The Baltimo Jawja was a thrilling, compassionate play keeping you on the edge of your seat from beginning to end. Not even halfway through the play did I even realize I had dropped my phone from being so focused on the performance. The play started out with Quiton Crossan-Taylor singing the black national anthem “Lift Every Voice and Sing” as well as The West Chester University Gospel Choir, Angels of Divinity, and Unlimited Praise all performing on stage.
Baltimo Jawja takes place in Baltimore in 1963 when a white pastor and his wife move there from Savannah, Georgia to head a black church. The church is facing many issues at that time, such as racism and prejudice, as well as the lives of individuals standing for or against the obstacles of their era. The play was written and directed by John W. Graves III, a former West Chester student. In fact, most of the cast of the play is former West Chester Gospel Choir and/or Black Student Union members. John Graves started doing plays three years ago while still attending West Chester University.
He then began writing his own plays and then started his own production company. It was amazing to see some familiar faces on stage and not be able to recognize them due to their transformation as a beautiful spectacle of art on stage.
High and low you will go; this play will leave you on a roller coaster of emotions. Before you leave the concert hall you will feel inspired, inspired to be a better person in the real world. You will feel the need to follow your true dreams and to be born again.
Enjoy your life and do not stop what you want to do. Make some decisions for the betterment of everybody. I recommend this play to anyone who needs some inspiration or motivation or anyone just going through some tough times in his or her life. For more information about the Baltimo Jawja or John Graves productions go to www.johngravesproductions.org.
Dan Colon is a fourth-year student majoring in English. He can be reached at DC741117@wcupa.edu