Home » Local News » Life » Gospel musical opens Saturday

Gospel musical opens Saturday

“Love Don’t Live Here Anymore,” a gospel musical, tackles many tough subjects, including teen pregnancy and spousal abuse.
The story is framed around a pastor’s neglected family.
“He’s caught up in his community, in his church work,” said Ivey Robinson, the play’s writer, director and producer. “He’s caught up in everything but his family.”
Those who attend will see what happens when family is put last.
“There’s so much hell breaking loose in the house,” said Robinson. “The house is falling apart.”
The pastor’s youngest daughter, who is 17, rebels and ends up pregnant. His other daughter is in an abusive marriage and addicted to drugs. And his son’s new fiancee? Turns out he’s a man.
“It deals with so many realities in life,” said Calandra Bryant, who plays Mamma P.
Many of the realities are things the cast themselves have dealt with. Lakeyshia Patterson, who plays the youngest daughter, experienced teen pregnancy first- hand.
“I was that person,” she said. “I had a child and it was very hard. It felt like no one understood me.”
Although characters in the play may gossip and judge, the ending message is that all can be forgiven. Even Mark, the abusive husband, isn’t painted as a villain.
“(The church) shouldn’t turn anyone away, because God created and made all of us,” said Robert Smyre, who plays Mark.
The musical includes 14 mini-songs and four well known gospel numbers sung by the main characters.
Thomas Ramseur, who plays the pastor, is one of the only actors who doesn’t sing. His life experience, however, makes up for it. Ramseur is an associate minister at Providence Missionary Baptist Church.
He believes that many people don’t understand the work that goes into being a minister. Like the pastor in the play, Ramseur acknowledges that sometimes the most important things can be neglected.
“I think (the pastor’s) purposefully driven to a point he’s blind to the surroundings of his family,” said Ramseur. “Everything’s about the congregation.”
The writer, director and producer of the play also has some insight into the inner workings of a pastor. She’s in charge of the church’s new convert ministry and substance abuse ministry.
She hopes her play wins souls over for Christ this Saturday.
“We’re expecting mighty things from God that day and time,” she said.
The homemaker and mother of two children has written a total 10 musicals. The Hickory Community Theater will perform two of her works next year.
Despite many of the play’s serious themes, Robinson’s dialogue keeps things relatively upbeat.
“If you don’t laugh, something’s wrong,” said Patterson.

Want to go?
The musical is being put on by Providence Missionary Baptist Church and will be performed at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Saturday at the James W. Warren Citizens Center.
Tickets are $12 in advance and $15 at the door. Groups of 10 or more will be charged $8. A portion of the proceeds will go to Relay for Life.

Shanna Ramseur, an actress, (left) receives direction from the play’s writer and producer, Ivey Robinson. Chris Dean / LTN Photo

by Sarah Grano

You must be logged in to post a comment Login