Review by Diane Tezeno
The lives of three families become intimately intertwined through their school-age children in Don Dotson’s touching sophomore stage play “When Children Pray.” The drama unfolds on the west coast in the quiet town of Blue Water as the curtain is pulled back on the lives of three families as they deal with the impact of abuse, loneliness and separation.
In his finely crafted play, Dotson achieves a perfect balance in conveying the emotions a young man and his daughter feel as they take the tentative firsts steps of moving on with their lives following the untimely death of her mother.
He carries that balance forth as he tackles the subject of domestic abuse and transitions to the challenges faced by two single parents as they open their hearts to the possibility of love again.
The play opens on Narh, the central character, played by Victoria Baynes Lopez, a former star of Toddlers and Tiaras, who joins forces with two of her school mates. Her friends lean on her as they face their own, unique family struggles – one, the absence of a father, and another , the threatening turmoil of domestic abuse.
Lopez depicts with perfection Narh’s upbeat and child-like faith as she connects with her friends in a “holy” alliance at the morning bus stop and encourages them to join together to pray about the challenges their families are facing.
The play seamlessly moves through a range of emotions from the reluctance of two single parents, played by Jimmie Captain and Tiffany Cook, unwittingly caught in a modern day ‘parent trap’ of their daughters’ making to the pins and needles existence of a struggling family caught in the throes of domestic abuse. As each scene plays out, the innocent faith of the three girls becomes the saving grace for each family.
In two well-timed acts, audience members go on an amazing journey intermingled with sadness, bursts of unexpected laughter, and tears as three families find their way back to wholeness at the foot of the cross.
Dotson shares a profound and powerful message of the strength and resilience of children in the face of grief, violence and loneliness and shows how the power of prayer and childlike- faith causes them to triumph.
About Don Dotson, the Playwright
Don Dotson served his country in the United States Army in Vicenza, Italy and his community for 28 years as a City of Houston police officer. He honorably retired in 2008. God changed the direction of his life’s purpose to a ministry that would serve and help a broader spectrum of those who are lost and broken. As a police officer he witnessed and came in contact with many families in despair.
Through meditation and spiritual growth, the Holy Spirit directed his life to the ministry of releasing and unlocking those in bondage, leading to the birth of “No More G Ministries Production.” Dotson authored his first book “No More Tipping God and Tithing Satan” and his first gospel stage play “My Life on Earth Expired,” which ran from 2010 through 2012.
He soon will be releasing a third stage play, entitled “Choir Rehearsal”. The Holy Spirit has equipped every believer to serve the Lord. “We cannot afford to be lazy or fearful because we have only a few years to work for him on this earth,” says Dotson.
Upcoming Performance: Catch the next performance of “When Children Pray” on Saturday, November 23, 2013 at the Majestic Christian Center, 3512 McLean Road, Pearland, Texas 77584. To purchase tickets, contact Don Dotson at 713-805-4318.
Photo Credit: (When Children Pray Stage Play – September Performance photos) – Priscilla Graham Photography.
Cast Photos Credit: Kenneth C. Whitmore of Vision Builder Pro