Begetters Production Team
Ile Haggins is a native of Ohio, where she earned her BA in theatre at Otterbein University. Ile began her professional career as a props mistress/set dresser for a regional dinner theatre and as a director of several children’s theatre productions at Players Theatre of Columbus. After moving to Kansas City in the mid 80’s Ile became frustrated with the limited opportunities for black artist in the professional theatre community; so, she turned to community and avant-garde theatres throughout the city. Over the years Ile has performed in, stage managed, written, produced, and directed (which is where her true passion lies) dozens of productions. Ile feels fortunate to have worked with many talented artists through SM Theatre in the Park, Whim Productions, KC Fringe Festival, The Barn Players (where she is also on the board of directors) and The Melting Pot Theatre (which she fondly claims as her new home). Ile also holds a master’s in social work and is a licensed clinical social worker, when not in a theatre she can be found at the UMKC School of Education, Social Work, and Psychological Sciences where she is an associate professor. She is grateful to friends and family for a lifetime of love and support. And can’t wait to introduce her adorable, brilliant 4 ½ year old grandson Elijah to the stage!
Stage ManagerTheodore “Priest” Hughes
Theodore "Priest" Hughes from Minnesota has lived in Kansas City 45 years. He is a self-trained actor having started his career as a spoken word performance artist before taking the stage as an actor 16 years ago. He has appeared in August Wilson's, Radio Golf and Two Trains Running (KCMPT), Jitney (MET), Chasing God's (Kansas Repertory Theater), and Lewis Morrow's, Ain't no such thing as Midnight Black (KCMPT). He has now Assistant Stage Managed A Raisin in the Sun and Stage Managed Lewis Morrow’s Baybra’s Tulips (KCMPT). He loves bringing the African American experience to life. Hughes is a member of Kansas City Melting Pot Theater Collective and is thankful for the opportunity to move from the stage-to-stage management.
Assistant Stage ManagerDesmond “3-3-7” Jones
Desmond "3-3-7" Jones, Co-Founder of The Recipe Poetry Guild, known for his thunderous poetry performance, has been performing for 20 plus years. 3-3-7 holds The American Jazz Museums "Jazz Poetry Jamz" all time winning record for 2 consecutive seasons. 3-3-7 has also graced the stages of many local theaters with roles in Raisin In The Sun, The Piano Lesson, Jitney, and a host of other stage plays. 3-3-7 along with his partner in rhyme Theodore "Priest" Hughes have been teaching creative writing classes throughout the KCPSD as well as surrounding school districts and the United States for over 15 years.
Set DesignerDoug Schroeder
Doug Schroeder is a Kansas native. Begetters is his fifth design for KCMPT. Schroeder received a B.F.A. in technical theater from Emporia State University. In addition to working as the technical director for KCMPT, Doug also is the production manager for the Kansas City Women’s Chorus. He would like to thank his partner Chris Palmer for his assistance with set construction and Linda, Harvey, Nicole, and Lewis for the opportunity to work on this new play.
Lighting DesignerWarren Deckert
Warren Deckert (Lighting Designer) Warren has directed or designed the lighting or sets for over 200 productions. Kansas City directing credits include Bernice At Bay/The Butterfly Effect, Gidion’s Knot and Any Questions? (KC Fringe Festival), Waiting To Be Invited, The Taste Test and The Ironing Man (KC Melting Pot Theatre). He is an assistant house manager for Kansas City Repertory Theatre and the technical director for Just Off Broadway Theatre.
Melonnie Walker is a theatre historian, educator, and alum of UMKC’s Master of Arts program in Theatre History. She is the Director of Education and Community Outreach for KC Melting Pot Theatre and has served as the resident research and production dramaturg for three seasons so far. She is an advisory board member of the August Wilson Society and Regional VP for the Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas. Melonnie is grateful for her theatre family here at KCMPT and she is inspired to do the work that preserves and uplifts black theatre history for future generations.
Sound DesignerDennis Jackson
Dennis Jackson is a Kansas City native. He has appeared, most recently, in August Wilson’s “King Hedly” and “Two Trains Running” and Robert O’Hara’s “Barbecue,” to name a few, all with KC Melting Pot Theater. He also crafted the sound designs for these productions. Thanks to director Ile Haggins, for the opportunity to craft the sound design, for this production, of “Begetters.” Special thanks to Harvey and Linda Williams and Dr. Nicole Hodges-Persley.
CostumerMarkeyta L. Young
Markeyta L. Young is a Kansas City, MO native who has been involved in theatre for over 10 years. Markeyta has been seen recently in multiple Kansas City Public Theatre productions, Rising Tide’s production of Taming of The Shrew, and KCMPT’s productions of Baybra’s Tulips and Barbecue. She can also be seen performing with Kansas City’s first and only all black improv group, UPeople. Markeyta would like to give immense gratitude to KC Melting Pot Theatre. As always, she would like to thank her mother, father, and grandfather for always loving her, and pushing her to be exactly who she wanted to be!
Assistant CostumerRatana Tshibanda
Ratana Tshibanda is from Chicago, IL. She is a graduate of Western Illinois University, with a degree in Business Administration. Her 30+ years of fashion industry experience includes: Fashion Event Producer/Director, Regional Director of Fashion & Special Events for Mercantile Stores, fashion manager, wardrobe stylist, and visual merchandiser. Ratana is passionate about the preservation of live theater and is excited to make her KCMPT debut.