Tom Johnson (President & Marketing Director) has performed on stage with the Whole World Theatre, an Atlanta improv troupe, and with the New Depot Players most recently as Gibby Hayden in the 2012 smash comedy ‘Til Beth Do Us Part, and played two roles–Pete and Randy–in the 2012 romantic comedy Almost, Maine. He played Jack Palmer, the frustrated social worker in The Boys Next Door – a touching and humorous story of daily life in a group home of mentally challenged adult men; bumbling Sheriff John Curtis Buntner in Dearly Beloved – a story of a whacked out wedding that never happened in the small, fictional county of Fayro,Texas; Hannibal, the former statistician turned violinist in The Curious Savage – a story about a widow’s hidden riches and a wild goose chase to find them, where he won the hearts of the audience (and the audience favorite male performer award); and Nick Ranelli, a Mafioso imposter in Murder is a Game – a suspenseful comedy about a husband and wife murder novel writing team. Tom has performed with the Johns Creek Players‘ in their production of Hairspray playing the roles of hair product tycoon Mr. Spritzer, the flamboyant Mr. Pinky of Pinky’s Hefty Hideaway, the Principal, the Prison Guard and… the Cop <whew>. He recently performed with the Atlanta Festival Ballet as the Prince of Verona in their production of Romeo and Juliet.
Tom has a freelance graphic design and embroidery business, tjSTUDIO, in Conyers where he brings his advertising and design experience to local businesses and organizations such as the New Depot Players and the Conyers-Rockdale Chamber of Commerce to name a few. He also illustrates a line of designer Christian apparel. His advertising, marketing collateral, website and logo designs have won numerous national awards and his work for the theater has won two Linda Wise Production Staff Awards.
Tom is an Atlanta Falcons fanatic and credits that obsession to his wife, Amy. They have passed their passion for football and performing on to their daughters Madison, and McKenzie, who gets more tips than anyone else when she works concessions, and ran sound during the New Depot Players production of Tradin’ Paint. What started out as, “I’d like to try that,” has grown into a family love affair with center stage.
Another dream of Tom’s was fulfilled in the 2011 season when he was given the opportunity to direct the season opener, Tradin’ Paint by Catherine Bush.
Cathe Hall-Payne (Vice-President) – Bio and headshot coming soon
Maria Morales Johnson (Secretary) was born and raised in Gloucester, VA, and was active in theatre both onstage and backstage throughout high school and college. She graduated from Virginia Wesleyan College with a degree in Theatre and Communications, Magna Cum Laude, in 1987. From 1988-1991, she worked in radio, both on-air and in production.
In 1990, she married Donovan Johnson II and in 1992, moved to Conyers to raise a family. In 1998, she started “World Dramanation”, the youth drama group at Church In the Now. For two years, she wrote and directed many skits as well as a short musical, Stand.
Maria discovered The New Depot Players in 2005 and was the stage manager for Nunsense. Since then, she has run lights for Working and Daddy’s Dyin’ Who’s Got the Will?, assistant directed Dearly Beloved (and played the role of Patsy Price) and On Golden Pond, and directed Crimes of the Heart.
In 2007, Maria was awarded the “Judge Clarence R. Vaughn Jr. Award for Theatre Appreciation” at the 1st Annual Linda Wise Awards. This award honors the individual who has most selflessly given of themselves, through time or other resources, in the promotion and appreciation of live theatre. That same year, the Conyers Rockdale Council for the Arts (CRCA) awarded her with the “Community Arts Award”, for her unwavering dedication to the growth of the arts in this community. In 2009, she was again recognized at the Wise Awards when she received the “Paula Vaughn Volunteer of the Year Award”.
She is currently serving as the Volunteer Coordinator for both the Conyers Rockdale Council for the Arts and The New Depot Players. In 2008, she joined the NDP Board of Directors and currently serves as Secretary.
Amy Johnson (Treasurer) began dancing at the age of 5 and danced for 10 years until a bad experience with one of her dance instructors caused her to quit. It was only during the first year both daughters, McKenzie and Madison, were enrolled in dance that she realized she missed it so much. After being inspired by another adult performer in the recital that season, she enrolled in class the following year and has been taking class ever since. It didn’t take long for her to get back in full swing with jazz, ballet, pointe, and tap class each week.
She currently studies under Mr. Nicolas Pacana and Mrs. Jocelyn Buchanan at Atlanta Festival Ballet located in Stockbridge, Georgia, and has performed as a party mom and mouse queen in Nutcracker, a palace dancer in Jungle Book, and most recently as Lady Montague in Romeo & Juliet.
Amy’s love for dance extended into the world of musical theatre when she played Rita, a nurse, in the Art’s Association in Newton County’s production of South Pacific with her husband and daughters in 2007.
Amy became involved with the New Depot Players after her husband, Tom, was cast in The Boys Next Door and has worked many shows behind the scenes. This season’s Tradin’ Paint was her first New Depot Players production on stage, she is usually found in the box office or behind the concession stand. She joined the board in 2007 as treasurer, and was also the 2007 recipient of the NDP’s Paula Vaughn Volunteer of the Year award.
Jay Tryall (President) has been performing, whether singing, dancing, acting, or doing comedy, in the Atlanta area for the past 18 years. Local audiences may remember his name from such productions as Little Shop of Horrors, Art, The Boys Next Door, The Odd Couple, Rumors, All Because of Agatha, Children of Eden, Man of La Mancha, Damn Yankees, Crazy for You, and Dearly Departed, to name a few. His directorial credits include Steel Magnolias (Metro-Atlanta Theatre Award Nominee), 2 By 5; A Kander and Ebb Musical Revue, A… My Name is Alice, The Robber Bridgegroom, Always, Patsy Cline, Nunsense, Noises Off, Into the Woods, Jeffery, and the multi-award winning Daddy’s Dyin’ Who’s Got the Will? His most recent venture was the sell-out production of The Great American Trailer Park Musical. Jay is also an experienced stage manager, costume designer, and set director.
His work has been seen at A Stone Mountain Christmas including stage managing A Hometown Holiday and Simply Christmas, Christmas caroling through the village, and also as a soloist in the children’s show A Kickin’ Up Christmas.
One of Jay’s favorite roles is that of co-director/choreographer for the musical productions put on by The Oxford Singing Children and Oxford Youth Singers, through The Arts Association in Newton County. Recently, he staged The Wizard of Oz for the group. Credits for the AANC include Amahl and the Night Visitors, Hansel and Gretel, Bye, Bye Birdie, Oklahoma!, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, South Pacific, Guys and Dolls, and Fiddler on the Roof. This year’s upcoming production is the highly anticipated Hello Dolly!
Jay was a founding member of the Artistic Company of one of Atlanta’s longest-running theaters, OnStage Atlanta, and in the spring of 2009, Jay assistant-directed Wit with Dr. David Klein serving as director (Post and Alley nomination for costuming). He was seen in OnStage Atlanta’s All in the Timing and in the hit show Urinetown; the Musical, as Mr. McQueen. The latter won him a nomination for a Post and Alley award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role. OnStage’s decadent musical Wild Party, noted by The Sunday Paper as one of Atlanta’s 10 best productions of the 2008-2009 season, cast Jay as the short tempered yet thoroughly loveable ex-boxer, Eddie. He received another nomination for a Post and Alley, this time for supporting actor. While at OSA he also stage-managed a production of A Lesson Before Dying.
Jay has served as a board member for The New Depot Players since its inception, and was a four time Linda Wise Award winner for the 2007 season. He also had the distinction of receiving the first “Linda Wise Excellence in Theatre Award,” which honors a person’s body of theatrical work. Jay was recently given the 2008 “Cynthia M. Evans Award for Theatre in the Community,” which celebrates the person who has best provided opportunities for community enrichment through participation, education and exposure to live theatre. Jay was awarded seven Wise Awards for his contributions for the 2008-2009 season, including Best Director, and notices for his set and costume designs for Daddy’s Dyin’ Who’s Got the Will? The show also went on to win Best Overall Production. During the 2009-2010 season both his productions of Steel Magnolias and The Great American Trailer Park Musical were praised with Wise Awards, as well as another Best Director and Best Overall Production win for Trailer Park.
Judy Mauran (Director) began acting with the Actors and Writers Workshop in Atlanta, GA., under the tutelage of Walter Roberts (Julia Roberts’ father), the summer after graduating from Westminster. For her work with the group, she was award the Best Supporting Actress Award for that season. Judy went on to graduate from Bard College obtaining a degree in theatre with minor in history.
Judy was the assistant director at Wykeham Rise Performing Arts School in Washington, CT. the year after graduation. In 1970, she married Christopher Mauran and moved to Boston for a year. While in Boston, she was a member of the Brick Church Players, a semi-professional theatre group, in which she acted in several plays.
Judy and Chris moved back to CT., and Judy again served as the assistant director at Wykeham Rise, as well as teaching “History of the Theatre” and “Dance for Actors.” At this time she designed costumes, directed several shows, and became active in the Washington Players. She enjoyed roles in Brigadoon, Meg Brockie, and also played Gladys in The Pajama Game.
In 1976, Chris and Judy moved “home” to Conyers, GA. and both became active Depot Players. Judy acted in a number of plays while Chris directed and set designed several. Within the downtown Conyers area, Judy and her sister, Hallie, opened Conyers School of Ballet, with Judy serving as Administrative Director. Thirty years later the school is still “toe-tapping and twirling.”
Some of the parts Judy has been played while a Depot Player are Morgan La Fey in Camelot, the Senator’s wife in Born Yesterday, Aunt Jennie in I Remember Mama, Maggie in The Man Who Came to Dinner, Ethel Thayer in On Golden Pond, Paula in The Girl in the Freudian Slip, Veta Louise in Harvey, Agatha in All Because of Agatha and Ethel Savage in The Curious Savage, among others. Judy has directed The Best Christmas Pageant Ever on three separate occasions, twice co-directing with Cyndi Evans.
At the 2009 Linda Wise Awards, Judy won the Cynthia M. Evans Award for contributions to theatre in the Community.
Kim Fratesi (Director) has been involved with NDP for about 8 years now. Her first show was The Robber Bridegroom in which she was a featured soloist and townsperson. She later played in the New Depot Players2 By 5, A Musical Review; NDP’sWorking: the Musical as Amanda McKenney and Heather Lamb; Newton County Council for the Arts’ South Pacific as Lt. Genevieve Marshall; NDP’sDaddy’s Dyin’, Who’s Got the Will? as Marlene Turnover; and On Golden Pond as Chelsea Thayer Wayne. Kim also received the award for Volunteer of the Year at the 2010 Wise Awards. Kim was last seen in Red, White & Clue Christmas; A Tribute to the USO Camp Shows of WWII. She is happy to be the newest member of the Board of Directors.
Bonnie Marshall (Director) – Bio and headshot coming soon
Amy LeCates (Director) – Bio and headshot coming soon
Cyndi Evans (Director) – Bio and headshot coming soon
Angie Short (Director) – Bio and headshot coming soon