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Saving Us Saints

Arlene Clipper , Billie Taylor , Percy Thomas , Dorothy Phaire (playwright  |  PG-13 |  DVD

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Editorial Reviews

Review

A strong grandmother, matriarch of a typical family with some recognizable problems, helps her family in some unexpected ways, in the entertaining new play opening on Friday, October 26, 2007 at the Greenbelt Arts Center. Saving Us Saints is an original play, by local DC writer, Dorothy Phaire, who simultaneously has a new book, MURDER and THE MASQUERADE, a romantic murder mystery -- just released this month. Music and a strong sense of humor keep this show moving and fun as the play realistically addresses some tough issues: teen peer pressure, a family struggling to raise their gifted teenage daughter, an unexpected baby on the way, job pressures, sexual infidelity in marriage, and issues of faith. Unexpected plot twists, the right mix of comedy and the jazz styling of one of the leading actresses, engage audiences of all ages. Phaire wrote the play specifically for young people and their parents, and it has debuted on two college campuses: the University of the District of Columbia, where she teaches, and also at the University of Maryland. The cast includes student actors and some with professional credits, some with Greenbelt area ties and others from DC, Baltimore and Virginia. Lead actress Billi Taylor works by day at the FCC with Arts Center founder and City Councilmember Konrad Herling. She is a former member of the DC Black Repertory Company and performed a dramatic role in a radio documentary aired on DC station WOL. A teen role was cast with a recent graduate of Parkdale High School. Archie Williams, who is playing the male lead for the first time in this run, is a well-known Baltimore actor, who plays a District Commander in the HBO television hit, The Wire, and has appeared at several Baltimore theaters. Saving Us Saints will be performed six times over two weekends, on Friday and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sunday matinees at 2 p.m. with the final performance on November 4, 2007. Reservations are encouraged by calling 301-441-8770. Dorothy Phaire says her purpose in writing this play is to provide a slice of life showing real-life issues that people face (e.g. peer pressure/infidelity) with a moral underlying message. My intention is not to sermonize, but instead be a source of spiritual as well as social discussion. For instance, in addition to simply having a good time at the performance, I hope audiences will think about problems facing young people today, such as following the wrong crowd into drugs, alcohol, or pre-marital sex as well as adult frustrations in marital relationships. Her new book, Murder and the Masquerade, is available through Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble. Greenbelt s Photography Club is hosting a reception following the Sunday matinee on October 28 at which Ms. Phaire will be present for a book signing. The Photography Club is exhibiting members best photos in the lobby gallery of the Greenbelt Arts Center this month. --review by Edith Beauchamp, published in Greenbelt News Review, Oct 25, 2007

On August 15, 2006, during Freshman Orientation at the University of the District of Columbia, Dorothy Phaire s Heralds of Hope Theatre Company performed for the University, Saving Us Saints, and captured the audience with its dramatic portrayal of family conflict and teen peer pressure. It began in the classroom where students met their new professor (Mr. Oliver Berkley) who tried to show them tough love. However, his worst student Romeo (DeWayne Cha-camp), who was Captain of the football team and a ladies man, thought he could control this teacher. Conversely, this was not the case so he diverted his maliciousness to the class nerd, Mary, and made a bet with one of his friends that he could pursue her romantically. Mary (Janelle Osborne) was the shy but intelligent girl with a bright future. Mary s problems stemmed from both peer pressure and her household. At home, financial issues including a new baby on the way were tearing the family apart. Mary s father, Noah Jordan (Burton Morris), did not know how to deal with these problems, and turned to another woman, the Diva, for support and affection. However, the Diva Jazza-Rene Jones (Comelita Payton), a well-known nightclub dancer, had other ideas and blackmailed Noah by videotaping them together and threatening to show his wife if he didn t pay her off. While Noah was trying to overcome his own devils, his daughter Mary was trying to fit in with the lifestyle of her new boyfriend Romeo, by changing her appearance as well as study habits. However, she managed to resist other pressures such as sex and drugs from her so-called friends known as The Chocolate Delights. Noah finally confessed to his wife about his affair, while Romeo lost the bet with his friend, by falling in love with Mary. Saving Us Saints was written and directed by Dorothy Phaire, with lighting and screen design by Prince NO-RA. --Review by Kay-Ann Willis, published Sept 2006 in Triology, (Vol. 22, Issue No. 2). Triology is a University of the District of Columbia Student Media Production.

Product Description

Saving Us Saints is an original stage play written by Dorothy Phaire and directed by Percy Thomas. It tells the story of the Jordan family and combines real-life drama, humor, and music to portray a family in conflict over teen peer pressure and adult infidelity. The theme that resonates throughout Saving Us Saints is temptation and sin, followed by repentance and forgiveness. Two of the key characters, 16 year-old Mary Jordan and her father, Noah Jordan, will face temptation within their respective teen and adult environments. As the play progresses, Mary struggles with her desire to fit in with the crowd at school despite what she knows in her heart to be right. Likewise, Noah's temptation comes in the form of a beautiful nightclub singer named Jazza-rene. Mama Pearle is the matriarch of the Jordan family and strives to keep her family intact in the midst of turmoil. There are a host of other supporting characters. Saving Us Saints is a values-based play, appropriate for all ages. The play was co-produced by Heralds of Hope Theatre Company and the Greenbelt Arts Center.

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