About Respect


Respect: Written and conceived by Dorothy Marcic


Dorothy Vali Forrister - Director
Vali Forrister is a well-known Nashville theatre artist. She Co-founded the Actors Bridge Ensemble Theatre with Bill Feehely in 1996. Since then, she has produced over twenty productions for the company, has acted in more than a dozen and has directed six. Her writing credits include five one-woman performance pieces and one play. Forrister's work has been recognized by the local press on many occasions. She has received multiple "Tennie Awards" for her acting and directing including a "Best Actress" award for her 2003 performance as Josie in the Actors Bridge production of MOON FOR THE MISBEGOTTEN. Her direction of the Nashville production of THE VAGINA MONOLOGUES was called "better than Broadway" by the Tennessean and "a very high profile communal event in Nashville" by the Nashville Scene. Local theatre critics have called her acting "a tour-de-force," "seemingly effortless," "consistently excellent," and "major league." Forrister is currently the Producing Artistic Director at Actors Bridge Ensemble. She is delighted to be working with Dorothy Marcic and RESPECT.

Jeanette Dorothy Marcic - Playwright
Dorothy is a professor at Vanderbilt University and the author of twelve books, including RESPECT: Women and Popular Music, the basis for this performance. Her other books include Understanding Management, Managing with the Wisdom of Love, and four titles with Golden Books. Many years ago Dr. Marcic worked on the TV show, Mister Rogers' Neighborhood. She has traveled the U.S. and the world doing the one-woman show, The Musical History of Women, which has been well-received in Australia, New Zealand, Israel, Holland, England and South Africa. She's appeared on C-SPAN, CMT, and Bravo Network. As a Fulbright Scholar, she taught at the Univ. of Economics in Prague, where she lived for four years. She is married to Dick Daft and has three daughters. She is grateful to the women in her family for inspiring much of the piece. She also wants to thank the wonderful Cuillo staff, especially Gail Shank, who believed in the show and made this production possible. To visit Dorothy's website, go to www.drdorothy.com

Paula James Chavis - Ensemble
A native Nashvillian, Paula has maintained double careers most of her adult life. She received accolades for establishing a singing group, as a teenager, and making local television appearances. Her B.S. Degree in Biology/Chemistry was earned at Knoxville College and she received her Masters Degree in Special Education from George Peabody College at Vanderbilt. She has been teaching for thirty years. She is currently teaching first grade at Julia Green Elementary School in Nashville and Vocalist with the City Lights Band/Orchestra. Paula has vast studio recording experience but she loves the energy of live performances. Her phenomenal voice range and pitch have led her to be involved in characterization projects such as national PBS programs and recorded storytelling. She has been called upon to perform songs that are African, Spanish and Jewish. Also, she commands British brogue (years ago, she worked to “lose” her authentic South American accent). While her “gigs” have her covering four states regularly, she has performed in Hawaii and Canada. Paula has sung at a Super Bowl Halftime and has been featured on several artists’ CDs including Kenny Rogers and Sam Levine.

Melinda Doolittle - Ensemble
An American Idol contestant and a graduate of Belmont University’s School of Music in Nashville, she begain her singing career in seventh grade and went on to perform gospel music.  She has done backup singing for Cece Winans, Aaron Neville, Sheila Walsh, Vicki Yoh’e, Jaci Velasquez, George Huff, Newsong, Natalie Grant, Anointed, Kirk Whalum, Ayiesha Woods, and many more. In addition to performing in the Nashville production of RESPECT,  she did several performances in the West Palm Beach production.

Wesley Paine - Ensemble

Maria Pargh - Ensemble
Long-time Nashville resident Maria Pargh has been married to the same wonderful man for 21 years. She is very proud of her two children, 19 year-old Franklin who is a sophomore at the University of Hartford and Amanda, who is a senior at the University School of Nashville. In addition to her love of singing, she is a homemaker, baker, and community volunteer. She is happy to be in RESPECT, which is her first professional acting performance. But she is on the stage every day in her everyday life.

Sarah Valley - Ensemble
A native of Nashville,Sarah is thrilled to have this opportunity to be a part of a stage production again. In the past, she has performed at TPAC with the Tennessee Repertory Theatre’s productions “Fiddler on the Roof” and “A Christmas Carol” and also with The Circle Players production of “Secret Garden” as Martha the maid. She also had the pleasure of working with Jamie Farr (M*A*S*H) in the Ryman Auditorium’s production of “A Musical Christmas Carol.” Ever since Sarah was a young girl belting out the lyrics of Annie’s “Tomorrow,” she knew she wanted to sing and perform. She began performing out at Opryland Theme Park and Opryland Hotel at the age of ten, where she participated in numerous shows until the park’s closing. Sarah has also been doing session work since the age of six and has sung on vocals for Sandi Patty, CeCe Winans, Erin O’Donnell and Waylon Jennings. Sarah is currently a senior at Belmont University and upon graduation, she plans to continue pursuing her career as an artist in the Contemporary Christian music industry.

Helen Naylor - Stage Manager
Helen was the stage manager for the Actors Bridge Ensemble for 7 years, and is once again happy to working with Vali and this great cast on this project. Not having a creative bone in her body, she enjoys being able to work „behind the scenes‰ with such talented people. She would like to thank Vali, Dorothy, and this cast for another great experience.

Nicolas Ritchie - Sound
Nicholas graduated MTSU with Recording Industry Management Degree. Produced audio/tv commercials in Virginia from 1996-1999 Worked as A&R and Studio Manager for KRB MUSIC from 1999-2001. Singer/Songwriter, instruments include: guitar, bass guitar, piano, mandolin. Play with local musicians around town. Fluent with CD Mastering, Audio Production, audio/video editing, and sound design.

Jon Rezin - Original Music and Sound


Kimberley Lamarque - Director
Kimberley is an accomplished actress, director, and educator. She has performed at a myriad of regional theatres across the country such as Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Los Angeles Theatre Center, American Conservatory Theatre as well as The American Negro Playwright Theatre and Tennessee Repertory Theatre in Nashville. As an accomplished director, Ms. Lamarque most recently directed Shakespeare's Julius Caesar with a hip-hop flavor. Her other directing credits include A Streetcar Named Desire and Jane Eyre at the Poag Auditorium, Stuff at the Belcourt Theatre, as well as Three Sisters, Romeo and Juliet, and A Joyful Noise at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center. Ms. Lamarque is Assistant Professor of Theatre/Director of Forensics at TSU, and also serves as the Associate Producing Artistic Director of the American Negro Playwright Theatre (ANPT), as well as Associate Producer for B.scott Productions. Kimberley holds a BA from Columbia University, MFA from the American Conservatory Theatre, and studied classical theatre at the National Theatre of Great Britain.

Stella Reed Patterson - Director
Stella is one of the founders and the producing artistic director of Nashville’s Black Taffeta And Burlap, a non-profit that trains, develops and show-cases minority talent by producing creative art workshops and theatrical productions. She served as Performance Coordinator for the Langston Hughes Center for the Arts. Stella performed at the Rep, Nashville Child-ren’s Theater, Nashville Shakespeare Festival, and the American Negro Playwright Theater and has worked in productions of Jonestown, A Raisin in the Sun and most recently as Grammy in NCT’s Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse. But her longest and most rewarding run has been as wife and mother of three fine sons.

Betty Anderson (Ensemble) is an actress, singer and songwriter. Her credits include being a featured soloist with the Tucson Symphony Pops Orchestra and Arizona Symphonic Winds; touring with O.P.E.R.A. for the Arizona Commission of the Arts and Summer Stock production of Othello, I’m Getting My Act Together…, Cinderella, and Magic of Rich Hill. She also held leading roles at the Gaslight Theatre and the Arizona Rose Theatre in Tucson, Arizona. www.PolkadotProductions.com and Fishbox, Inc., her production companies, were formed to facilitate original songwriting (Country) and performances with bands in various genres. Betty performs cabaret acts in venues across the United States. She is an Adjunct Professor of Musical Theatre at Belmont University, specializing in Vocal Coaching, Movement and Audition Technique.

Ává (Ensemble)
Ava's ability to blend the very different styles of eastern and western music is no accident. Born in Iran, Ává spent her formative years there until the fundamentalist revolution in that country led to a fresh wave of persecution against members of the Bahá'í Faith, her chosen religion. In 1992 she was chosen to participate in a 400 person Voices of Bahá choir and in a 40 person ensemble at Carnegie Hall. She travels around the world representing the Bahá'í Faith as a soloist with other members of the Voices of Bahá Bahá'í choir, traveling to western Europe, the former Soviet Union, Australia and New Zealand, performing regularly with other notable artists such as Dash Crofts, Dan Seals and Red Grammer.. In 1996 she released on compact disc her first solo effort, self-titled Ává, which represents a blend of Eastern lyrics in her native Persian with Western melodic influences. Ává currently lives in Atlanta with her husband and son and continues to travel and delight audiences with performances that include musical styles as varied as Persian, gospel, jazz and pop.

Keisha Cunningham - Ensemble
Keisha has been studying acting with Stella Reed for two years and has performed in a number of plays. She loves to sing and is happy to be in a performance where she can use both talents. Her day job is a Designer—of hair and make-up.

Emily Price - Ensemble
Emily is a graduate of Northwestern University where she studied Opera and Musical Theatre. Chicago theatre credits include TITANIC, DAMN YANKEES, COMPANY, GRAND HOTEL, and CAMELOT. Most recently: National Tour of RESPECT: The Musical Journey Of Women (including 2004 Orlando Fringe Festival.) Emily is a soloist with the Voices of Baha` Choir, performing in Carnegie Hall and the Mozart KoncertHaus in Vienna, and with such orchestras as the Czech National Symphony and the Budapest Symphony. She is featured on many recordings made by Global Music. Emily resides in Nashville and is pursuing a career in music and theatre.

Rachael Price - Ensemble
Rachael is a recent graduate from Hendersonville High School. At HHS, she was active in music and theater, performing in productions of Bye Bye Birdie, James and the Giant Peach, Not Fit to Print, and Sleeping Beauty. She was also a member of the Select Chorus. Rachael was recently selected as a member of the National High School Grammy Vocal Jazz Ensemble. She will attend New England Conservatory this fall and pursue a career in Jazz music.

Adrienne Ewing-Roush - Ensemble
Adrienne has a diversity of experience singing and recording with rock, reggae, and gospel artists. She has traveled throughout Western Europe and the US with the Voices of Bahá, is also a member of the professional touring choir of the One Human Family Workshop, Inc. and she has appeared in and staged managed a number of productions with Black Taffeta and Burlap Theater Co. Adrienne is a graduate of TSU and the UT College of Social Work, and by profession is a social worker. She is married and has two young daughters.

Ron Browning - Voice Coach
Born in Richmond, VAA native of eastern Kentucky, Ron Browning has been immersed in both performing and fine arts since childhood. He earned a BME in voice and piano from the University of Kentucky. While living in Los Angeles, Ron earned a Professional Designation in Recording Arts and Sciences from UCLA on full scholarship from ASCAP and BMI. Ron is a prolific songwriter, and has written for RCA, ATV, and Paramount. Ron has produced and directed professional theater and conducted and arranged music for choirs. He is an accomplished jazz pianist, and currently teaches voice both privately and at the Nashville Jazz Workshop.

Mandy Blevins - Stage Manager
Mandy has been Stage Managing for the past seven years. Her role has taken her as far west as Olympia, Washington, as far north as New York, New York, and now, as far south as Hollywood, Florida. A few of her credits include RAGS, at Capital Playhouse, the world premier of Salute to Christmas Radio Days, at Covered Bridge Theatre, and the children’s version of RESPECT, with Children’s Theatre Company.

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