Dallas audiences are in for a life-changing experience at the theater. The stage play Soul Purpose is set to debut at the Black Academy of Arts and Letters – Naomi Bruton Theater and will run April 27-29. It centers on five strong African American women from different backgrounds seeking to discover God’s purpose for their lives.
Though they come from different walks of life, the characters are traveling in the same direction. As a result, the women forge a powerful, spiritual bond of sisterhood along the way. The women realize it’s not their struggles that define them, but how they overcome them that matters. Viewers can expect drama, laughter, music, and a universal message that every soul has a purpose. The cast includes national gospel recording artist Virlinda Stanton and Emmy Award-winning recording artist Cecilia Godbolt.
Rolling out sat down with Soul Purpose executive director Cheryl Polote-Williamson. The nationally acclaimed best-selling author shares her excitement to see her dream of making this play a reality.
What’s your role as executive producer of Soul Purpose?
I oversee things related to the play such as the marketing, publishing, production and costumes. Overall, I help make sure things run smoothly. That includes making sure people are motivated, inspired, and encouraged. I put the people before the project so I can ensure they can bring out the greatness in themselves. If I can help people fulfill their dreams, I get closer to mine.
How did this play come about?
I had a play on my vision board for three years before Soul Purpose came to be. And this play is part of a soul movement [book anthology series including titles such as Soul Bearer, Soul Source and Souled Out, which came from a place of great brokenness. God used that great pain to pull out the best writing that I’ve ever done. From there came the soul reborn conference to pull women together who’ve been through different things in their life.
For the play, I partnered with people who I knew operated in excellence. God told me to trust and believe that he will bring everyone alongside me to make sure it would happen. God has proven this from the theater to original music. It’s all completely orchestrated and ordained by God.
Why do audiences need to see this play?
This play is needed because people are lost. They’re looking for something and they don’t realize it. They’re looking for is a relationship with God. This play allows you to know your soul has a purpose. If you lose your job, your spouse leaves you, if you go bankrupt — your soul still has a purpose.
Who is the play geared toward?
It’s every person’s play. It’s for women and men. We even have a father and son team in the play.
No matter what color you are, every soul has a purpose. And your soul is not tied to who you’re in a relationship with. God gave everyone a special destiny, a purpose, and a calling.
What do you hope audiences will glean from the play?
What women will get is when you band together and love each other you can get through anything. And men will see that with the different things that women go through in life how powerful they are — and we love the men in our lives. And men need to see that.
This is also a performance for pastors and first ladies since many times they’re the most hurting people because they carry the burden for everyone [in the church]. If people walk in feeling hopeless, I hope they will leave filled with hope. If people come in with any unforgiveness, I hope that they will seek out that person so they can be forgiven. And I pray that marriages will be saved. I want people to know that even what the world deems as unforgivable can still be forgiven. If there are people struggling with forgiveness, this is the play for them. We address all of that for people.
Do you have a favorite line in the play?
Yes, it is: “We have got to stop preying on one another and start praying for one another.” Especially for women, I love this because as a transformational speaker, I’m big on elevating and celebrating women.
Tell us about the team of sisters behind Soul Purpose.
There are no men in leadership. There are six women on our team, and it’s been so powerful. The six are made up of myself, Brandi Mcdowell – the stage manager; Pam McKinney – play special consultant; Syleria Skinner – the play’s original music writer; Chericia Curtis – director and playwright; and T.K. Henderson – co-writer.
What has producing this play impressed upon you personally?
It’s impressed on me the importance of the personal touch and relational currency. Relationships will take you places nobody else can take you. If you serve people well you don’t have to ask them for favors – they’ll come to you. I serve extremely well. As part of being a good servant that’s why all these doors have opened for Soul Purpose.
There’s nothing special about me, I’m just obedient and I take God at his word. I don’t worry and wait, I worship and work. God has freed me to be able to help so many people. That’s why this play exists. As a result of this play, people have been set free.
For Soul Purpose tickets, play info and updates visit facebook.com/SoulPurposeExperience.