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TO COOK OR NOT TO COOK follows the journey of Paris, a beloved chef in Harlem, who is determined to fix his broken relationship with his daughter Chicago,  through the means of cooking.

Welela Mar Kindred as Chicago

Stacey A. Griffin as Paris

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Twitter @IAmWelela


Weléla began her career studying ballet, theater and musical theater with the St. Joseph Ballet Co, Alvin Ailey, The Orange County Black Actors Theatre under the direction of Adeline Hunter & Zondra Ann Marshall and The Centre National de la Danse Paris. She continued her theater and television work with The Santa Monica Playhouse, NBC Studios and The Lorraine Hansberry Players. During her undergraduate studies, she was awarded the Dean's scholarship to study Cinema and Performance Art at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Later when she resided in New York, she was awarded the Dance New Amsterdam Choreographer Lab Artist in Residence {New York}. She later relocated to Paris for seven years - where her work was featured in the FRASQ Festival, Sony France and Nuit Blanche.  After returning to the states, she received an NYU and Harvard Fellowship in Black body politics based on her writings and research which were featured at The University of Johannesburg and her writings have appeared in Art Africa.


Weléla is committed to creating top-tier works for cinema, stage and curated tech projects through a feminine BIPOC lens. Not only has her extensive dance and theatrical knowledge been paired with her conceptual art background, she has acted, produced and directed for the stage (Best Stage Director Nominee - The Chicago Reader). Weléla has choreographed for film and commercial projects in fashion, music and tech globally.  Weléla is currently working closely in femtech in the African space and is the founding creative director of The LVMB Collective and WMK Ventures.  

Instagram @griffin_prolific

Stacey A. Griffin is a Chicago native currently residing in NYC. He received his B.F.A. from DePaul University where he attended The Goodman School of Drama/ Theatre School in Chicago. He also trained with Alan Wilder of The Steppenwolf Ensemble.  His New York coach was Thomas G. Waites of The Actor's Studio. Some of his Chicago credits include: The Prince in Romeo and Juliet at Ivanhoe Theatre,  Haemon in The Oedipus/ Antigone Story at the 13th Tribe Theatre,

Trebonius in Julius Caesar at the Black Ensemble Theatre directed by Harry Lennix, Eilaf in Mother Courage and Children at Touchstone Theatre. His NYC credits include: Baraka in The White Blacks at Theatre for The New City, JC in Silk Stockings and a Bible at Ginny's Harlem Supper Club, Clinton in A Wound in Time at St Lukes Theatre, Baptista in Taming of The Shrew at Sanford Meisner Theatre, Marc Anthony in Julius Caesar at Nuyorican Theatre directed by Rome Neal. Stacey has also appeared in Platanos and Collard Greens at the Florence Guild Theatre Auction Block to Hip Hop (National Tour). He has also appeared on

Law and Order: Special Victims Unit (NBC) Kidnapped (NBC), Year of The Bull (Showtime) as the narrator. Film credits include: Paid in Full, Two Rivers, Mind the Gap, Upon our Children, Man at the Door, Subway Song and Empire Gypsy-both with Western Independent film. Stacey is very thankful for the opportunity to join such a talented cast in this beautiful story.

K'Lynn Holden as Young Chicago

K'Lynn is a talented and smart little girl, who possess great skills in acting, dancing and  basketball. Moreover, she takes great pride in being a Brooklyn native and a big sister to her brother.

SJ Hannah as Bisi
Instagram @sjyogi

SJ was last seen on stage in SHE'S GOT HARLEM ON HER MIND of Metropolitan Playhouse theater, THE WOODS of Pendragon theater. Other productions include: Superhero (Houses on the Moon Theatre), GTFOH (Orlando Shakespeare Festival), On Striver's Row (Metropolitan Playhouse), The First Deep Breath (National Black Theatre), Meaningful Conversation (New Light Theatre) Invisible Life, The Musical (Apollo Theater) and The Lion King touring company. 

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Justine J. Hall as Belle
Instagram @justinejhall

Justine recently was seen as Mamair in The White Blacks and Voice in Brotha Shakespeare at Theater for the New City. Other credits include NBC's Law & Order, CBS's FBI, the voice of Nia in Almas Way on PBS, The Super starring Val Kilmer and Love They Keepers, with Addison Timlin. Currently, Justine has been finalizing her stage play, The Iron Butterfly and started penning her first screenplay.


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