• Laiona Michelle a native of Springfield, MA., made her Broadway debut as Nanna, a principle role in the hit musical, Amazing Grace which opened on July 16, 2015. Laiona has a long list of theater credits which feature her as both a leading and supporting character. Prior to joining the cast of Amazing Grace she was part of The Book of Mormon first national tour. In addition to her stage work, Laiona has also made appearances on network and cable television in Showtime’s Lift, ABC’s All My Children, NBC’s Law & Order and Law & Order: CI, and most recently she worked on the upcoming Amazon series,Sneaky Pete (Bryan Cranston and Giovanni Ribisi) and the season finale of NBC’s The Blacklist. 


    Like all gifted people Laiona has refused to be relegated to roles that simply call for someone of her ethnicity. She champions the idea of breaking down stereotypes that would limit her ability to audition and get any role that calls for a strong woman, or just simply a woman.


    Laiona is the Founder and Director of Shakers Performing Arts Camp which teachers Shakespeare and Musical theater to children between the ages of 6-17. Several of her students (clients) have starred in Disney's The Lion King and many have earned full scholarships to study abroad.

    Lastly Laiona Michelle, a graduate of Brandeis University (MFA), did her undergraduate at Alabama State University in Theater Arts.


    • Winner of  NAACP Hollywood Award, 2005 (Constant Star)
    • Winner of the Barrymore and Carbonell Award, 2005 (Constant Star)
    • Nominated for Best Leading Actress, IRNE 2001 (StoneWall Jackson's House)
    • Nominated for Helen Hayes Award, 2005 (Yellowman)