brownsville song (b-side for tray) By Kimber Lee Promo

brownsville song (b-side for tray)

January 25, 2017 - March 26, 2017 |  Gompertz Theatre

Tray Thompson is not just a name, not just a statistic. Set against the gritty backdrop of rundown Brooklyn, brownsville song is a poignant, and uplifting story of one family’s courage and endurance after a senseless act of gang violence alters a high school senior’s dreams forever. Left to pick up the pieces, his family must find hope and resilience within their tight-knit Brooklyn borough. FLORIDA PREMIERE!

The running time for brownsville song (b-side for tray) is approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes. It is performed without an intermission.

brownsville song (b-side for tray) by Kimber Lee.

To view a large print version of our playbill click here.

Kimber Lee’s award-winning play based on real-life tragedy and loss, Brownsville Song is a beautiful and compelling tale that sheds light on the cycle of violence and the strength of families in Brooklyn’s inner city. Because of the complex nature of these themes, the play also features more mature content, including discussions of murder and drug abuse, and strong language. A play all audiences can relate to, but may be best suited to audiences not younger than mature high school students prepared for the content of this very moving, but challenging story.


Director  |  Kate Alexander
Stage Manager  |  Roy Johns*
Scenic Designer  |  Ken Goldstein
Costume Designer  |  Matthew Lefebvre
Lighting Designer  |  Rachel Budin
Sound Designer  |  Thom Beaulieu


Lena  |  Alice M. Gatling*
Devine   |  Deysha Nelson / Catalina Grieco
Junior  |  Warren Jackson*
Tray  |  Wesley T. Jones
Merrell  |  Rachel Lu*

* Denotes member Actors’ Equity Association. The Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States.

ALICE M. GATLING (Lena) Alley Theatre: Doubt, To Kill A Mockingbird, Our Lady of 121st St., The Exonerated, The Crucible; Arden Theatre: Under the Skin, Much Ado About Nothing; Interact Theatre: Gidion’s Knot (Barrymore Best Actress); Florida Studio Theatre: Ruined, Black Pearl Sings!; People’s Light and Theatre Co: As You Like It, A Flea in Her Ear, The Icarus Box; Stages Repertory Theatre: Nickel and Dimed, Black Pearl Sings!; Main Street Theatre: Caroline or Change, Intimate Apparel, Woof!; The Ensemble Theatre: No Child... (Giorgee Award Best Actress), The Piano Lesson (Giorgee Award Best Actress) Fences, Flyin’ West; Judith Shakespeare Co: Julius Caesar; Turnip Theatre Co: Lives of the Great Waitresses (OOBR Award Winner); Everyman Theater: Under the Skin.

CATALINA GRIECO  (Devine) Catalina is a 5th grader at Pine View.  She enjoys performing in FST’s Musical Theatre program and FST’s Children’s Performing Arts Summer Program. Recent credits include Young Fan in A Christmas Carol (Venice Theatre), Lucy Pevensie in The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe (Venice Theatre) and Polly in Cat On A Hot Tin Roof (Players Theatre).  Catalina is excited to play Devine and for this wonderful opportunity!

DEYSHA NELSON (Devine) Deysha  Nelson is a 9 year old  model/designer/actress/dancer/spokesperson.  She has appeared on 3 National children shows and has also been featured in 2 National Commercials and over 20 short films.  She has a clothing line called Almond Eyez Designs and has showcased her clothing line in 4 different states and 10 different fashion shows. She has interviewed with Steve Harvey, Harry Connick Jr., Comcast & Fox 29 twice, as well as been featured in 5 magazines.

WARREN JACKSON (Junior) FST debut. A member of Brave New World, his work includes: The Long Christmas Dinner. NY credits: Midsummer Night’s Dream, Masterworks; Titus Andronicus, NYSX; Talking to Westfield, Premiere Stages; Henry V, Classical Theater of Harlem.Regional: Tempest, NC Shakespeare Festival; Fences, Clarence Brown Theater & Gloucester Stage; NEA national tours: Macbeth, AL Shakespeare Festival, Romeo & Juliet Chicago Shakespeare. Nominated: Black Theatre Alliance of Chicago for Best Featured Actor, Victory Garden’s Shoes, and Midwest Emmy board for Best Ensemble with Chicago’s Green Screen Adventures. MFA: University of Arizona.

WESLEY T. JONES (Tray) Wesley T. Jones is a New York based actor hailing from Detroit, MI. He is an Alumnus of Carnegie Mellon University’s class of 2016; at which he received his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Acting. This is Wesley’s first production with Florida Studio Theatre and he is filled with nothing but gratitude to be working with the company, and to be telling this story with his fellow cast mates.


RACHEL LU (Merrell) Best known for her role as the ambitious Tiger Mom on ABC’s What Would You Do? Rachel Lu has appeared on stage, films, and TV commercials. She was recently seen in Chinglish at Portland Center Stage and Syracuse Stage. On the big screen, Rachel can be seen as a conspicuous fashionista in Front Cover available on Netflix. She was nominated for Best Actress for her performance in Paper Wrap Fire. Connect with Rachel at

KATE ALEXANDER (Director) is the Associate Director of FST and the Founder of the FST Theatre School. Ms. Alexander has directed numerous productions and premieres on the FST stages including Clever Little Lies;  Alabama Story; Outside Mullingar; Over The River And Through The Woods; Chapatti; Dancing Lessons; Becoming Dr. Ruth; Freud’s Last Session; Thurgood; South Beach Babylon; The Columnist; Talley’s Folly; Jericho; Next Fall; The Savannah Disputation; Ghost- Writer; Two Jews Walk into a War...; I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change; Sylvia; Shotgun; The Miamians; Brooklyn Boy; The Exonerated; Wit; Proof; Lobby Hero; and Ten Unknowns. Ms. Alexander has also been a resident actress for over 25 years. Some of her leading roles were in the plays: Edward Albee’s The Goat; Filumena; Master Class; Edward Albee’s Three Tall Women, The Occupant, The Play About the Baby; Golda’s Balcony; and Taking Shakespeare. Ms. Alexander is the recipient of numerous acting, directing, and public service awards, including FAER, She Knows Where She’s Going Award (Girls, Inc.), The Woman of Light Award, National Council of Jewish Women, The Woman of Power Award, the Sarasota County Arts Leadership Award, Education Award, Sarasota Manatee Jewish Federation, and most recently The Unity Award. Ms. Alexander leads the FST Forums Series and developed the Blue Butterfly Theatre Program, a program for teens suffering from grief through loss. She created the Art of The Gesture program at Ringling College of Animation and is the co-author of The Animated Short, with Karen Sullivan, now in its 3rd edition. Ms. Alexander will be performing a reading from Elie Wiesels’ book, Night, this February in conjunction with the Violins of Hope and the Sarasota Orchestra. 

ROY JOHNS (Stage Manager) is pleased to be back for another season at FST. He has had an exciting and varied career both on stage and behind the scenes from Tokyo Disneyland to the White House. Past credits at FST include Million Dollar Quartet; The God of Isaac; The Roommate; The Fabulous Lipitones; Alabama Story; Outside Mullingar; One Man, Two Guvnors; The Hound of the Baskervilles; Chapatti; Hairspray; and Taking Shakespeare.

KEN GOLDSTEIN (Scenic Designer) is pleased to be at Florida Studio Theatre.  Ken has designed at numerous regional theatres including: Baystreet Theatre, Northern Stage, CapRep, Gulfshore Playhouse, Barrington Stage Company, The Hangar Theatre, The Skylight Music Theatre, Arkansas Rep, and The Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival. Ken designed for Jim Henson’s Dinosaur Train Live! and Sid the Science Kid Live! National tours and productions for Norwegian Cruise Lines and Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines.  Ken is the Associate Professor of Set Design at SUNY at New Paltz.

MATTHEW LEFEBVRE (Costume  Designer) Off-Broadway credits include Two Trains Running at Signature Theatre and Bach at Leipzig for New York Theatre Workshop. Mathew has designed costumes for more than 25 productions at the Guthrie Theater, and more than 15 productions at Penumbra Theatre Company. Other regional credits include the Old Globe, American Players Theatre, Indianapolis Repertory Theatre, Arizona Theatre Company, The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, The Minnesota Opera, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park,The Acting Company, Milwaukee Repertory Theater, Trinity Repertory Company, Cleveland Play House, Theatre de la Jeune Lune, Geffen Playhouse, and the Jungle Theater.

RACHEL BUDIN  (Lighting Designer) is joining FST for the first time on brownsville song. After working with Ms. Alexander on a production of Golda’s Balcony several years ago she is very happy to continue the collaboration! Regional Theater work includes: Denver Center Theater, Alabama Shakespeare, Oregon Shakespeare, Luna Stage (West Orange, NJ), The Lake Theatre (Lake George, NY) and Capital Rep (Albany, NY). Ms. Budin also teaches theater at Ramapo College of NJ.

THOM BEAULIEU (Sound Designer) is pleased to be returning to Florida Studio Theatre. Most recently you may have heard his work as sound designer in the Court Cabaret on Gypsies, Tramps, & Thieves. Thom is a sound and lighting designer living in New Hampshire where he most recently designed sound for Cabaret and The Boy Who Drew Cats at The Winnipesaukee Playhouse.  Thom’s design career has been in the professional and educational realms in both New Hampshire and Georgia over the last 20 years.

SPECIAL THANKS to Kelli Karen for additional staging and assisting with movement and choreography.

SPECIAL THANKS to China Smith, Director of Manatee PAL Boxing & Fitness, for assisting with boxing choreography and technique.