If the dress rehearsal for Lynette Blackwell’s spiritual stage play “Unequally Yoked” is indicative of the full ensemble, then she is truly on the road to becoming an excellent playwright and director.
Her debut with a live audience will be Friday, March 27. Staged at the National Black Theater, the show will run four days for a total of eight shows. The cast is exciting and musically talented, and the musical arrangement will uplift the audience. The spiritual stage play is produced by Harlem’s own Rob Base, who brought us hits such as “Get on the Dance Floor” and the all-time favorite, “It Takes Two,” as well as the historic “Joy and Pain.”
Blackwell’s play is a tale of relationship woes through betrayal, forgiveness and hope. It is inspirational and speaks to various life dynamics. Blackwell told the AmNews her inspiration for writing the play came out of her own personal struggles of being in a marriage that was unequally yoked. “I was in church service one day and it came to me so clear—‘Unequally Yoked’,” she said. “I wrote it down in a book and tucked it away. I didn’t know what exactly God was telling me. I kept writing, and then I realized that God was speaking to me. I wrote when God told me and when he didn’t, I didn’t.”
Base came to the set and spoke with the AmNews. He expressed excitement about the play. “I’ve been looking for something different to do for a long time,” he said. “When I saw it for the first time, I said to myself let me jump in and get behind this play.”
Base made the full financial investment in the play at a time when Blackwell could not find any sponsorship. “I used to live five blocks from the theater,” he said. “It really feels good bringing the play here. It makes sense.”
The full ensemble includes a cast of 10. Blackwell says her intent is to take the play national and around the world, and acquire sponsorship and funding sources that will allow continued growth in spreading the message of hope.
Blackwell says that although she was in a marriage that was unequally yoked, she believes that her experience of being unbalanced in her relationship addresses many facets of life. “People are unequal in business,” she said. “They have different ways of doing things. Their thinking is not aligned. I’ve experienced this in my own marriage, leading a separate life from one another.”
She continued, “The fortunate part for me is in the midst of my loss was gaining my son. I have understanding and I now have a story or stories I can write about to help others.”
Blackwell is working on a new play entitled, “Dear God, Do You Love Me?” That play speaks to believers who attend church, pay their tithes and are still struggling, stressed and living without. She and Base are also teaming up on a hip-hop project.
Blackwell’s musical arrangement is befitting the scenes and touches the soul. Friday’s debut will be held at the National Black Theater at 2031 fifth Ave., between 125th and 126th streets. It will be a red-carpet affair hosted by Ralph McDaniels, originator of the “Video Music Box.”
Blackwell’s debut is backed by legends in the music business. She also has roots in the business, once touring with Base and appearing on “Showtime at the Apollo.”
For tickets by phone, call 1-800-838-3008. For online tickets, go to http://bpt.me/1039818. In person, tickets can be purchased at the box office one hour before the performance.