Shawnna Pledger:

A teaching artist, actor and actPledger-94-Editivist. Shawnna has been working with diverse groups of young people for over 20 years. She has worked with students from around the world (England, Ireland, Canada, the U.S.A. and beyond) creating theatre. She loves helping these kids discover the value in their own stories and giving them the tools and opportunity to share their voices with the world. She has a B.A. in Theatre from the University of Oregon, studied devising and physical theatre at the Dell’ Arte International School of Physical Theatre and holds a Masters Degree in Educational Theatre from N.Y.U. with a focus on Applied Theatre. Shawnna has worked at theatres across the country such as San Diego Rep, Seattle Shakespeare Company, Seattle Children’s Theatre and Missoula Children’s Theatre. In Charlotte, Shawnna has acted with the Children’s Theatre of Charlotte, C.A.S.T. and CPCC where she won the Metrolina Theatre Association award for Best Lead Actor in a Comedy for her Charlotte debut in the title role of “Sylvia”.

Nicia Carla:

NiciaHeadshotNicia is the founding Artistic Director of PaperHouse Theatre in Charlotte, NC. She has worked extensively with Children’s Theatre of Charlotte, where she was a Core Artist for several years, with the combined duties of acting, directing and teaching for the company. She has taught a wide variety of ages from creative drama for 3 yr. olds to pre-professional training for teens as an instructor of the Ensemble Company. She has also been a teaching artist for the Neighborhood Bridges program for over 7 years, partnering with CMS classroom teachers for a 12-week residency with 4th graders that focuses on writing, storytelling, and performance. Nicia has acted and directed for Actor’s Theatre of Charlotte, Theatre Charlotte, Children’s Theatre of Charlotte, and PaperHouse Theatre, among many others. She is currently working on her fifth season as Artistic Director for PaperHouse Theatre, acting, directing, and developing new works. She is a graduate of Winthrop University’s Theatre Department where she earned a B.A. in Theatre with an emphasis on Performance.

Stacy Schiller:

StacyStacy has been an educator for 24 years.  She has a Master’s in Teaching from the University of Virginia and a Master’s in Social Justice Education from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.  Always passionate about teaching the Holocaust and social justice, she has attended multiple nationally recognized programs on those subjects. She has designed and implemented workshops for middle, high school, and college students as well as professional development workshops for educators on topics like racism, heterosexism, the Holocaust, and other genocides.  She has served as the Director of the Holocaust Resource Center and Diversity Council at Kean University in New Jersey and currently teaches United States History, Sociology, and Holocaust at the high school level, incorporating her social justice education background into her teaching. She is her school’s 2018-2019 Educator of the Year.

Rasheem Shabazz:


Seem is a performance-based educator who’s passionate about working with today’s younger generation.  Rahsheem has been involved with different aspects of theatre for over 15 years – including dance and commedia. He’s also been involved with the Children’s Theatre of Charlotte since 2014 and directed renowned shows such as Peter Pan, 101 Dalmatians, Wizard of Oz and many more at Matthews Playhouse of the Performing Arts. In addition to teaching and directing, Rahsheem is a talented actor and has hit the stage in a variety of roles here in Charlotte and the greater community. He’s co-writing and will be in the hip-hop fable story GRIMMZ Fairy Tales with the Children’s Theatre of Charlotte in Spring 2020.

Partner Organizations and Consultants:

Charlotte Catholic Dioceses Refugee Resettlement Program

Time Out Youth 

Behailu Academy


Providence Day School

Dr. Sarah Griffith: Queens University

Rabbi Judy Schindler: Associate Professor, Philosophy and Religion Department Queens University and Director of the Stan Greenspon Center for Peace and Social Justice

Louise Clark: Advocacy Network Refugee Coordinator, Greenspon Center for Peace and Social Justice