Jermaine Cherry is a man of the arts and faith.
His two passions have coalesced into a new production company, Dream Cast Productions, and his first stage play, “Lord, Who Am I?”
The play follows a man named Michael as he loses his job, struggles with his faith and faces the temptation to cheat on his wife. Like many people who lose their jobs, he begins to struggle with his identity and to feel inferior as his wife becomes the chief breadwinner.
But this is a story of redemption, not failure.
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“At the end of the day, he’s going to find out it was never about the money,” said Cherry, 35, who lives in North Raleigh. “It was about the connections.”
Cherry explained this is a concept called “favor,” and it’s all about the things in life money can’t buy.
“Favor supersedes money because sometimes you can’t buy with money, but with favor you can attain these things,” he said.
Cherry has been an actor and writer his whole life. But it was his connection with his church, the Raleigh North Christian Center, that gave him the confidence to start his new production company.
“It’s really a church of the arts,” he said. “And when I say church of the arts, I mean that.”
The church puts on holiday-themed theater productions, includes dancers in its congregation and has a group of mimes. Cherry is on the drama team and helps produce the theater productions. Part of what he learns in his faith community is how to turn productions into a business.
“Raleigh North was a church on the next level that teaches you whatever your talent is, to explore your talent,” he said.
So he decided to start Dream Cast along with his wife, Shakia, co-producer of the play and vice president of the company.
The play will be performed at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 3, at the Garner Performing Arts Center. Tickets are $20; $30 for VIP access, including a seat up front, a playbill signed by the cast and the opportunity to meet the actors.
Jamal Farrar, 35, of Durham plays the main character in the show. Farrar is a longtime actor who also plays a role in the annual “Black Nativity” production by The Justice Theater Project. He said the faith elements of the show come naturally to him.
“Whether you’re Christian, Jew, Muslim, whatever higher power you believe in, at various times in our lives we have to tap into that power,” Farrar said.
Cherry said the turnout for auditions was slow at first, but chatter on social media increased attention for the play.
“Now people are coming up to me that I don’t even know,” he said.
After the initial opening, Cherry hopes to take the show on the road around the state. Plans for the company’s next production are already in the works.
As for “Lord, Who Am I?” he says to expect a full, professional stage production. He promises you won’t be disappointed.
“You all are going to be happy at the end of my show,” he said. “You’re going to want to come back and see our next production.”
For tickets and more information, go to www.dreamcaststageplays.com.
Alex Granados writes about people, places and traditions in North Raleigh and beyond. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @agranadoster.