Claudine Cheatem- General Manager
Claudine is glad to join the Pyramid Theatre Company team after providing company management for the 2015 production of A Soldier's Play at the Des Moines Social Club. She has always had a love for writing, theatre, and management. As a young child she was exposed to the library with the instructions “stay as long as you want, read as much as you want.” Along with her older sister, she started writing plays at the age of 8 years old. The backyard was her first theatre with a picnic table as the stage. She continued to develop her love of writing as a way to escape the chaos of growing up as one of 14 children. She has completed her first novel, ‘Jamaica’s Kaleidoscope’. She has also written three stage plays and a series of children’s books.
Meet Claudine(Interview conducted December 2015):
Where were you born: I was born in Chicago at Cook County hospital. I love to visit and get what I refer to as my "Lake Shore Drive - Michigan Avenue" fix. It's fast moving, money to be made, dreams to be realized in the midst of sea gulls swooping, waves hitting the beach and someone standing on the corner blowing a sax.
First Play/Musical: The first play that I can recall seeing was Amen Corner which was performed by my older brother's senior class when I was in the eighth grade. I then realized that a great actor can impact people as well as a preacher or teacher.
Favorite Play/Musical: My favorite play is Dreamgirls. I was at the Star Light Theater in Kansas City, which is an open air theater, on an absolutely perfect night. My 83 year old mother in law accompanied me and I don't know if I more enjoyed the outstanding performance or her enjoying the performance. It is still one of my best theatre experiences.
Show you Hope Pyramid Does One Day: I would love to see Pyramid produce an adaptation of To Sir, With Love. The lessons Sir taught and the issues that the teenagers dealt with are still so relevant to our times. This keeps in line with our mission to offer works firmly rooted in the lessons of the past in order to the serve needs of the present. It would also be an excellent platform to expose the talents of our untapped young adult wannbe actors.
Current non-Pyramid related Project: I am always working on my "next" project. Right now that entails completing my second novel Charee's Cadence and managing the newly formed African fusion band IMA KULTURE. Everything I do and strive to do is with the intent to leave a legacy to my family and bring honor to my ancestors.
What does Pyramid mean to you: Pyramid has a two-fold meaning to me. The actual shape of the pyramid is sort of how my journey to this point in my life has been, very broad based. But as I began to focus more on my love for expressing my self in the form of written word, I put a lot of other things aside. My journey became more aligned and narrow, which led me to this point in my life. Pyramid Theatre Company means investing in something bigger than me. It means ensuring that the work of those that paved a way for us will never be forgotten while we are creating a platform for those that are coming behind us. It means telling my story, doing my dance, singing my song and never apologizing for it.