The play is about a young woman who moves to New York and gets twisted up in an intense love triangle.
By RHONDA CROWDER
A few years back, when this entertainment tab was called Showtime, we introduced you to an up and coming novelist named Stella and her debut book, “The Bridge of No Return.”
Since then, Stella has started her own publishing company and put out two more books, “Swing Lowe Sweet Chariote” and “Trio,” in addition to having her first book adapted to a stage play.
Stella knew that she wanted to turn one of her novels into a stage production, but how did she choose which would be first up? “I wanted to turn one of my novels into a play,” she said. “With the tenth anniversary of 9/11 and ‘Bridge of No Return’ being intertwined with the incident, I thought that would be the best one to do at this time.”
The play is about a young woman who moves to New York and gets twisted up in an intense love triangle. The first production of “Bridge of No Return,” was performed during two shows at The Stanford Community Performing Arts Center in Decatur, Ga., this past July.
For Stella, Atlanta served as a proving ground.
“I wanted to do a test run to see what I could critique before bringing it to Cleveland. Your home city has your biggest critics. I needed to make sure, when I brought it home, I did it right,” she said.
The play will be performed in Cleveland on Nov. 19, at 7 p.m. at Cuyahoga Community College Metro Campus in the auditorium.
Anwar Shaid is the playwright and producer. The feature performers include Joe Little III of the Rude Boys fame along with Carla Smith and Al Frazier – all of Cleveland.
Putting this play together has been tedious, exciting, engulfing, a joy and a pain for Stella; but it’s also been a wonderful experience. God’s grace keeps her moving with hard work, dedication and experience, she said.
“There’s a lot of things I didn’t have the slightest clue on, but I learned a lot,” she said.
Stella admits that she’s been getting a lot of support so far. And from here, she plans to take the play to Washington D.C, back to Atlanta and then on to North Carolina.
As far as her writing and publishing career, she said, “It’s been wonderful being an author and starting my own company, Blacpanther Publications. ‘I’m a hustler…’ like Jay-Z’s song… I’ve gotten doors slammed in my face but I’m still able to see the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. That keeps me going.”
She explained that the panther in her logo is named ‘MJ’ after Michael Jackson and Michael Jordan, her two sources of inspiration.
Dubbed Cleveland’s own, one of Stella’s hopes for Cleveland is to bring art to the city, full-fledge. “The arts and Cleveland can be richer,” she said.
Tickets for the “Bridge of No Return” are $20 in advance, $25 at the door, and $35 for VIP. The VIP tickets include the play, a meet and greet with the cast and entrance to the after party at Fortress Night Club. Tickets can be purchased at www.stellahall.com, Urbean Joe’s Coffee Shops or by calling (440) 447-0527.