Southbound: True Life Tales from the ATL and Beyond

Episode 4: SUMMER FUN

Time for another episode of Southbound! We are now streaming our episode filmed live on July 12 – see the link below! This month we’re talking about Summer Fun and all the things the summer brings. Our talented lineup of artists have incredible stories to tell. Horizon favorite Lala Cochran reveals “Her Naked Summer”, Wendy Melkonian tells about all the “firsts” at summer camp, actor Enoch King looks back at theatrical summers past, comedian Talley shares her summer of growing up fast, and singer/songwriter Quentin Avery Brown brings us a summer song. You won’t want to miss this one.

Behind the Menu: Tales from Atlanta Restaurants

From the depths of the ATL, Horizon Theatre is spotlighting the stories bubbling up from artists from the Beltline to the West End to Buford Highway. Southbound: True Life Tales from the ATL and Beyond is the newest original show from Horizon. The inaugural serial show premiered online April 5, 2021 and boasted a stellar line-up of ATL artists ready to share their amazing true-life tales. 

The series will initially take place on Zoom. Once the theatre reopens, Horizon plans to present live performances of Southbound at least once per month on Monday nights. Each tale will be told from the heart by writers, musicians, actors, journalists, leaders, celebrities – and just plain folks with great ATL stories to tell.

WANT TO REACH US with a story, idea, suggestion or something else? Email,



Megan Hayes (Co-Host) is an award-winning writer, storyteller and actor. She has appeared at the Horizon in Waffle Palace Christmas, Sex with Strangers, Tree and Santaland Diaries to name a few. Her film and Television credits include The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Emmy nominated Dolly Parton’s Heartstrings: These Old BonesEastbound & Down. An avid storyteller, Megan has appeared on the Risk! Podcast, Tales From Tinseltown, Eat Your Words, Hatedate and is a Write Club LA winner.

Brittani Minnieweather (Co-Host) is an actor, playwright, and activist.   She is a co-founder of B.L.A.C.T. Her original play, Sundays at Four, won Best Play at the Atlanta Black Theatre Festival in October 2019.  Acting credits include: Sweet Water TasteFreaky Friday and Madeline’s Christmas (Horizon Theatre), Jump and Little Shop of Horrors (Actor’s Express), Secrets of a Soccer Mom (Stage Door Players), Sweat (The Warehouse Theatre), Sordid Lives (Out Front Theatre), Polkadots (The Legacy Theatre), For Colored Girls… and The Laramie Project (IA Playhouse), and Debbie Allen’s Brothers of the Knight (Ms. Debbie Allen) Follow her: @britminnieweather


Quentin Avery Brown is a multidisciplinary artist and entrepreneur. He is the Executive Director of Independent Artists’ Playhouse an Atlanta based theatre company and serves on the board of directors for ArtsATL. He has traveled the country as a backup singer for two Elton John tribute shows as well as performed in various theatrical productions at several regional theatres. In Atlanta, he has had the privilege of performing onstage with the Atlanta Lyric Theatre, True Colors Theatre Company, Legacy Theatre, Alliance Theatre, Aurora Theatre and Six Flags Over Georgia. As a singer/songwriter you can find his new single “To Be In Love” available on all music platforms. Additional writing credits include the title song to Sunday’s at Four which premiered at the Atlanta Musical Theatre Festival in 2018 and the Atlanta Black Theatre Festival in 2019. Quentin served as the choreographer for two summers in a row at Mable House Arts Center for their productions of SCHOOLHOUSE ROCK LIVE JR. and MULAN JR. and was Camp Director/Choreographer for Beauty and the Beast and the Sound of Music at Forefront Arts and currently is the Theatre Director at Camp Lindenmere in the Poconos. During the pandemic he spent his time developing shows such as Music In Pictures, Ladies of the 80s and The Men of Motown with the Aurora Welcomes series.

Lala Cochran has spent the better part of her acting life at the Horizon and is grateful to Lisa and Jeff for all of the opportunities they have provided to tell stories and grow as an actor. Let’s hope she’s learned a thing or two since ESCAPE FROM HAPPINESS in Horizon’s ’94-’95 season. Lisa gave her the challenge of creating a cooking show to entertain all comers during the Pandemic, and Cooking a la Lala was born. And here come s a story telling challenge that we’ll see if you’re up for. Thank you all for supporting the Horizon!

Enoch King is a Georgia native and he began his career path at Tri-Cities High School Visual and Performing Arts where he met his mentor Freddie Hendricks and joined the critically acclaimed Freddie Hendricks Youth Ensemble of Atlanta where performed such pieces as Enoch has been blessed with the opportunity to work with Horizon Theater, Ga. Shakespeare Festival, Aurora Theatre, Theatrical Outfit, True Colors Theatre, Alliance Theatre, Jewish Theater of the South, and Dad’s Garage. His movie credits include UNCLE DREW, THE WATSON’S GO TO BIRMINGHAM, DRUMLINE, THE FIGHTING TEMPTATIONS, and MADEA’S FAMILY REUNION. He has also appeared on T.V. with TYLER PERRY’S HOUSE OF PAYNE, BET’S LET’S STAY TOGETHER, and various commercials.

Wendy Melkonian has been seen in theaters all over town, most recently and SKINTIGHT at Actor’s Express. She’s learning to adjust to this new online format because it brings together two of her greatest loves: Theatre and her dogs. This month she’s excited to be joining the Second City Conservatory. Wendy has a Master of Music degree from The Boston Conservatory and pays the bills as a TMJ massage therapist. Love to Megan and Brittani!

Talley is a homegrown Atlanta girl, doing stand up comedy because it’s cheaper than therapy. You can catch her at venues such as The Laughing Skull or Second Self Brewery, telling stories about her family, friends, and several hilarious relationships.


W. Imara Canady (Featured Guest) is a highly respected executive leader, nationally known for building partnerships and collaborations that have a sustainable community impact. He is National Director for Communications & Community Engagement for AIDS Healthcare Foundation, the world’s largest, non-profit, HIV/AIDS service and advocacy organization. He has led the charge in attracting national entertainment related business to Atlanta, including the VIBE Music Festival, the Soul Train Music Awards, the BET Hip-Hop Awards.

Eugene IV (Featured Guest) performs his original song “Brand New Day” which reveals a picture of what the other side of the fight for justice looks like – a sonic moment that moves the listener to close their eyes, breathe deeply, and envision a positive new day. Born and raised in southwest Atlanta, Eugene is a multi-talented vocalist, musician, songwriter, and award-winning actor. He’s shared stages with artists such as Grammy Winners Ann Nesby and India.Arie as well as jazz legend Earl Klugh and the France-based duo Les Nubians.  He composed the music for the Alliance Theatre world premiere of Beautiful Blackbird as well as, recently, it’s animated feature film entitled Sit-In.

Tina Fears (Featured Guest) In Ponytails, Popsicles and Parades Tina recounts what started off as a “typical Saturday morning filled with cartoons, mile-high pancakes, and getting my hair pressed then intricately styled by my mother” which quickly became the day where a “parade” introduced her to activism and changed her life forever. Tina is a L.A. native proud to call Atlanta home. She is the founder of Stage Ready, a full-service production company that offers award-winning production management, creative direction, and memorable performance experiences. Her work as an actor, singer, and dancer includes regional productions of Simply Simone, Dreamgirls, In The Heights, and national major brand commercials. Her role as Clara Ward in the National Geographic project Genius: Aretha is now on HULU.

Thomas W. Jones II (Featured Guest/Horizon Artistic Associate) remembers The Birth of Junteenth Celebration for Jomandi Productions, which began in the 1990s in Atlanta as a modest celebration for artists and friends of the theatre as an ending season celebration and mushroomed in 3 years to a 150,000 attended event in Grant Park that shut down I-20!  Tom has directed, written and performed in 200 plays worldwide. He founded Jomandi Productions (1978-2000), where, as Co-Artistic and Producing Director, Tom led Jomandi to become the third largest African-American theatre in the United State. His work as a writer, director and actor has been acclaimed nationally and internationally with (among others) 48 Washington DC Helen Hayes Award nominations, (15 wins), including Best Director. He currently develops his own new plays and musicals through his theatre company, Via Theatrical, and in collaboration with Horizon and theatres in New York, Washington, D.C., Minneapolis, San Francisco, and Los Angeles.

Keena Redding (Featured Guest/Major Gifts Manager) tells a powerful story about her mother, the Chief Equity Officer of the Redding family – fighting racism on behalf of her children 40 years before anyone even knew what a Chief Equity Officer was.  Keena is Major Gifts Manager at Horizon Theatre. She is also an Atlanta actress, singer, teacher, writer, music director, and activist with a Master’s Degree in Vocal Performance from The University of Florida, a Bachelor of Arts degree in Theatre and Music from Brenau University.  She has worked with theaters across Atlanta, is music director of Horizon’s Madeline’s Christmas, and is founder and lead voice and acting teacher at Hummingbird Studios.


Terry Burrell (Featured Guest) has appeared on and off-Broadway and now is a familiar face at the Alliance and Horizon (she’s in our Love, M. virtual show). Today she’s sharing hilarious and touching stories of being raised by a unique and dynamic woman ahead of her time, in a large, extended “family” while learning about spontaneous acts of love and sacrifice you make for family.

Carolyn Cook (Featured Guest) feels right at home at Horizon, having performed and directed many times over the last 30 years. She shares her poignant and funny stories of her amazing roller coaster ride as caregiver for her mom, still living and loving through Alzheimer’s

Melissa Fay Greene (Featured Guest) is the award-winning Atlanta author of six stunning books of nonfiction–and she’s also the mother of nine kids! Hear her hilarious tales of birthing her books while raising her blended family of biological and adopted children. If you want to know more, well, she wrote a book about it: No Biking in the House Without a Helmet. You may also know her from her must-read books Praying for Sheetrock and The Temple Bombing.

India S. Tyree (Featured Guest) is an actor/musician you’ve seen onstage at the Alliance, Aurora Theatre, and all over Atlanta. She’ll be singing to honor all the moms out there and in pure dedication to her grandma Shirley. “She instilled in me my love for music and singing, and she has shown me how important it is to be selfless and think of others.”


O’Neil Delapenha (Featured Guest) is an Atlanta based actor, director and writer. Excited to be back with the Horizon family, you may have recently seen him in The Ghosts of Five Little Points. Other credits around town include All’s Well that Ends Well with The Shakespeare Tavern, Blue Angels Weekend with Synchronicity, and A Day in the Life of Kidney Man an original one person show commissioned by Fantasy Theatre Factory in Miami, Fl.

Mary Lynn Owen (Featured Guest) is an Atlanta-based actor, writer, and educator with a career spanning over 40 years. A two-time Suzi Award winner, her work onstage includes Amanda in The Glass Menagerie, Dr. Vivian Bearing in Wit, Ouisa Kittredge in Six Degrees of Separation, Birdie in The Little Foxes, The Stage Manager in Our Town, and here at Horizon Theatre, Laurie in Third, and Ana in The Clean House. Her play, KNEAD, a one-person play in which she also performs, baking four loaves of bread onstage during every performance, received its world premiere at The Alliance Theatre in November 2018. KNEAD, a winner of The Alliance Theatre’s Reiser Lab Award and a semi-finalist for the 2017 O’Neill National Playwright’s Conference, is also the recipient of the 2019 Gene Gabriel Moore Playwriting Award. Mary Lynn is a longtime faculty member of Emory University’s Theater Studies Department. She is a member of Actor’s Equity Association, SAG-AFTRA, The Dramatist’s Guild, and Working Title Playwrights.

Chase Peacock (Featured Guest) performed on Broadway in Green Day’s American Idiot. Some favorite credits include: High School Musical first national tour, Bull Durham at the Alliance Theatre, The Wedding Singer, Catch Me If You Can, and Jekyll & Hyde at the Atlanta Lyric Theatre, Miss Saigon (Suzy Bass Award) and Titanic at Serenbe Playhouse, Ghost and Million Dollar Quartet at the Georgia Ensemble Theatre, and Daddy Long Legs at the Legacy Theatre. Chase has been writing music for 15 years, and has written 3 musicals with cast mate Jessica De Maria. Find out more at

Maggie Salley‘s (Featured Guest) Previous Atlanta credits: Jekyll and Hyde (Atlanta Lyric) Footloose! (Theatre Buford) Parade, Next to Normal, Songs for a New World (Wallace Buice Theatre Company), and Chicago: Swingin’ on a Star (Artists Lounge Live.) Long time Disney vocalist/voice over artist mainly in their Hong Kong Park, she’s happy to be working a bit closer to her Augusta, Georgia family.

Sherri D. Sutton (Featured Guest) is a modern-day prophetess. She crosses gender, sexuality, race, pop culture, politics, and age with charism and charm, as she spins balls of yarn into hilarious stories. Her fans have called her “the voice of the gay community,” but her comedy transcends sexuality and gender. Sherri is a US comic, actor, and writer who hails from Georgia and tours internationally. Her Southern roots run deep, but thank God the branches reach wide. Sherri’s one-woman shows Don’t Make Fun of Jesus and Taking Out the White Trash! have played to sold-out crowds in New York, Atlanta, Canada, India, Malaysia, Europe, and Indonesia. After six years in Switzerland, this little devil currently resides in Atlanta, Georgia.

Shay Youngblood (Featured Guest) is a writer, visual artist, and educator. Author of several novels, collections of short stories and numerous essays, her published plays including Shaking the Mess Out of Misery, which was her first play and premiered at Horizon Theatre, have been widely produced and her short stories have been performed at Symphony Space and recorded for NPR’s Selected Shorts. She teaches monthly creative writing workshops at Youngblood Arts. Her current projects include children’s books, a super hero graphic novel collaboration and a multi-media performance work on architecture, memory and the environment inspired by research in Japan, China and the U.S. She has lived all over the world, but grew up here in Georgia – and is back in Atlanta now.