Friday, March 12, 2010

Guest Blogger: Charlette Seward

In honor of Women’s History Month, 5710 student assistant Brittany Little is featuring one of the most important women in her life.

Charlette Seward

A Broadway veteran, award winning musical theater performer, legendary performing arts instructor, mother, wife, daughter and my personal mentor, Charlette Seward is a woman to be reckoned with. A woman with a flair for story telling and dramatics, her personal story is filled with adventure and mystery. Born and raised in Florida, Charlette (or Tee to her closest family members) grew up singing in her church choir before going on to Edward Waters College. At Edward Waters she earned a degree in English and honed her performance skills. Before long the lights of Broadway became too great to ignore and she moved to New York to follow her dream of being a star.

In New York she worked on numerous Broadway shows (like Ain’t Misbehavin’) and sang in cabarets on and off Broadway. During this time she got married, had four kids, moved to California and ventured into film and television. After she was tired of California, she moved back to Miami, Florida. For the last 15 years, Charlette has worked as the artistic director for the award-winning Miami Northwestern Senior High School Performing and Visual Arts Center drama/musical theater department.

In this capacity, Charlette has mentored and developed Broadway stars, writers, singers, professional dancers, arts instructors, academics and other fabulous people like myself. Aside from winning state and national recognition for her work as an instructor, director and guiding force in her community, Charlette has had a hand in changing the lives of everyone from gang members to directionless foster children. Thankfully, her stage career has continued throughout her life. She is currently burning up the nation’s regional stages with her portrayals of women like Mahalia Jackson and Ma Rainey. She was my theatre instructor throughout high school and continues to be a guiding force in my life. I wouldn’t be who I am today if I hadn’t met this fantastic woman almost eight years ago. I am thankful for women like Charlette Seward.