Mariam "Mama" Duke, is an African American woman who was a well-travelled and successful corporate executive. Now as a laid off, middle aged and recently divorced mother, she is forced to find alternative streams of income and a creative way to make extra money. When she has computer issues while working on a deadline for a mysterious business venture, a simple repair visit pushes her to be resourceful in a very deadly way.
Mariam "MAMA" Duke
Mariam was a successful African American woman and former executive in her late 40's early 50’s. As a highly educated professional who was used to the finer things of life until she lost most of her wealth after being laid off and a badly settled divorce. Now, as a part-time adjunct professor and single mother, she is forced to find alternative streams of income and a creative way to make extra money. Mariam, is strong and smart but also a greatly flawed woman whose desire to regain her wealth, and take care of her family, forces her to be resourceful in a very deadly way.
Jesse is a young African American male, early 20's and a college dropout who is too sweet to be a con artist but always gets talked into doing things he shouldn't be. He's street smart but not a thug. Well-read and computer savvy but doesn't use his knowledge for his own good.
Dylan is a mid-twenties, hipster, urban male (white, Latino or Asian). Works with Jesse to gain access into Mariam's computer. Very street smart, a natural born hustler, always looking for the next gig. Intelligent enough to run his own start-up but loves the thrill and money of the con.
Quincy is a black teenager, 16-18yrs. Mariam’s only son and oldest child. Sweet, smart and nerdy. Into neo - soul, jazz and underground hip hop, skateboarding, gaming and computers. All the girls love him, but he has no idea and not sure if he cares.
Mariam's younger brother is a tall, handsome, and muscular introvert who is willing to do anything to support his big sister. She supports him emotionally and financially while he helps her with the kids, house, and unknown income stream. He's a lab's assistant at the coroner's office but aspires to be a nurse and knows his way around a knife.
MEET THE CAST
La Veda Davis
La Veda Davis is a NYC based actor, made her acting debut in “Fallen Apple” as Dr. Leigh, in 2007. Since then, she has several short films under her belt (Mother’s Day, Color of Grief), with a number of projects in post production (Ursula, The Red Queen and Blue Journey).
La Veda was featured in Spike Lee’s “Impact Film”, a tribute to Jackie Robinson in 2019, and she is excited about her role in “Mama Duke” and collaborating with the writer, director and cast of this amazing production.
Jeremy Maldonado is a NYC based actor. His TV credits include Saturday Night Life (NBC), Random Acts of Flyness (HBO), and High Maintenance (HBO). He also portrays the character of Chase in the upcoming Film A Thousand and One (Focus Features). Jeremy is repped by Stewart Talent Agency and Susan Rybin Management. He thanks his family and Rybin Studio of Drama for his journey. Instagram: J3r._m / TikTok: J3rminator
Rhassan Oyasaba Manning
Rhasaan Oyasaba Manning is a Brooklynite, born, raised, and presently residing in Flatbush; a Yale graduate in architecture, he is presently an interdisciplinary artist: actor, director, writer, producer, filmmaker, musician, photographer, teacher. His work focuses on duality, inversion, nihilism, self-destruction, and the struggle for freedom. The point is not to point the finger of judgment, but to open the fist which suffocates the wisdom of the heart.
Max Katz is thrilled to be joining this awesome team on the production of Mama Duke. In August, he wrapped a production The Count of Monte Cristo with Hudson Classical Theatre Company. Other past performances have taken place at the White Bear Theatre and Platform Theatre in London, Montréal’s Fringe Festival, and with the Scranton Shakes Shakespeare festival. Max completed his training at Drama Centre London and the Boris Shchukin Institute in Moscow. He is very close to being able to walk on his hands.
Iroko Anyogu is a working actor whom made his television debut in February of 2018 with a major feature role on the critically acclaimed Rosa Parks "Behind the Movement" Bio-pic. Iroko Anyogu has also been the Leading actor in various films such as (Terra Beach, COM•PLI•CATED, and a major network show on Hulu) When asked what his main objective of becoming an actor is, he responded with, "To broaden the view of Atlanta actors in the eyes of Hollywood directors. And to give kids just like himself hope that their dreams can come true."
MEET THE TEAM
Cyrille Phipps is a media educator and filmmaker in New York City. She has over twenty years of production experience, working on music videos, short films, documentaries, webisodes and transmedia projects. As a documentary filmmaker, editor and cameraperson, she has collaborated on projects that have aired on PBS, TNT and the BBC on important cultural figures such as Muhammad Ali, Mumia Abu Jamal and Malcolm X. She was the co-founder of Black Planet Productions, which produced the award winning grassroots series Not Channel Zero- the revolution, televised. Currently, she is an Associate Professor in Media Studies, and is also developing a multi-media project and web series addressing gentrification in urban communities, specifically Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn.
Monique Hazeur is a Brooklyn-based writer, producer, and foodie originally from Bay St. Louis, Mississippi. She is an alumna of Howard University, where she studied film. Her feature script, Patron Saint of Black Girls, was a semifinalist for the 2019 Sundance Screenwriters Lab. In 2021, she was selected to the inaugural Black TV and Film Collective and Wavelength Productions Black Producers Fellowship.
A perfectly flawed kaleidoscope of innate creativity, vivid dreams, personal experiences and untold stories, Danielle S. Mooney (Norfolk State University, BA | Columbia University, MSW) is a black queer femme storyteller and emerging filmmaker originating from the home of Go-Go, Mumbo Sauce and the original HU. She is hood-born, and often adjacent or other. With a focus on the complex and diverse experiences of African-American women and queer folx who are usually late bloomers, she creates authentic, nuanced untold stories about inner healing, self-discovery, intimacy and how people relate to themselves and the world around them. Danielle has studied film production in NYC at BRIC & Independent Film School. She has been a co-writer, producer, and production manager on various projects including webseries Dekalog: James & Danielle, Women's Weekend Film Challenge short film Hannah’s Little Secret and feature Water in a Broken Glass, and limited series Trace. She is also in development for her first short film about generational trauma and suicide, as well as a queer love story while working to launch Savage Wallflower, a space for black creative outliers to evolve, create and prosper.
Erin formed Smithy Productions, a production company, with the aim to house various talents from the queer/ independent art community under the umbrella of narrative/ documentary storytelling. Erin Greenwell directed her feature film "My Best Day" which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. Other directing endeavors include "Oh Come On", a punk DIY performance video for The Julie Ruin and codirecting "The Golden Age of Hustlers" featuring Justin Vivian Bond's, remake of an iconic song written by legendary punk chanteuse Bambi Lake, about the 1970's gay hustler scene on Polk Street in San Francisco during the pre-HIV/AIDS era. Erin is also an accomplished editor. Feature film work includes Yomeddine, a feature film narrative with its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival 2018 and submitted by Egypt for consideration of Best International Film for the 91st Academy Awards. Erin is currently an Associate Professor, teaching Digital Video and Media Production at Marymount Manhattan College.
Yessica Curiel Montoya has been bucking the norm all her life. Born in a small town in Mexico to working professionals that always encouraged her independent spirit, she set off for a film career in college and never looked back. She continued her studies in New York City and stayed on an artist's Visa that quickly led to regular gigs in the city.
Cyrille Phipps is a media educator and filmmaker in New York City. She has over twenty years of production experience, working on music videos, short films, documentaries, webisodes and transmedia projects. As a documentary filmmaker, editor and cameraperson, she has collaborated on projects that have aired on PBS, TNT and the BBC on important cultural figures such as Muhammad Ali, Muma Abu Jamal and Malcolm X. She was the co-founder of Black Planet Productions, which produced the award winning grassroots series Not Channel Zero- the revolution, televised.
As a middle age woman, who was also once laid off and worked as a part time adjunct professor, she wanted to see her story as well as tell the story of other women of color who struggle to overcome from life alternating challenges. You can count on one hand, the number of women of color over forty, much less, black women, who have secured the female leads of a primetime television show. The most prominent shows only feature a few women of color leads over 40 such as Viola Davis in How To Get Away With Murder. As an audience, we deserve more diverse, complex, and rich characters and relationships on our screens. More stories of real people with all their dysfunctions and truths, that is what Mama Duke will bring. This is a story of a world where people fail, rise, fall again and still want to succeed despite the odds. This is the story of people who rarely get to see reflections of themselves. So we invite you to join us on this journey, where being a bad mother never felt so good.