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Panther Women: An Army for the Liberation is JEFF NOMINATED!


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Panther Women: An Army for the Liberation follows one woman’s journey to self-discovery through the stories of three prominent women who were members of the Black Panther Party and Black Liberation Movement. This high-energy movement piece with poetry, monologues, dance, and song explores the dilemmas, obstacles, and joy of African American Women, chronicling the lifelong pursuit of justice by some of the founding women of the Civil Rights Movement. A choreopoem built upon extensive research and collaboration with a cohort of Black artists, Panther Women: An Army for the Liberation, touches on the core of the human condition and celebrates Black women. Panther Women is produced by Prop Thtr and Perceptions Theatre as part of a National New Play Network Rolling World Premiere. Other Partner Theaters are Cleveland Public Theatre in Ohio and Phoenix Theatre in Indianapolis. (For more information, please visit

Content Warning: Panther Women: An Army for the Liberation includes explicit language, as well as some words people may find offensive, sexual content or innuendo, and discussion of racism and violence against women.

Meet Playwright:
India Nicole Burton

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India Nicole Burton is an actress, director, playwright, devisor, and producer. She is a native of Akron, OH, and graduated from The University of Akron in 2011 with a BA in Theatre Arts with an emphasis on performance. Upon graduating, India founded Ma’Sue Productions, an African American theatre company located in Akron. She has directed, produced, and performed in several of Ma’Sue’s plays and was co-artistic director until 2015. India recently ended a virtual national tour of American Dreams by Leila Buck in 2020, where she played the role of Briana Coffman. She originated this character when it had its world premiere at Cleveland Public Theatre in 2018.  India’s directing credits include for colored girls who have considered suicide / when the rainbow is enuf (Heads Up Productions), The Laramie Project (Heads Up Productions), Daybreak’s Children (Ma’Sue Productions), A Happening on Imperial (Ma’Sue Productions), Fire on the Water (Cleveland Public Theatre, co-directed); Panther Women: An Army for the Liberation (in development at Cleveland Public Theatre), “inside out” by Francisca Da Silveira (Company One, as part of their C1: Inauguration project), Welcome to the Taj Mahal (Motel) by Riti Sachdeva at The Playwrights Center (Workshop). India’s assistant directing credits include the 2014 production of The Color Purple at Karamu House, A brownsville song (b-side for tray) at Dobama Theatre, and Cleveland Public Theatre’s Barbecue and Good at Heart, featured in BorderLight International Theatre + Fringe Festival. India is a board member for New World Performance Lab, a two-year recipient of the NNPN Producer in Residence program for Cleveland Public Theatre, and a 2021 recipient of the NNPN Bridge Program grant. She was also a cast member of American Dreams, which was nominated for a Drama League Award in 2021. India is currently receiving her MFA in playwriting from The University of Nebraska’s Creative writing program.

Meet Director:

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Meet The Cast 

Myesha-Tiara (she/her) hails from Baton Rouge, Louisiana. After attending the prestigious Baton Rouge Magnet High School, she decided to dedicate herself to her craft and enrolled in Northwestern State University, where in her sophomore year she was featured in the Oscar winning film "12 Years a Slave". Myesha received her Bachelor of Science in Theatre Arts with a concentration in Performance and Directing. After college she performed for regional and touring theatres until she decided to make the big move to the Windy City. At the end of 2019 she also opened her own 501 c3 non-profit theatre company, Perceptions Theatre, on the Southside of Chicago where she is Artistic Director. Chicago directing credits include: Black Magic (Director/Perceptions Theatre); Invisible (Assistant Director/Her Story Theatre); The Little Foxes (Associate Director / Citadel Theatre Company). Some of her Chicago acting credits include For Colored Girls… as Lady In Brown and Lady In Blue u/s (Court Theatre/ Jeff Recommended); Swamp Baby as Swamp Baby/Iriana (MPAACT). Steel Magnolias as Annelle (Theatre at the Center); The Wedding Band (The Artistic Home/ Jeff Recommended) and Hamlet as Gertrude and Ophelia/Osric u/s (The Gift Theatre). She is represented by Shirley Hamilton Talent Inc.. (, IG: myeshatiara, TikTok: myesha_tiara)

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Maya TW Jones



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Alexis Dupree



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"Jae" Jenkins



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Taylor Talhame (She/Her)






Nia Vines

Nia Vines




A'Keisha Lee



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kendra renee



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Raesheyana Gardner


WOMAN 1 & 4

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Whitney Pipes


WOMAN 2 & 5

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Tyra Grove






WOMAN 3 & 6

Meet Choreographer:
Deja Hood

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Olivia Lilley

Artistic Director & Lead Producer For Prop Thtr



 Artistic Director & Co-Producer For Perceptions Theatre

Deja Hood is a multidisciplinary artist based in Chicago, Illinois. With a blended love for dance,
photography, and storytelling, Deja creates works molded from individuality, authenticity, and
the question “why?” As an African-American woman, Deja is heavily influenced by her culture
and personal experiences. It is through these influences that she has shaped her creative process
of experience first, question second, process third, and conversation last.

In 2018, Deja participated in RAW Detroit and choreographed her first piece ResilienSHE which
paid homage to the strength and resilience of Black women. In 2020, Deja choreographed two
full length works, Praise and 64,000 Plus One, as a part of her Senior Projects at Eastern
Michigan University. A year later, Deja released her first dance film STYLES giving appreciation
to specific genres of dance that do not receive enough recognition in the Western society. In
2021, Deja also began her YouTube channel DejWorks and released her two series Creative
Connections and Dej Talks. She also choreographed and performed in George Ellzey’s film titled
SWITCHIN’. In 2022, Deja performed in Chicago Dancemakers Forum’s ELEVATE showcase
and released her second film Nov. 16.

It is through her past and present works of artistry, Deja continues to remain true to her mission
of challenging perceptions, awakening audiences to new ideals, and sparking conversations. She
is a passionate and dedicated artist who is steadily evolving and honing in on her craft.

Meet The Crew 


Lauren Littlejohn
Stage Manager

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Mari DeOleo

Costume & Set Designer 

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Jabari Khaliq
Khaliq Visuals

Editor & Cinematographer

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Kenny Bell (He/Him)

Literary Manager 


Antwon Funches

Resident Graphic Designer &
Social Media Manager

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Tamarus Harvell

Perceptions Production Manager

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