BFD Mentors work directly with Assistant Directors to help them grow their careers and skills. Check them out and follow their work! These are just a few of our mentors, we are always looking to grow our network!

Frannie Shepherd Bates

Frannie has worked with hundreds of incarcerated people, theatre artists, and students of theatre at two correctional facilities, three youth treatment centers, and more than a dozen professional theatres and educational theatre programs. Her work explores who we are, who we have been, and who we may become.

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Casaundra Freeman

Casaundra has performed on stages across Michigan and the country, including Detroit Repertory Theatre, Alabama Shakespeare Festival and The Purple Rose where she is a Resident Artist. Casaundra has won multiple awards for her work in both Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress categories. She’s also an audiobook narrator and a cultural anthropologist. Her best role however is being a mother to the two people she made, Ian and Sloane.

Courtney Burkett

Producing Artistic Director, Detroit Public Theatre

For five seasons Courtney was the Director of Theatre Programs with Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit, directing the internationally-acclaimed Mosaic Acting Company. Prior to joining Mosaic, Burkett was a founding Artistic Partner with Breathe Art Theatre Project. She also served as the the Business Manager for the University of Detroit Mercy Theatre Company, and the Managing Director of the CRLT Players at the University of Michigan. Burkett performs and directs with Detroit-area theatres on a regular basis. Her work has been recognized with several local theatre awards and nominations. She received her BFA from Webster Conservatory of Theatre Arts in St. Louis, and her MFA from Wayne State’s Hilberry Theatre program.

Angie Kane Ferrante

Some of Angie’s recent directing credits include A Comedy of Tenors, Every Brilliant Thing, and The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance. She is a graduate of the Wayne State University Theatre program, and is a proud Resident Artist of the Purple Rose Theatre Company in Chelsea, MI where she serves as a director, AEA Stage Manager, and vocal & movement teacher. Angie is also a licensed massage therapist and outdoor enthusiast. Starting in April 2019 she will set off to thru hike the 2,650 miles of The Pacific Crest Trail.

Sherrine Azab

Co-Director, A Host of People

Sherrine is the Co-Director of A Host of People. In addition to directing she’s also a producer, performance curator, and educator. She holds a BFA from Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle where she founded the critically acclaimed company Strike Anywhere Productions before moving to New York City. There she served as the Associate Producer for The Foundry Theatre (NYC) during their 2011 and 2012 seasons and is a proud Associated Artist with Target Margin Theater (NYC). She holds a postgraduate certificate from the Institute for Curatorial Practice in Performance at Wesleyan University and was a member of the 2008 Lincoln Center Director’s Lab. Azab is currently the Engagement Manager for the Network of Ensemble Theaters. She was a 2017-18 UMS Artist in Residence, a 2018 Kresge Arts in Detroit Fellow, and has worked with the Arab American National Museum, Ping Chong + Co, and the Network of Ensemble Theaters among many other theaters and arts organizations.

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