Caleb Jaffe plays Ivan Roistacher
Director/Writer/Editor/Lead Actor - Sometimes it is just easier to cast yourself.
and in alphabetical order…
Roger Guenveur Smith plays Bukka LaRocke
Roger Guenveur Smith starred in three consecutive Sundance hits: DOPE, THE BIRTH OF A NATION, and BITCH. His Bessie Award-winning solo performance, RODNEY KING, is currently streaming on Netflix, his latest collaboration with director Spike Lee. Smith adapted his Obie Award-winning solo A HUEY P. NEWTON STORY into a Peabody Award-winning telefilm directed by Lee and, for Lee’s classic DO THE RIGHT THING, created the stuttering hero Smiley.
Last year the Cannes Festival honored Smith and Lee for their three decades of unparalleled achievement. His eclectic range of film credits also includes MARSHALL, ALL ABOUT THE BENJAMINS, HAMLET, EVE’S BAYOU, DEEP COVER, and AMERICAN GANGSTER, for which he was nominated for the Screen Actors’ Guild award. Among his recently acclaimed indie films are THE QUEEN OF HOLLYWOOD BOULEVARD, MOOZ-LUM, and Storm Saulter’s BETTER MUS’ COME, in which he plays the Prime Minister of Jamaica.
On HBO, Smith starred in OZ, and Steven Soderbergh’s K STREET, and on TV One in the award-winning BEHIND THE MOVEMENT, inspired by the Montgomery Bus Boycott.
His work for the international stage also includes studies of Frederick Douglass and Christopher Columbus, artist iconoclasts Jean-Michel Basquiat and Simon Rodia, baseball greats Juan Marichal and John Roseboro, Jimi Hendrix and Bob Marley, Iceland, Philadelphia, and, with New Orleans natives Mark Broyard and Branford Marsalis, the “not-too-dark comedy” INSIDE THE CREOLE MAFIA.
Roger studied at Yale University and Occidental College and has taught at both institutions as well as Cal Arts, where he directs his Performing History workshop.
Gabrielle Maiden plays Jada Roistacher
Gabrielle Maiden was born and raised in Los Angeles, California to Tony and Mitchaelle Maiden; Tony is the guitar player, singer, songwriter in the band of Grammy-award winning and three time Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nominated Rufus feat. Chaka Khan. Mitchaelle is also in the music industry and manages Tony. Gabrielle attended The Buckley School where she began to harness her creative abilities through art, music and acting. In high school, Maiden was a year-round athlete participating in snowboarding, basketball, skateboarding, soccer, track and football.
With her love of snowboarding continuing to grow, she began to pursue the sport more seriously. Gabby moved up to Big Bear Lake, CA, where she began her journey toward what she Is known for today, as the first African American female pro snowboarder. She was sponsored by numerous companies and notably Nikita Clothing, for whom she became one of the main faces and ambassadors to their streetwear and outer wear campaigns for seven years. Gabby has been featured in many well known snowboard videos including Peepshow’s WINTER WARS (2011) where Gabby has a featured original song that she wrote, sang and played ukulele, called Long Way to Go, featuring her father Tony Maiden on additional instruments.
After 10 years of traveling, snowboarding, filming and having spent two years on and off abroad in Iceland, Gabrielle found it was finally time to get back to her number one passion: Acting. She moved back to Los Angeles in 2014 where she built her craft as an actor with various amazing coaches and classes, and quickly began booking in film and television. The first speaking role Gabby landed was a lead in the popular web series SEXLESS (2015-2017) from Black and Sexy TV. Soon after, Gabrielle played three consecutive reccurring guest-star roles for three wildly admired television series including Jill Soloway’s I LOVE DICK (2017), the second season of the Emmy award-winning and Golden-Globe nominated STRANGER THINGS (2017) on Netflix, as well as Frankie Shaw's Golden-Globe nominated series SMILF (2017) on Showtime. Maiden will also appear in David Robert Mitchell’s crime thriller noir from A24, UNDER THE SILVERLAKE (2019) starring Andrew Garfield and Riley Keough.
Okwui Okpokwasili plays Aliza Bethea
Okwui Okpokwasili is a Brooklyn-based performance maker. Her work includes two Bessie Award-winning productions: Pent-Up: a revenge dance and Bronx Gothic. She was the 2015-17 Randjelovic/Stryker New York Live Arts’ Resident Commissioned Artist which culminated with the work, Poor People’s TV Room. Okpokwasili frequently collaborates with directors Peter Born and Ralph Lemon, appearing in Come Home, Charley Patton (for which she won a Bessie Award), HYCS and Scaffold Room. Commissions, residencies and awards: 10th Annual Berlin Biennale Commission, 2018 Doris Duke Artist Award in Contemporary Dance, 2018 USA Artist Fellow, 2018 Herb Alpert Award in Dance, MANCC Choreographic Fellowship (2012, 2016); NYFA Fellowship in Choreography (2013); LMCC’s Extended Life Program (2013-2016); The Foundation for Contemporary Arts’ Artist Grant in Dance (2014), Wesleyan ICPP Artist in Residency. Her work has been supported by Creative Capital, the MAP Fund and NEFA. Okpokwasili is a 2018 Hodder Fellow in Dance at Princeton University and a 2018 MacArthur Foundation Fellow.
Her film work includes the role of Nurse K in Josephine Decker’s 2018 Sundance feature MADELINE’S MADELINE. Okwui was featured in Jay-Z’s music video 444 directed by TNEG (Arthur Jafa, Malik-Sayeed and Elissa Blount-Moorhead) and she can be seen in her documentary about her solo performance work BRONX GOTHIC directed by Andrew Rossi.
Ayana Peters plays Odessa Bethea-Roistacher
Ayana Peters is a native Angeleno, born and raised in the historic View Park neighborhood of Los Angeles, California. Growing up in a large family with a musician/educator mom and a father who was an engineer, their family home buzzed with the Civil Rights-era energy of Martin Luther King, Jr., Kenneth Hahn, Julian Dixon, Shirley Chisholm as well as the music of gospel, classical, jazz, soul and more. This environment cultivated a deep sense of social justice and creativity in her career as a teacher. Ayana was an early reader and writer who attended public school and became passionate about meaningful education that values the cultivation of depth, intellect and artistic expression. A graduate of Chaminade University of Honolulu, Ayana earned her BA degree in English.
As a dedicated Humanities teacher of over 20 years, Ayana has always strived to mentor students so that they can find their most authentic voices, while guiding them beyond her expectations of them as readers and writers.
Ayana Peters is a newcomer to acting and first appeared Caleb Jaffe’s short film BLUE LINE EXPRESS.. She is the mother of son Masai and daughters, Sky and Sage.
David Warshofsky plays Joel Roistacher
David Warshofsky’s feature film credits include the just completed Body Cam, Wilson, Captain Phillips, Now You See Me 1&2, The Master, Lincoln, There Will Be Blood, Public Enemies, “Pimp Lester” in Running Scared, Welcome to Collinwood (Cannes 2002), Last Exit to Brooklyn, Oliver Stone's Born on the Fourth of July, Ridley Scott's G.I. Jane, Tony Scott’s Unstoppable, and Doug Liman’s Fair Game. Among his many Sundance premieres are Mike White and Miguel Arteta’s Beatriz at Dinner, Miranda July’s The Future, and Elgin James’ debut, Little Birds. In competition: Stockholm Pennsylvania, The Best Thief in the World and Rebecca Miller’s 2002 Award Winner Personal Velocity.
His recent television appearances are Theodore Peus on Season 6 of Scandal as well as Ira Reiner in Law and Order: True Crime, Fear the Walking Dead, Battle Creek, Medium, Justified, several OG “Law and Orders”, HBO’s Walkout and Generation Kill.
On Broadway, he appeared in Biloxi Blues, Carousel (both Tony Award Winners) and On the Waterfront. Other stage credits include Henry V at the New York Shakespeare Festival, Blue Window at Manhattan Theatre Club, Romance Language at Playwright’s Horizons, and the national tours of Biloxi Blues and South Pacific. He originated the role of “Gottfried Swetts” in the world premiere of Tony Kushner’s A Bright Room Called Day directed by Oskar Eustis at the Eureka Theatre.
Warshofsky is a graduate of the MFA program at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts.
Currently he lives in Los Angeles with his wife Kristina Lear, their daughter Helen, his son, Macgee, and is the Director of MFA Acting and an Associate Professor of Theatre Practice at the USC School of Dramatic Arts.