Our Founders

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Sharia Benn- Founder, President & Executive Artistic Director is a native of Baltimore, Maryland and graduate of Towson University.  Sharia holds a special passion for combining acting and historical studies to engage  audiences through productions highlighting historically significant African-American people and events. She is highly sought after for her original play and performance Voices of F.E.W" that chronicles the life of Frances Ellen Watkins Harper (1825 - 1911); famed abolitionist, literary figure, and champion for civil and women’s rights.  As a contemporary champion for civil engagement, Sharia has worked tirelessly to birth and grow the Sankofa African American Theatre Company of Harrisburg to authentically and honorably amplify Black voices, artists, and stories on stage.

Donald L. Alsedek - Don co-founded Open Stage of Harrisburg in 1984. He first served as the theatre’s Artistic Director and in 2006 assumed both the organization’s artistic and administrative leadership as its Producing Artistic Director. Upon his retirement from the organization in June of 2017, Donald was recognized by the theatre’s Board of Directors as Artistic Director Emeritus.

The Board of Directors
2021-2022

Sharia Benn, President, Executive Artistic Director 

Donald Alsedek, Vice President 

Micah Simms, Treasurer 

Sunada Roberts, Secretary


Anne Alsedek

Ayana Casey

Dr. Jean Corey

Valerie Gray

Jesse Hyche

Neeka Jones

Christian Seay

DeAnna Williams

Johntrae Williams

The Founding Committee

Sharia Benn 

Leonard Dozier 

Lee Kenneth Richardson 

Anne Alsedek 

Donald Alsedek

The Community Advisory Council

The Community Advisory Council

Anne Alsedek

Donald  Alsedek

Sharia Benn

William Benn

Aaron  Bomar

 

Gilinda Cousar

Marian Cannon-Dornell

Jesse Hyche

Neeka Jones

Dana Kinsey

Kelly Summerford

DeAnna Williams

Johntrae Williams