November 7 — November 21


By Joe Morris Doss and Andrew Doss

World Premiere

Directed by Aimée Hayes

Featuring Robert Diago DoQui, Lance E. Nichols, Mike Harkins, John Neisler, Samantha Beaulieu, Cecile Monteyne, Ian Hoch, Mark Burtonand David Sellers,

Vocalists: Brittney James, Barbara Shorts, Brian Coogan


First Grace United Methodist Church

3401 Canal Street

New Orleans, LA 70119


Thursdays – Saturdays: 8:00 PM

Sundays: 6:00 PM



In a spirit of celebration, Southern Rep invites you to arrive early for music, gumbo, and drinks!

An all-star cast tells the true Louisiana story of convicted murderer Earnest Knighton, Jr. and the priest, lawyer, and paralegal who reluctantly became his greatest advocates. That priest, Joe Morris Doss, and his son, Andrew, are finally sharing Earnest’s compelling story in SONG OF A MAN COMING THROUGH which serves as a launching pad for an unforgettable theatrical experience combining gospel, second lines, and gumbo. Join us for this challenging and enthralling play that celebrates the human capacity for transformation.

Special Events
November 4   Benefit for YEP
November 5   Benefit for Voice of the Ex-Offender
November 6   Benefit for Orleans Public Defenders
November 7   Opening Night w/Pre-Performance Talk
November 8   Post-Performance Talkback
November 12   Pay What You Can Night
November 14   Pre-Performance Talk
November 15   Post-Performance Talkback
November 19   Benefit for FFLIC
November 21   Pre-Performance Talk
Meet the Cast

Robert Diago DoQuiROBERT DIAGO DOQUI (Earnest Knighton, Jr.) is the youngest son of veteran television and silver screen actors Robert DoQui and Janee Michelle. Robert discovered his passion for acting at the tender age of six, and began to seek not only a physical development of his instrument, but a mental and Spiritual one as well. Some of Robert’s most recent TV and Film credits include: The HBO’s series “Quarry,” “NCIS: New Orleans,” the hit HBO series “Treme,” Pitch Perfect 2 and Hatchet 3.

Treme Production Season 2 nicholsLANCE E. NICHOLS (Other Inmate). New Orleans native Lance E. Nichols is thrilled to be returning to the New Orleans stage after a six year hiatus. Audiences will remember him as dentist Larry Williams on the critically acclaimed HBO series “Treme,” in which he played LaDonna’s supportive and patient husband. Mr. Nichols career spans 35 years with appearances in television on “NCIS New Orleans,” “American Horror Story,” “House of Cards,” and the upcoming AMC series “Into the Badlands” in November. Film credits include Woodlawn, The Fantastic Four, Left Behind, Homefront, The Mechanic, The Last Song, and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. On stage appearances include productions of DRIVING MISS DAISY with Michael Learned (of the Waltons) at the Rubicon Theatre Company, New Dinner Theatre, Alhambra Dinner Theatre, and La Mirada Center for the Performing Arts. New Orleans audiences have seen him in SHOTGUN, YELLOWMAN, and IN WALKS ED at Southern Rep, TOPDOG, UNDERDOG at the CAC, and last year in DRIVING MISS DAISY at the Bayou Playhouse in Lockport. Other theater credits include THE BOYS NEXT DOOR and THE LITTLE FOXES at the Rubicon Theatre Company, FLYIN’ WEST at the International City Theatre, HABITATION OF THE DRAGONS at the Zephyr Theatre, SPUNK at Oregon Shakespeare, A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE at the L.A. Art Theatre, and THE LOWER DEPTHS with The Actors Gang in Los Angeles. He and his wife Zardis of 35 years are the proud owners of Lanzardis Productions; a company that trains and coaches actors throughout the country, and showcases local talent to industry professionals. Lance is honored to share the stage with such outstanding talent.

Mike Harkins

MIKE HARKINS (Joe Morris Doss) holds his M.F.A. in Acting from the University of New Orleans. Directing credits include BALCONY SCENE, CLOSER, STEEL MAGNOLIAS and SIDEMAN. Mike has been seen in CAT’S-PAW, THE WEIR, A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE, NOISES OFF, 33 VARIATIONS, MONTY PYTHON’S SPAMALOT (as King Arthur), THE NIGHT OF THE IGUANA (the Rev. T. Lawrence Shannon), and DETROIT (as Ben). Sound Design credits include VENUS IN FUR, SPAMALOT, MOLD, THE 39 STEPS and many others with Southern Rep, Theatre 13, The NOLA Project, The Elm Theatre and InSideOut Productions.

John NeislerJOHN NEISLER (Julian Murray) was recently seen at Southern Rep as Husband/Harrison in STAGE KISS. He’s also appeared in SRT’s FREEDOM, AFTERLIFE: A GHOST STORY and OPUS. He recently completed his MFA at the University of New Orleans, where he appeared in BENGAL TIGER AT THE BAGHDAD ZOO, TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD, THE GOOD DOCTOR, ORESTES 2.0 and TAMING OF THE SHREW. Other local credits: Jim Fitzmorris’ FROM A LONG WAY OFF, THE WEIR, and BLACKBIRD. John is a proud member of Actor’s Equity.

Samantha BeaulieuSAMANTHA BEAULIEU (Rosa Ella) is a film, television and theatre actress, born and raised in New Orleans. Samantha attended Cabrini High School and has appeared in many films and television shows over the last several years, such as the upcoming courtroom thriller The Whole Truth, starring Keanu Reeves and Renée Zellweger; the magician heist movie Now You See Me; and two episodes CBS’ “NCIS: New Orleans” as Officer Sullos. Look for Samantha this winter in the new television series “Underground” on the WGN network. Samantha enjoys treading the boards, having appeared in numerous stage plays around town, including A RAISIN IN THE SUN, for which she won the 2010 Big Easy Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Drama; THE GOOD NEGRO; THE WOMEN OF BREWSTER PLACE; CEREMONIES IN DARK OLD MEN; and Southern Rep’s epic stage production THE LILY’S REVENGE, to name a few. When she’s not acting, Samantha enjoys writing and interviewing interesting people in entertainment on her radio show, “The Samantha Beaulieu Show,” which airs every Friday at 2pm CST on WBOK 1230AM. Samantha thanks her family and friends for their ongoing support and encouragement, and dedicates her performance in this special production to the memory of Ernest Knighton, Jr., and all individuals and families affected by mass incarceration.

Cecile Monteyne-154CECILE MONTEYNE (Catherine Brame) is The Big Easy Awards’ reigning “Entertainer of the Year.” Recent productions include MARIE ANTOINETTE, TWELFTH NIGHT, SHINER, CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF and LA CONCIERGE SOLITAIRE. She is one half of the nationally touring improv duo, machine A, which, in conjunction with WWNO, recently won NPR’s nationwide Morning Edition promotional competition. She is the creator and producer of YOU DON’T KNOW THE HALF OF IT, the hit improv/acting hybrid. She is the Managing Director of The NOLA Project. This December she and her brother, Jules, will film the feature they co-wrote.

Ian-HochIAN HOCH (Governor Edwin Edwards / Ian / Judge / Deacon / Guard / Music Director) is a member of both the Cripple Creek Theatre Company and Goat in the Road Productions and has enjoyed playing a diverse range of characters since coming to New Orleans in 2002. He served as Media Coordinator for the New Orleans Fringe Festival in 2013 and 2014 and is the Digital Media and Creative Strategist for WWL Radio. He has three Big Easy Award nominations to date and was named Best Supporting Actor in a Drama for his work in 2012’s BALM IN GILEAD.

MARK BURTON  (Mr. Paul / Deacon / Guard) Mark did his first community theater in 1967 at Little Theater in New Orleans as a teen in BYE, BYE, BIRDIE. Since that time he has appeared in more than 60 productions throughout the city; sat on the Board of Directors of Summer Lyric at Tulane Theater for 10 years; and has had the pleasure of singing backup for Sarah Brightman at her New Orleans concerts, and enjoyed both acting and backstage duties. He is pleased to appear for the first time at Southern Rep and thanks to Aimée and the talented cast and crew for putting up with him in this most important original work.

sellers2DAVID SELLERS (Harry Bishop / Sonny Lafitte / Guard) is very excited to make his Southern Rep debut with this powerful work. The New Iberia native is back South after having acted for ten years in Chicago where he was a company member of the improv group “Free Associates.” Favorite Chicago roles were Boaz in Lifeline Theatre’s SIRENS OF TITAN, Claudius in HAMLET, and Parson in THE WHITE HOUSE MURDER CASE at Victory Gardens. Back home he was Russ and Dan in 30 X Ninety’s inaugural production of CLYBOURNE PARK and has just finished his run as Constable Warren in OUR TOWN at Le Petit Theatre. Come January, he will reprise his role as Cornelius and the Gaoler in New Orleans Shakespeare Fest’s CYMBELINE. He has an MFA from LSU.

JAMES headshot square cropBRITTNEY M. JAMES (Vocalist) is a proud regular on the Louisiana theatre circuit. She is a graduate of Dillard University in the field of Speech Communication / Theatre Arts. She is currently pursuing a Master in Education concentrating as a reading specialist at Liberty University.. 2008 Big Easy nominee. Recent credits include: VAGINA MONOLOGUES and DRYADES STREET DIVAS at Ashé CAC, MYSTERIOUS WISTERIAS at the WWII Museum, PINKALICIOUS and CINDERELLA BATTISTELLA (both at Rivertown Theatres), and BOUDIN: The New Orleans Music Project at Southern Rep Theatre. Thanks to the four chambers of her heart (better known as her grandparents and parents): Edgar, Beverly, Rodney, and Reva for their support.

Barbara ShortsBARBARA SHORTS (Vocalist). Barbara Shorts is a graduate of Southern University New Orleans with a BA in Music Education. Barbara has traveled the world in her musical and theatrical career from Australia to Norway, Germany, Scotland, England, Holland, Italy Sweden, and Switzerland. Her professional training has taken her to Off-Broadway to star as Big Bertha Williams in ONE MO TIME and in the hit sequel AND FURTHER MO, and she has opened for Cab Calloway in Norway. Barbara’s influences were her mother, the ladies in the senior choir at church, Sarah Vaughn, Ray Charles, Mahalia Jackson, and Aretha Franklin.

image1 (1)BRIAN COOGAN (Vocalist / Pianist). Pianist Brian Coogan has played and sang in the bars and clubs of New Orleans for many years. No stranger to theatre circles, recent acting credits include Lux et Umbra’s FAUSTUS and Allways Lounge’s SWEENEY TODD.

Meet the Authors

Joe Doss - playwright - SONGJOE MORRIS DOSS, a member of the Louisiana Bar, served parishes in Lake Charles, New Orleans, and Palo Alto as a priest of the Episcopal Church, and the Diocese of New Jersey as Bishop. He is presently the founding President of At the Threshold, an international and ecumenical organization to foster reform in the Christian Church and prepare for the ecumenical reformation. Doss is a noted author whose books include: Law and Morality, The Songs of the Mothers, Messages of Promise for the Future Church, and Let the Bastards Go, From Cuba to Freedom on “God’s Mercy.”


Andrew Doss - playwright- SONGANDREW DOSS, after obtaining a Master’s degree in international law from the University of Leiden at the Hague and serving as an Assistant District Attorney in New Orleans, Louisiana, is in graduate school at Yale. He is studying theology, while designing and preparing to build The Global Catastrophe Center, an international law and policy structure addressing disaster prevention, response, and recovery, largely through international cooperation.