Nobel Prize-winning author Toni Morrison's The
Bluest Eye is a story about the tragic life of a young
black girl in 1940's Ohio.
Eleven-year-old Pecola Breedlove wants nothing
more than to be loved by her family and
schoolmates. Instead, she faces constant ridicule
and abuse. She blames her dark skin and prays for
blue eyes, sure that love will follow.
adaptation tells of the crippling toll that a legacy of
racism has taken on a community, a family, and an
Producer: Steve Cisneros
Stage Manager: Kate Barrett
Set Designer: Marika Stephens
Lighting Designer: Jeremy Pivnick
Sound Designer: John Zalewski
Costume Designer: Kathy Gillespie
Associate Costume: Taysha LaMarca
Assistant Stage Manager: Becca Schroeder
Press Rep: Judith Borne
Sola Bamis is in her final year in the Master of Fine Arts program in Acting at the California
Institute of the Arts. She recently performed the role of the Provost in the Walt Disney Modular
Theater production of Measure for Measure. She has also appeared as Amiga Gringa/Beauty
in In The Blood, directed by Fran Bennett, Gail in the Robey Theater Company's production of
The River Niger, and Sarah in a production of The Lover by Harold Pinter. She was also a
participant in A Guthrie Experience, a summer residency program at the Tyrone Guthrie
Theater, and was featured in the world premiere of Forgotten World, directed by Laurie Carlos.
Tiffany Danielle has been performing for 13 years in Theatre, Television and Commercials.
Hailing from Chicago, IL, Tiffany discovered her love for the arts at an early age. Graduating from
Clark Atlanta University, she received her B.A. in Theater Arts and continued her graduate
studies at the University of Florida. Tiffany makes her debut with Phantom Projects and is excited
to be a part of performing Toni Morrison's award winning piece.
WILLIE MACK DANIELS as Cholly
Program, Florida State University and the University of Southern California. In 2009, he was
given the great opportunity to play Paul in Six Degrees of Separation with the Kentwood Players
at the Westchester Playhouse. Willie's other theatre credits include: Macbeth, The Basic
Training of Pavlo Hummel, A Piece of My Heart, National Pastime and Landscape of the Body.
This past year he made his debut as Detective Harrington in the feature film “Justify” and was
most recently seen as Dr. Peter Lucious in the action short “Omission” directed by Justin Bellow.
As a screenwriter Willie has been the recipient of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and
Sciences Foundation Fellowship, Film Independent’s Project Involve Program Fellowship, the
Prague Summer Writer’s Program and is an alumnus of the Guy Alexander Hanks/Marvin Miller
Screenwriting program sponsored by Dr. Bill and Camille Cosby.
TEKQUIREE SPENCER as Claudia
all of her time dancing, acting, writing plays and putting on shows for her family and friends. She
received her B.A. in Mass Media Arts with a concentration in Film from Clark Atlanta University
Tekquiree Spencer was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. Growing up, she spent
and went on to work on such shows as Unsung, Dancing with the Stars, Celebrity Rap Superstar,
and Keyshia Cole: The Way It Is among others. Tekquiree has starred in several plays and is
very excited to be back for the second run of The Bluest Eye as Claudia.
KWESIU JONES as Soaphead Church and Daddy
Angeles six years ago to pursue his dream of acting. He is no stranger to Phantom Projects
as this is his third production with them. Some of Kwesiu's past roles with Phantom were
Crooks in Of Mice and Men and Tom Robinson in To Kill A Mockingbird. Kwesiu recently
starred in the movie “The Confidant” opposite Billy Zane and Richard Rountree. He has
worked on many projects since his journey to LA, from TV shows to plays and web content.
JOHNNETT KENT as Mamma
Johnette’s acting career first started off as a sure bet! What started as a friendly wager turned
into a passion! While in college she auditioned for a role that no one thought she would get.
Pearl Bailey in the Ambassador of Love to acting in award winning HBO series, "The Wire,"
along with countless other stage, television and film productions. Johnnett possesses a BFA
from Towson University and has also studied in Great Britain at the Famous Dartington College
of Arts. Always honing her craft Johnnett has earned the Prestigious Allen Lee Hughes
Fellowship at Washington D.C's Arena Stage.
Always interested in giving back to the community, she has been an educator and consultant in
theatre arts for the benefit of Washington D.C public schools and Baltimore City public schools.
Currently Johnnett actively pursues a career in both commercial and theatrical film.
SHAMIKA FRANKLIN as Mrs. Breedlove
Shamika is a native of Kansas City, MO and holds a B.A in Theatre from The University of
Missouri-Kansas City . She has been seen in numerous productions on both stage & screen.
Some of her credits include, H&R Block, Sprint, Boston Market, Leap Frog, and stages such
as The Wilshire Ebell, The Missouri Reperatory Theatre, & The Stella Adler Theatre. Her
most recent and favorite credits include a two-year run as the undisputed "Queen of New
Orleans", for Disneyland Entertainment, and a jazz/blues vocalist for Club NYX, alongside
musical greats such as Ms. Ruby Hayes & the Jimmy McConnell quintet. She is excited and
honored to be partaking again in The Bluest Eye with the wonderful cast and crew at
DANIKA BUTLER as Maureen Peal
Danika Butler is from the San Francisco Bay area and has been a performer since she was just a
young girl. She started out dancing which is where she fell in love with the stage. She sang in
the Contra Costa Children's Chorus, and then joined The Belasco Theatre Company. That is
where she honed her skills as an actress, performing in countless musicals, including Grease (as
Frenchie), Damn Yankees, Little Shop Horrors and many more. Danika knew acting was her path
and came to Los Angeles five years ago to pursue it. She has since performed in multiple
theatre productions( Diary of a Catholic School Drop Out, Soldiers Don't Cry), short films and
anything that has come her way. She currently is a Parade Performer at the Disneyland Resort,
and has been in multiple productions there including; Tiana's Showboat Jubilee, The Honorary
Voluntears Cavalcade, A Christmas Fantasy Parade, and is performing in Disney's Princess
Fantasy Faire right now. She is honored to be a part of this production!
PHANTOM PROJECTS THEATRE GROUP was founded in 1997 with the mission of providing high quality
theatrical experiences to Southern California Audiences. Specializing in plays based on classic pieces of
literature, Phantom Projects continues to bring veteran actors from Stage, TV, and Film to perform at the 1,251
seat La Mirada Theatre and in Santa Monica, CA at The Miles Playhouse. The 15th anniversary season will
include THE BLUEST EYE (April 8-24 at The Miles Playhouse in Santa Monica), THROUGH THESE EYES (May
5th), and THE 2011 YOUNG ARTIST PROJECT (August 6th).
STEVE CISNEROS (Producing Artistic Director, Co-Founder) founded Phantom Projects at the age of 17,
teaming up with his former high school teacher Bruce Gevirtzman. Cisneros oversees the daily operations of the
group and has successfully achieved growth for the company each season. In addition to Southern California, he
has created an international scope of influence for the troupe, which has been featured throughout the world,
particularly in Russia and France. In 2010, Phantom Projects opened a costume rental company, which rents out
thousands of costumes to theatres and performance groups. Steve’s business savvy and good planning have
incorporated this new source of revenue into another opportunity to sustain and grow the already successful
brand known as Phantom Projects Theatre Company. The group will now be expanding their cultural offerings to
a wide range of classics, and the development of new works for adult audiences while continuing to offer
programming at their home, the 1251-seat La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts.
JANET MILLER (Director)
received a 2010 Ovation Award nomination for her work at Musical Theatre West, and
a 2009 Lucille Lortel Award nomination for the Off-Broadway production of THE MARVELOUS WONDERETTES.
This past summer, Janet
was invited to stage her original choreography at Capital Repertory in Albany NY, San
Jose Repertory, Theatre Aspen, and Sacramento Music Circus. Last season for Phantom, Janet directed Lydia R.
Diamond’s adaptation of the Toni Morrison book, THE BLUEST EYE to critical acclaim. Janet was the resident
choreographer for Milt Larsen’s Variety Arts Center for six years, and choreographed several period pieces in
that venue. She has taught and choreographed worldwide, most notably in Thailand and China. Janet is the
recipient of the
2003 Excellence in Art Award for Drama and was the Artistic Director/Resident Director for the
Company for seven years, directing sixteen shows during her tenure. She received a 2003
Choreography Garland Award in addition to the 2006 Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award for Best
Choreography. In 2008, she received a Garland Award and a LADCC Award for choreography in WINTER
JEREMY PIVNICK (Lighting Designer) has garnered numerous awards and nominations, including the Los
Angeles Drama Critics Circle Angstrom Award for Career Achievement, 2 LA Stage Alliance Ovation Awards (18
nominations), and 4 Backstage West Garland Awards (including 2 awards for Outstanding Year in Lighting
Design). He is a prominent member of the Los Angeles and New York theatre communities and has designed
over 250 productions in LA, New York, Chicago, and beyond, at places like South Coast Rep, Pasadena
Playhouse, Northlight, San Jose Rep, Capitol Rep, and the Laguna Playhouse. Recently, his work was seen in
New York in the hit Off-Broadway musical The Marvelous Wonderettes, which ran at the Westside Theatre for 18
months and he has designed many productions of the show regionally.
JOHN ZALEWSKI (Sound Designer) is a multi-award winning (5 LA Weekly Awards, 5 nominations, an Ovation
Award, 14 nominations, 10 Backstage Garland Awards, the Backstage “Local Hero” Award, “Best Ensemble”
Award, and 2 Dramalogue Awards) Los Angeles native who lived in Northern Brazil for ten years before returning
to study audio engineering and music synthesis at Cal State Dominguez Hills. He worked with Rezaʼs Abdoh’s Dar
A Luz company in New York and Frankfurt. John is a member of The Evidence Room and Antaeus theater
companies and has designed and composed for the Humana Festival, the LAPhil, Long Beach Opera, Geffen,
South Coast Rep, Pasadena Playhouse, East West Players, 24th Street Theater, Boston Court, LATC, Padua
Playwrights, Actors'Gang, Ensemble Studio Theater West in Atwater Village, Green Beetle at Theater Asylum,
Playwrights Arena, CircleX, Odyssey, chashama, PS122, LaMama, amongst others. He designed sound and
composed on the short film series The Furies and for the feature Garyʼs Walk, both produced by Padua
Playwrights. John is a recipient of the TCG/NEA Career Development Fellowship.
MARIKA STEPHENS (Set Designer) is a recent graduate of the UCLA School of Theater, Film, and Television.
Since graduation she has designed at Powerhouse Theater for: In the Company of Jane Doe, The Story of
Miracles, and House Full of Letters which won the KCACTF National Playwriting Award and went on to perform at
the Kennedy Center in D.C. Marika designed Trafficking in Broken Hearts at the Celebration Theater, and Arroz
con Pollo for The Ruby Theater at the Complex. She currently works at NBC television on the series The Event.
|For all performances, seating is general
admission. There is NO LATE SEATING after
10 minutes. There are no refunds for this.
No Refunds. No Exchanges.
Mature Themes. Recommended for ages 12
Your receipt is your admission ticket, no tickets
will be mailed.
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Director Janet Miller's carefully
choreographed staging gives us
strong pictures here; she
handles the play's darkest
moments effectively, with kid
gloves. The wonderful cast tells
the often painful tales faithfully,
serving the material without
succumbing to its lyricism.
Spencer and Danielle are
charming in their contrast, with
a clear, childlike perspective
that's never cloying. Sola Bamis
is remarkable as the innocent
Pecola; we see the roots of her
pain in Shamika Franklin's
gripping portrayal of her mother
and in Willie Mack Daniels'
Cholly, Pecola's damaged
father. Kwesiu Jones and Danika
Butler complete the ensemble.
On a simple set by Marika
Stephens, Jeremy Pivnick's
lighting also plays a strong role.
In light of its plans to tour, let's
hope this worthy piece finds a
better home next time.
"If you already know this text,
you will be so gratified and
thankful to see this production. If
you’re not yet familiar with it,
you will devour it and come
back for seconds."
Shamika Franklin is notable for
her crisp, three-dimensional
portrait of Pecola's wounded
mother, while Kwesiu Jones and
Willie Mack Daniels are
uniformly professional in various
roles. One highly enjoyable
scene involves Danika Butler
making a splash as the pretty
whom everyone envies."