Former Arlington resident and Bolton High School graduate Jade Bartlett has been cast in a starring role in Cinnamon Girl, an A&E Lifetime drama pilot co-created and executive produced by Renée Zellweger.
Jade is represented by the Memphis- and New York-based Lisa Lax Agency. The agency, owned by Memphian Lisa Lax, opened its New York offices a year ago. It has booked several people from its New York office in various roles, but this is the first to be cast as a series regular.
“This is a tribute to the great talent in the Memphis area,” said Lax, “and especially to Jade who is exceptionally talented and has always worked hard at everything she does.”
This is the television debut for Jade, an actress, writer and lyricist who was born in Tennessee. She moved to Memphis in the seventh grade and attended Bolton High School where she distinguished herself in several theatrical productions and was recognized for her writing.
After graduation, she went to New York City to attend the prestigious American Academy of Dramatic Arts and the American Musical and Dramatic Academy. She has been performing Off-Broadway and in regional productions and she has written two plays and a musical, one of which is being produced in the fall in New York.
Her musical Ligeia, written with fellow composer Elyssa Samsel, has had several industry readings in New York with an all star Broadway cast. Her play Miller's Girl received two industry readings this spring and is in consideration for film production.
Jade is also an accomplished singer and member of the band The Wonderland Robbers, with American Idol top-50 finalist Nick Boddington, whom she met competing in the Mid-South Fair Youth Talent Competition.
The storyline of Cinnamon Girl takes place in the Los Angeles music and movie scenes of the late 1960’s and early 1970’s. Also starring are Allie MacDonald (Score: A Hockey Musical), Alexis Knapp (Project X), Brooke Anne Smith and Sebastian Piggott.
Jade's character Lou is the lead singer for a club band, something of a mother figure to the young hippies and rock and roll types crowding her Laurel Canyon home.
After Jade had won the role, she got a call from Renée Zellweger and writer Anthony Tambakis. "I was at my parent's house with my mom and boyfriend when my phone rang. I answered and heard a thick drawl say 'Jade?', and I knew exactly who it was. They'd called to congratulate me, but I'd been awake for 36 hours at this point, and they were telling me how proud and excited they were while I just kept giggling like an idiot. I think I said, 'I've been awake a long time. I'm dying,' but they knew what I meant. When I hung up I looked at my mom and boyfriend and said, 'Well, that was Renee, just calling me on my phone. Renee Zellweger has my phone number.' And then I slept for two days."
For more information on the production, go to http://www.deadline.com/2012/09/renee-zellweger-produced-lifetime-drama-pilot-cinnamon-girl-casts-its-leads/