By Joel Hall
Living Faith Tabernacle of Forest Park, and playwright Annetta Swift, will soon present a one-night-only performance of Swift's new gospel play at the Clayton County Performing Arts Center. "The Transition House" will be performed Friday, Sept. 25, at 7:30 p.m.
In the tradition of Swift's previous plays, "Love Under New Management" and "Where Do We Go From Here?," "The Transition House" revolves around characters undergoing dramatic spiritual growth. Swift's latest play takes place at "The Transition House," a last-resort safe haven for women suffering from domestic violence and drug abuse.
Swift said the central theme of the play is that "no matter how messed up they [people] are, nothing is too hard for God."
"I feel that this will touch everybody," Swift said. "What happens in the Transition House is a whole lot of roller coasters. We see their struggles, but we also see their transition. Ultimately, we learn that the greatest transition comes from God."
According to Swift, the main character of the play is Dr. Julian Black. Played by Derex Moore, the character is a young Christian psychiatrist who makes it his mission to pull women from the brink.
Other characters include: Adrianna, a battered wife who comes from a long line of battered women, played by Lori Weems; Heather White, a drug-addicted woman in denial of her drug habit, played by Lisa Powers; Lydia, Dr. Black's intuitive assistant, played by Dianca Brown; and Desiree, the doctor's greedy sister who seeks to sell the Transition House, a mansion bequeathed to the Black children after the death of their mother.
Desiree's character is played by Antrice McGuire.
Moore, an accountant and a member of Living Word Church of God in Christ of Forest Park, performed as one of the main characters in Swift's second play, "Where Do We Go From Here." He said the actors in "The Transition House" have personally connected to the characters in the play and that he believes the public will connect to the characters as well.
"They [the characters] basically learn how to better themselves through the stories of others," Moore said. "As I continued to read [the play], it became a part of my walk. My hope is that they [the audience] take away that it is easier to judge people than it is to be judged. You have to look at yourself before you pick at other people's shortcomings, because we all have shortcomings. By being judgmental, you impede your own progress."
Michael Thomas, associate pastor of Living Faith Tabernacle, said "The Transition House" will be the third Swift play the church has financed to perform at the Performing Arts Center. He said the plays have allowed the church to market the word of God to a mainstream audience, particularly young people in the community.
"Having it at the PAC, we are able to minister through drama," Thomas said. "They come to the church afterward, so it has been helpful. Young people seeing other young people on stage - that encourages them to do better. There is so much negativity out there ... but seeing them on stage doing something for Christ, it makes a difference."
Tickets for "The Transition House" are available at www.ticketweb.com for $10 or for $15 at the door. The Clayton County Performing Arts Center is located at 2530 Mt. Zion Parkway in Jonesboro. For more information, call (404) 361-0812.