"This play helps parents who struggle with forgiveness, and helps young people understand the importance of family, education and making good choices." - Kenyatt Godbolt, author of A House is Not A Home
The regional premier of A House is Not A Home, winner of the 2022 Playwright's Festival, will be performed at Matthews Playhouse of the Performing Arts August 19-28, 2022. The Playwrights Festival, a collaboration between The Matthews Playhouse and the African American Playwrights Group (AAPG), is an initiative to promote Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Matthews as well as the Charlotte Theatre community by highlighting original works by Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC).
“Matthews Playhouse considers it a privilege to incorporate the Playwrights’ Festival into our season and establish new relationships with community members,” says Executive Director Sarah Baumgardner. This original contemporary piece, written by local playwright Kenyatt M. Godbolt, is set in New York City in the 1990s and explores the dynamics between father and son, hip-hop culture and the consequences of divorce. According to the U.S. Bureau of Census, the divorce rate is higher among Black families than other Americans. In the 1990s, the divorce ratio was 28.2 divorces per 100 marriages among Black couples, compared to 13 per 100 marriages for White families (U.S. Bureau of the Census, 1991).
“This fact of life for Blacks in America causes many of us to remain single and/or become single parents. It causes many of our children to struggle at school,” says Godbolt. “It causes too many of our children to engage in criminal activity. This play helps parents who struggle with forgiveness, and this play helps young people understand the importance of family, education and making good choices.”
The title of the play, A House is Not A Home, is a nod to the playwright’s heritage and personal connection to the song by the same title performed by American music legends like Ella Fitzgerald. Mr. Godbolt’s uncle, Freddie Waits, can be heard playing the drums as Ms. Fitzgerald sings ‘A House Is Not A Home’ in this clip from 1969. To honor that connection, there will be a special jazz showcase on stage prior to the performances on August 19th & August 26th. There will also be a special audience talkback hosted by Toni Tupponce with the playwright, director and cast immediately following the matinee performance on Sunday, August 21st.
Tickets for A House is Not A Home are now on sale and range in price between $14-$20. Student and Senior discounts are available. Information about the production and where to purchase tickets can be found by visiting www.matthewsplayhouse.com/house-is-not-a-home.
About the Director
Andre Minkins has written, directed, and performed in plays across the U.S. and is the founder of the theatrical touring company, 7AM Productions. He is considered one of the foremost authorities on Black Theatre and Theatre Festivals in the country, having been mentored by the late Larry Leon Hamlin, founder of The NC Black Repertory Company and National Black Theatre Festival.
Mr. Minkins has performed with national tour groups including Camp Logan, winner of a NAACP Image award for best ensemble. Other acting credits include Colored Museum, Romeo and Juliet, Dreamgirls, The Wiz, The Meeting, A Raisin In The Sun, Purlie, and Black Nativity. He holds a Masters of Fine Arts degree from the University of NC at Greensboro and is currently an Associate Professor of Theatre, TV, Film, and Speech at Winston Salem State University.
Featured Cast Member: Mishunda Mathis
Mishunda Mathis, a.k.a. “Miss Mai”, is a writer known for wearing her heart and soul on her literary sleeve. She delivers spoken word with passion and veracity. For more than a decade, Mishunda has perfected her spoken word on the Kansas City scene, today being regarded as one of the elite ladies of Christian poetry.
Her résumé is longer than can be listed here, but includes stage, film, TV commercials, radio, and more. She has recorded two CDs and lends her unique flow to conferences, open mics, churches and weddings. She is a two-time feature at H.I.S.W.I.L.L. and a past winner of the American Jazz Museum’s Jazz Poetry Slam.
About the Playwright
Kenyatt M. Godbolt, M.S., CCC-SLP is a speech-language pathologist and owner of Godbolt Consultants, PLLC. Godbolt Consultants, PLLC provides speech and language services for children with communication delays in Rowan and Cabarrus counties. Kenyatt currently resides in Concord, NC with his wife, Crystal, and two children, Samira and Kenyatt (KJ). Godbolt is also the author of Kings Without a Queen, his first stage play and semi-finalist in our 2021 Playwright’s Festival.
About the African American Playwrights Group
The African American Playwrights Group, founded by Vickie Evans, is a collaboration of African-American playwrights, whose mission is to produce quality and excellent theater works in our communities and abroad. It is a privilege to incorporate the Playwrights Festival into our season and establish new relationships with community members.
Photo Courtesy of Vickie Evans