Last week the members of OABC had the great pleasure of seeing just a snippet of the gospel play “Underneath it All.” A woman dressed in a stylish black suit and large designer sunglasses stormed into the church and ordered the usher to sit her in the front pew. She then began to tell everyone that she was important and who was this Jesus we were all talking about. Some of us were in shock, some did not know what to think. The woman said most of us were just playing church anyway and if we really wanted to find out a little more about ourselves we should come and see her January 28,2012 at NJCU. She then sashayed away. She got loud applause and I said if this is just a small piece of the play I need to get my tickets now! I also needed to talk to my brother in Christ and OABC member,Kareem Jones who is the co-writer and director of the play along with Tony Williams and Andrea Guthman the plays Musical Director. They sat down with me this evening and answered a few questions about the play.
Interviewer: What is the message of the play Underneath it All?
Kareem J.: We wanted to bring to the forefront the perils of playing church. Four different stories are going on in the play. Four women who on the outside appear to have it all together, family, good careers but the reality is we all need help from God. One of the characters, Kayla Shepard is known in her inner circle as the church girl who always gives godly advice to her friends but underneath it all, she is struggling with something herself and that she does not want people to find out about, but they do. And when they do she does not know how to deal with it. Now the people that once looked up to her begin to judge her and talk about her. They feel that because of the situation she is in, they can mock God and question the authenticity of her faith. They also use her as an excuse of why they, themselves, do not attend church. In the end we all suffer.
Interviewer: How did the play come about?
Tony W.: The idea of “Underneath it All” came about because Kareem and I have been in multiple plays, with Melba Moore, Kelly Price, Tye Tribbet, Barbara Sharp. So we have the experience. Kareem said one day to me ” Why don’t we do our own play?” I was totally down with it. He sent me the first scene of “Underneath it All” and a huge smile came across my face. I really liked it. We began to communicate by email and things began to flow. From an idea to a dream and now we just can’t wait to show the world what Get Write Entertainment has in store for everyone.
Interviewer: How does music play a part in the play?
Andrea G.: It plays an important part because there’s such a strong message in it but the music brings out the Christian message and the music encourages people to trust in God and hold on to their faith. It brings out the livliness of the play. So the music speaks the message of us being able to trust God.
Kareem J.: The music reinforces what you see in the acting. It reinforces the gospel message that is embedded in the play.
Interviewer: How do you intend to go forward in bringing the gospel message forward in the entertainment industry?
Kareem J.: It’s interesting that you would ask that because we were approached by Ryan Struther who has a connection with Jersey City Cultural Affairs and Jersey City Cultural Affairs has invited Tony and I to do a public play outside the Martin Luther King Hub so we are working on a play right now called “The Call”and I look at it as an exciting opportunity to minister. Sometimes I believe we get so caught up in doing things in the four walls of the church but God called us to go out. He said “Go ye therefore…” and so not only was it a command but He (God) is also creating the avenues and the opportunities and opening up the doors for us to minister to those who may be too shy to come into the four walls of a church, so you know, I am just excited. It started with “Underneath it All”but I see great things in the future. I know God is able to accomplish some great things through hearts that are yielded to Him and through people who at the end of the day are not concerned with fame and money because we all know there is plenty of that out there but in the end, it’s what you do for Christ that will stand.
Interviewer: Do you see yourselves going forward with a bigger venue?
Kareem J. and Tony W. : Absolutley!
Kareem J.: Speak those things that are not as though they are! (Laughter)
Tony W.: This is just the beginning of many things that God had in store for Kareem and I and Get Write Entertainment. We’re looking for bigger venues, in state, out of state, internationally, whatever God has planned for us.
Interviewer: How can people find out more about Get Write Entertainment?
Tony W.: Go to our website getwriteentertainmentweebly.com or email us at email@example.com. Whether you want to be a part of the staff or in a production or have ideas or just would like to help in some way, this is how you reach us.
Kareem J.: Yes please go to the website. It has the synopsis of Underneath it All , our mission statement and more about Tony and I. Tickets are going fast so get yours now!