SOUTH PLAINFIELD – Authors are inspired and motivated to write in a number of ways. For Rev. Bernadette Glover, it was through whispers.
“The stories and poems began with a line, a ‘whisper’ overheard in my mind. Sometimes a scene was before my mind’s eye and a character’s voice was heard,” said Glover, who is also executive pastor at The Cathedral International Church in Perth Amboy.
“While it’s acknowledged that expression comes through frame of reference, preference, beliefs, etcetera, consciously and otherwise there are times when we have the sense that what came to us, through us, may overlap with us but is ‘beyond us.’ Hence, the title speaks to the process and the fact that instead of an author/writer, I feel more like a scribe, chronicler or taker of dictation,” Glover continued.
“Whispers Overheard,” written in 2010, contemporizes the ancient art of storytelling, reviving the intimacy between the actor and the audience. Glover has written very intelligent prose that quietly and skillfully stimulates personal reflection. These stories will be brought to life on the stage Jan. 20-21, 2012 at the South Orange Performing Arts Center, 1 Sopac Way in South Orange.
“Whispers Overheard: A Theatrical Presentation” will feature four actors performing prose and poetry from the book in a structured, cohesive format. The Jan. 20 performance will be at 7 p.m. and there will be two performances on Jan. 21, at 2 and 7 p.m. There will be a reception and book signing after the Jan. 20 performance and a book signing after the two presentations on Jan. 21.
Tickets are $40 for the first four rows of each performance; $20 for senior citizens; $25 for the matinee and $30 for the evening performances. The theater offers its members $5 off tickets. Tickets can be purchased through the South Orange Performing Arts Center by calling 1-973-313-2787 or through the online box office, http://sopacnow.org. Part of the proceeds from the ticket sales will benefit The Sisters Network of Central Jersey, a cancer support group.
“The hope is that the theatrical presentation will be a further release of the purpose of the book. The purpose is to help us reflect on community and relationships,” said Glover, a Middlesex County resident and the executive producer. “One of the primary things I’ve heard about the book is that it’s thought provoking… it provokes people to think, to reflect, to see themselves differently. People should pull away that every moment of life counts. Relationships count. Life is full of texture and meaning.”
Othell J. Miller, the director, said “the stories are akin to priceless, highly expressive and remarkably vivid still photographs that we bring to life before the audience, giving each one legs and a voice. The themes are universal – like identity, family, community, etcetera, but do not cross the lines into inappropriateness.”
“Hollywood seems to think if you don’t have sex, if you don’t have violence, if you don’t have gratuitous language, that you don’t have a piece and that’s not so. What you want to see is true human moments and moments can exist without those things,” he said.
Miller said it’s important to support Christian productions so there will be more of them. “It’s so very important to support plays like this because the more you support them, the more you will get plays that actually address your needs,” he said. “As a community of faith, our needs are often overlooked or when they are addressed, they are addressed in a way that is not completely professional.”
“But to have people who embrace the faith and are also trained in the art, trained as directors, trained as actors, to come together to do a piece – that’s something that you want to support because often that vehicle doesn’t exist for these actors and they are often taking work that causes them to compromise a core value that they may have,” he continued.
Glover said Miller, who has a master’s degree in fine art from the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University and teaches theater at Plainfield High School, is taking the production in a direction that she never dreamed of.
“His craft is his passion. His craft is his gift. His craft is his vocation. He sees it as a way of honoring God,” she said of his technique.
Glover said people need to hear the message of “Whispers Overheard” today more than ever. “Our communities are torn, our families are torn, our friendships are torn and instead of talking at each other, we need to be with each other. And ‘Whispers Overheard’ helps us hear ways of being with one another,” she said.
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