|Cassandra Kaye Clements (center) transformed a skit|
into a full-length play. (Courtesy photo)
Friday, January 23, 2015
New playwright stages first-time play at The Evergreen Theatre
Last year in June, Cassandra Kaye Clements wrote a 20-minute skit for a family life class at Belhaven University, where she was trying to finish her Bachelor of Arts degree in human services.
The skit turned out to be an impressive undertaken, which sparked an idea that Clements decided to pursue. She transformed the skit seven months later into a full-length stage play that will run Jan. 9-11 at The Evergreen Theatre, 1705 Poplar Ave.
The show starts at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday and at 2 p.m. on Sunday. The ticket price is $18.
“God dropped the idea on me in June, and I wrote the play in a day,” said Clements, who would transfer to Lancaster Bible College to finish her coursework in time for graduation this summer.
Lancaster, in partnership with MCUPS (Memphis Center for Urban Theological Studies), accepted Clements’ credit hours from Belhaven, which allowed her to move expeditiously toward her original goal: to become a counselor.
But then Clements had an epiphany and changed course. She is founder, playwright, and director of Vision Made Plain Productions.
“I was going into counseling,” she said, “but I wanted to continue my drama ministry. That will be my career; that’s where I’m headed.”
Clements also plans to continue studying theology, which undergirds the stage play that she aptly named “And Humbled He Stood.”
“It’s a story that was inspired by God,” said Clements, the product of a difficult childhood. The storyline, she said, is based in part on “my crazy childhood.”
“My misery has become my mission,” said Clements, born to an 11-year-old mother and raised by her grandmother in the Fowler Homes public housing development.
“My life could rival any Lifetime movie,” she said, “and I have made every effort to walk the path that God has ordered for me, realizing many mistakes along the way.”
The play is moving and filled with scenarios of emotional and mental abuse. It is a real-life story of a couple struggling with terminal illnesses and the reality of families and church leaders being tricked by the devil to disobey God’s covenant.
Clements plays the role of Rubie Gatlin, the first lady of the church. The central character, Dale, “is a man of wisdom, courage, honor, integrity, who exemplifies the fruits of the spirit in his everyday lifestyle.”
True men of God still exist, she added.
“This ministry has blown my mind,” said Clements, 43, a receptionist at Logical Systems, Inc. in Bartlett. “It’s bringing everybody together. It’s for the people who don’t go to a traditional church.”
Clements said she’d like to run the play to the Orpheum Theatre; and, from there, “to nation to nation to tell the story through my drama ministry.”
“We’re almost sold out,” she said, and added that she has other stories that she plans to convert to stage plays.
Meanwhile, Clements is eager to graduate college and take home her 4-year college degree. The mother of two children – a 14-year-old son and 21-year-old daughter – she is determined to stay her new course.
“My daughter was the one who challenged me to pursue my goal. She will be graduating from U.T. Chattanooga the fall,” Clements said.
(For more information, contact Cassandra Kaye Clements at 901-288-5511 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org)