In her debut theatrical production, Ashli St. Armant brings us NORTH, a new musical for intergenerational audiences.
Follow precocious Lawrence and his mother, Minnie, as they escape the Deep South and travel North through the Underground Railroad, to seek freedom.
Their route through the Louisiana’s bayous, the bustling city of New Orleans, and the young town of Lawrence, Kansas introduces Lawrence, Minnie, and the audience to the diverse, multi-faceted lives of Black Americans during this time period.
Set in the 1850s, NORTH is based on actual accounts of slave escapes through the Underground Railroad network, as well as Ms. St. Armant’s personal family history of overcoming slavery in Louisiana.
While acknowledging the realities of slavery, the book and original musical compositions by Ms. St. Armant bring out the full experience of freedom-seekers: optimism, bravery, playfulness, wonder, suspense and mystery.
Meet the Characters.
Young Lawrence is clever, quick, and hopelessly naive. Perhaps his zest for life and quest for something more will carry him through the darkness and into free land.
Lawrence is also on a journey of self-discovery. So, as he navigates the wilderness and strange lands, he must also navigate the power struggle between mother and nearly-adult son.
Life on the plantation is all Minnie knows. And Lawrence’s young mother has a steadfast strategy for survival - just keep your head down and be grateful. But after making an earth-shattering discovery, she’s forced to consider other plans. Now the real question is, will Lawrence be a trustworthy partner on this journey of life-or-death, or will he be a burden?
She’s Minnie’s best friend and, in some ways, she’s the mother Minnie never had. Now Minnie must trust her friend’s instinct and wisdom as Althea helps to concoct a plan of escape.
He is a conductor on the Underground Railroad, and Minnie and Lawrence’s guide to freedom. But can Minnie trust this unusual man with a mysterious past?
She’s a free woman of color - poised, well-dressed and eloquent. Genevieve was born free and lives in a Creole cottage, which she owns. She’s a complete anomaly to Lawrence and Minnie, but they’ll have to learn to trust her if the plan is going to work.
Based on a distant relative of playwright Ashli St. Armant, “Tham the Brave” is an almost-mythical character who emerges from the forest and introduces Minnie and Lawrence to his community of Maroons. This accidental meeting has the potential to change the course of their path - and lives - forever.
Meet the Cast.
Jordan Crawford is a professional dancer/choreographer, singer-songwriter and actor. In 2022, he graduated from the American Musical and Dramatic Academy with a Bachelors of Fine Arts. Jordan's credits include Off-Broadway shows ‘Revelation: The Musical' and 'A Soulful Christmas', the Super Bowl LVI Halftime Show, television shows, music videos and many more.
Alyssa Holmes is a Los Angeles native, and a graduate from Howard University, where she got a BFA in Theatre Arts with an emphasis in Dance. This is her first production post graduation, and is very excited to be a part of this show!
Jazmine Chappel is a singer/songwriter from Decatur, Ga. She started singing in church at the age of five, when her passion for music began. She fell in love with theatre after being cast in her first role as Fairy Godmother in Cinderella. After graduating from Cosmetology school in 2015, her passion for the arts has continued and flourished, recently wrapping a tour with Kirk Franklin and company. She is grateful for her family and friends for pushing her to pursue her dreams and looks forward to what's to come.
Josh Howerton is a singer/songwriter from Phoenix, AZ now setting his sights on the stage. The dream of acting seemed unrealistic growing up in small town Missouri, but with North: The Musical being his first production, he feels excited to finally be stepping into a creative field he has always wanted to pursue.
Reyna Papotto is an aspiring model, singer and actor, currently studying performing arts at Savannah College of Arts and Design (SCAD) in Savannah, Georgia. Her professional credits include work behind the camera with companies like Netflix, and center stage with performances like BAM!, a celebration of Black artists in music. NORTH: The Musical is Reyna’s first national tour.
Ethan Williams is an actor hailing from Dallas Texas. Inspired by Pop and R&B, he is also an established 1st Tenor vocalist. He began his career in the arts during his junior year in high school then went on to attend the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, in Los Angeles California training in musical theater, dialects , sketch comedy, and drama. With a wide variety of skills when he isn't studying his craft, he swims competitively and practices two forms of martial arts.
Juliet is delighted to be joining the cast as universal female U/S in NORTH The Musical! She has been enjoyed her time in the musical theater track at Fullerton College and looks forward to continuing her training. Some of her favorite roles include Richie (A Chorus Line), Esmerelda U/S, Ensemble (The Hunchback of Notre Dame), Bree (Fancy Nancy) and a Lost Boy (Peter Pan). She would like to thank everybody involved in this production for making her feel welcomed and for this amazing opportunity. She also would like to thank her Mom, Dad, Chavyn, Josiah, God, and family for their love and support.