A Real Read:
The Ensemble

Derrick Anthony
Ronda Bedgood
Keith Butler
C.C. Carter
Sanford E. Gaylord
Lynnell Stephani Long
Christopher McMorris
Byron Stewart
Shannon Sudduth

Derrick Anthony is a native of Chicago's southeast side and proud of it! From an early age he knew he wanted to be a star and according to his mother, made no secret about it when he stole the spotlight from Prince Charming in a day care play. Since then he has studied acting at Corliss High School, Jackson State University and the E.T.A. Creative Arts Foundation. Comedy, however, has always come naturally to him.

Derrick is happy to celebrate his one year anniversary with A Real Read, touring both locally and nationally with the company. One of his greatest joys is being able to spread the message of love and acceptance to a variety of individuals. He has performed with MPAACT and Chocolate Chips Theatre Companies. He promises that 1999 is the year for him to send out his personal message "Ride the Maverick," which means not letting anything stand in the way of what you want to do, even if you fall on your face after giving it your all! Derrick wishes to dedicate his endeavors to Bettie Thomas, Randy Evans, and Winnie Long who sprinkle theatre blessings upon him.

Derrick is member of Onyx Leather Men, a black leather group here in Chicago.

Ronda Bedgood is a professional actress and writer. She is a graduate of Northeastern Illinois University and has been performing on the Chicago stage for the past seven years with much success. Ronda has been seen at the Bailiwick, The Black Ensemble Theatre, and ETA Creative Arts Foundation. She has been an active member of A Real Read for the past two years, enjoying the success and rewards of touring both locally and nationally with the ensemble. You may have most recently seen the 5'2 , 110 lbs. actress at the Chicago Children's Museum as the famous Dr. Suess character, "The Cat In The Hat." Ronda is delighted and honored to be part of A Real Read Performance Ensemble.

Keith Butler is a native of Virginia. He now resides in the Northern section of Chicago. He received his BA in Theatre and Dance with emphasis in Theatre and a minor in African-American Studies from Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia. Keith is also a facilitator on Diversity. He has been in the professional world of theatre, film, and television for 7 years. Some of his work includes: Journey Into Cyberspace (an educational video in 6 parts that encourages minorities and women to get more involved in Science and Technology), Upright Man (a film on the study of man evolving from apes), and he also appeared on the big screen as Mike the gangster in Go Granny.

Keith's theatre credits are numerous. His most enjoyed roles include: Errol Philander in Statements After An Arrest Under The Immorality Act by Athol Fugard and Papa Ge in the Broadway musical Once On This Island. Keith now combines his talents with other members of A Real Read, Chicago's First African-American LesBiGayTrans Theatre Performance Ensemble in hopes of sharing through Theatre what it is like to be a Black person who is LesBiGayTrans in the African-American Community as well as the Gay community.

He Staged Managed and was Assistant Director for All Out: A Festival of Black Gay and Lesbian Plays. He is currently directing A Real Read in Colorphobia: A perspective on the racial issues in the Lesbigaytrans community.

Keith continues to give praise to God for His unconditional love and for continuing to open his eyes to new talents he did not think he could obtain.

C.C. Carter earned her MA in Creative Writing from Queens College, NY and is the Women's Component Director of A Real Read's Performance Ensemble. Since the ensemble's formation she has performed in all of their productions, both locally and nationally. C.C. also designed costuming for A Real Read presents A Real Read, Love Can Sometimes Be..., Home For The Holidays, and the Milwaukee debut of Comin' Straight At'Cha. She has opened for Sharon Bridgforth's Root Wy'mn at the Randolph Street Art Gallery, played MC in Larry Duckett's We Heard The Night Outside at the Bailiwick Repertory, at The Lammies Literary Book Review Awards, and was the opening act for BGM recording artist Nedrea Johnson

C.C's poetry and prose has been published into two chapbooks and included in various anthologies. Since winning the Lambda Book Review's first Poetry Slam in Washington DC, she has twice been selected as the featured artist in New York City Poetry Reader's Series for In Our Own Write and Realness and Rhythms. CC. is the recipient of the Guild Complex's Fifth Annual Gwendolyn Brooks Open Mic Poetry award. She was featured in Venus Magazine as one of Chicago's Leading Ladies.

CC played Babe in the documentary by Yvonne Welbon, Living With Pride: Ruth Ellis at 100 Years.

She can be seen in the premiere debut short film, Kevin's Room.

CC recently scripted and adapted for stage Say Jesus and Come to Me from the novel by Ann Allen-Shockley.

Sanford E. Gaylord (Co-founding member), is a professional actor, director and writer based in Chicago, Illinois. He has contributed both on stage and behind the scenes for most of A Real Read's productions. Sanford has directed several HIV education/prevention performances for higher learning institutions in the Chicago area including performances and speaking engagements for the Chicago Public School System and the Chicago Department of Public Health's World AIDS Day Ceremony. He is a columnist for Lambda Publications' BLACKlines and Windy City Times periodicals. Sanford has been awarded The Chicago Association of Black Journalists' Award of Excellence in Commentary and a Black Kettle (Arts and Journalism)presented by The Greater Chicago Committee. Sanford's commentary has appeared in Butivoxx, Malebox and Positively Aware. His personal story has been featured in The Faces of AIDS, a photo essay exhibit that is currently touring the US. He was featured in the documentary Living with Pride: Ruth Ellis @ 100 and in the made-for-television pilot, Kevin's Room. Sanford is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree at Columbia College in Chicago, Illinois.

Lynnell Stephani Long (Ensemble) is an Intersex Activist, Columnist, International Performance Artist, and Photographer. She has performed with A Real Read for many local, regional and national tours including presentations at NYU, Milwaukee WI, Charlotte NC, the Black Ensemble Theatre and Randolph Street Gallery in Chicago, Illinois. She performed her own work, "Counting Past 2 in Toronto Canada. A video presentation of her original work, "My body is my body," was shown at the InsideOut Film Festival in Toronto Canada. She also conducts a bi-weekly commentary (via the telephone) for the Trans/Intersex radio talk show, Psychopathia Transexualis, in Toronto Canada. She is also a member, and volunteer, of the Intersex Society of North America. Her Intersex activism has lead her to Atlanta, San Francisco, San Diego, as well as Chicago, speaking on her life as an African-American Intersex woman. Lynnell is a columnist for Lambda Publications BLACKlines and Windy City Times periodicals. Her commentary has appeared in various periodicals including Transgendered Tapestry.

Visit Lynnell's personal web page: http://mypages.blackvoices.com/intersex

Christopher McMorris is elated to be in his fourth year with A REAL READ Performance Ensemble. He is a graduate of Western Illinois University with a BA in Theater. Prior to joining A REAL READ, Chris performed with several local theaters, including two notables -- MPAACT Theatre company and E.T.A. Theater company. Since joining the ensemble, he has had the opportunity to tour locally, regionally and nationally with the group. Chris has not only had the chance to hone his acting skills, but also had the chance to debut his work as an actor and playwright in several company productions, including Between Love Honor and Respect at Chicago's first Black Pride and directing in his first one act play, Trading Flava's. He alsohad the opportunity to perform Cultural Diversity shows for the Northern Trust Bank, helping to raise awareness on the subjects of racism, homophobia and sexism. Chris recently participated in a collaboration with THE GOOD COMPANY, a Theater company based out of Atlanta, GA where Dr. Shirlene Homes is Artistic Director. Chris gives thanks and love to his creator as well as his family members and supporters. Living by the motto, "Just keeping it real."

Byron S. Stewart (Founder). Chicago audiences have seen Mr. Stewart's work in many theatres, including Northlight, Black Ensemble, Pegasus, Court, and The Goodman. He received a Jeff Citation (Lead Actor)for Slow Dance On The Killing Ground at Touchstone Theatre. Mr. Stewart has been awarded a Black Theatre Alliance Award and an After Dark Award (Outstanding Performance) for his performance in the one man show, Conversation With A Diva, produced by A Real Read and the Bailiwick. As Artistic Director of A Real Read, he has directed and performed in most of the ensemble's local performances and national tours. Mr. Stewart's poetry and prose have been published in BLACKlines, Venus, Kick, Malebox, and other periodicals. Mr. Stewart premiered his own one man show, Manchild and Other Fierce Pieces, at San Francisco's Josie's Cabaret and Juice Joint. As Artistic Director of School Street Movement, a school-based HIV prevention performance troupe, he directs all touring shows including the "Sex Police," a hip hop dance play. He also created a program of children and adult acting classes at Joel Hall Dance Center. Mr. Stewart co-starred in the feature film How U Like Me Now, and is featured in the made-for-televison pilot, Kevin's Room. Mr. Stewart received his BFA degree from Howard University in Washington D.C.

Shannon Sudduth, a native of Evanston, Illinois, is a performance artist, writer, and model. She has studied theatre at Oakton Community College, as well as Southern University in Baton Rouge, LA. Shannon has studied dance with Joel Hall of the Joel Hall Dance Center; Gus Giordano Dance Studio, and Muntu Dance Theatre of Chicago. As a model she has worked with Family Focus Community Fashions Shows and Just Us Productions. Shannon is an active member of A Real Read and has toured with the company both locally and nationally. Her film credits include: Trains Act, Northwestern University Studio 22; Oak Street Beach, 20/20 Productions; and Negotiator, Negotiator Productions. She was recently featured on the album From Africa To America: From America To Africa, performing Southern Voyage, an original work. Shannon also teaches theatre to grade school students.

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