Tabia Cast

Viera Whye

(Producing Artistic Director)
has managed the artistic, business, and administrative aspects for Tabia from its inception in 1986. She has directed several of Tabia’s productions, including Shakin’ the Mess Outta Misery, For Colored Girls.., Long Time Since Yesterday, Joe Turner’s Come and Gone, A Soldier’s Play, The Colored Museum, and Home. Viera has numerous stage, and video/film credits as a professional actor in the SF Bay area. She received her B. A. in Theatre & Sociology from Towson University, in Baltimore; and her M. A. in Theatre Arts from San Jose State University. Viera has received numerous community awards and recognition. Viera is the proud parent of sons, Copeland and Courtney Bryan.

Cheryl Bennett-Scales

is a Jazz Vocalist, Actress, and Instructor. Cheryl has completed intensive jazz studies as a vocalist under the direction and instruction of Roger Letson at De Anza College and the Jazz School in Berkeley, CA under Madeline Eastman, Kitty Margolis, and Maye Cavallaro. She has graced the stage with Bay Area phenomenal musicians such as Larry Vuckovich, John Handy, Ricardo Scales, Eddie Marshall, Walter Savage, Calvin Keys, Chester Smith, and the late Smith Dobson. Cheryl has an extensive acting career performing with several theatre companies including San Jose Stage Co, SF African American Shakespeare Co., Cultural Odyssey, and City Lights. Her credits with Tabia include: Mirror, Mirror of My Soul…,The Dance on Widow’s Row, Waiting to be Invited, Shakin’ the Mess Outta Misery, Long Time Since Yesterday, For Colored Girls…, and most notably as Lady Day in Lady at Emerson’s Bar and Grill.

Glenna Brambill-Williams

performs in Tabia’s touring show and has appeared in Tabia’s productions of From the Mississippi Delta, Rosa Parks and the Montgomery Bus Boycott, and the reading of Roll Jordan Roll; she has performed several times in Tabia’s Black History shows Through the Eyes of Mary McLeod Bethune and Holdfast to Dreams. She is a fabulous singer, and a member of San Jose Word of Faith Church.

Carrie Farley

performs in Tabia’s touring show; and has appeared in their productions of Steal Away, A Raisin in the Sun, and as Big Mama in Shakin’ the Mess Outta Misery. She also appeared in Poetry in Motion in San Francisco, and in Porky Lewis’ productions of A Raisin in the Sun and The Amen Corner. She is also a member of Akoma Arts. “Big Mama” is a retired educator.

Jeff Jones

has traveled the world giving rave performances in film, theatre, and musical extravaganza. Jeff has worked in the Bay Area in several productions, Fences, The Gospel at Colonus, The Wiz, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, The Colored Museum, and Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill are among them. Jeff is an amazing entertainer.

Anntoinette Johnson

is a founding member of Tabia and San Jose Multicultural Artists Guild. Ann has appeared in several Tabia productions includingThe Colored Museum, Joe Turner’s Come and Gone, From the Mississippi Delta, Home, Spunk, A Raisin’ in the Sun, Sisters, and For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide… Other stage credits include the narrator in Stanford University’s Passages of Martin Luther King, San Jose State’s Gospel at Colonus, and the one woman literary adaptation of Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl/The Harriet Jacobs Story. She is also a seasoned African American Storyteller. As a director she has several credits, and in 2006 received a Silver Telly award from PBS for her direction of the play turned documentary A Killing in Choctaw , which featured comedian Carl Ray.

Donna McCraney

for many years was Tabia’s resident choreographer and Dancer. She began her dance career in Kansas City, Missouri under the direction of Joseph Stevenson, studying Afro-Cuban and Afro-Haitian dance. She has performed with Black Light Explosion of San Francisco, Fua-Dia-Congo of Oakland and played Mammie Louise in Tabia’s production of The Trial of One Short Sighted Black Woman… and the Lady in Yellow in For Colored Girls… Donna currently resides in Highpoint, North Carolina.

Sharon Moore

performs in Tabia’s touring show, and in their productions of Jar the Floor, Dance on Widow’s Row, The Trial of One Short Sighted Black Woman vs. Mammy Louise and Safreeta Mae, Waiting To Be Invited, Steal Away, Flyin’ West, Rosa Parks and the Montgomery Bus Boycott, Shakin’ the Mess Outta Misery, Langston Live and Long Time Since Yesterday. Her credits as Director include Laundry and Bourbon at the Stage One Theater Company.

Patrice Payne

is a member of Tabia and performs in their touring show. Patrice is a poet and awesome writer.

Sonya Stamper

has appeared in Tabia’s productions of For Colored Girls, The Trial…,Waiting To Be Invited, Steal Away and Shakin’ the Mess Outta Misery, and readings of Roll Jordan Roll and Before it Hit Home. She is a member of Tabia’s Ensemble and performs in their touring troupe. She was also a member of SJSU’s School Touring Ensemble Program (STEP) performing plays such as Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet for school and college audiences. Sonya received her Master’s Degree in Social Work from San Jose State in May 2000.

Ayisha White

Performs in Tabia’s touring show, and in their productions of For Colored Girls…, and Shakin’ the Mess Outta Misery. Ayisha is a gifted artist and wonderful talent.

Postoria Aguirre

is a member of Tabia and performs in their touring show and has performed with Tabia in their productions of Waiting To Be Invited and Langston Live. He appeared in The Colored Museum at City Lights Theater, and in a production at Berkeley Black Repertory. Postoria is a native of Chicago.

Alysha English

is an actress, writer, and educator. She is a graduate of Howard University with a Theatre Education Degree. Following graduation she lived in New York for several years, where she taught Drama for the New York City Dept of Education. Alysha performed with Tabia as a young teen in Yellow Eyes.

Yvette Glasgow

is a member of Tabia and performs in their touring show and Black History show Through the Eyes of Mary McLeod Bethune. Yvette is a poet, musician, and community health advocate. She is founder and director of “A Cup of Cold Water” a non-profit Health organization.

Hedwig Gayle Rucker

has performed in Tabia’s productions of Dance on Widow’s Row, The Trial…, Steal Away, Flyin’ West, and Shakin’ The Mess Outta Misery. Other credits include: A Raisin in the Sun with Segundo Players, Sweet Charity, Purlie Victorious, West Side Story, and Day of Absence with the University of California Theatre Arts Department, In White America with the Menlo Players Guild, and Go Down Garvey with TheatreWorks.

Buddy Butler

is a Director, Actor, Playwright, Designer, Musician, and Educator; his extensive professional credits span numerous affiliations coast to coast, as well as internationally. He is an original member of the Negro Ensemble Company of NYC, and was also a founding member of the Black Theatre Alliance of NYC, and the Black Theatre Network. In California, Mr. Butler has directed at the Oakland Ensemble Theatre, Lorraine Hansberry Theatre in SF where he directed the West Coast premieres of In the House of Blues, Dance on Widow’s Row and Blue, The Inner City Cultural Center and the Foxx Follies Theatre in Los Angeles. In San Jose, where he currently resides, he has directed at The San Jose Stage Company, City Lights Theatre, San Jose Repertory Theatre, and Tabia Theatre Ensemble where his directorial credits include Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Fences, Spunk, Flyin’ West, A Soldier’s Play and Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill. Mr. Butler is currently the artistic director of Silicon Valley’s newest theatre for children and families, “The Magic Carpet Theater” in San Jose, CA. The Magic Carpet Theater is in residence at San Jose State University, where Mr. Butler is currently Associate Chair and on the faculty of the department of Television, Radio, Film and Theatre. He is a graduate of Howard University and the University of Washington.