We’ve all been to church, but have you ever been to “chuuch?” You know, that good-stomping, soul-searching, all-around spiritual utopia? Well, if you have not been, you might want to treat yourself to a new play called I’m Goin’ to Chuuch.
DaJuan Savage of Savage Media & Film wanted to do something different when he wrote this play. Coming from a rough road himself of having been homeless, he realized that “A person has to go through something in order to write these kinds of stories.” And he does just that. While focusing on the issues many of us within and outside of the church may dislike to bring up, Savage plans to make it impossible for you to leave the play without taking away a message.
“What type of stories?” you may be thinking. How about stories filled with the taboo subjects of rape, gambling, and infidelity, just to name a few?
Savage decided to embark on the telling of these issues because nowadays, “Church is a business… It was a purpose then.” He hopes to revitalize the messages of the old church and bring it to the new church. Those messages, such as “forgiveness,” are what Savage hopes the audience will take with them after seeing the play. He even points out that “Prayer in the church is a gift now, not really for God.” He hopes that the audience takes away changes that can be made within the church.
If you are someone who is into commonly known church plays, it is inevitable that you would think that this play would be like a Tyler Perry production. When asked about this, Savage says, “Tyler Perry created a lane. He opened that lane for church plays.”
But don’t be worried at all. This is not a play to mirror Perry’s work. Savage, referring to Perry, says, “He has that market.” Savage doesn’t want to be like Perry. He’s coming with his own spin on things. Though like him, Savage is giving the message of God’s forgiveness.
You can catch new talent with this play as well, from the production to the stage actors. There’s the outspoken and hilarious Pierre Douglass, Sr. who plays a corrupt pastor. Vocalist Chantel SinGs has a lead role as a rape victim. Also, you can catch KMOJ-FM radio personality Lisa Mow making an appearance. Another cast member, Anthony McCoy, says about the play, “This is a visual ministry.”
Director Tina Turner, who has been writing and directing plays since she was 15 and who will soon be graduating from North Hennepin Technical College with a degree in Theater Arts, says this is a play that will make you laugh and cry, leave you with a message of encouragement, and it will definitely take you on an “emotional roller coaster.” Assistant director De’Net Griffin says they are “still in the business of blessing.”
Music director Adrian Davis is a member of the Sounds of Blackness. There is a live band of drums, keys, even strings and more. Davis says this is a “theatrical experience” on its own, the “music is just used enhance.” A wide range of genres will be played during the performance, including jazz, gospel, R&B, soul, and even symphonic music. Davis says the storylines in I’m Goin’ to Chuuch are so varied that he needed the music to match.
Savage, a native of Shiloh Baptist Church in North Minneapolis, gives thanks to Bishop Hall for allowing the cast to rehearse in Shiloh’s building and says that without his Shiloh family it all would have not been possible.
I’m Goin’ to Chuuch plays at the Capri Theater in North Minneapolis Saturday, March 25and Sunday, March 26. For more information, see the Spot listings on page 5.
Lavasia McMillion welcomes reader responses to email@example.com.