New Ensemble Members!
December 20, 2016, 12:08PM

We are SO thrilled to welcome nine new Ensemble Members to the company: Fin Coe, Jeffery Owen Freelon Jr., Michael Allen Harris, Kristi Parker-Barnhart, Deanna Reed-Foster, Esteban Reyna, Shariba Rivers, Omer Abbas Salem and Dagoberto Zolio Soto.

“We’re so pleased to invite this talented group of artists and theatermakers into our Ensemble, all of whom have demonstrated a true passion for making change in our industry and world by creating new work, nurturing new artists and engaging with new audiences,” comments Co-Artistic Director Andrew Hobgood. “Growing our ensemble is integral since The New Colony develops more new theater each year than we can possibly produce in a single season. Our ensemble spends more time working on shows that we aren’t producing than they do rehearsing for our Mainstage.”

About The Ensemble Members:

Fin Coe is please to join the Ensemble, where he participated in in The Writer’s Room and recently performed in Merge. He has previously worked with Silk Road Rising, Stage 773, A-Squared Theatre, Pretty/Windy Theatre Co and Halcyon Theatre, where he is the Associate Artistic Director.

Jeffery Owen Freelon Jr. is a proud south side Chicagoan and happy to be working with The New Colony, where he most recently appeared in Byhalia, Mississippi and Merge. He has worked with an array of other theatre companies including Theatre Unspeakable and Definition Theatre, and has made an appearance on Chicago PD. He is represented by Paonessa Talent Agency.

Michael Allen Harris has collaborated as a playwright with Chicago Theatre companies such as Broken Nose Theatre (where he is a resident playwright), Jackalope Theatre, Arc Theatre, Stage 773, Fine Print Theatre, Chicago Home Theater Festival and The New Colony. His play, Rocky Road, received its world premiere at the New Studio Theatre of Columbia College Chicago in March of 2013. It was the first production featured in the Main Stage season that was authored by an alumnus. His play, The Velvet Tabernacle, was featured in a development series on behalf of Fine Print Theatre. His most recent play, Kingdom, is currently involved in a season-long development on behalf of Broken Nose Theatre and received its first stage reading at the Richard Christiansen Theatre of Victory Gardens. In February of 2016, he was part of The New Colony’s: Writer’s Room and completed the first draft of his full-length play Ascension. This winter, his play Punk received a workshop production with The New Colony’s Associate Company and will receive its world premiere in the fall of 2017. His short plays include: House of Samurai, They Let Him Bleed, Project Agatha and The Woman Who Stared into the Eyes of The Red Horseman. As an actor, he has worked with Adventure Stage, Eclipse Theatre, Gift Theatre, Teatro Vista, The-Massive, Stone Soup Theatre Project, Infusion Theatre, Broken Nose Theatre and Cold Basement Dramatics. He was nominated for a BTAA for his performance as Fortune in Eclipse Theatre’s Jeff-nominated production of Ruined. He is a proud ensemble member of Eclipse Theatre Company.

Kristi Parker-Barnhart, an actor, writer and director, is thrilled to be a company member of The New Colony. She was most recently seen in Merge, she played Harlot O’Scara in Down And Derby in 2012 and joined The Associate Company in the premier of Lost And Found as Julianne in 2015. Kristi is Managing Director of Lil Bud’s Children’s Theatre Company and she is proud to be called Vice Hobo of Hobo Junction Productions.

Deanna Reed-Foster is an Emmy Award winning actress who has been performing on stage and on screen for many years. Deanna can be seen in the newly released movie Southside With You and in a recurring role on NBC’s Chicago Fire. Deanna just finished a feature film with the Oscar nominated director, Richard Linklater entitled Last Flag Flying and will also be seen on NBC’s Chicago PD this season. In 2008, she was blessed to win a Midwest Emmy Award for her work in Fresh From Julianne’s Garden; A Legacy In Bronze with CANTV. She has performed in Chicago and abroad with various theater companies and productions, including The Colored Museum (Pulse Theater Chicago), Even Longer and Farther Away (The New Colony), Marvin’s Room (Shattered Globe), All Shook Up (Theater At The Center), Heatwave (Steppenwolf Garage Rep), Mill Fire (Shattered Globe), Marvelous Marvellettes (Black Ensemble Theater) and Fabulation (Eclipse Theater). 

Esteban Reyna is very humbled to be one of the newest additions to the New Colony Ensemble. He was last seen with the company as part of their Jeff Recommended production of Merge. He began his journey with The New Colony as part of their Associate Company Intensive Program in Summer 2016; and helped mount the production of Lost and Found. He is actively involved within the theatre and improv communities, and recently joined up with a newly formed improv house team (mame TBD) at CiC Theatre. He has taken classes at iO, Annoyance and CiC Theatres. Originally, from San Antonio, TX and a graduate of Texas A&M University - Corpus Christi.

Shariba Rivers, a Chicago actor with both film and stage credits, is thrilled to join The New Colony’s core ensemble. Most recently, she may have read your tarot cards as Lady Montague in (re)discover theatre’s Farewell My Friend or you may have seen her bring Gertrude “to life” in The New Colony’s production of The Terrible. Shariba is affiliated with four other companies – Waltzing Mechanics, 20% Theatre, MPAACT and (re)discover theatre – in addition to having worked with various other theaters across the city. Her feature-length film For the Cause is now available on Amazon and was most recently on Chicago PD’s Season 4 premiere.

Omer Abbas Salem is a Chicago actor and excited to join The New Colony family. You may have seen him in TNC’s Merge as Manny and Even Longer and Further Away as Roy. He was an Artistic Associate with Prologue Theatre and has worked with Steep Theatre, Eclipse Theater, Silk Road Rising, Bailiwick Chicago, Rasaka Theatre, the Second City and About Face.

Dagoberto Zolio Soto is a native of Little Village, one of Chicago’s most vibrant and colorful Latino neighborhoods, and has been performing in both local and national audiences over the last 20 years. Dago has appeared in an array of supporting to lead roles in TV shows such as Chicago Fire, Animal Planet, Gangland and features including Shadows of Death, Fangs vs. Spurs, Roundabout American and the web series The Guys Book Club, as well as national and local TV commercials. Dago has extended his actor role into film production and is a founding member of Structure Productions, an indie film production house which has produced and recently won best audience and picture awards for short films such as Delilah, Fallout and Human. Dago attended two of Chicago’s premier actor training programs at Second City and Piven Theater.