To check out our 2020 guest list for all program tracks, click here. This list will continue to be updated as invitations are accepted.
Penny Johnson Jerald was born in Baltimore, Maryland. She trained at the Juilliard School, where her classmates in 1982 included fellow actors Megan Gallagher, Jack Kenny, Jack Stehlin, and Lorraine Toussaint. She currently portrays Dr. Claire Finn in the FOX show “The Orville”, with the character also hailing from Penny’s hometown of Baltimore, MD. Dr. Finn leads the ship’s staff of medical officers and has established herself as a source of strength for the rest of the senior staff. Her presence both on the Orville’s bridge and in sick bay places her in the unique position to help the bridge officers and to communicate the needs of the rest of the ship. Penny is also known for her roles in The Larry Sanders Show, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, 24, and Castle among many others. Jerald also teaches acting workshops and produces and directs for Outreach Christian Theater Company, which she and her musician husband Gralin Jerald founded in 1994. You can follow Penny’s social media handle @PennyJJerald on Twitter.
Born and raised in Indianapolis, Indiana, Anthony Montgomery received a B.S. in Performance Theatre and Drama from Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. Early in his career, he guest starred on such shows as J.A.G., Charmed, Frasier and the Showtime original series, Resurrection Blvd. Anthony got his “big break” with a recurring role as George Auston on the WB television series, Popular. In 2001, Anthony landed a series-regular role on Star Trek: Enterprise as Ensign Travis Mayweather. For the next four years, Anthony piloted Enterprise’s NXO1 into many adventures and into the hearts of loyal Star Trek fans around the world. Star Trek: Enterprise ended in 2005. In the years after Enterprise, Anthony continued acting with a role on General Hospital as Dr. Andre Maddox. He also pursued his career in Hip Hop music and writing and publishing. Anthony launched his own sci-fi franchise called Miles Away in April 2013 about a teenage boy who develops a superhuman ability, finds alien battle armor, partners with a shadowy organization to battle evil, allies with alien refugees and falls into an interstellar war as he explores his family’s dark past. Anthony can be found online at his official site, on Twitter @mramontgomery and on Facebook.
Mary Chieffo, the actor behind Star Trek Discovery‘s Klingon High Chancellor L’Rell, received her Bachelor of Fine Arts from Juilliard in 2015, winning the Elizabeth Smith Voice and Speech Prize and the Saint-Denis Prize for “Outstanding Achievement and Leadership in Drama.” In her fourth year, she took on the title character in Erica Schmidt’s all-female Macbeth, reprising the role with Schmidt in 2016 for Seattle Repertory Theatre’s The Other Season. After portraying Iago in October 2015 for Harlem Shakespeare Festival’s all-female Othello, Mary participated in workshops of Lover, Beloved: An Evening With Carson McCullers—a one-woman show written by Grammy Award-winning Suzanne Vega and Tony- and Grammy Award-winning Duncan Sheik. She performed the piece at the Sherry Theatre in LA and at the Alley Theatre in Houston, TX in March and August of 2016. Mary stars as Jane in the upcoming webseries Digital Detox—a futuristic rendering of Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s short story The Yellow Wallpaper—opposite her fellow Juilliard classmate Justin Lawrence Barnes, directed by Amber Benson (Buffy The Vampire Slayer). Mary hopes to use her newfound Star Trek platform to bring about greater intersectional gender equality in front and behind the scenes in the entertainment industry and beyond. To that end, Mary is currently producing, writing, and starring in a feminist, gender, and color conscious Shakespeare adaptation alongside Viola Davis and Julius Tennon’s JuVee Productions. She is thrilled to reveal more details about the project soon! Mary enjoys interacting with her friends and fans on social media, using her handle @marythechief on Twitter and Instagram.