Meet the Cast:
Jesse Lewis III
Jesse Lewis as OLLIE is a New Jersey born teacher, inspirational speaker, actor and emcee. He is most known for his versatility in roles from the comedic Mail Dude in Miracles On Dream Street, to the sadistic Priest in The Hour. Jesse also enjoys rapping and is currently working on his debut studio album entitled Blackface. He is now a resident of Piscataway, NJ where he lives with his wife Evenly, and two sons, Jesse IV and Josiah. He is extremely excited to join the cast of The Tea and cannot wait to put on a phenomenal show.
Brittany Monique Bethea
Brittany Monique Bethea as Retha is a classically trained opera singer, and actress from Jersey City, NJ. She is an alumni of University of New Haven where she studied Music and Music Business and holds an MPA from Seton Hall University. She enjoys performing with community theater groups and is excited to continue to pursue her passion with UTAP.
Steven Strickland as George is an actor, director, and host from Newark, NJ. Steven has performed in and directed numerous theatrical productions, films, and is one of the most sought after hosts on the East Coast. Steven’s phenomenal ability to captivate audiences is a testament to his love for the craft. His Motto: "DO WHAT YOU LOVE. LOVE WHAT YOU DO!"
Lunden Bellard as Cornelia is a charismatic, intelligent fun loving 9 year old girl. She attends St. Joseph School in Jersey City, where she is a part of student council and participates in a variety of school activities. Lunden enjoys celebrating birthdays and having fun with her friends. This is her debut stage performance after completing the UTAP 2019 Kids Acting course!
Damar Longin as Elvin is an aspiring 9 year old actor who started out at church in the Christmas plays at age 3. Walking in his brothers footsteps he has been selected to participate in the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. oratory contest for 2020. He currently attends PS #12 in Jersey City. Damar is a student of UTAP and has completed the UTAP Acting 101 and 102 course. Ollie will be his debut performance as an actor!
Ciara Lewis as Jillian was born an actress. As a child she knew most of the scenes from her favorite movies by heart. She could often be found in front of the mirror performing dialogue or playing cops and robbers with her siblings. To hone her craft she enrolled in the NJ School of Performing Arts in Bloomfield, NJ. Shortly after she began landing roles in stage plays. This is her second run as Jillian in Ollie.
Dante Burgess as David has been acting for 2 years and has studied at AMAW in New York City. He has appeared in 2 short films that have been submitted to the Indie Film Fesitval. This is his second run as a supporting role in a play entitled “Ollie.” He has also been casted for the role of Moses in the upcoming play “The Tea - Interview with the Stars” coming this Spring.
La-Shay as Ms. Lola- A New Jersey native who is currently pursuing her doctorate degree. She received acting classes at Uplifted Talent and Productions and completed the 2017 UTAP acting course. Just a few weeks after completing the course she was cast as a supporting role in the play imperfect women of the bible. This will be her second run in Ollie the stage play as Ms. Lola.
Sean as Mr. Lane- Born the 10th of 17 children, Sean acted at home where his family characters all created plays and stories. Be it a Christmas story or an old Irish wake, the imagination had a feast.
When a chance appearance in a film occurred in 2016, Sean's love of acting was rekindled, leading to appearances in film, television, commercials and the theater across New Jersey and New York. This is his second run in Ollie the stage play.