CEO and Founder
Ms. Ylonda Powell was born and raised in New Haven, CT to Deborah Powell and Jerry Green Sr. At the age of eight, Ms. Powell knew without a shadow of a doubt that she wanted to pursue a career in acting after seeing the movie "Annie". She attended Betsy Ross Arts Magnet Middle School where she studied drama and dance. While attending Betsy Ross she made history by landing the role of Maretha, one of the original cast member in the hit Broadway play Piano Lesson. The production was held at the Yale Repertory Theater in 1987 under the direction of the legendary and late Lloyd Richards. She shared the spotlight with superstar Samuel L. Jackson, Rocky Carroll, the late Carl Gordon, Starletta Dubious, the late Lou Myers, the late Tommy Hollis and others. After graduating from Betsy Ross Ms. Powell attended Cooperative Arts and Humanities High School where she continued to study dance and drama. In addition to her studies at Cooperative she auditioned and was accepted in the acting program at the prominent Educational Center for the Arts where she furthered her studies in acting. During her high school years Ms. Powell was cast in many community and school productions. Landing mostly leading roles. Also, she was extremely instrumental in producing and performing in various productions in her home church as a teenager.
Upon graduating from Cooperative Arts High School she attended Southern Connecticut State University where she continued her studies in acting. At the age of nineteen, Ms. Powell was privileged to be apart of the cast of The Amen Corner starring the late Ron O'Neil, Mary Alice, Barbara Montgomery, Caroline Stephanie Clay, and others. She worked very closely with director Serett Scott during production of The Amen Corner. During production she was chosen to be featured in Making a Joyful Noise, a documentary on the making of The Amen Corner which aired on WTNH-ABC. In the early stages of her adulthood Ms. Powell joined Prayer Tabernacle Church of Love where her Pastor was Bishop Kenneth H. Moales. She began producing, writing and directing skits and plays for special events. She was appointed as the Performing Arts Coordinator of Prayer Tabernacle and loved producing inspiring productions for the congregation and the community.
In her early twenties she tapped into a gift that she never knew existed. MIME. She began to use the gift of mime in her local church. Soon after she discovered her gift she was quickly sought after to mime in various churches, community events, festivals and many other venues. Her gift of mime has captivated and moved hundreds of souls throughout Connecticut, Florida, Texas, South Carolina, California, Virginia and many other places. Ms. Powell was a finalist in the 2001 McDonald's Gospel Fest in Manhattan for mime.
Ms. Powell founded Jesonda (Jesus and Ylonda) Productions in 2001 by producing talent showcases for local artists. Special guests and representatives from Bad Boy Entertainment (Dennis Cacho), Verity Records (James "Jazzy" Jordan), Yale Repertory and Long Wharf Theaters and other local music and theatrical producers and directors attended the showcases. In 2007, Ms. Powell won the award for the Best Praise Dancer from the Rhode Island, Connecticut and Massachusetts areas at the Holla Back Gospel Music Awards. Also, she has been featured on WTNH-ABC three times for her dynamic craft in mime and was recognized for her work in the community. In February 2008, she was recognized by a local church in Hamden, CT for her outstanding work in the community.
Ms. Powell was the Founder and Head Instructor of Jesonda’s School of Performing Arts in Connecticut. This school was a powerful and rewarding school for children and teenagers and had two locations. Her goal for the school was to build leaders, performers and instructors globally.
Also, Ms. Powell is a former gospel radio announcer for 94.3 WYBC FM and hosted a radio outreach program on 1530 WDJZ AM for approximately six years. In addition, she held the position of Assistant Program Director on WJRG, CT’s first gospel internet radio station.
In 2010, Ms. Powell wrote, produced and directed the highly acclaimed and power packed stage play STUCK. This play debuted in Stratford, CT on Saturday, October 23, 2010 with standing room only. STUCK has been produced five times in CT and will debut in Charlotte, NC in the summer of 2017. Ms. Powell resides in Charlotte with her two beautiful daughters. In addition, Ms. Powell has done a host of productions through her company and has been cast in independent films.