BWW Interview: Aalani Renee Necole: Bad Manners At The Dinner Table
Aalani Renee Necole is a playwright/director/producer and founder of P31 Productions. Her stage play, Bad Manners At The Dinner Table will be performed at the Little Rock Cultural Center, here in Charlotte, on July 29th and August 26th.
Me: Are you a Charlotte native?
Aalani: I actually was born in West Germany. I'm an Army Brat. However, I grew up in a small town called Lincolnton, outside of Gastonia. In my teenage years, I resided in Oakland, California. My bi-coastal experiences helped to develop my creative and professional platforms.
Me: When did you first fall in love with the Performing Arts?
Aalani: Well, if you let my mother tell it, I have been performing all my life. My love of writing began with poetry during my teenage years in Oakland. From the age of nineteen to twenty-five, I toured with a poetry ensemble. That's when the development of my writing skills began. Shortly thereafter, I moved to Charlotte and continued performing with local poets. That's how I continued to build my platform for writing and event hosting. What actually led me to play writing was marriage and motherhood. After marriage, I wanted to slow down a bit, so I begin writing plays. In 2012, I produced my first play entitled Unveiled: Modern Day Women of the Bible, the story of twelve key Biblical women. It was performed locally and also in Louisville, Kentucky.
Me: Tell me about your current play, Bad Manners At the Dinner Table.
Aalani: In 2013, I developed Bad Manners At The Dinner Table. However, I did not produce it until 2015. Bad Manners is a Christian murder mystery about a first lady who is not quite "first lady material". She uses seven members of her congregation to operate the church. These characters represent the seven deadly sins. She invites them to a dinner party, and as the story goes, if you invite sin to a party, they become "super sins". Each sin is a representative of the first lady's character. There is a murder at the dinner table and the audience is left with the task of figuring out "who done it".
Me: Where did the concept of Bad Manners At The Dinner Table originate?
Aalani: The play was actually developed from a poem, which became a bit lengthy. As it grew, I realized it was going to be too difficult to stand on stage and recite. Henceforth, the development of the stage play, Bad Manners At The Dinner Table. It has caught on fire, the response has been outstanding, and our next showing, July 29th, is actually sold out.
Me: Please tell me about your Production Company, P31 Productions.
Aalani: P31 Productions was originated in 2011. We are a traveling theater ministry that focuses on saving souls through The Arts. All of our plays are biblical-based but are not cliché. We desire to bring a reality-based concept to spiritual principles so that our productions are relatable.
Me: Who is your target audience?
Aalani: My target audience is church-goers and those who are interested in ministry. I want to break out of the stigma of performing in just churches in order to reach an audience that extends beyond the four walls. Our goal is to reach those who wouldn't normally attend a church service, but would attend a production at a theater or more centralized locations.
Me: What are your future goals to take your productions to the next level?
Aalani: Our platform and layout has been P31 Productions. However, I have started my nonprofit organization entitled Community Events Foundation. I plan to funnel the dream and resources through it.
Me: Tell me about the cast of Bad Manners At The Dinner Table.
Aalani: The cast is amazing! A few of them have been with me for several years and we also have some newbies who have actually performed in other productions in Charlotte. They are very talented and broad in age range from twenty-three years old to seventy.
Pastor: Zari Rice
First Lady Denise: Baria Jordan
Server: Rigo Nova
Dancer: Dana'e Davis
Greed: Frank FaCheaux as Deacon Cash
Envy: Eboni Joi as Sister Green
Lust: Kineh N'gaojia as Brother Luster
Pride: Ernetta Caldwell as Sister Boast
Sloth: Shaneika Anderson as Minister C.P. Tyme
Gluttony: Shirley Greenlee as Deaconess Sammore
Wrath: Jada Alexander as Usher Mean
Me: What do you want your audience to take away from this production?
I want the audience to take away a sense of self-awareness. Each one of these characteristics and traits affect each of us in some manner. I hope people will see their characteristics brought to life and the impact it has on the people around them.
**Bad Manners At The Dinner Table will be performed at The Little Rock Cultural Center, 401 N. Myers Street, Charlotte, NC. The July 29th show is completely SOLD OUT. However, tickets are available for the August 26th show, which will also take place at the Little Rock Cultural Center at 7pm. Tickets can be purchased on Eventbrite.com. https://www.eventbrite.com/e/bad-manners-at-the-dinner-table-tickets-36050401722
Website: P31 Productions http://p31prod.wixsite.com/epk1