“WORRIED,’ Play by Parishioner Renée Nixon, at Burning Coal Theatre this June

This story is part of a series showcasing individuals in the Holy Cross Catholic Church-Durham community.

Photo of Renée NixonParents of Holy Cross youth see parishioner Renée Nixon in action, guiding children for the annual Christmas play and coordinating or leading children's activities during the annual Easter Bunny Party and parish Fun Days.

Next month, Nixon – a plawright, director and frequent Holy Cross photograper – is bringing her creativity to the stage for her new adult-focused production, ‘WORRIED.’  The production will be at the Burning Coal Theatre in Raleigh, as part of its Second Stage series, for six performances: 7:30 p.m. on June 7, 10, 15 and 23, and 2 p.m. on June 16 and 24. Tickets cost $10 and may be purchased in advance online or at the theatre, located at 224 Polk Street in Raleigh. The 2 p.m. performance on June 16 has been designated as the Holy Cross Day.

About the Play

“’WORRIED’ presents 12 monologues about all of things in life that worry us, whether it’s finding love, losing love, health or those pesky test results,” she said in an email interview with Holy Cross Communications. “This is a journey that you will never forget,” she said. “Everyone can relate to at least one of the stories, but this is for a mature audience. The subjects are geared towards adults.”

The content was sparked by a conversation Nixon had with a friend. “A friend told me a funny story about a surprise experience she had one night and I laughed and wrote one of the monologues. And it went from there,” she said.

For the production, Nixon has assembled a multi-cultural cast with people of diverse ages. Fourteen performers deliver the monologues, two of which she calls “bi-monologues – two people on stage but they are not talking to each other. They are in their own heads about the subject.”

A Writer from Way Back

When asked about her prior experience in playwriting, Nixon said, “Oh goodness! I’ve been writing short stories since I was a little kid. I submitted my first play to the bi-annual National Black Theatre Festival’s Reader’s Theatre Series in Winston-Salem, N.C., back in 2001 and I was accepted. I had my play read and, well, a true playwright was born,” she said. “I’ve submitted every time since, except once, and I’ve been accepted every year. Last year, I had my play, “Wedding Day Worries” – a spin-off (or precursor) of 'WORRIED'. I was blessed to have Rain Pryor, Richard Pryor’s daughter, in my play. That was a great experience!"

At Holy Cross, Nixon has written and directed the children’s Christmas play for the past several years. When asked how many years, she said, “I have no idea how long. I started back at the old church, then I took a break and picked it back up. But I think I’ve written six or seven plays, and some years we will redo a play from a few years ago. But this year will be a new play called ‘Angel Talk’. I’m really excited about it. I’ll be ready to start casting in September and the play will be held on December 9.”

Nixon’s other production experiences include a short-lived radio drama called, “As The Sauce Burns” for WQOK-FM K97.5. “It was on the air for a couple of months. That was a lot of fun,” she said.

She was in the Drama Club while at the Hillside High School is Durham, where the Tony Award-winning Wendell Tabb was advisor for the school’s Drama Club. “I was in several of his plays. I was also part of an acting troop that did performances around Durham,” she said.

In closing, she said, “I always like to look at things from different angels. I think it makes me a better writer and it’s a better way to look at life.” About future plans: “There is always something in the works. LOL.”

Tags: Renée Nixon, Fourth Week Feature, Burning Coal Theatre Second Stage, Play WORRIED by Renée Nixon

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