Downstage Board of Directors
Founder and Executive Director - Trae Spears
Trae Spears is the Founder and Executive Director of Downstage Productions Theatre. Trae is a freelance project manager and marketing director for many small businesses around the Gulf Coast and full time social media strategist at Keesler Federal Credit Union. In his free time, Trae likes to experiment with small business endeavors and spend time with his husband, 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 this year is to be better than he was in last year. Trae believes that all dreams are possible for those who wish to achieve them.
President - Adonna Disbrow
Adonna Disbrow is the President 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 this year is to make Downstage Productions standout both artistically and visually.
Vice President - Noelle Williams
Gracenoelle Williams is the Vice President 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.
Treasurer & DownstageKIDS - Lanie Spears
Lanie Spears is the Treasurer and Front of House manager for Downstage Productions Theatre and the director for DownstageKIDS, Downstage’s group for 5-10 year olds. 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 a passion for children and three grown children of her own who still keep her busy. She is the Director of DownstageKIDS who perform at least one musical a year. Lanie loves giving back to her community with baskets of 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, which has been her church home all her life.
COO and Social Media - Wyatt Spears
Wyatt is the Chief Organizational Officer and 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 the co-owner of Trae Spears, LLC 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 husband, Trae. Wyatt looks forward to shining a spotlight on even the smallest of roles and giving our viewers a chance to really experience Downstage.
Community Outreach - Katherine Carr
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.
DownstageElite Director - Laura Williams
Laura Williams is the Director of DownstageELITE, Downstage’s group of 11-16 year olds. She has been a school teacher for 36 years and has worked with children nearly all of her life. She and her husband, Richard, have been married for 27 years, and have two grown children, Grace Noelle and Micah. Micah and his wife, Camden, recently gave Laura her first grandchild, Matthias. Laura has been directing school shows for many years, and has fallen in love with our Downstage Theatre kids. She also enjoys acting in our adult productions.
Concessions - Marcia Albert
Marcia hasn’t sent Trae a bio yet even though he asked for it several times and everyone else has already sent him theirs. So this is going to be Marcia’s bio until she notices it and sends the correct one 😉 . Marcia Albert is the Concession Kween at Downstage Productions Theatre. She will feed you popcorn and sell you beverages at any given time. Be careful, she might just be hiding behind your chair waiting to offer you a nice loud brown paperbag of popcorn at the quietest part of the show. <3
Member at Large - Jaydah-Renee Alexander
Jaydah-Renee Alexander is a member-at-large of Downstage’s Board of Directors. She has been a part of the Downstage family since Grease in 2019 and loves auditioning. Jaydah-Renee enjoys reading, writing, painting, and most of all, performing. She believes that Downstage is a place where all can feel welcome, showcase their unique ability, and discover new skills that they might not have known they had before!
Member at Large - Courtney Davies
Courtney Davies has always had a passion for watching theatre and musicals. She fell in love with Downstage Productions Theatre as soon as she attended her first show there. When she isn’t at the theatre, she teaches middle school mathematics. Courtney lives in Vancleave with her husband and three children, one of whom performs at the theatre. She is looking forward to everything this year will bring for DPT.
Member at Large - Lauren Rosenblatt
Member at Large - Vivian Watts
Vivian Watts has always loved theatre after doing one production in Jr high school. So, one day in 2018, she saw Downstage was holding auditions for Hairspray and decided to take the plunge and got the part of Motormouth Maybelle and that’s when her theatre bug returned. Vivian does in-home child care and is very active in her church, First Missionary Baptist Church of Handsboro in Gulfport, where she serves as a teacher in the Christian education department, head of the hospitality committee, secretary of the women’s mission and a member of the mass choir. Vivian has encouraged several of her kids to participate in theatre as a way to bring them out of their shell and it has worked! Her vision for Downstage in the future is to see it thrive in the area of the kids, after all “I believe the children are our future.”