/actor is a native of Jackson, Mississippi, where he honed his skills in music as part of the legendary Mississippi Mass Choir. He’s also been featured on albums by John P. Kee and the Mississippi Children’s Choir. Dathan has appeared on Tyler Perry’s hit series “The Have & The Have Nots” on Oprah Winfrey’s OWN Network, Perry’s theatrical production “Madea’s Neighbors From Hell and His voice is recently featured on Fox’s new show “Our Kind Of People”. The Atlanta-based entertainer can also be found on the big screen performing with Beyoncé in Disney’s “Black Is King”, and most recently can be heard singing in the “Sunday Service Choir,” Kanye West’s latest project, “Donda.”
MONICA LISA STEVENSON – ENSEMBLE
Monica Lisa is a powerhouse vocalist and one of few ‘new school’ class of female vocalists who can capture the definitive essence of traditional gospel and “church” music at its best. Monica Lisa has a litany of achievements contributing to her thriving music ministry including three Stellar Award Nominations for Best New Artist and Traditional Female Vocalist of the Year; two Atlanta Gospel Choice Awards for Best Female Artist and Song of the Year. She’s appeared on BET’s Bobby Jones Gospel and in Tyler Perry’s movie Madea’s Big Happy Family and TV series The Have And The Have Nots, the critically acclaimed Genuis Aretha docuseries as well as roles in regional touring stage plays She has toured throughout Switzerland and Italy and has sang alongside such greats as Pastor Shirley Caesar, Jason Crabb, Erica Campbell, Pastor Marvin Sapp and Tasha Cobbs. Her album KAINOS (The Acoustic Documentary) landed at #18 on Billboard Top Gospel Sales Chart and #8 on the Heatseekers Chart. Monica Lisa enjoys singing before audiences, serving her community, and being the proud mother of five children and dedicated wife to husband Derrick Stevenson, who is also her musical director and producer. Monica Lisa has emerged as a dynamic artist and compassionate philanthropist who inspires something new and refreshing in everyone she touches.