Raleigh, NC – Playwright and Director Renee Nixon is not “WORRIED” about walking over ‘burning coal.’ Actually, she’s looking forward to it! For six days in June, Nixon will take her play “WORRIED,” consisting of 12 monologues, to the Burning Coal Theater as a part of their Second Stage Series.
“These 12 monologues touch on all of the things in life we tend to worry about, from finding love, losing love, health, wealth, pesky test results and everything in between,” states Nixon, a Durham-native and Hillside High School alumnae. The monologue titles are: Cinderella, Banned, Other, Sorry, Control, Hurt, Boobs, Fear & Afraid, Alone & Lonely, Mom, Power, and Revenge.
Nixon began writing the original play in 2010 with the first monologue entitled ‘Cinderella.’ It was inspired by a conversation she was having with a friend who told her a funny story about trying to find love. She soon began to add onto the original monologue and over the course of a year, she had written all 12.
In 2011, Nixon had her monologues “WORRIED” read at the National Black Theater Festival in Winston Salem [NC] where she received great feedback from the crowd. She was inspired to expand it to a larger scale and knew that the play would eventually need bigger lighting.
She got the grand idea to showcase the play in a house. Level Homes agreed to host her play in one of their model homes. In 2017, Nixon showcased her play during a house tour and cost of admission was canned goods that would be donated to the Durham Catholic Charity.
“When viewers came to tour the house, in each room they saw a different monologue,” says Nixon. “They were truly pulled into the story and it gave them a different feel and a first time experience. Each room was furnished and this made the monologues more realistic…like you were walking into someone’s home.”
After such good feedback and a great turnout, Nixon was determined to take her play to the stage.
“The overall theme of the play is that no matter what your worries are; no matter what you are going through don’t let life’s circumstances take your faith. Your faith can take you through it. Worries show up in everyone’s life in different ways and people have different ways of dealing with them. In life, we are human so we are going to worry, its natural. That’s who we are, but if let your faith take over, things will come out better in the end.
Nixon, who holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from NC A&T State University, warns audiences to be prepared to laugh and even be prepared to cry. She also advises that ‘WORRIED” is for Mature Audiences Only.
“With this play, I tried to touch on topics that are real and not outside of the box. But I based these things on real life issues that people go through, BUT also expect plot twists. From previous feedback, a lot of the audience members have stated that they knew someone who had been through the monologue scenarios or that they themselves had been through a similar situation,” Nixon says.
“WORRIED” – a part of Burning Coal Theater’s Second Stage Series – dates/times are:
June 7th, June 10th, June 15th, June 23rd at 7:30 pm each night; June 16th, June 24th at 2:00 pm. Tickets are $10 each. Burning Coal Theater Company is located at 224 Polk Street Raleigh, NC 27604.
For tickets, click here
Photo: Mel Brown