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Hinesville playwrite offers Mothers Day play

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POSTED: May 5, 2010 11:31 a.m.
Photo by Denise Etheridge/

Actors Alliyah Thomas, Brianca King and Sideeq Heard, from left, rehearse the opening scene for "Mama, It's Your Time," which will be performed this weekend at Full Gospel Tabernacle Church of God in Christ. Aaron Nealey, not pictured, is also a member of the acting ensemble.

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“Mama, It’s Your Time,” a play written by Liberty County Commissioner Donald Lovette conjures up happy childhood memories of mothers and grandmothers, many of whom were — and still are — tough and fiercely loving.
“In today’s society, mothers and grandmothers stand in the gap for their family members,” Lovette said. “They are often in the background doing for everyone else with little regard to their needs.  As is my tradition, this plot is written after real-life examples. In this play, a wayward child grows in wisdom and maturity and returns home to show appreciation for her mother. This mother has been her support, her anchor, her encourager and adviser.”
The plot revolves around the family matriarch, Big Mama, played by Charlotte Lovette-Norman. Big Mama is “the glue that holds the neighborhood together,” according to Lovette. Big Mama’s daughter, Sunshine, played by CeCe Milledge, returns home from the big city. The plot’s comedic twists and turns develop when two nosey neighbors and a mail-reading mailman, played by Hillary Scales, Shade Ashleigh Williams and Damian Wright, respectively, imagine the worst and misunderstandings arise.
Lovette has written three songs for his Mother’s Day production, titled “Home,” “Don’t You Mess Around Me” and “It’s Your Time.” The St. Luke Praise Dancers will perform to these songs throughout the play.
Most of Lovette’s cast members are veterans to the stage and have previously worked with the homegrown playwright and director. Participating in a play celebrating mothers and grandmothers brings personal rewards, the actors said.
Milledge said her mother is “the star of my life. She inspires me.” Milledge is a junior at Bradwell Institute.
Scales said her grandmother, Nana, is the kind of person “everyone goes to for advice.”
“She’s very mellow and very sweet,” she said. Scales studies speech and theater at Auburn State University. She plans to minor in business.
Lovette said the play will open with a skit, titled “Big Mama’s House.” Local high school students Sideeq Heard, Alliyah Thomas, Aaron Nealey, and Brianca King portray Big Mama’s family members  who reminisce about Big Mama after attending her funeral.
“This skit is purely taken from my experiences as a child growing up around my grandparents’ home in Walthourville,” Lovette explained.  “I am using it as the ice breaker and opportunity to allow many in the audience to reconnect with their childhood memories.”
 The opening act sets the scene at Big Mama’s empty house, on the porch with its swing, empty rocking chair and China Berry trees in the front yard.
“It also serves as a history lesson for the students,” Lovette said of his script. He explained during one rehearsal about the custom of relatives “passing” young children over a grave during a funeral, and of saying “God bless the dead,” after a loved one has died.
The latest installment from Love-it-Productions will be performed at 6 p.m. Saturday, May 8 and at 5 p.m. Sunday, May 9, at Full Gospel Tabernacle Church of God in Christ located at 809 Frank Cochran Drive in Hinesville. General admission costs $10; admission for children 10 and younger is $5. Tickets are available at Full Gospel, WGML and TOP Book Store.
For more information, call Andrew Williams at 912-977-3293.
 

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