NSYPF 2021 Directors

2021 Directors

Cynthia D. Barker is an actor, educator, and director in the Southeast region and has collaborated with some Atlanta’s most distinguished theatrical institutions including Kenny Leon’s True Colors Theatre Company, Horizon Theatre Company, Theatrical Outfit and  the Tony Award winning Alliance Theatre. Her resumé boasts five Suzi Bass nominations including Best Leading Actress and Best Ensemble in a Play. Cynthia is Adjunct Theatre Faculty in the Department of Visual and Performing Arts at Clayton State University. She has also held an Adjunct position at Spelman College and taught Drama classes for youth at Brothers United Youth Camp, Atlanta Music Project, Spivey Hall and Southwest Arts Center. Cynthia is also the Founder of Creative Confidence LLC; arts based organization that utilizes art therapy as a tool to help women and girls foster healthy, intentional relationships with themselves.

Jamil Jude is a highly accomplished director/producer/playwright/dramaturg focusing on bringing socially relevant art to the community. Jamil is the Artistic Director at Kenny Leon’s True Colors Theatre Company in Atlanta, GA. He is the Co-Founder of The New Griots Festival, which is dedicated to celebrating, advocating, and advancing the careers of emerging Black artists in Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN.

Heidi Cline McKerley is thrilled to return to the Horizon, where she is an Artistic Associate and last directed Once. She has been fortunate to work with most professional theatres in Atlanta during her thirty years of living here; including, the Alliance Theatre, Serenbe Playhouse, Georgia Shakespeare, Atlanta Shakespeare Tavern, Aurora Theatre, Theatrical Outfit, Georgia Ensemble Theatre, Actor’s Express, Atlanta Lyric, Theatre Emory, Dad’s Garage, Fabrefaction, Jewish Theatre of the South, Theatre in the Square, and has been a guest artist for the Gainesville Theatre Alliance, Berry College, Kennesaw State University, the Lagrange Lyric, and the University of Georgia. She has also taught for the acting intern companies of Actor’s Express and the Atlanta Shakespeare Company.  Heidi has been nominated for eleven Suzi Bass Awards, and won for Best Director of a Musical in 2011 for Avenue Q.  She enjoys writing and wrote the book for one of the first official entries to be showcased in the Atlanta Musical Theatre Festival, The Fine Art of Forgetting. Heidi was the founding Producing Artistic Director of Soul-stice Repertory Ensemble, offering 27 theatrical classics at 7 Stages in nine years.  Regionally, Heidi has worked for the Walnut Street Theatre in Philadelphia and the Oasis Theatre and Hippodrome State Theatre in Florida. She is a member of the Southern Order of Storytellers, the National Storytelling Network, the Alliance for Theatre in Education, and the Educational Theatre Association of America.  Heidi sends love and thanks to her daughters Hannah Rose and Arden and to her partner in all things her hubby, Jeffrey xoxo.

Nichole Palmietto is a director, producer and developer of new plays. She currently serves as the National New Play Network Producer-in-Residence at Horizon Theatre. She is also the executive artistic director and a co-founder of Found Stages, which builds community through innovative storytelling. Nichole has presented on creating site-specific and immersive theater at the Dramatists Guild Annual Conference and the Institute of Outdoor Theatre Conference Paul Green Seminar. Nichole was the lead artist of a 2015-16 Alliance Theatre Reiser Atlanta Artists Lab project. She has been a member of the Arts Leaders of Metro Atlanta (ALMA) class of 2019 and the Stage Directors and Choreographers Foundation Observership Class of 2016-17. She was the resident director of Atlanta’s Working Title Playwrights Ethel Woolson Lab in 2015-16. She holds degrees in theatre and public relations from The University of Texas at Austin, and is an alumna of Actor’s Express Theatre’s directing internship program.