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You Can Tell the Devil That I'm Back

nytheatre.com q&a preview by Lisa Graham
March 3, 2013

What is your job on this show?
Playwright/Director.

What is your show about?
This is an inspirational production about family, faith and the power of prayer.

When did you know you wanted to work in the theater, and why?
I have been writing for as long as I can remember. As a child I would write poetry and then I started writing short skits. However, it wasn't until a couple of years ago that I decided to enter the wonderful world of theater. It actually wasn't planned, it just happened. God opened a door and I walked through it and now I found myself doing what I love...writing, directing and producing gospel plays that offers a message of hope.

Who is more important in the theater: the actor, the playwright, or the director?
The playwright usually thinks that they are most important, while the director disagrees saying that they are most important. In this case, I am the playwright and director but I have to say that the actor is most important. My reason for saying this is simple...my words cannot come to life without the talent, skills and passion of the actor. We all play a role and are of value but as I tell my cast and crew all of the time, "it takes team work to make the dream work".

Do you think the audience will talk about your show for 5 minutes, an hour, or way into the wee hours of the night?
The audience will talk about YOU CAN TELL THE DEVIL THAT I'M BACK way into the wee hours of the night, into the next day, the next week and for months to come. I say this with all humility and thankfulness to God. Many of the theater-goers who have come to my play have actually come back two and three times.

Which “S” word best describes your show: SMOOTH, SEXY, SMART, SURPRISING?
SURPRISING!!! This play will have you sitting at the edge of your seat. There is one surprise after another. YOU CAN TELL THE DEVIL THAT I'M BACK will take you on an emotional roller coaster...ups, downs, smiles, tears...but the ride ends with a praise!

Who are your heroes?
My heroes are anyone/everyone in life who has fallen down but gathered enough strength and faith to get back up and start all over again. My heroes are not chosen by their stature or wealth but by their outlook on life and their determination. While there are so many people that fill this description the first person that comes to mind is my late grandmother, Rose Coleman, who led our family. She exhibited a level of strength and love that has impacted my life and inspires me to be my very best.