Our Cast & Creative Details for SATCHMO AT THE WALDORF

Our Cast & Creative Details for SATCHMO AT THE WALDORF

Addison (TX) – WaterTower Theatre Producing Artistic Director Shane Peterman and Associate Producer Elizabeth Kensek are proud to announce casting and creative details for the one person play SATCHMO AT THE WALDORF by Terry Teachout, starring Sam Henderson, directed by Feleceia Wilson. This is the third production of WaterTower’s 28th Season.

SATCHMO AT THE WALDORF is a one-man, three-character play in which the same actor portrays Louis Armstrong, the greatest of all jazz trumpeters; his manager Joe Glaser, and Miles Davis, who admired Armstrong’s playing but disliked his onstage manner. It takes place in 1971 in a dressing room backstage at the Empire Room of New York’s Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, where Armstrong performed in public for the last time. just four months before his death. Reminiscing into a tape recorder about his life and work, Armstrong seeks to come to terms with his longstanding relationship with Glaser, whom he once loved like a father but now believes to have betrayed him, and Davis’ criticisms of him as a fellow artist. It will play on the Terry Martin Main Stage from April 17th through the 28th at the Addison Theatre Centre.

Reflecting on his upcoming role, Sam Henderson shares “I’m incredibly excited about tackling this daunting task. I’m comforted by both Feleceia Wilson’s more than capable leadership and Terry Teachout’s wonderful text. Between them, I know they will provide a sturdy safety net that will catch me if I fall.”

SATCHMO AT THE WALDORF is Feleceia Wilson's directorial debut at WaterTower Theatre. Wilson, a familiar face at WaterTower, brings her passion and insight to this poignant one-person play, offering audiences a fresh perspective on the complexities of Louis Armstrong's life and legacy.

"What excites me most about 'Satchmo at the Waldorf' is the opportunity to delve into the rich tapestry of Louis Armstrong's dynamic life. His story mirrors the struggles and triumphs of black individuals navigating a world that often seeks to confine them to the margins. Armstrong's rise to prominence is a testament to the brilliance and sacrifices of those who dare to defy expectations."

"My approach to 'Satchmo at the Waldorf' centers on honoring the authenticity of each character while exploring the intricate connections between them," explains Wilson. "Through meticulous research, character analysis, and collaborative dialogue with the actor, we aim to craft a performance that captures the essence of Louis Armstrong, Joe Glaser, and Miles Davis with integrity and depth."

This story holds immense significance for Wilson, resonating deeply with her own experiences and those of countless others who have faced systemic barriers on their path to success. "As a black woman in the arts, I understand firsthand the challenges of navigating spaces that often overlook or undervalue minority voices," shares Wilson. "Louis Armstrong's journey serves as a poignant reminder of the resilience and ingenuity required to overcome adversity and leave a lasting impact on the world."

As rehearsals approach, Wilson outlines her process for bringing this compelling narrative to life on stage. "We are going to do collective, collaborative, smart work. As we prepare to embark on this journey, my focus lies in fostering a collaborative and supportive environment that encourages creativity and exploration," says Wilson. "Through intensive rehearsals and deep dives into character motivations, we aim to cultivate a performance that resonates authentically with audiences while honoring the legacy of this American icon."

The creative & production team includes Kae Styron as Set Designer, Hope Cox as Costume Designer, Christopher L Treviño as Lighting Designer, Ruby Pullum as Property Designer, David Lanza as Sound Designer, Lexi Solomon as the Equity Production Stage Manager, Devon Patch as Assistant Stage Manager, and Bobby Selah, as Sound Board Operator.

The production has been approved by Actors Equity Association, ensuring the safety of both artists and patrons alike.

Contains adult topics & language. Recommended for ages 16 and above.

WaterTower Theatre’s 2023-2024 Season Sponsor is the Town of Addison.


Sam Henderson is an Assistant Professor of Theatre and Film at Baylor University. In 2023, Sam was selected by the Provost as one of 10 Baylor Fellows, a recognition of Professors across the disciplinary spectrum who exemplify excellence in teaching He received his Bachelor of Fine Arts in

Theatre Performance from Baylor University and his Master of Fine Arts in Acting from The Old Globe Professional Actor Training Program through the University of San Diego. At The Old Globe, Sam also wrote, directed and performed his one-man show, The Man with the Horn, about the life of Miles Davis, as his thesis production.

In New York, Sam was a teaching artist with the Coming Up Taller (presented by Michelle Obama) Award-winning, Off-Broadway theatre, Epic Theatre Ensemble. He was involved with several castings working alongside Suzanne Ryan (Law and Order) and Martin Scorsese’s longtime casting director and collaborator, Ellen Lewis (Boardwalk Empire). As a professional actor, Sam has become a mainstay at the Tony-award winning (2017) Dallas Theater Center, where he has appeared as Martin

Luther King Jr. in The Mountaintop, Romeo and Juliet, Our Town and the annual classic, A Christmas Carol (featured in The New York Times). At DTC, he was also set to appear in Dominic Morrisseau’s Pipeline in Spring 2020. Also in the DFW area, Sam performed in the Regional Premiere of Under the Skin, winner of the DFW Critics’ Choice Award for Best Ensemble, at Circle

Theatre; August Wilson’s Two Trains Running at the oldest running African-American theatre in North Texas, Jubilee Theatre; Hillary and Clinton by Lucas Hnath and Lynn Nottage’s Mlima’s Tale at Second Thought Theatre; as Coach Jones in King Liz at Amphibian Stage Productions, and as Torvald in A Doll’s House at WaterTower Theatre.

On screen, Sam is a SAG-eligible performer who has appeared in numerous short films and in print ads and commercials for FedEx and Bestway. Sam can also be seen in Chris Hansen’s award-winning feature film, Blur Circle, and in the LA Film Festival Best Picture nominee, A Country Called Home, produced by Nicolas Gonda (Tree of Life, To the Wonder) and starring Imogen Poots

(28 Weeks Later, Knight of Cups).

However, Sam’s creative passion mostly lies within his work as an award- winning film director and writer and co-founder of the filmmaking venture, 4amtentrevial, whose most recent short film, BREAK, shot on black and white 35mm, premiered at the Oscar-qualifying Austin Film Festival and went on to screen at the Oscar-qualifying St. Louis International Film Festival. It was nominated for Outstanding Music at the Micheaux Film Festival in Los Angeles and won Best Drama Short at Cincinnati’s Cindependent Film Festival. Sam’s earlier film, Con Alma, premiered at the Oscar-qualifying RSF Martha’s Vineyard African American Film Festival and again at the St. Louis

International Film Festival, as well. Con Alma was also a finalist for WeScreenplay Diverse Voices competition. In 2016, Sam made his first foray into television writing, winning the Cine

Pitchfest, Sponsored by the A+E Network, with the teleplay, The Walls. A community drama set in 90s-Huntsville, Texas, The Walls won a direct pitch to the Director of Scripted Programming in the spring of 2017, was selected as a Second Rounder at Austin Film Festival and is currently seeking

representation. After the run of Satchmo, Sam will be going to Los Angeles to shoot his next short film, ADO, starring the beloved actress and Hollywood icon, Jenifer Lewis.

Sam is a proud member of the Actors’ Equity Association.


Feleceia Wilson bridges her passions for theater and strategic communications, equally at home on stage and behind the scenes.

Returning to WaterTower Theatre as the director of SATCHMO, she brings her passion for storytelling to life once again. Feleceia's recent WaterTower performance credits include Jesus in Jesus Christ Superstar, a virtual one-woman concert in Ella's Swinging Christmas, and as John the Baptist in Godspell. Recent directorial credits include Ragtime at Lyric Stage and the virtual production of #Matter for Dallas Children's Theatre.

With a rich history on Dallas stages since 2007, Feleceia is not only a performer but also a dedicated mom, wife, speaker, brand strategist and entrepreneur. With a keen eye for unraveling the nuances of storytelling, as the founder of the Zoe Communications Agency, she helps mission-driven organizations connect their messages to their purpose and their people.

Her strategic insights have garnered attention from Forbes to TEDx, establishing her as a thought leader and disabilities advocate. Feleceia continues to make an impact both onstage and off, weaving together stories that resonate with audiences and drive positive change. Connect with her at www.Feleceia.com and @heyfeleceia. Love to Frankie, Zoe and Ellington. Proverbs 22:1

Favorite credits include: Aida/Ragtime/Songs for a New World-Uptown Players, Les Miserables/The Wiz - Dallas Theater Center, Abyssinia/Newsies/As Thousands Cheer - Lyric Stage, Smokey Joe's Cafe/Full Monty - WaterTower Theater