Many times when we think of being a Christian, we imagine someone as being sad, quiet or even melancholy. This is certainly not true with the inspirational stage production of “Love Found Me.” The play was written by Vanessa Richardson and was performed this past January at Lakewood High School. The program is scheduled for a return performance on Saturday, Dec. 10 and 11 at the Lakwood auditorium beginning at 6 p.m. each night.
Richardson, a playwright who lives in Duplin County but has ties in Sampson, said she was delighted to bring back the production. “We have had such a great response from the previous performance and we decided to bring it back,” she pointed out. “The play ‘Love Found Me,’ is a delicious inspirational comedy evolving around the universal theme of love.” expressed the playwright.
Actor Tony Grant from Tyler Perry’s hit stage plays “Why Did I Get Married?” and “The Marriage Counselor,” has taken some time out of his touring schedule to reprise his role as Mike Montgomery in “Love Found Me.” Grant has completed his role in Perry’s upcoming new release “A Madea Christmas.”
For the Lakewood performance he’s bringing along a friend, actress Trisha Mann, who starred in the stage productions, “The Clean up Woman” and “An Evening of Shakespeare. Guest performers will be Rita McIver’s Gotta Dance Fine Arts Center in Clinton.
Richardson explains that “Love Found Me,” the stage production is influenced by the theme of love. Love, she said, “is so a small word” but it holds great power. “It can unite young and old; countries and states; races and nationalities,” explained the playwright.
The play is centered around several characters. Mike, the lead character portrayed by Grant, experienced a great and personal loss. His faith is shaken and he begins to doubt his faith. Sheila, played by Trisha Mann, wants to be loved but doesn’t know how, as she is painfully introverted, due to her uniqueness. These two meet in an unusual setting, recognizing in each other a need … the need to be accepted — and loved.
“When I wrote ‘Love Found Me,’ I immediately knew I had to perform it around the Christmas holiday,” Richardson stressed. “Our last performance at Lakewood was warm and welcoming, and the response to do a repeat performance was overwhelming. We decided to bring it back for the last time, only this time it will be for two nights. This production is filled with soul stirring singing and stellar acting. It is Broadway in Sampson County,” asserted Richardson.
The performance will also be introducing the Rev. Ishie and Sister Ethel and should prove to add a comical uplifting to the evening.
“We will also be collecting nonperishable foods, clothes, and toys for those experiencing economic hardships. When I reached out to Tony Grant (who is currently on tour) he took time out of his busy schedule to join our cause.”
Show performances are scheduled for Dec. 10-11 at 6 p.m., again at the Lakewood High School auditorium.
Richardson will be collecting nonperishable food items, warm clothing, and toys to donate to those who are experiencing economic hardship during the holidays. For further information, contact 910 532-4343. Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door.
“We would love to thank the North Carolina Arts Council, Deliverance Victory Temple Ministries, and Weeks Insurance for sponsoring this production,” Richardson noted.