The Electric Company Members
Jenni Barber is originally from the small town of Mansfield, Ohio. One of four kids, Barber grew up in a creative family where her artistic aspirations were enthusiastically encouraged. At the age of five, Barber started taking ballet lessons, hoping to someday meet her hero, Jacques D'amboise. Soon after, she took up studying tap, jazz, piano, singing, the flute and pretty much anything that could give her a stage for her abounding energy. After being part of a few community theatre musicals, namely playing the iconic title role in Annie, Jenni was bit by that nasty little creature, the acting bug.
Barber continued to study dance, music and acting all through elementary, junior and high school with the goal of attending college to major in Musical Theatre. After graduating from high school as salutatorian, Barber achieved that goal by being accepted to the highly selective Musical Theatre Department in the School of Music at The University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.
After receiving the prestigious Earl V. Moore Award of Excellence, Barber graduated Summa Cum Laude (from the University of Michigan) and moved to New York City. Barber has been seen on TV in Law and Order: SVU; on Broadway in the role of Olive Ostrovsky in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee; and Off-Broadway in From Up Here at Manhattan Theatre Club. Barber can also be heard on the radio and on television in various commercials and jingles.
Priscilla Star Diaz, known to her fans as P-Star, is of Cuban and Puerto Rican descent. She and her older sister started out life in a foster home until their father gained custody and the three have since moved to Harlem. At a young age, Diaz discovered, that she could “spit fire.” Before long, she was battling everyone, everywhere, and in 2005, she won the Citywide Hip Hop Competition and was the youngest female entrant.
Diaz attended the Jo Lee Dance and Performance Arts School, and received acting lessons at the City Lights Youth Theater. She has appeared in the Off-Broadway production of Take the Train to Maine at the Second Stage Theater. In 2005, she appeared in the short film, Sita, as a young girl dying of AIDS. She also appeared in Nick at Nite’s candid camera-style show for kids, Hijinks, featuring Susan Sarandon. In 2007, Diaz shot a pilot for her own show on Nickelodeon, P-Star and Angela. Additionally, she has finalized a second pilot, The Adventures of Super Jane. Her television appearances also include Sabado Gigante, Primer Impacto, One Nation, and the Latin Grammy Awards. Diaz also recently released a children’s work-out DVD.
Diaz’s music career began in 2005 where she was featured as the lead vocalist on “Reggaeton Ninos Vol. 1,” which sold more than 150,000 copies and stared in the video “Oye mi Canto.” She subsequently became the opening voice of Hot 97’s Angie Martinez Show on New York City radio. In 2006, Diaz opened for Raven Symone at Great Adventure and has opened for several other Disney shows. In 2007, Diaz debuted her single “Biggie Bounce,” which is featured on Kidz Bop. Her first full-length solo album, “Welcome to My Show,” under Hunc Records/DFE, is in stores now.
A gifted rapper and actor, Diaz won first place in the 2004 "Little Miss Harlem" Black and Latino Beauty Pageant; the Miss All American State Finals; and the Junior Miss International Beauty Pageant. Diaz was the first female in beauty pageant history to perform hip-hop on stage and win the pageant. She has gone on to model for Royal Addiction, Baby Phat, J. Lo, and Roca Wear.
Diaz received the ‘Latina of Distinction’ award in 2005. The same year, the NYC Deptartment of Education honored her with the legendary ‘Hip Hop Pioneers for the Future of Hip Hop’ award, recognizing her for her positive presence in the community.
Josh Segarra is from Longwood, Florida and is of Puerto Rican descent. Fluent in Spanish, Segarra developed an early passion for theatre starring as the “Cowardly Lion” in the Orlando Youth Theatre’s production of The Wizard of Oz. He continued down the musical path and gained accolades in solo performances in his middle school chorus and also received praise for his voice from members of his church.
In high school, Segarra played “Harold Hill” (The Music Man), “Ren McCormick” (Footloose), and “Nick Piazza” and “Joe Vegas” (Fame: The Musical). During this time, his musical career blossomed as the lead singer of an a capella group that sang for the governor of Florida. His numerous theatrical awards included a Best of Show in Duet Musical at the Florida Thespian State Competition.
In 2008, Segarra graduated from the Tisch School of Arts at NYU with a degree in Theatre. During his freshman year at NYU, Segarra had a role in the CBS movie, Vampire Bats, starring Lucy Lawless. While at NYU, Josh sang, beat boxed and was the featured rapper for N'harmonics, a premiere a capella group. He performed on various stages, including at Lincoln Center for the International a capella Super Finals. In his sophomore year, he performed in the Off-Broadway musical, Fools in Love. His most recent acting work can be seen in the upcoming movies The Ministers, starring John Leguizamo and Harvey Keitel; the horror film Bloodnight; as well as Tiny Dancer which will be featured at the Sundance Film Festival.
Ricky Smith was born in New York City and discovered his performing talents at an early age. He kicked off his career singing “The Star Spangled Banner” and “God Bless America” during a spring concert at his school. At the age of nine, he was asked to compete in a singing competition during half-time of a Knicks basketball game in Madison Square Garden. After singing “I Heard It Through the Grapevine” by Marvin Gaye, he won a $250 educational IRA.
Smith performed at the Tony Awards while acting in Broadway’s The Color Purple as “Young Harpo.” He also played “Archie” in the Off-Broadway play, Captain Louie.
Smith’s love of music has inspired him to teach himself to play the piano and the guitar. Even while being busy with school, auditions, performing, writing and producing his own music, he still finds time to play basketball, soccer and baseball with his siblings and friends.
Chris Sullivan is from Foxboro, Massachusetts and accredits his foundational musical training to high school band director and percussion instructor, Stephen Massey. Dabbling in theater and improvisational comedy, he starred in several high school plays, won the drama award senior year and was a member of Kung Fu Improv in the Uncommon Theater Company. His musical influences include The Beastie Boys, Tribe Called Quest, and De La Soul, leading him to experiment with hip-hop and beatboxing in his high school rock band and other musical collaborations until graduation in 1997. Throughout his time at Foxboro High School, he worked in a pre-school and became a Massachusetts certified preschool teacher and BSA Eagle Scout.
After a year in AmeriCorps' City Year in Boston, Sullivan attended college at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and majored in Communication. In 1999, he joined the a cappella group, The Vocal Suspects as a vocal percussionist. In college, Sullivan became part of the esteemed comedy troupe Mission:IMPROVable where the name “Shockwave” was assigned as a stage name because of his signature style of beatbox, improvisational soundscapes and vocal skills.
Upon graduation Sullivan moved to New York City and began studying improvisational comedy with The People's Improv Theater, The Upright Citizen's Brigade Theater and instructors of Chicago's Annoyance Theater. He performed at variety shows, open mics and as a "drummer" for dozens of downtown solo musicians, and continued his vocal time-keeping and suggestion based performances of sound and movement. In 2003, he was introduced to hip-hop comedy group Freestyle Love Supreme where he was welcomed as a fellow cast/band member, and formally began his career as a professional comedic beatboxer.
At around the same time he joined Freestyle Love Supreme, Sullivan met Terry "Kid Lucky" Lewis, founder of Beatboxer Entertainment - organizer of beatboxers and producer of beatboxing performances. Through Beatboxer Entertainment, Sullivan performed with Doug E. Fresh, Rahzel, Biz Markie and countless other human beatboxers from around the country at venues such as The Nuyorican Poets Cafe, Madison Square Garden, and the MTA subway system in the bi-monthly Hip-Hop Subway Series. At the same time, Freestyle Love Supreme performed at The Aspen Comedy Festival, The Edinburgh Fringe Festival, The Melbourne Comedy Festival, and the 10th Anniversary for Paramount Comedy in London. These festivals allowed him to share the stage with such comedy greats as Catherine O'Hara and Jeff Garlin
Sullivan became involved with The Electric Company re-launch in 2006 alongside the Freestyle Love Supreme crew and is very excited to be an integral part of the future of children's literacy, beatboxing and imagination in America.
L. Steven Taylor was born and raised in Indianapolis, Indiana. Being from the Hoosier state, Taylor was naturally drawn to the basketball courts rather than the stage. It wouldn’t be untill high school that Taylor was thrust into the world of show choir where he found a new love. In school he performed in his first musical as “Zebulon” and “Butler” in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolored Dreamcoat. In college, Taylor pursued a degree in Early Childhood Development and was a Pre-K teacher for three years. Taylor then returned to the stage when a local theater was searching for a dancer for an upcoming swing show. It was there that he met his wife, Erin.
After a stint of performing and choreographing in Seattle, Taylor auditioned for Disney’s The Lion King and was offered a spot with the Broadway company, where he currently performs. He has also played the role of “Mufasa” in the National Tour of The Lion King. Other New York credits include: Ataria (directed by Hinton Battle), Cutman, White Noise and the upcoming Kander and Ebb piece Scottsboro Boys. Television and film credits include: Last of the Ninth and Expiration Date. Other credits include: Songs for a New World, Miss Saigon, A Chorus Line, Guys and Dolls, The Rocky Picture Horror Show and Godspell. Taylor has also performed with artists such as John Mellencamp and Aretha Franklin. With a host of national commercial and print ads, Taylor’s favorite role is daddy to Steven Jr. and husband to “the most beautiful woman in the world.”
Dominic Colón- received his BFA in Acting from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. Since graduation he is enjoying a successful career on television, film and theatre. His television credits include guest appearances on Law and Order, Law and Order: SVU, The Knights of Prosperity, Six Degrees, Malcolm in the Middle and Third Watch. Colón starred in the Independent Spirit award nominated and award winning film On The Outs. His other film appearances include We Own the Night, Bella, the remake of Neil Simon's The Goodbye Girl, August Rush, and the HBO film Taking Chance. Colón is also an accomplished stage actor, with credits including The Mark Taper Forum's production of Slanguage, and Danny Hoch's Till the Break of Dawn. In addition to being a full time actor, Colón is also an educator having taught acting and playwriting in high schools, hospitals, and juvenile detention facilities with arts-in-education organizations throughout New York City. Currently, Colón is the Theater Director of Teatro El Puente; a youth theater company that tours New York City performing plays on social issues.
Will Harper’s Off-Broadway experience includes: Ruined (Goodman Theatre and Manhattan Theatre Club); Queens Boulevard (the musical) and Paradise Park (Signature Theatre Company); The Children of Vonderly (Ma-Yi Theatre Company); and Rich Boyfriend (The New Group). His New York theatre credits include: Neglect, Bike Wreck, 100 Most Beautiful Names of Todd, Unwritten Song, (Ensemble Studio Theatre); and Full Bloom (Vital Theatre). His regional theatre work includes: A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Measure for Measure (Shakespeare in Santa Fe); Hamlet (Dallas Theater Center); and Dance of the Holy Ghosts: A play on memory (New York Stage and Film). Prior to his work on The Electric Company, Harper has also been on the television series Law & Order, CSI and All Good Things.
Ashley Morris is a recent Graduate of the North Carolina School of the Arts. Her Off Broadway credits include: “Edith” in Charles Bush's Die Mommie Die; “Isabel” in Paper Dolls; Sea; and Lysistrata New. Her regional theatre work includes; “Juliet” in Jon Langs’ Romeo and Juliet; and “Clown” in Five Clowns at the American School in Singapore. On television Morris had a guest roll as “Harmony” on Ugly Betty. Her film credits include, “Maggie” in Be Good Daniel and an upcoming role in Sundays at Fort Green. Morris spent a season as a co-writer of Viva La Vulva and is the author of Libido Limbo which was a finalist at the Young Playwrights Festival in Atlanta, Georgia.
Sandie Rosa is a California native and a graduate of the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York City. Her Off-Broadway and other New York theatre credits include: Wanda's World, Let's Face It, Good News, and Extraordinary the Musical. Her regional theatre work includes: Yeast Nation: the triumph of life (Perseverance Theatre); Urinetown (Weston Playhouse and The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis) for which she won the Kevin Kline Award for Supporting Actress; and Into the Woods (Arrow Rock Lyceum Theatre). Rosa can be seen in commercials for Diet Pepsi, Sprint, and MTV. She is also getting ready to reprise her role in Yeast Nation for the pre-Broadway Chicago premiere in spring '09.