[FEATURE] TEMPEST: THE STAGE PLAY
For those of you who’ve followed us through the years, you know that I’ve developed a strong liking for great stage plays. I’ll easily travel round the world, which I sort of did, earlier this year. I’m almost ready to take another drive for this amazing story in Tempest, written & directed by budding playwright Kerry Ann Frazier. Let’s be clear that I say budding simply because she’s a new face to many. Her storylines, her professionalism, and the spirit she delivers speaks that of a true and ultimate master. She definitely falls right in line with the best in the world of playwrights, and the story of Tempest will undoubtedly show you that.
We had the amazing opportunity to talk with Kerry Ann about the play, and the August 19 showing in Killeen, TX! Check out the exclusive below!
U.G. Digital Mag: Thank you so, so much for the opportunity. I could easily be considered a stage play buff. I absolutely love a good stage play. I was excited to connect with you. Starting off, talk about how you entered into the arena of stage?
Kerry Ann Frazier: I have been on the stage since I was 5 years old. I was a hyper kid, and my parents didn’t know what to do with me [laughing]. They put me in a church play and I got the bug at 5 years old. I’ve been in theater; church, school and community, since I was that age, and I’ve been a director for a little over 20 years now. I didn’t study theater at USC; I graduated with a degree in Social Work. I was around a lot of theater buffs while I was there, so much that I call it an unofficial major. That’s really how I was introduced to acting. I enjoy the classics, so I studied the greats, and tried to go to as many plays as possible. I really studied the craft of stage acting. It’s been a hobby and now has developed into a business, that being Frazier Drama Company, which is owned by Daryl Frazier.
U.G. Digital Mag: Talk to me about Tempest.
Kerry Ann Frazier: With the story of Tempest, I have to go back to our last production, which was “Losing Mama”. This is a prequel to Losing Mama. “Tempest” is one of the younger grandchildren of the Dupont family. She is a corporate attorney, and is one who has had everything in life come to her except relationships with the opposite sex. It’s a comedy where we explore where things meet with reality, and how we set plans for ourselves. It’s a gospel stage play that shows how sometimes, when God intervenes, it’s just so much better than what we could have imagined. That’s what “Tempest” is. Many characters are from “Losing Mama”, and it introduces our next production.
U.G. Digital Mag: It’s amazing. Are there side stories and additional storylines that this play will show?
Kerry Ann Frazier: Definitely. Through my past plays, one of the things I’ve heard a lot from my viewers is they want something from a singles perspective. This play covered so many different things; being single, and then also being married. Sometimes, those who are married look at their friends who are single and have that nostalgic feeling. It’s like one side wants what the other side wants. It’s about relationships from your own perspective. The next play is “Sunday Dinner”, and “Mama’s Family”.
U.G. Digital Mag: Like I said, I love a good play, so I’m sitting trying to figure out how I’m getting to Killeen, Texas (laughing). I have no problem traveling for a good story.
Kerry Ann Frazier: Well come on out. We’ll make sure you’re taken care of.
U.G. Digital Mag: It’s funny because at the top of the year, I covered a play and drove from Cleveland to Houston to see it. I would do it in a heartbeat.
Kerry Ann Frazier: What I can say is with Losing Mama, we’ll definitely be selling the DVDs for those who can’t make it. It sold out in different cities. Some of the characters, like Uncle Riley and Aunt Pearlie, they’re also in Tempest, so you get to see a little about their family.
U.G. Digital Mag: Amazing! I love how you have it set up with different families, and storylines. It puts me in mind of the other playwrights who do a lot of the same. What have you learned looking at the power figures, like your Tyler Perrys, and Shelley Garretts?
Kerry Ann Frazier: One thing I get from Tyler Perry, and David E Talbert, is to go out and do it. I am a social worker by profession, and I’ve been a social worker for years, and have always had apprehension of starting my drama company. One of the things I heard from Tyler Perry and Denzel Washington in one of his actor’s workshops is to take the leap. There will never be a right time. If you have a good brand, and story, and operate in the spirit of excellence, it will work out. The success will come.
U.G. Digital Mag: I also heard that same thing from Shelley Garrett, who was responsible for Beauty Shop, and many others. I can relate as well because I had the same apprehension in launching this magazine a few years ago. I have been in healthcare for 16 years, but you have to believe in yourself and take the chance.
Kerry Ann Frazier: Right. I attend one of the largest churches here in Killeen. I remember doing a play called Behind Closed Doors, and it touched on domestic violence. I remember dozens of people coming up to me afterwards looking for help and someone to talk to. It was such a huge impact. People might read a book, or listen to a seminar, or hear a sermon. To have a play dealing with these issues, and people have the visual aspect, it resonates differently. That’s one of the things I learned, and I try hard to be responsible to spread positive messages. Even in negative situations, people can walk away wanting to make a difference.
U.G. Digital Mag: I love your enthusiasm and spirit. I can tell it is so well thought out. I must get there to see it (laughing). How far is Killeen from Dallas?
Kerry Ann Frazier: It’s about two hours, and about 40 minutes from Austin.
U.G. Digital Mag: Hey, it’d be a nice vacation. I have family in Dallas.
Kerry Ann Frazier: Oh, OK. Well please let me know. It would be a honor.
U.G. Digital Mag: I will surely be at the next one.
Kerry Ann Frazier: That wlll be in Waco, Killeen, and Austin.
U.G. Digital Mag: Oh wow, pretty awesome. In terms of this play, will there be a possibility of touring to other places?
Kerry Ann Frazier: We would love to. Many of our actors are active or retired military. The option is open.
U.G. Digital Mag: For people looking to keep up with you and your production company, where can they go?
Kerry Ann Frazier: Direct them to kerryannfrazier.com. We are on Twitter and Instagram and Facebook as well.
U.G. Digital Mag: Thank you again, so much. This was so awesome, and what you have is amazing. I’m a big fan of the arts, and an even bigger fan of the stage.
Kerry Ann Frazier: Thank you so much.