Trae Spears is the President and Executive Director for Downstage Productions Theatre. Trae is a freelance project manager and marketing director for many small businesses around the Gulf Coast. In his free time, Trae likes to experiment with business small business endeavors and spend time with his fiancé, Wyatt. Labeled as “the conceptual director” by a few of his peers, Trae likes to present shows that you may know in ways that you may not have ever seen them. His goal for 2022 is to be better than he was in 2021. Trae believes that all dreams are possible for those who wish to achieve them.
Jennifer is the Vice President of Downstage Productions Theatre. She is a 20 year veteran music teacher having taught all ages from Kindergarten to College. She is now serving as the Co-Performing Arts Director at St. Martin Middle School. Her hobbies include performing every chance she gets and making custom crafts. Jennifer has been married to her husband, Jason, for 20 years. They live in Biloxi with their two children, two dogs, two geckos, and hedgehog.
Lanie Spears is the Treasure and Front of House manager for Downstage productions Theatre. When Lanie is not working on projects with Downstage she keeps her grand children during the day. Her hobbies are crafts and plants. Lanie has Three grown children who still keep her busy and has a passion for children. Lanie is the project manager over all Downstage kids productions. Lanie loves giving back to her community with baskets for holiday meals for those in need, Easter baskets for children who may not receive one, and of course always trying to find ways to bring money into Downstage. Lanie has been married to jimmy spears for 37 years she attends Nugent Methodist Church and has been her church home all her life.
Gracenoelle Williams is the secretary of the Downstage Production’s Board of Directors. She likes to sing, dance and relax. Downstage is Gracenoelle’s second home and she does everything she can to see it thrive. The shows done at Downstage are always shows that an audience member will never forget. Downstage’s shows always have a positive message that can be related to all the current issues going on today. Gracenoelle believes that you work hard on the things you love to do so that you can do the things you love. The saying is true, “Do the things you love and you will never work a day in your life.”. Because when you are doing what you love, it never feels like work.
Katherine Carr is the Grant Writer and Community Outreach Chair for Downstage Productions Theatre. Katherine is an experienced language teacher who has taught in elementary, secondary, pre-college, and adult/community settings. In her free time, Katherine enjoys creative writing and spending time with her family. Katherine enjoys making connections in the community to promote the arts for its educational and therapeutic benefits. In the future she hopes to see an expansion of arts and cultural offerings in Gulfport to increase cultural exchange and bolster community building
Adonna Disbrow is the artistic designer for Downstage Productions Theatre. She is an art teacher for kindergarten through sixth grade in the Harrison County School District and she loves passing her love for art down to younger generations. Adonna has been an artist for over 20 years and her artwork can be found throughout south Mississippi from Wiggins to Biloxi. Adonna specializes in several different art forms including set design, painting, prop building, sculpting, and special effects makeup and she is always on the lookout for new techniques to add to her portfolio. When Adonna isn’t teaching or creating she likes to spend time with her family, usually at some sporting event with her nieces and nephews. Adonna’s goal for 2022 is to make Downstage Productions standout both artistically and visually.
Ryan is a member of the board of directors at Downstage Productions Theatre. He is a bartender at Marina Cantina Gulfport and choreographer and dance instructor at Rock U2 School of Performing Arts in Ocean Springs where he teaches contemporary, hip hop, and Broadway jazz. He has worked with people from age 3 to 50 for various dances whether it’s be competitive dance, Mardi Gras balls, or one of Downstage’s musicals. When he is not choreographing or teaching class, he is assisting other dance classes, drawing, painting, or doing photography. In the end, there is nowhere Ryan would rather be than in a creative space such as the stage or the dance studio. He believes that a life without creativity and the arts is not a life worth living.
Wyatt is the Social Media Director for Downstage Productions Theatre. He holds an Associate of Arts and an Associate of Science from Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College. Wyatt is an account manager for Trae Spears Designs as well as the founder and owner of Practical, LLC, an up and coming business on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. He enjoys spending time with friends and family, especially his fiancé Trae. Wyatt looks forward to shining a spotlight on even the smallest of roles and giving our viewers a chance to really experience Downstage.
Laura Williams is proud to be a member of the Downstage Board of Directors. She has been a teacher for more than 35 years, having taught children from the ages of 3-18. Recently, Laura has begun working with the Downstage Kids and is currently directing the Wizard of Oz. She enjoys seeing the kids learn and grow and perform. She loves live theatre, and has been a part of several shows at Downstage. Laura has two grown children, and has been married to her husband, Richard, for 26 years. She enjoys spending time with her family, and has been an active member of Bible Baptist Church for nearly 40 years, where she directs VBS, sings in the choir, and teaches Sunday school. Laura is looking forward to helping Downstage to thrive in the coming years.