MARGARETTE JOYNER, Artistic Director of The Heritage Ensemble Theatre Company. Margarette has been blessed with talents that include: Director, Singer, Playwright, Costume Designer, Set Designer, Collage Artist and Jewelry maker. She has directed such plays as Ceremonies in Dark Old Man, Steal Away, For Black Boys… just to name a few. As a vocalist she’s sung at art gallery openings, fire station dedications as well as the Miami Arena before 14,000 patrons. As a Playwright she has written such plays as Message From a Slave and Sweet Chocolate and the Seven Christians. She is well known for her designs as they are often referred to as “looking like custom clothing” as opposed to costumes. She has loaned her talents to many of the local theatre companies as well the ‘M’ Ensemble Theatre Company in Miami, Florida who gave her the first design job. She is not only a set designer but will not hesitate to jump in build a set which is exactly what she did for Free Man of Color which left patrons amazed at her skill. For two years, Margarette was also the face of Glory Foods and still has a cooking show on the Glory Foods website. She has worked on and off stages across the country for more than three decades and can be seen on numerous television commercials. She graduated from VCU with a Master’s Degree in Theatre and for six years was the only full time Instructor of theatre at Virginia Union University. For two summers, Ms. Joyner was hired by the City of Richmond as a Facilitator of Poetry and Theatre with the Mayor’s Youth Academy. Currently, she is a full time Certified Actor Interpreter at Colonial Williamsburg and is thrilled to call herself a full time, working actor. When asked about her many talents Joyner responded, “I am humbled by the fact that God has chosen me to represent His work.”
Ubuntu - "I am because we are"
Sharalyn Garrard is a native of Richmond, VA. She received her B.A. in Speech and Drama from Hampton (Institute) University. She began her career as a Stage Manager at CAT Theatre. After one season at CAT, Sharalyn moved to Los Angeles and continued to Stage Manage. Upon her return to Richmond, Sharalyn took a theatrical break until 1998 when she was cast in Inherit The Wind at Barksdale Theatre. There she came under the tutelage of Ernie McClintock as a member of his Jazz Actors Theatre. She appeared in El Hajj Malik, Do Lord, Remember Me, Fires In The Mirror, and Steal Away while with Jazz Actors. Sharalyn studied acting with Mr. McClintock until his death in 2003. Sharalyn has been seen on several Richmond stages. Some of her favorite roles have been Lena Younger in A Raisin in the Sun with New Castle Productions, The Narrator in Sweet Chocolate and the Seven Christians, and she reprised her role as Sudy in Steal Away, both productions of Heritage Ensemble Theatre. Other favorite roles include, Odessa in The Amen Corner with New Castle Productions, Woman One in From The Mississippi Delta, Clairee in Steel Magnolias“, Madame” in Charcoal Street with the African American Repertory Theatre of VA and Viney in The Miracle Worker at Swift Creek Mill. She was also seen as Aunt Missy in Purlie, Delia in Blues for an Alabama Sky and Miss Maddie in The Will at Dogwood Dell, Wit at TheatreVirginia. Sharalyn was last seen as Big Mama in The Heritage Ensemble Theatre’s production of Livin’ Fat. She has directed God’s Trombones with the Ebenezer Baptist Church Drama Ministry, 2 staged readings, Tellin’ Tales and Look What We Did With Love, with Heritage Ensemble Theatre, and TheBlackList: Lorraine Hansberry with TheatreLab.
Shalandis Wheeler Smith
SHALANDIS WHEELER SMITH is a native of Petersburg, VA and currently resides in Richmond, VA. She received her BA in Theatre from Norfolk State University. Shalandis has been with The Heritage Ensemble Theatre Company since it was founded. She loves theatre and has enjoyed being part of this growing company. Her joy for acting has led to her to being cast in local commercials, films and various theatre's around Richmond. Shalandis loves spending time with her family and friends as well as supporting the arts.
Ameesha Smith is a 2016 graduate from Virginia Union University with a Bachelors in Fine Arts, acting emphasis. She has been acting since 2006, earning her first role as Grace in Amazing Grace with the Hurrah Players. Under the direction of Margarette Joyner, Ameesha has explored many parts of theatre and has shown growth over the years. Ameesha loves to act and can’t see herself not acting. Being apart of The Heritage Ensemble Theatre Company, continues to fuel her fire and push her to do more.
Earlie Joyner is excited to part of The Heritage Ensemble Theatre Company. Born December 6, 1980 in New Brunswick, NJ, Earlie moved to Miami, FL at the age of six where she performed in numerous shows at the Caleb Center as an actress/dancer/singer for the African American Cultural Arts Center. She has previously been Assistant Stage Manager for Raisin in the Sun, Stage Manager for The Laramie Project and Director of Kuumba Café all at the Uiversity of South Alabama. She was also a Wardrobe/Stitcher for The Lost Colony at the Roanoke Island Historical Association. She most proud of her self-written solo performance at the Limye Fondasyon charity event in 2014 which helped raise money for children in Haiti. Earlie is profoundly grateful for her mother, Director Margarette Joyner, who generously shares her time, love, faith and talents with anyone who is open to receive.
Earlie Kiana Joyner
Shanea N. Taylor, President
Jamar Jones, Vice President
Albert Ruffin, Treasurer
E. Claudette Freeman, Secretary
Anne Carr Regan
Founded in 2012 by Executive Director Margarette Joyner,
The Heritage Ensemble Theatre Company is a nonprofit organization dedicated to producing high quality theatrical productions in the Richmond, VA area while creating a home for actors, collaborating with local organizations and educating the community in the creative process. Joyner’s theatrical style will immerse the audience into different worlds of the African American diaspora.