Playwright and Wilmington, Delaware native Priest Tyaire recently wrapped up a four-day engagement of his latest hit stage play “Mrs. Independent” in Washington, D.C. The show features celebrity cast members Robin Givens of “Boomerang,” Shirley Murdock known for the hit song “I Can’t Go On Without You,” and Christopher Williams known for the hit song “Don’t Wake Me I’m Dreamin.”
The production ran from May 8, 2014 through May 11, 2014, at the Warner Theatre on Pennsylvania Avenue, and drew sold out audiences to the large venue. Attendees gave the show a standing ovation and clamored to buy programs, t-shirts and other show memorabilia. Quite a “scene” for an emerging playwright who was washing cars this time last year.
“We had been reaching out to a promoter to come out and see a show,” said Tyaire. “He would never come, but it was God’s way of saying ‘I wasn’t ready.’ Eventually, I got his attention after he kept hearing my name. He loved ‘Mrs. Independent’ and my writing ability. He said he would take it on a national tour across the country if I agreed to make some changes. I made the changes that night, he gave me a high-five, and said ‘we’ve got something.’”
He added, “It has been an experience. During the curtain call, the cast, headliners, and me all come out. To hear people shouting my name and applauding is quite an experience. I know it’s nothing but God.”
“Mrs. Independent,” is written, directed and produced by Tyaire, who said he has carefully studied playwrights Tyler Perry and David E. Talbert. “Mrs. Indepndent” is centered around a prominent attorney Carleena Elise Osborne (Robin Givens) whose $240,000 annually salary is considerably more than her husband Treyvon Brown’s (Priest Tyaire) $40,000-per-year mechanic’s income.
“Mrs. Independent is based on a true story,” said Tyaire. “I was involved with a young lady who made more money than I did. I decided to write about it. The play touches on why women can’t be submissive when she is bringing home more money. It cost us our relationship, but we are the best of friends and have a son.”
He added, “The play also shows it’s not about the money. Money can’t mend an unequally yoked relationship. As long as you put God first, all things are possible.”
Tyaire talked about working with the likes of Givens, Murdock, and Williams.
“It has been incredible to see them on television and in movies, and now they are working with me,” said Tyaire. “They bring so much to the table. Less than a year ago, I was washing cars, but now I am on the stage with them. It has been an amazing journey.”
Over a seven-year-period, Tyaire has penned seven plays and has presented more than 50 shows. Other productions include “The Tears of A Teenage Mother,” “Why Black Men Cheat,” “The Wrong Shade of Black” and “Torn Between 2 Fathers.”
He was inspired to write “The Tears of a Teenage Mother” as a tribute to his mother Cynthia Cephas.
“My mother had my oldest brother at age 14, but went back to school and earned a Master’s degree,” said the 41-year-old. “I wanted to honor her for the struggles she endured. The Lord spoke very loud and clear, ‘Write a play.’”
To finance the play, Tyaire sold his SUV. August 12-13, 2007, the play debuted to two sold out audiences. However, his mother died of cancer two weeks before the play opened. Tyaire lost his father in 2009. In their memory, he always leaves two front row seats open at every show.
“God let me know I was going to lose some things,” he said. “I know my mother is in heaven smiling. I needed to know why she had to die two weeks before this show. I eventually realized she was here to birth me to write. I have also been allowed to live up to the name ‘Priest’, which my father gave me. A priest is the go-between God and His people.”
He added, “God is with me every time I pick up my pen to write. Now that He has unleashed my writing ability, I want the world to see it. I am on a national tour because I never gave up.”
For more information on Tyaire or “Mrs. Independent” visit: http://www.mrsindependenttheplay.com/