Artist Contributors

WHERE THEATRE & SOUL MEET

Mel Williams has been directing and training actors for the professional stage for over 40 years. His own training began in 1967 at The Neighborhood Playhouse where he trained under Sanford Meisner. The next year he interned with Lee Strasburg at The Actor's Studio. Over the years, Mel has acted and directed in outstanding regional theaters in the country, including Freedom Theater, The Arden Theater, InterAct, and The Drama Guild in Philadelphia; The Arena in Washington, D.C.; The Opry House in White River Junction, VT; and The Globe in Boston.
Mel relocated to New York City in the 1990s and began his directing career at LaMama Theaters under the guiding eye of Ellen Stewart. It was at LaMama's that Mel directed three plays, including the awarding winningKEEP BACK 200FT. Other directing assignments included ZOO STORY and LINE at Lincoln Center,DUTCHMAN at StageEast, CORNER WARS at 47 St. Theater, and A SOLDIER'S PLAY at The Paul Robeson Theater. Mel has directed scores of showcases and continues to teach two classes, SCENE STUDY and PRODUCTION, aimed at developing actors. He has coached some of the top talent in the business: Queen Latifah, Common, Michael K. Williams, Mary J. Blige, Rick Ross, Dwight Howard, and Jill Scott. In 2001, Mel was selected, along with 52 directors from around the country, to become members of The Lincoln Center Director's Lab Class of 2002.

Melvin Williams

Director

Tiny Starr Productions

Candice M. Franklin 

Choreographer

Originally from St. Louis, MO, born and bred into Jazz dance and influenced greatly by the Jazz music scene, Candice Michelle Franklin is a New York based professional dancer, choreographer, and producer who has been seen in numerous film, TV shows, music videos, industrials, and, of course, on the live stage performing in plays and dance companies.  She has a B.A. in Fine Arts majoring in Dance on four-year scholarship, studied on scholarship at Steps on Broadway, trained in St. Louis at Missouri Concert Ballet, and, upon invitation to New York, received her conservatory training at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Center. She owns Dance Industrial Professionals, Inc./The Pro DANZ Group in which she oversees the dance and creative direction of several performance groups, recording artists, industrials, and stage shows. Her work has been performed in a host of New York venues including Jacob Javitz Convention Center, The Syracuse OnCenter, Capitale, Odeum Expo Center, Broad Street Ballroom, The Kumble Theater, Symphony Space, Brooklyn Academy of Music's BAM Cafe, Webster Hall, The SPACE at Westbury/Westbury Theater, Stage 48, the Oheka Castle, The Theater of Riverside Church, The Sage Theater, American Theater of Actors, Tribeca Performing Arts Center, and Joyce SoHo, as well as numerous casinos on the east coast such as Turning Stone, the Foxwoods, Mohegan Sun, Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino, Trump Taj Mahal, Tropicana, Borgata, and Caesar’s.