A MIGHTY HEART: Taylor aims to transform lives through her work.
“I want to give people hope and for them to seek the face of God,” says Almarie Taylor, about the motivation behind her inspirational gospel plays, which she has brought to Jamaica from the United States, where they have been performed to good reception. On the surface, to many, the idea of a gospel play conjures ideas of preachy, Bible-thumping ministry with a theatrical slant. But Taylor, also a minister, says that couldn’t be further from the truth.
Take for instance her latest creation, the faith-and-relationship drama Yet Will I Trust, which she writes and directs and produces. Though the play, written in five scenes, focuses on how couples work to ameliorate their unions by factoring God into the equation, she aims to avoid self-righteousness or judgment. “It is not my intention to judge people,” says Taylor. “The play is about three couples, and it doesn’t just focus on life in the church; it deals with many different issues, including marriage, betrayal, suicide and salvation.”
She adds: “We are looking at typical relationships, where people struggle to get it right and sometimes leave brokenhearted. Also, the couples portrayed are not all Christians. I wanted them to come across as everyday people dealing with issues.”
It’s an approach that underscores the very manner in which the church, at least in a local sense, often attempts to woo new followers: by making the word that more relatable. Drawing on a blend of drama, comedy, music and the scripture, it is Taylor’s intention to tap into that school of thought to appeal to those who come out to see the play when it opens at the St. Andrew’s High School for Girls for two shows, on August 13 and 20.
And it’s a notion that is not lost on the five-member ensemble, which includes Joseph Roache, who works full-time in music. “This play is really about what’s happening out there today. And we want people to be more aware when it comes to relationships, to be more sensitive and attack those issues that affects the relationships,” says Roache. “We also want to show that in life Christians are just as susceptible to relationship problems as everyone else, and we believe this play is an excellent way to get that message across.”
Co-stars Heidi-Ann Crawford, LaTanya Hall and Brian Daley concur. “It’s about the struggles persons face in life, what they go through and what they can do to improve their lives. But eventually God is in control,” says Hall. Adds Daley: “Life has its ups and downs, but you must put God first and foremost to make it work, because without Him it cannot work.”
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