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Janet E. talks her play, ‘Walk in My Shoes,’ premiering at Dusable Museum

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Janet E. (Photo credit: Ashley Jones)

It would be safe to say that our life experiences help to shape who we are, the thoughts we have and our values. How many of us are willing to be open enough to share these experiences to help others? How many of us our bold enough to follow our inspiration and share our stories? It can be difficult, however when we are open we release anxieties and hurts and it some cases help others do the same. Janet E. has chosen to be bold enough to follow the inspiration given to her. We talk about this and the reason she wrote her play Walk in My Shoes.

Tell us about yourself.
I am Janet E. a mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. In my spare time, I enjoy writing skits and plays. I’ve always wanted to see one of my plays on stage. On December 31, 2014, I made the decision to drop the excuses and produce this play on Saturday, Nov. 7 at the DuSable Museum of African American History.  

Tell us about the play, Walk in My Shoes. What inspired it and what is it about?
Walk in My Shoes tells the stories of 12 women, overcoming and coping with trials and tribulations by the grace of God.

This is a project the Lord gave me a long time ago. Being disobedient, I came up with  99 1/2 reasons why I could not move forward with this project. Some included: no self esteem, low self esteem, fear of failure, fear of success, no one’s going to pay to see this play, so forth and so on.

On Aug. 2, 2010, Nya Lamarre, my 11-year-old granddaughter woke up with a terrible headache. She was rushed to Children’s Memorial Hospital, where she was diagnosed with a rare malignant brain tumor. The Lord called her home on May 1, 2014. There’s a part in the play for a young girl. Nya wanted to play the part and kept asking, “Grandma, when are you going to do it?” Needless to say, once she was diagnosed, the whole world stopped. Nov. 7, 2015, will be Nya’s 17th birthday. I’m doing this production in her memory.

Who wrote the play?

The play is written, directed and produced by myself, Janet E.

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Nya Hughes Lamarre (Photo courtesy of Janet E.)

Why is this work important to share?
It’s been said, in all of our lives, we’re either in a storm, about to go into a storm or just coming out of a storm. The play allows you to step into the storms others are facing or have faced in the past. It’s important that we uplift, inspire and encourage others.  Rather than tear someone down, let’s build them up. We all need encouragement.

On that afternoon, the Lord laid it on my heart to bless other families, facing the challenges of caring for children with  brain cancer. My family knows firsthand what they are up against.

Throughout Nya’s battle, people embraced my family in ways I could never have imagined. The love and support was overwhelming. This is our opportunity to pay it forward.

Also, on that afternoon, we will  pay tribute to Lem’s BBQ, for their commitment to donate books, annually to Lurie’s Children’s Hospital in memory of Nya. This will be their second year of donations. We are grateful for their expression of love.

What would you like the audience to get from this production?

We want the audience, particularly women, to leave with a strong desire to uplift someone facing trials and tribulation. To recognize, by the grace of God, women always land on their feet.

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Janet E. (Photo credit: Ashley Jones)

What has been the most challenging aspect of putting this together?
What has been most challenging to me is knowing that Nya wanted to be in the play, but due to my procrastination, my weaknesses, it didn’t happen. I know her spirit is pushing me daily, to produce this play. Because of her, the vision is coming to fruition … this is the appointed time.

What encouraging words do you have for our readers?

No matter what you face in life, never let go of  God’s  hand. That’s it,that’s all!

Get more information about the play Walk in My Shoes by clicking the link https://www.facebook.com/events/1674576882760391/

Disclaimer: For the sake of full disclosure, it is important to know that Nya Hughes Lamarre is the author’s daughter. -Eddy “Precise” Lamarre