When Saprina Willis brought her first play, “So Called Friends,” to the stage at the Garner Performing Arts Center last August, she wasn’t sure what to expect.
But she had a great response to her work.
“A lot of people said they related to the characters,” Willis said.
Her second play, “Be Careful What You Pray For,” will be at the GPAC this Sunday, Aug. 19. The play is a “dramady” that shares the story of a woman’s emotionally-abusive relationship.
“We’ve got a lot of drama in there,” Willis said. “We’ve got a lot of comedy in there.”
Willis started her creative endeavors as an actress, but was rejected many times because of her body type. That prompted her to write her own book, bringing in real-life issues. Then she was encouraged to write the book as a play.
Now, she is the director and chief executive officer of Get Ready Productions.
Through it all, Willis has leaned on the support of her family. Willis said her father, stepmom, aunt and uncle all have made it to each of the showings of her plays, sometimes traveling for 10 to 14 hours to offer encouragement.
Now, Willis’s father is trying to get funding so she can take her play to Syracuse, N.Y., where she is from originally.
Looking ahead, Willis was approached by Poplar Springs Christian Church to create a play that will be performed for the New Year’s service. She wrote her last play in three days, so she is excited to get started on a meaningful production for the congregation.
And Willis even has incorporated her family into her passion. Her daughter will have her acting debut in the play this weekend. Her 19-year-old son performs rap music as an opening act, and her twins help work concessions.
“I have a very talented family,” Willis said.
Tickets to “Be Careful What You Pray For” are $20 and can be purchased at Cops Urban Wear and Treasure Box Fashions, both in Raleigh. Tickets also will be available at the door. The pre-show act begins at 4:30 p.m. and the play will start at 5 p.m.
Willis always accepts resumes and headshots to audition for her next production. She also is looking for a band to travel with the production as an opening act. Resumes and headshots can be sent to email@example.com.
Contact Kelly Griffith at firstname.lastname@example.org or 919-552-5675.