MADDRAMA founder Dr. Mark Henderson gave birth to his stage play, “Challenges, Choices, and Consequences”, in a two-day run from June 24-25, 2023 at the Rose E. McCoy Auditorium on the campus of Jackson State University.
“Challenges, Choices and Consequences” captivated its audience of well-wishers and supporters, which resulted in standing ovations. Audiences found catharsis in the symbiotic connectivity of the storyline which reflected the state of family affairs in today’s society.
The two-act stage play, written and directed by Dr. Henderson, was portrayed by a cast of native Mississippi actors and actresses that hailed from Jackson and Itta Bena. Dr. Henderson is a native of Canton, Mississippi. The cast-family included:
• Jayla Lomax (Linda Benson)
• Dr. Prince Duren (Melvin Benson)
• Alisa Patrick-McDonald (Mother Benson)
• Catia Madison (Niecy Benson)
• Alexandria Williams (Louise Benson)
• Christian Johnson (Brian Benson)
• Stephen Johnson (Doctor Johnson)
Patrick-McDonald served as the vocal director and James Pettis constructed the set and designed the lighting. The musical staff consisted of Barry Bolden (keyboards), Marcus Singleton (drums), and Micah May (bass guitar), with background vocals delivered by Phiona Diamond, Latoya Knight-Hubbard, and Dennis McDonald.
Dr. Henderson explains “Challenges, Choices, and Consequences” as “a moving Gospel musical about the importance of family. The play tells the story of a young teenager, Brian, who wants his father to buy him a new car. His father feels that he is not responsible enough to have a car. Brian is faced with a challenge. He chooses to disobey his father. As a result of his choice, the consequences are almost deadly. This play sends a strong message about the importance of respecting your family and respecting yourself.”
Special acknowledgement was given to Christian Johnson who portrayed Brian Benson; he has been accepted into the University of Southern California’s MFA in Acting Program on a full scholarship this fall.
The production was supported by Percy Davis (WOAD RADIO), JSU Dept. of Events, Rent-A-Center (Ellis Avenue), JSU Dept. of Public Safety, Dr. Alfred Martin, Douglas Stringfellow, and Jerry Smith.