Ford-Taylor is a playwright, actress, teacher and arts administrator. She has received many awards, commendations and honors, including two Emmy nominations.
By JAMES W. WADE III
Oh, Mary, Don’t You Weep has become an annual Easter favorite.
The show is one of passion, compassion, and great Gospel singing.
This play is a wonderful musical drama that features the six Mary’s of the New Testament giving witness to the Crucifixion and Resurrection of Christ written by Joyce M. Meadows and Margaret Ford Taylor.
Each lady does double duty, the former as performer and the latter as director. The show is essentially a gospel concert with the songs and brief monologues telling the story of Jesus Christ’s life.
While the details are all familiar (loaves and fishes, miracle healings), what sets this production apart are the smooth vocal chops and earnest expressions of faith conveyed by the six-woman cast.
This dynamic musical production has some great voices that include: Phyllis Weeden Oliver, Lucretia Bolden, Susan Hughes, Eva Blount, Joyce Linzey, and Joyce Meadows.
These six ladies all have great roles and none of them are selfish when it comes to singing for the glory of God in this production.
Bolden, who seemed to get happy during the production I attended, set the church on fire.
She blends into the ensemble or surrenders the spotlight to her co-stars when it is their turn to shine. And shine they do.
Glenn Brackens serves as the musical director with a soulful background singer Bertha Pickett.
The play was roughly two hours long and filled with all the things that make a good gospel play: singing, dancing, forgiveness, and love.
It is an experience you must see. You’ll fall in love with these characters.
This great production has been extended for another week to include performance on Thursday, April 5, and Friday, April 6, at 8 p.m. as well as a Saturday Matinee starting at 4 p.m.
The location of the play is at Victory Fellowship Baptist Church inside of Broadway United Methodist Church, 5246 Broadway Ave.
Ford-Taylor is a playwright, actress, teacher and arts administrator. She has received many awards, commendations and honors, including two Emmy nominations. The first was for her performance in the public television production, “American Women: Echoes and Dreams,” and her second Emmy nomination was as writer of the ABC television documentary, “The Second Reconstruction.”
She holds an MA from Kent State University.
She also acted as Aunt Eda in the Denzel Washington directed movie, “Antwone Fisher,” and the mother in the Cleveland Playhouse production, “Forest City Commissions.” Her work as a playwright includes “Ned’s Garden,” which was on the roster at Cleveland State University, the Paul Roberson Theatre in Buffalo, NY and the West Angeles Performing Arts Center in Los Angeles. “Oh, Mary, Don’t You Weep,” simultaneously performed at the West Angeles Performing Arts Center in Los Angeles and Cleveland State’s Factory Theatre. “Just Beyond the Junkyard” toured nationally by the Tales and Scales classical music company of Evansville, Indiana with venues including the Tribeca Performing Arts Center in New York City, the Philharmonic Center for the Arts in Naples, Florida and the Aspen Music School Festival in Aspen, Colorado.
I urge anyone who loves great singing and want to experience the story of why we celebrate Easter to go see this production.