Meet the artists that brings EMIR Productions to life.


Rantea Emir Thompson

Founder/Education Director

Rantea Emir Thompson was born and raised in Akron, Ohio and has been singing since the age of 5. Since catching the acting bug in high school, Rantea moved to NYC in 2007. She graduated from The American Musical and Dramatic Academy and has been seen in various productions and cabarets including "Hairspray" and "Ragtime" all around NYC and Ohio. She can also be seen in "The Deuce" on HBO, "Bull" on CBS, and "Quantico" on CBS. Although Rantea continues to perform, she has been working backstage as a producer, writer, stage manager, and director. Three years ago she directed and produced her first play "Independence: A Play in Two Acts " by Lee Blessing and will be producing her second show in 2021. EMIR Productions was made out of her need to find a community that challenges the way people of color are perceived in theatre as well as help people who grew up humble, like her, to not give up on their dreams. Follow her for more updates on Instagram @ranteat and @emirproductions.

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Jada Bryan


Artistic Director

Jada Bryan is a Delaware native who now calls Brooklyn home. She is a graduate of The American Academy of Dramatic Arts (AADA) in New York City. Jada is a cast member of The Paper Bag Players theatre company. She has originated roles in two plays with the Nia Production Company and has also performed in the comedy sketch show "A Sketch of New York." She is a teacher at New York Kids Club and can be seen in the company’s YouTube series for kids called "Together We Grow!" Jada is also a member of the Brooklyn Cyclones Surf Squad dance team and can be seen performing at the Mets-affiliated Brooklyn Cyclones baseball games in Coney Island.


Tara Smith

Director of EMIR Dance Studio-NYC

Tara is originally from Kansas City, MO where she trained and danced with The Kansas City Ballet before continuing her training at North Carolina School of the Arts, American Ballet Theatre, School of Ballet Chicago, and the American Musical and Dramatic Academy. Favorite credits include: Guys and Dolls (Stages! St. Louis), Hello Dolly (Cape Playhouse), Hello Dolly (North Shore), Spamalot (2nd National tour), and The Phantom of the Opera (Broadway National Tour).

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Janelle Murray


Changing the Narrative

Janelle Murray is a New York City based performer, writer and content creator. She is originally from Upstate New York. Janelle has an A.S. degree from Dutchess Community College where she studied the performing arts. Currently, she is pursuing a B.F.A in Acting at Marymount Manhattan College. Janelle is an exceptional writer who has had her work published on She has always had a love for writing and is thankful to have a platform to share her voice. Janelle has a passion for all things related to the performing arts and is always on the hunt for new opportunities to learn and grow. In 2018, Janelle was nominated for an Irene Ryan Award at the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival. In 2019, Janelle was nominated as the first ever, People’s Choice Nominee at Miss New York USA. Additionally, she is a content creator on YouTube where she makes beauty, lifestyle and advice videos. When Janelle isn’t writing, performing or training, she works as an Assistant Teacher at an early learning center and is constantly volunteering in the theatrical community.