If you love theater, the way it makes you laugh and cry, gives you chills, makes you shudder, hold your breath, scratch your head and say -
"Wow, I didn't know that, never looked at things that way before . . . hmm, maybe I should _________"
That's why P. A. Wray loves theater, why she writes these plays.
I've been learning the craft and writing plays
for over 20 years
Some are complete, published, been produced multiple times
Most are historically-based works in progress
All address the human condition -
personal flaws and strengths
societal failures and triumphs
the way we
harm, heal, move forward
Very Little Theater - one of the oldest Commuity Theaters in this country, produced this piece as Readers Theater and garnered a rave review. "
"Without divulging too much of the meat of the play, I found myself entirely on Nat’s side as he wrapped up his self-defense. The story of Nat Turner has always struck a chord with me, even as a dry academic matter. Seeing it smartly dramatized was a singular experience in my American life."
"It’s a remarkable work, one I would unhesitatingly watch again, and one I am sad to say, you have missed for the moment.." - by Kelly Oristano, Eugene Scene, Nov 14, 2022
Featured in the Proteus New Plays Festival at Zieders American Dream Theater Oct 1 & 7, 2022
"It was breathtaking and beautiful." - Jackie Grace
"I thought I was going to have a heart attack it was so powerful." - M. Clements
"This whole section of the play [vision quest] made me weep . . . so sad, hopeful, all the feelings."
"We enjoyed how you transformed colonial black female history into a play that artistically and -- social conscience-shakingly-- addresses our present day racial and identity issues! . . . Your talent as a social justice with artful alchemy playwright stands out! We need u! Art needs u! Elizabeth Key needed u! Now psychology in individuation needs u! - Dr. Maragret Bristow
Twists And Turns Hidden: Stories Of American Racial Intersection
A Blog in Publishing Company,
Have Scripts Blue Moon Plays by Jean Hughes Klein
"These stories of intersectionality are what define us, tell us who we were, and suggest who we should be. With that in mind, I am looking to find those stories that have the touch of legend, of the extraordinary, of the memorable but most importantly, of the commonplace, in re-defining the American Dream." Klein https://havescripts.com/twists-and-turns/ for the entire blog
"The story of Wray’s search for Nat Turner had its origins in her youth. When she was sixteen, her grandmother, whose maiden name was Turner, asked Wray to drive her to Southampton County for a Turner family event. Wray immediately said yes, partly because her grandmother had just purchased a cool new white Impala Convertible with a baby-blue interior. The two reportedly tied on bandanas, put their sunglasses on, and headed for the country with the radio blaring." Klein
As Wray explored her past, she discovered that Missie Whitehead was her third-great aunt. " I may not share Nat’s blood, but the blood of my family members was spilled in his rebellion, as was Nat’s after he was caught — and both are still in the soil there . . . the bodies of my family were mishandled, as was Nat’s by some of the same people — and their bones are still buried in the ground somewhere there . . . What a painful legacy we two share." Wray
Nat Turner's Last Struggle: Finding His Way Home
Metropolitan Community College Longview’s
Black History Month's Show Feb 24-26, 2022
in the MCC Longview Cultural Arts Center Theatre
"Opening night of NAT TURNER'S LAST STRUGGLE, went great. With the snow, I thought we would have few attend, but I was pleasantly surprised. We were just at 80% capacity and the show received a great reception from the audience. Come out and see this powerful production. Keith Townsend, Director, Feb 24, 2022
"The audience response was awesome. This was a great production opportunity for our students. It was such a great experience for our program. The audience loved it. Second night audiences had the same positive response to the show. The script is a winner." Keith Townsend, Director, Feb 25, 2022.
Wray's -River of Struggle Play Series -
is currently taking priority until the ones which are written all reach the final draft stage
No One Knows Her Song - had a workshop production in early Oct 2022, and will now only need some fine tuning before getting it out to venues, hopefully in RVA and Virginia's Historical Triangle area
In the Presence of Fire Eaters - continues to need work, hopefully it can be made ready for a public reading early next year - hopefully in RVA
The Truth Be Told: The Passing of General George Henry Thomas - there have requests that we get this play revised by May of next year, it's on the back burner but will be brought forward soon
The Plum Street Project: On a prompt from some Richmond artists, Wray and several members of Virginia Playwrights Forum are working on a piece of devised theater, could even end up as a pageant, dealing with the 1924 passage of The Racial Integrity Law in Virginia, and the role some notable Virginia artists, who lived on Plum Street in the Fan, played in its passage. Look for a presentation in 2024.
Wray is finally ready to do the research on her ancestors, the Whiteheads of Southampton County, Virgina. Contact was made with researchers at the Virginia Museum of History and Culture in Richmond this past week and work will begin soon.
"Fantastic, a new perspective on Nat Turner, so appropriate, and dynamic – I applaud the writer and performance, I think it needs a wider audience"
Bruce Williams, African American Cultural Center, Virginia Beach, Va.
"So moving. I am undone. It needs to be seen in Germany.
"Suzanne Dowaliby, performing artist in Saarbrucken, Germany
"The play was awesome and very informative. The schools don't teach or teach enough about Nat Turner and I wish that there was or can be a dvd on the play. Just in case you missed something while you were watching the play, to have on hand to watch or just to start a discussion on the play. The crew did an excellent job!!!!"
This full length, one act-play about Nat Turner, leader of the Slave Rebellion in Southampton, County, Va., went international and professional with virtual productions by Virginia Stage Company in Norfolk, Virginia in 2020. In 2021 two theaters in California live-streamed productions - all bringing accolades and new fans from across the country and beyond!!
From a production of Nat Turner's Last Struggle: Finding His Way Home seen at Wayne Theater in Waynesboro, Virginia, 2019 - Nat Turner has been ordered to stand to face his sentence - he will not die alone or in vain . . . the Great Mother is there to guide him home Marlon Hargrave as Nat Turner, Charisse Minerva as Great Mother
video credit Ernest Lowrey