About Sammie Wayne


Sammie’s Story

Sammie Wayne Poe was born in West Point, MS in 1962.  He spent the first fifteen years of his life being raised by his single mother (Cassie Edwina Poe) and his great grand mother (Cassie Powers Montgomery).  For a short while (1974-1976) he lived in Metarie, LA and Gentilly, LA with his mother Cassie and two of his four sisters (Denise and Norren). 

In 1978, Sammie moved from West Point to Chicago, IL to live with his father (Sammie Wayne, III), his “other” mother( Mabel Harris Wayne) and his other two sisters (Cynthia and Cheryl) . When he moved to Chicago he changed his name from Sammie Wayne Poe to Sammie Wayne, IV. (the reason for the name change is a whole other story). 

In Chicago, he attended Kenwood Academy, where he excelled in track and field. He earned several city titles and that resulted in a track scholarship to DePaul University. While at DePaul, Sammie became a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Inc., captain of the track team, a resident advisor and president of the Inspirational Choir. In 1984, Sammie received his B.S in Computer Science from DePaul University.

From 1984-1987, Sammie worked as a programmer analyst for GM. He left GM in 1987 and from 1987 to 1994, he held a government issued secret clearance and worked for Northrop Grumman.  He left corporate America at the end of 1994 to pursue a career in acting  

In 1996, he joined the Screen Actors Guild. Sammie has worked on TV shows: Diagnosis Murder, Judging Amy, Fox’s Totally Hidden Video, BounceTVs  In The Cut, and  Netflix’s Ratched. He’s been in several movies, most recently Ken Sagoes’ The McHenry Trial: Don’t Judge A Kid By His Hoodie.

In 1998, his daughter Shelbie Danielle was born. Sammie left entertainment and tried his hands at several different jobs to provide for his daughter.  He even started a painting business that failed miserably.  

In 2000, he was pulled back into the theater world and asked to stage manage a theatrical piece. That Stage managing job led to him to stage managing shows for the late great Della Reese, Glynn Turman, Jenny O’Hara, and a host of other seasoned actors and celebrities.

He has stage managed well over fifty theatrical plays. In addition, Sammie learned the basics of lighting design and that entrenched him even further into the world of theatre. The Stage Managing and Lighting Design led to him being the Assistant Director for the NAACP Theater Awards in 2003 and 2004.  

 In 2007, Sammie was introduced to the world of Standardized Patients or SPs. SPs are actors who are hired by local universities and test preparation institutions to be “patients” for their medical programs.  Basically it helps Medical Students and Medical Doctors learn and practice bedside manners and prepare for the United States Medical Licensing Exam. He enjoys this work because it directly ties the healing aspects of the arts with medical practices.

 In 2010, Sammie was awarded his first NAACP Theater awards for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in Alretha Thomas’ One Woman Two Lives. In 2011 he received his first Lighting Design Award, for lighting Loretta Devine’s one woman show “Pieces of Me. He received his second Lighting Design Award the following year for lighting Vicki Lynn Reynolds one woman show “Hattie Is That You?”.

 In 2013, Sammie received Best Supporting Actor Award for his work in Ana Lucasta and a lighting design award for Lighting Designer on Camp Logan.  In 2018, he received Best Lead Actor for his work in No PlaceTo Be Somebody.

In October 2020 Sammie performed his one man show entitled Lawd Ham Mercy  On This Nappy Headed Bastard. In this story, we follow the journey of a young man born in Mississippi in the 1960s who moves to Chicago in the 1970s and then to LA in the 1980s.  This story chronicles the births and deaths, ups and down, good and not so good times of a “colored, negro, black, African American” man in America.  It reveals just how much we as a human race have in common. The next performance will be Jan 21, 2021, which happens to be Sammie’s birthday.

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