Local woman’s first play this weekend at GECA

From left, M’Kayla Baldwin, Tyrec Packer and Sherese Craft pose prior to a recent rehearsal.

News Staff Writer

If everything goes according to plan this week, by Sunday night Sherese Craft will have realized a dream that has been accompanying her sleep since she was in elementary school.
Craft, a daughter of Tracy and Tracey Craft and a 2016 graduate of Escambia County High School, will direct her first play over the upcoming weekend.
That’s a big enough task. When you consider she also wrote the play, is producing it and is even filling one of the roles in it, it can seem quite daunting. But not to the 23-year-old novice playwright, who said she has been waiting a long time for this day to get here.
“This is my first production, but I’m not nervous,” she said. “This is something I’ve been wanting to do since an early age. A lot comes with being the creator of a production, a lot can be done. I hope it goes well. It’s really a good play; the cast is amazing.”
The cast for the debut production, “The Repercussion,” is mostly a homegrown cast, too. All but two of the seven actors live fulltime in Atmore, and one of those two is trying to get settled into the local community.
The writer-director-producer plays Ruthie, wife of Terry, who will be played by new Harris Street AOH Church of God Pastor Gary Whitley. The couple has two daughters, Lauren (M’Kayla Baldwin) and Nikki (Ashley Craft). Tristan Ford portrays Uncle Robert, Luther Moore IV plays Malik, and Tyrec Packer will play Raheem.
Ms. Craft said her first playwriting effort is about the daily lives of a blue-collar family that work day-to-day jobs — mom at the phone company, dad at a factory – so they can send their children off to learn how to make a living for themselves. A family friend, Malik, helps their Uncle Robert raise Lauren and Nikki.
“Everything is going well until the family meets a person who messes everything up in life,” Sherese said. “It’s up to you to put the pieces back together and keep moving. It’s something everybody has faced in life.”
The Repercussion will be presented this Friday, Saturday and Sunday (May 20-22) at the Greater Escambia Council for the Arts (GECA) building at the intersection of Trammell Street and West Nashville Avenue (across from Gather restaurant).
Show times are 7 p.m. each night, and doors open at 6 p.m. Tickets are $20 each and can only be purchased with cash at the door.
Craft said she and the cast and crew are chomping at the bit to hit the stage.
“We’ve been rehearsing it into the ground,” she said. “I feel like we’ll be ready.”