By February 12, 2020 Read More →

Seven Guitars at Gallo Center for the Arts

Seven Guitars at Gallo Center for the Arts
By Tasha Wilson

From left to right: John Griffin III, Tasha Wilson, Pastor Greg Savage, Elizabeth Garmon, John Ervin, and Cheryll Knox.

This month is almost over. However, you have just about 48 hours – Enough time for you to go out and get your tickets to see August Wilson’s Seven Guitars! It’s playing at the Gallo Center for the Arts this weekend! The show will go for three consecutive days beginning Friday night.

The pertinent information is listed below:
Friday evening, February 14, 2020, at 7:00 PM
Saturday evening, February 15, 2020, at 7:00 PM
Sunday, February 16, 2020, at 2:00 PM

The Sankofa Theatre is bringing the Stanislaus County yet another August Wilson production to the Gallo Theater for The Arts. Sankofa Theatre was founded by four friends whose hearts are filled with the love of the arts. The company consists of co-owners, John Ervin, Cheryll Knox, Pastor Greg Savage, and Elizabeth Garmon. All but one, (John Ervin), will be featured in this month’s Gallo Theater production.

This production, written by playwright August Wilson, is a dark comedy set in the year 1948. Most of the show takes place in the backyard of a Pittsburgh tenement where friends have come together in an effort to mourn the loss of their friend, blues guitarist, Floyd “Schoolboy” Barton. The story follows flashback scenes explaining the situations that lead up to Floyd’s untimely and disastrous demise!

A photo of the original cast is in this month’s Modesto View Magazine, (you can pick one up almost anywhere in town)! Since the original cast photo was taken, a few changes have been made to the cast. For that reason, I wanted to take a few moments to introduce you all to the full cast – In its entirety! Each of the actors is excited about this show and are looking to keep you highly entertained with great props and costuming provided by Modesto Junior College and CrossPoint Community Church!

This year, Sankofa Theater selected Samuel John Mellor as the Director. Sam is a high school educator who has done quite a bit of theater with Modesto Junior College in the past. The Stage Director is the lovely Jazmine Knox. Jazmine’s class and grace are always noticed. She is also the daughter of cast member Cheryll Knox, (Ruby). Taking the place of John Griffin III, (as Floyd “Schoolboy” Barton), is Mr. Willie Williams. Williams is a local Minister and no stranger to the stage! He has done shows with Sankofa in the past and plans to continue performing in shows going forward. Replacing Sankofa co-owner, John Ervin, (Hedly), is Reginald “Reggie” Wilkins. He hails from the bay area, (Oakland to be exact), and like Willie Williams, is no stranger to the stage either! Wilkins has numerous plays, voice-overs, and films in his professional repertoire. In fact, he begins his next role, as the lead, in an independent film at the end of this month! Michael Baldwin, (Red Carter), is new to the stage. Don’t be fooled though! You will not even notice, as he will definitely keep you laughing! He has a smooth and suave way about himself, as he glides across the stage, filling the room with all of his charm.

Now, a bit about the remainder of the cast. . . Pastor Greg Savage, (Canewell), is a preacher here in Modesto, and a well-known local photographer. In fact, he took the photos for Willie Williams, Reginald Wilkins, Michael Baldwin, and myself. Cheryll Knox, (Ruby), is an Elementary Teacher at Don Pedro Elementary School. Knox has a kind and soft-spoken way about her that is heartwarming and endearing to everyone she knows. Surely, her students feel the same! Elizabeth Garmon, (Vera Dotson), is a teacher. She teaches Drama and English at Enochs High School. She is passionate about everything she does and appreciates the time she spends teaching, as well as the time she spends acting in her  own productions outside of the educational world. And then there’s me, (Louise), I love life and it keeps me extremely busy. I work at Modesto Junior College but I act and sing every chance I get! I will begin my next independent film on February 28th with the local production company, Aberrant Films. Oh, and I write for this magazine! Most importantly, Sankofa Theater is bringing this show to you from the bottom of their hearts and this show is meant to bring you entertainment and a fully enjoyable evening. This particular show is a period piece and it is set in the year 1948. Some of the topics of discussion in this production may be a little heavy on the heart for some. However, none of the dialog is intended to offend. So Positive Peeps, please, upon your arrival, do me a favor; Sit back. Get comfortable. Consider the decade in which the play was written. Escape to the past within your mind, AND ENJOY!

Tickets are between $15.00 to $25.00 and you can purchase them at the door or online here:

Samuel John Mellor, Director
Jazmine Knox, Stage Director
Michael Baldwin, (Red Carter)
Reginald “Reggie” Wilkins, (Hedley)
Willie Williams, (Floyd “Schoolboy” Barton)
Pastor Greg Savage, (Canewell)
Elizabeth Garmon, (Vera Dotson)
Cheryll Knox, (Ruby)
Tasha Wilson, (Louise)

Willie Williams (Floyd “Schoolboy” Barton)

Reginald “Reggie” Wilkins

Michael Baldwin, (Red Carter)

Jazmine Knox, Stage Director

Samuel John Mellor, Director

Posted in: community, stage & art

About the Author:

Tasha Wilson is a true “Multipotentialite” in every sense of the word! She has been a freelance writer for over 5 years. She is a singer, an actress, a motivational speaker, a personal consultant, and a self- proclaimed Interior designer! She graduated from Modesto Junior College with the following 3 degrees: 1. Human Services 2. Sociology and 3. Social and Behavioral Sciences. Single-handedly, she raised two adult children, a son, Giovanni, and a daughter, Aciemarie. For singing, acting, and/or speaking engagements, you can easily connect with Tasha, via her social media platforms on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram here:,,