Co-founder Kevin S. McAllister has served as Artistic Director, spearheading ArtsCentric’s creative vision, since its founding. Mr. McAllister is a classically trained baritone and a versatile actor/singer who has performed as a leading man with every notable theater company in the Maryland/DC/Virginia region including Signature Theater, Ford’s Theater, Olney Theater, Arena Stage, and Washington Opera. Notable roles include his portrayal of Daddy Warbucks in Annie with Olney Theater, Flick in Violet with Ford’s Theater, and Jim/Newt/Riley in Ford’s Theater’s production of Parade, all of which resulted in 2018 Helen Hayes Award nominations for Best Actor. He has also won the prestigious Helen Hayes Award in the category of Outstanding Lead Actor, for his signature role, Coalhouse Walker in the classic musical Ragtime (Ford’s Theater in 2018 and Toby’s Dinner Theater in 2016).
Mr. McAllister recently made his Broadway debut in the musical Come From Away, where he served as an understudy and went on for several roles He is also a talented director having served as Director for every ArtsCentric production since its founding, including recent critically-acclaimed productions, Elton John and Tim Rice’s Aida and Chicago. Additional directing credits include Assassins with St. Mark’s Players and productions of Dreamgirls, Smokey Joe’s Cafe, Beehive and Rent (Co-Director) with Toby’s Dinner Theater. In the 2019/2020 season, he will serve as Director with Keegan Theater (Memphis), Nextstop Theater (The Mountaintop) and Olney Theater (Children of Eden - in concert).
Mr. McAllister received his B.A degree in Music from Morgan State University and has served as an Adjunct Professor in Musical Theater Techniques at Howard University. He has served as Fine Arts Teacher and Theater Instructor for Columbia Center for Theatrical Arts, Randallstown High School, The Actors Toolbox, Samuel F. B. Morris Elementary School, and ArtsCentric’s Summer Music Institute.
Resident Music Director
Co-founder Cedric Lyles serves as Director of Operations, responsible for overseeing ArtsCentric’s daily operations through oversight of back and front of house operations and acting as a liaison for each Director, Business Manager, and the Board of Directors.
Mr. Lyles is a classically-trained pianist and versatile musician who has been a Resident Musical Director for the majority of ArtsCentric’s productions. With more than 15 years of professional experiences, his vast field of work has included experiences in arts education and advocacy, teaching and curriculum building, project and production management, diversity training, and non-profit management. His personal work as an artist includes a featured musical at the New York Musical Theater Festival in 2012, musically directing more than 100 shows, orchestral and choral conducting, grant writing, and extensive training as a classical pianist and vocalist, in addition to producing professional shows.
In addition to his current post as Performing Arts Director at The Barrie School, Mr. Lyles has served as an educator at Garrison Forest School, McDonogh School, Frederick Douglas High School, and as an adjunct professor at Towson University. He has been a Musical Director at Columbia Center for Theatrical Arts, Toby’s Dinner Theater, and for a number of larger regional venues including Signature Theater and Everyman Theater. Mr. Lyles received his B.A. degree in Music from Morgan State University and an Artist Certificate in Arts Management from American University.
Director of Finances
Director of Casting & Artistic Programming
Kelli Blackwell serves as the Director of Casting & Artistic Programming. She works closely with the Artistic Director on seasonal planning and is instrumental in the casting process for all productions. As part of ArtsCentric’s new programming initiative, Ms. Blackwell has implemented the Actor’s Preparation Series. This series includes the Actor’s Audition Workshop, which had a successful debut in 2017 and will be held, once again, in November 2018. Additional segments of the series will debut in 2019. Kelli acquired the role of Box Office Manager, based on her knowledge and extensive background in this area.
In addition to her management responsibilities, Ms. Blackwell is a freelance actor, singer, and teaching artist. Prior to her work with ArtsCentric, she earned her BFA in Acting from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. As an actor, she has and continues to perform locally and regionally. Notable theater credits include: Amazing Grace (1st National Tour), Chicago (National Tour), A Streetcar Named Desire, By the Way, Meet Vera Stark (Everyman Theatre); Ain’t Misbehavin’ (Olney Theatre), Once on This Island (Cortland Repertory Theatre), Nunsense (RGA Media, Canada); Dreamgirls, The Wiz, Grease, and Hairspray (Toby’s Dinner Theater).
Through her work as a teaching artist, Ms. Blackwell has had the pleasure of introducing theatre to young minds throughout the Maryland school system. She has transferred the skills she learned in this environment to her work with the ArtsCentric Summer Institute.
Director of Creative Content
Shalyce Hemby has served as Director of Creative Content and Resident Choreographer with ArtsCentric since 2013. A skilled graphic designer, Ms. Hemby works with the Artistic Director and creative team to create and maintain all of the graphic material for ArtsCentric’s marketing needs in both print and digital mediums.
While she has choreographed over thirteen productions with ArtsCentric, Ms. Hemby has also served as Guest Choreographer for 45 Degree Project and DC Dance Theater Company, as Choreographer for Toby’s Dinner Theater (Ain’t Misbehavin, Dreamgirls) and Howard University (The Apple Tree, Brooklyn), and as Assistant Choreographer with DC Capital All-Stars in performances at The Kennedy Center. In 2018 she received a nomination for Outstanding Choreographer in a Musical for her work with Toby’s Dinner Theater in their production of Dreamgirls.
Ms. Hemby is the Dance Coordinator for The ArtsCentric Summer Institute. An avid educator for over fifteen years, she has been a dance instructor and guest choreographer for Prince George’s County Public Schools including Suitland High School and Bowie High School, Anne Arundel County Public Schools, and for Garrison Forest School, Barrie School, and Columbia Center for Theatrical Arts.
Ms. Hemby received an Associate Degree in Dance from Anne Arundel Community College where she studied under Linda Fitzgerald. She has also had the opportunity to receive tutelage from renowned dancers and instructors such as Fabian Barnes (Dance Institute of Washington), Arthur Miller (Dance Theatre of Harlem), and Debbie Allen (Debbie Allen Dance Academy). She is skilled as a dancer, choreographer, and instructor with experience in a variety of forms and styles including ballet, modern, hip-hop, tap, and jazz.
Director of Merchandising and Group Sales
Shayla Lowe, a native of Cleveland, Ohio, has called the Baltimore area home for the last 20 years. Ms. Lowe joined the ArtsCentric team in 2017 and serves as the Director of Merchandising and Group Sales. In this role, she manages concession and merchandise and maintains relationships with key community partners and businesses. Ms. Lowe has worked in the corporate world for the past fourteen years as a Workforce Planning and Development Analyst for Verizon. She currently pursues a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with a focus in Marketing and has goals to expand into the area of Public Relations. She attended Morgan State University where she majored in vocal performance and studied under the tutelage of renowned conductor Dr. Nathan Carter.
Ms. Lowe has performed as a singer for most of her life, specializing in musical theater. Highlights of her performance career include debuts as Norma in Hands on a Hard Body (Keegan Theater), Deloris Van Cartier in Sister Act: The Musical (ArtsCentric), Shug Avery in The Color Purple (Toby’s Dinner Theater), and with Sincerely, Me!, an original work produced by ArtsCentric. She is passionate about the work that ArtsCentric creates and diligently provides cast care and support for every production as a Company Manager.
Sequina DuBose, Ph.D
Director of Development
Sequina DuBose has served as the Director of Development for ArtsCentric since the organization transitioned to a 501(c)3 nonprofit in 2016. In this role, she successfully coordinated with board and company members to write and submit grant proposals resulting in $20,000 in grant funding within the first 18 months of achieving nonprofit status. She also serves as a board member and chaired the committee for ArtsCentric’s inaugural fundraising gala in Fall 2018. Prior to serving as Director of Development, she served as Marketing Director for ArtsCentric for four years. During that time, she crafted annual marketing campaigns and led the note-worthy campaign for ArtsCentric’s Next to Normal, a musical production that garnering significant media attention and launched the organization’s brand into the limelight.
In addition to pursuing her interests in the nonprofit sector, Dr. DuBose, a classically-trained opera singer, has received both national and international recognition for her skills as a vocal performer. She has performed as an opera singer with Lyric Opera of Chicago, Michigan Opera Theater, and Opera Memphis, among others. In recent years, she performed as a soloist and ensemble member in Underground Railroad: A Spiritual Journey, a concert series which culminated in a performance at the Metropolitan Opera with Kathleen Battle. A versatile actress and crossover artist, Dr. DuBose has performed as Cleopatra in an Off-Broadway production of Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra, as Lady in Blue in ArtsCentric’s production of For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When The Rainbow is Enuf, as Chloe in a New York Musical Theater Festival reading of 7:32, The Musical, and as Deena Jones in the hit musical Dreamgirls with both ArtsCentric and Toby’s Dinner Theater of Columbia. She has toured the U.S and Spain as a soloist with The American Spiritual Ensemble, and Chorale Le Chateau alongside famed trumpeter Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra.
A Detroit native, Dr. DuBose received her bachelor’s degree in Music from Morgan State University, a Master of Music degree in Vocal Performance from George Mason University, and an Artist Certificate in Vocal Performance from Manhattan School of Music. She obtained a Doctorate of Musical Arts degree in the area of Vocal Pedagogy at the University of Maryland, College Park where she was a Dean’s Fellowship Award recipient. As an active member of the UMD graduate student body, she maintained a voice studio of undergraduate students enrolled in the Voice Minor Series, a program for which she also served as Coordinator. Dr. DuBose has acted as a teaching assistant for both the Voice Division and Musicology Division for the UMD School of Music, and served as a member of the IDEA Committee (Inclusion Diversity Equity, and Access). She has served as a guest instructor and vocal master class teacher at both Howard University and Buena Vista University in Iowa. She will serve as an Assistant Professor of Voice this fall at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.