Kareem S. Nemley, Founder & Artistic Director
Kareem was born in East New York, Brooklyn and raised in the Pink houses. He studied English with a focus on creative writing at the University of North Carolina where he fostered a love for theatre. While in college, Kareem connected with serval theater ensembles where he participated and was featured in a number of productions. He returned to Brooklyn with the hope of utilizing all of his experiences to benefit his community. He freelanced in set design and visual merchandising until he got a job at IKEA, where he currently works as a designer in their communications department. Through his work as a designer, his love for the theatre never wavered seeing every show he could afford and reading everything theater related.
As Founder and Artistic Director of Rooted Theater Company, Kareem is responsible for conceiving, developing, and implementing the artistic vision and focus of the organization. He is also the primary decision maker for the ongoing development of the aesthetic values and activities - in extensive consultation with the Chief Administrative Officer. Kareem also serves as the Chairman of the Board for the company. The first Broadway show Kareem attended was “Memphis” and his favorite show so far is “The Royale.”
Wilfredo Florentino, co-founder & Chief Administrative Officer
Wilfredo ("Will") is a lifelong resident of Brooklyn, NY, a graduate of the University at Albany and a proud veteran of the United States Army attaining the rank of Lieutenant. Will has been involved in government and progressive politics his entire life. He currently works as a Project Manager for Empire State Development, supporting economic development and job creation initiatives throughout New York State. Previously Will worked as a Project Manager with citizens committee for New York city supporting progressive causes and social justice; staff member at the New York city council, and an honor guard in the United States army. will is a member of Brooklyn Community Board #5 and currently serves as the Chairman of the Transportation Committee and member of the executive board.
As co-founder and Chief Administrative Officer for Rooted Theater Company, Will consults and oversees on all administrative matters including fundraising initiatives, financial reports, strategic plan and marketing effort., he spearheads various initiatives and partnerships, facilitates post show Q&As (which are a staple of all Rooted theater company productions) and workshops, and serves on the organization's Executive Board. Will has had acted in various performances; he's an ordained minister, moderator, political commentator, workshop facilitator, orator and educator. The first Broadway show Will attended was “Guys and Dolls” and his favorite theater production is “Chicago.”
Stephfon Guidry, Dramaturge
Stephfon is a trained actor, singer, and artist that hails from Beaumont, Texas and New Orleans, Louisiana. Currently, Stephfon reprises the role of Barry “BD” Daniels in James Earl Hardy’s jood love story “B-Boy Blues the Play” and Jeremiah in the upcoming supernatural series TRVNSHUMVNS. Going Naked brings Stephfon from stage to screen. By day Stephfon works in education as a career teacher and reading tutor for nearly 10 years.
Within Rooted Theater Company, Stephfon serves as the Dramaturge, working as an advisor/assistant to the creative director, ironing out the background and social context of the play being produced. The Dramaturge also acts as a liaison between the director, playwright, and actors to work on building the artistic vision holistically, bringing the play from the page to the stage. Stephfon also serves on the Board of Directors for the theater company. The first Broadway show Stephfon attended was “A Raisin in the Sun” and his favorite theater production is “Dreamgirls.”
Chanel Roper, Production Director
Chanel’s roots were founded in Brownville, Brooklyn. At the age of 9 her family moved to Williamsburg, Brooklyn. She is a graduate of John Jay College of Criminal Justice, with a degree in Deviant Behavior and Social Control. Chanel is currently working on her Masters degree in Sociology. Chanel is currently the Administrator of Quality Management for Cerebral Palsy Associations of New York State. She has spent over 15 years helping individuals with intellectual disabilities show the world that they not defined by their disabilities.
As the Production Director for Rooted Theater Company, Chanel works diligently to ensure that all aspects of the production are completed within budget, according to the designer and director's wishes, and in time for public performances; she also serves on the organization’s Executive Board. The first Broadway show Chanel attended was ‘Guys and Dolls’ and her favorite theater production is ‘The Color Purple.’