‘My God, Your God’ Gospel play gracing Birdsong Theater

Published 10:00 am Thursday, April 4, 2024

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The Suffolk Center for Cultural Arts is honored to present “My God, Your God,” a hilarious gospel stage play, on Saturday, April 13, 2024, at 7 PM in the Birdsong Theater. 

The original two-hour production, created by Allen Ellis, follows one woman’s journey for peace and her discovery that peace cannot be found in a building. ‘My God, Your God’ follows Geraldine Eley, who is ‘on fire’ for the Lord. The problem is she’s burning up everyone and everything in her path. Her husband of forty-five years has come to his wits’ end and must decide what to do with his wife’s search for a church home suitable for her take-charge personality. After joining ten churches in ten weeks, she finds comfort in a small Southern Baptist Church. However, her happiness is short-lived as ugly truths and painful realities are revealed. Allen Ellis, a Surry County native who lives in Chesapeake, VA, is the writer/producer of ‘My God, Your God’ and co-owner of Total Arts Theatre Company, www.totalartstheatrecompany.com, a one-stop shop for all theater needs. ‘I was inspired to write ‘My God, Your God’ many years ago when I became perplexed about life and its many layers regarding relationship, church, and race.’, shares Mr. Ellis. Since the play’s creation 20 years ago, ‘My God Your God’ has been produced at various Louisiana, Mississippi, and Virginia theaters. This stirring gospel play features an award-winning cast, including the incomparable M. Francine Jennings, who is reprising her role as Geraldine Eley. This Richmond native has over 50 years of experience in education and the performing arts; she has been blessed to share her talents as an accomplished playwright, director, and actress nationally and internationally. She is most noted for her practice of using the arts to raise awareness of issues aligning with the intricacies of human relationships, social justice, women’s issues, and African American history.

Howard Lemelle II, portraying Henry, is also a seasoned thespian. He was a part of the Norfolk Public Schools Performing Arts Repertory under the tutelage of Connie Hindmarsh. Howard is a singer, songwriter, actor, comedian, dancer, DJ, and physicist, and he has 20-plus years as a schoolteacher. Kathy Strouse, as Henrietta, is an award-winning local actor who has appeared in over 100 shows – most recently in Tidewater Community College’s production of Steel Magnolias and the Generic Theater’s production of The Effect.

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Actress Shelley Novak portrays Charlotte in ‘My God, Your God.’ She began her stage career at the tender age of 5. In 2016, she re-engaged herself with her first love – the stage, and she’s never looked back. Actor Cerandon Emanuel, portraying Rev Love, found his musical calling in gospel, lending his voice to local churches in North Carolina. Patrick Williams, a comedian from Portsmouth, portrays Deacon Soul. Patrick’s comedic personality delivers laughter to the hardest of hearts, uplifting the masses with his clean humor.

Tickets are on sale now. Reserved seating tickets are $40, $35, and $30. Tickets can be purchased by calling the Center’s Box Office at 757.923.2900, visiting the Center Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., or going online at https://suffolkcenter.org/performances_events/my-god-your-god/. The Suffolk Center for Cultural Arts is located in historic downtown Suffolk, 110 W. Finney Avenue, Suffolk, VA, 23434.