Although it was Thanksgiving weekend and God sent Nashville a wealth of rain, the hit stage play From Crack to Christ packed the James A. Polk Theatre of the Tennessee Performing Arts Theatre (TPAC) both days, November 28 and November 29. Tanya Davis, producer/writer and author of the book From Crack to Christ (which led to the birth of the stage play) chose to launch the production in her current home of Nashville, Tenn. The Detroit native has been in heated negotiations and sponsorship meetings for taking the play nationwide and to other countries in 2016.
The play was so intense and moving, ‘the real’ Tanya Davis, ‘Momma’ Shirley Harp and her daughter Parisia Harp, could be seen fighting to maintain control of their emotions as they watched the talented cast bring the book (a synopsis of her life and change) to the real life theatre arena.
The cast did an awesome job of portraying Tanya in various ages, her daughter, mother, and father—as they dealt with various aspects of her introduction to drugs, alcohol and an unmitigated hell on earth. The positive change reflected in her life was portrayed, showing her unwavering and staunch faith in God and his promise for her life.
“Everyone has cracks in their life,” said Tanya. “It may not be crack cocaine, but everybody born has something to bear. But are they willing to put the necessary work in to change it for the better?”
Red carpet hosting by radio personality Lady Shaunte Garrett (WENO 760 AM The Gospel) complimented opening night. The talented cast of From Crack to Christ included: Kala Ross as the adult Tanya Davis; Robyn Gordon as Parisia; Fernando Richardson as Paris; Iva Foster as Momma Shirley Harp; Darius Willis as Leroy; Brittany Easley as Leroy’s girlfriend; Michelle Prather as Johnny Mae; Portia Boelter as Joanne; Chandra Walton as Kim; Jerrold ‘Preach’ Edwards as Ryan; and the California girlfriend who started it all, Jasmine Hardnett; Amashia Mabone as ‘Teen Tanya’; Bryan Boelter as Policeman #1; Brandon Haskins as Policeman #2; and Rodney Laverne as drug dealer Rick. More talent in bringing the book to life included a host of extras and volunteers. Others helping to make her dream possible included: Executive Producer Kenneth Thirkield; Lauryn West, writer; Director ShaRicka Brown; Director Charles Sneed; Technical Director Robert Swope; Nashville publicist Deborah A. Culp; El Jr Jones (Pastor J); Truly Blessed Media; Musical Director Daniel Miree; Executive Assistant Denise Turner-Talley; Mercedes Harding, stage manager; Assistant Production Manager Cameron Keith; Creative Videographer Michael Pointer, Jr.; Creative Graphic Director Christopher A. Bond; and Street Marketing Team Leader Michael Tucker.
Theatrical hair and make up (down to every cut, bruise and cranny) was enhanced and covered by the combined glam team, including Salon Ice and others. Industry professionals such as Ava Freeman, Kennie Hall, Tabitha ‘Fab’ Stewart, Tondra Macklin, Narkieta Neal and Tanya Davis herself helped to take it all to an amazing level.
This was no ordinary production, the music alone was captivating, and this included the magic of the live band in the orchestra pit lead by Daniel Miree—already making its way onto a sound track CD. A portion of the play proceeds will be donated to Mending Hearts, Inc. and Operation Stand Down Tennessee, two area nonprofit organizations that also strive to enhance the quality of women’s lives.
The years of hard work and dedication are paying off for Tanya Davis in this arena. She is certainly looking forward to what the future holds for the national tour and her life. To stay tuned for the 2016 tour or get involved, check out their From Crack to Christ Facebook page or visit .