BWW Article: Rory D. Sheriff, Playwright

BWW Article: Rory D. Sheriff, Playwright

Rory D. Sheriff - if you haven't heard that name, it's only a matter of time before you will. Statuesque, bearded and dread-locked, he is a man that's very visible, even in a crowded room. Yet, there is a humbleness and genuine kindness that is etched in his face and resonates in his voice. Why is this man so significant?

Under the auspice of his Production Company, Brand New Sheriff (BNS) Productions, Rory is consistently providing a platform of entertainment via the performing arts as a resident playwright at the Duke Energy Theater of Belk Performing Arts Center. His passion for community theater is echoed loud and clear through his talent-filled cast and masterfully-produced stage plays.

His original works productions include Be A Lion, the recipient of last year's Broadway World's Charlotte Regional Award for Best Musical, which is an inspired spin-off of the Broadway musical The Wiz, and the "coming-to-age" military production, Boys To Baghdad, which is a semi-biographical depiction of Rory's own military experience. In addition to writing, directing and producing his own original works plays, he has also showcased some prominent African-American Playwrights/productions to include: Purlie Victorious, written by Ossie Davis, August Wilson's, Jitney (which will return for a running in May 2019) and his current production, Eclipse, written by Danai Gurira (who portrayed Okoye in the award-winning movie Black Panther). Eclipse, directed by Dee Abdullah, is set in 2003, and depicts the lives of five Liberian women and their abusive war woes during the Second Liberian Civil War. Every one of these spectacular actresses (Toni Oliver, "Helena"; Racquel Nathiri "Bessie"; Cbale Allen, "The Girl"; Tracie Frank, "Maima"; and Breana Venable, "Rita") should be very proud because they delivered a stellar performances worthy of the standing ovation they received. And, of course, kudos to Dee Abdullah, who brought the magic together with her insightful and expertise stage direction.

I have seen several of BNS productions and I must say the evolution of excellence from my initial viewing until the present is quite remarkable. From the set to the talent...the entire theatrical landscape is advancing to new heights and is attracting a fan-base that is loyal and excited at the brand new "sheriff" that is etching out his own place in history in the Charlotte Arts Community. I am proud to see the expansion, it is quite an amazing difference from the theater scene and cultural diversity I witnessed when I moved to Charlotte in 2009. I am proud to see that African-American bodies of works are "having our say" as well. Speaking of having our say...the next production in BNS' queue is Having Our Say, the story of the wise and mature Delaney Sisters, Sadie (103 years old) and Bessie (age 101), running October 3 to October 13. His original work, Be A Lion, will return on December 12th and run until December 15th. The rest of the 2018-2019 season will also include: Two Trains Running (January 30, 2018 - February 9, 2019) and close out with a return running of August Wilson's Jitney (May 8th - May 18, 2019).

So as you can see, Rory D. Sheriff's name will be around for a very long time. All aboard...on the BNS Productions train. Who knows...the next journey could very well lead to Broadway.

For more information about Brand New Sheriff Productions and upcoming shows, please visit website:

BWW Article: Rory D. Sheriff, Playwright
Me (Vickie) with four of the ladies from Eclipse (from left to right),
Tracie Frank, Breana Venable, Cbale Allen, and Racquel Nathiri

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From This Author Vickie Evans

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