BWW Interview: Playwright, Val Scarbrough, 'A Woman Touched Me!'
I had the distinct honor to interview Davronia "Val" Scarbrough, a local playwright, concerning her inspiration stage play, A Woman Touched Me, which will debut this Saturday, November 21, in Monroe, NC. A Woman Touched Me is based on Val's personal memoir, A Woman Touched Me, But God Healed Me, which depicts her twenty-year journey to overcome the pain, shame, and abuse associated with childhood molestation. Though this is a taboo and heavy topic, Val has found a way to present her message in a light-hearted and sometimes comedic manner, while focusing on the mission of raising awareness to the mental impact this offense caused. Val is also a poet, songwriter, wife, mother, motivational speaker, and an author, as well. She and her husband, Ed, are the proud parents of two daughters, two awesome son-in-laws and five precious grandchildren.
Your first name is very unique. I never met anyone named Davronia. Where is it origin?
My father's name is David and my mom planned to name me Veronica. So, they found a creative way to merge the two names together and come up with "Davronia. Yet, I go by "Val".
I know you consider Charlotte home now, but where were you originally born?
I am a native of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, yet I was partially raised in Detroit, Michigan. Twenty-one years ago, my husband and I moved to Charlotte from Atlanta, Georgia, to escape the Olympics mayhem. We have established great roots here in Charlotte; we call it our "promised land".
Do you have a journalistic background?
I love to write! I started writing poems and speeches when I was young. I wrote my first song when I was sixteen years old. My first book, which the play is based, is A Woman Touched Me, But God Healed Me. My second book is a collaboration with a few ladies entitled, Victorious Living For Moms. My third book, Insights Today (My Journey With God) will be released next Spring. It is my first journal.
Tell me a little bit more about the book the play is based on, A Woman Touched Me, But God Healed Me.
A Woman Touched Me, But God Healed Me touches on a woman's tragic childhood that sent her mind into a tailspin. Because a woman's primary characteristic is "a nurturer" and is considered "the gateway to life", it's challenging to turn that focus to women who are pedophilias. Oftentimes, victims bury tragic events in the back corners of their mind and seeing it in a dramatization unlocks their mental prison of guilt and shame. In the play, a young woman is facing a blissful moment - she is getting married, yet she finds herself struggling with the demons of her past.
How did you arrive at your own personal triumph?
First I had to give myself permission to confront the issue. I could no longer leave it in a back room, with a dim light on, in a locked door. I asked myself the question that most victims ask, "Why me?" Sometimes, it is hard to say goodbye to pain but I wanted to live. I truly believe that truth is one's life-line and must be applied to every facet of your life. So, I unlocked the door, looked directly at my issues, pinpointed the source of my disappointments and released myself from the prison of my mind through my journaling. Journaling can be very therapeutic.
Tell me about your cast? Are they local?
I have a very talented cast, and yes they are local:
Andre Harrison - portrays the lead role, Leon. He had a role on the Showtime series, Homeland.
Melody Bailey-Williams plays the female lead role, Ja´, which is the representation of myself.
Mishonda Fisher portrays the lively Ms. Stacie
Amber Ballard portrays Ja´s sister, Jonique
Charlie Lipford portrays Kevin - Jonique's husband
Lemaria Long portrays Blackwell, the villain
Da'Vette Mahan is the director and portrays Dr. Cashmere. Da'Vette has over 30 years of theatrical experience with accolades ranging from Apollo to Broadway.
What message do you want your theater patrons to obtain?
My mission is to raise awareness to mental health -- to further encourage parents to be aware of the changes in your children and to listen to them. Most of all, I want the audience to walk away with the freshness of freedom. Freedom is an awesome place to live in. Don't focus only on the victimization but to visualize the victory, also. Mind trauma takes you down a road that you would not normally travel. The freshness of freedom is priceless.
What future plans do you have for A Woman Touched Me?
We plan to take our message on the road. In May 2016, we are making preparations to perform in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Discussions are being made for Richmond, Virginia and Dayton, Ohio. Additional plans are being discussed for a sophomore presentation in Charlotte, in December 2016.
A Woman Touched Me will premiere FOR ONE SHOW ONLY, November 21, 6:30 pm, at Union County Agricultural Center - 3220 Presson Road, Monroe, North Carolina, 28112. Tickets can be purchased on http://www.ticketor.com and on http://www.eventbrite.com (Search for A Woman Touched Me).