Cheryl L. West, Screenwriter
Cheryl West was the librettist for Play On! (ran on Broadway and aired on PBS’s Great Performances) and the author of several plays including Addy: An American Girl Story, Holiday Heart, Birdie Blue, Jar The Floor and Before It Hits Home. Her plays have been produced in England and at off-Broadway’s Second Stage Theatre and Manhattan Theatre Club as well as in numerous regional theatres that include Seattle Repertory Theatre, Arena Stage, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Old Globe Theatre, Seattle Repertory Theatre, and the Goodman.
Her awards include the Susan Smith Blackburn prize, the Helen Hayes, AUDELCO and the NAACP Playwriting Award. As a film and TV writer, Ms. West has worked on projects at Sony, Paramount, TNT, HBO, MTV, Disney and CBS. Ms. West adapted her play Holiday Heart as a co-production of Showtime, MGM and Robert DeNiro’s Tribeca Productions. The 2000 film directed by Robert Townsend earned a GLADD nomination and a Golden Globe nomination for Alfre Woodard.
Ms. West is currently working on a commission for off-Broadway’s Second Stage Theatre, a musical commission for Seattle Rep and a commission for Minneapolis Children’s Theatre.
Messiah Jacobs, Producer
Messiah Jacobs is an independent producer with a diverse body of work in film, television, commercials, and new media webisodes. His film credits include the independent film Skyler starring Broadway’s Tony Award winning actress Anika Noni Rose (The Princess and the Frog, Dreamgirls) and the zany comedy The Urn.
On television, Jacobs produced The Musical Theater of Hope for the Gospel Music Channel. Directed by Robert Townsend, the broadcast became one of the highest rated shows in the channel’s history.
Respected throughout the industry as a leader in the new media landscape, Jacobs produced the award winning web based series Diary of a Single Mom directed by Townsend and starring Monica Calhoun, Valery Ortiz and Janice Lynde along with veteran actors Billy Dee Williams, Richard Roundtree and Leon. The series is currently in its second season and can be seen exclusively at www.pic.tv.
In January 2010, Jacobs was named the Head of Production of V-Studio, a division of One Economy Corporation. Helmed by Robert Townsend, the venture is charged with the mission of making public purpose media for the Public Internet Channel.
Jacobs’ producing roots are grounded in finance having worked in auditing at Harlem’s Carver Federal Saving Bank while earning his Bachelors of Business Administration degree from Bernard M. Baruch College (CUNY) in his hometown of New York City.