‘Rise And Shine’: Rachel Bay Jones, Danny Burstein & Ana Sharp To Star In Laura Somers’ Sophomore Feature

EXCLUSIVE: Rachel Bay Jones (Young Sheldon) and Danny Burstein (Tokyo Vice) are joining newcomer Ana Sharp in the independent feature Rise and Shine, directed by Laura Somers (Rich Kids) from a screenplay by Michael Stagliano.

Rise and Shine is based on the true story of Janice Steele and her daughter Terri, who was born with cerebral palsy and a developmental delay. She was homeschooled until her teen years, when she entered public school and inspired her community with her infectious optimism and positivity.

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Jordan Walker Ross, Analesa Fisher, Jordan Nichole Wall and Halie Strickler round out the cast.

Jones is best known for originating the role of Heidi Hansen in the original Broadway cast of Dear Evan Hansen and received Tony, Emmy, Grammy, Lucille Lortel and a Drama League awards for her performance. She recently recurred on Young Sheldon, The Good Doctor and United States of AI and appeared in the films Critical Thinking, Bob Trevino Likes It and Ben Is Back.

This will be the theatrical debut for Sharp in the lead role of Terri. She is a neurodiverse actress with cerebral palsy.

Nat Mundel and Robert Mitas are producing for Voyage Media, along with Randy Wooten of Low Road Films, Jen Greenstreet with Just Like You Films, and Lila Yacoub.

The story was discovered and developed in Voyage Media’s incubator, under the guidance of Voyage’s Head of Originals Robert Mitas, and in partnership with true life subject Ms. Janice Steele. The film is also based on a podcast episode from Voyage’s Hope Lives Here anthology series, produced by Voyage’s Head of Podcasts Dan Benamor.

“We believe great stories come from anywhere, and that everyone deserves an opportunity to be heard”, said Mundel, Voyage’s founder, “Our entire team rallied around Janice’s mission to have Terri’s story inspire others.”

“With Rise and Shine, we aim to foster a kinder, more compassionate world through storytelling,” said Greenstreet, CEO of Just Like You Films. “This film will be a powerful tool for creating empathy, understanding, and social change, and we are honored to be a part of it.”

Jones is repped by Paradigm and Jeremy Katz of The Katz Company, Burstein is repped at the BRS/Gage Talent Agency, amd Sharp is repped by Katie McGrath at Arise Artists Agency.

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