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Local playwright debuts work Friday
Author says play inspired by life
Anthony Johnson as Leo and Charlotte Lovette Norman, who plays Leo's mother, rehearse a scene from "Mama Turn the Radio On." - photo by Photo by Lauren Hunsberger
During a Hollywood-style, black-tie premier — complete with red carpet — local playwright Donald Lovette will unveil his latest play, “ Mama Turn the Radio On,” at 7 p.m. Friday at Brewton-Parker College’s auditorium.
The play, loosely based on the prodigal son story, is about Leo, a young man who disappoints and hurts his mother when he gets into trouble from poor decisions. Upon learning that his actions have serious consequences, the story follows Leo’s struggle to get back the life and familial respect he carelessly risked. A local gospel radio show host helps Leo in his quest to reunite with his family.
Addressing themes such as the importance of family, respect for authority, the magnitude of making good decisions and the power of redemption, Lovette said his play is as heart-warming, educational and encouraging as it is entertaining and funny.  
The long-time writer got the idea for the play while listening to a radio show, thinking that it was an interesting concept.
“My inspiration comes from real-life experiences,” Lovette said.
Apparently real-life issues make for intriguing plays as Lovette says the community has shown him a lot of support and displayed a remarkable amount of enthusiasm and excitement in anticipation of the play.
“The response from the community is overwhelming,” Lovette said. “We underestimate the cultural thirst of this town.”
The cast has been receiving similar responses from the community, and the actors are thrilled to provide Hinesville with a means to enjoy the performing arts. “I really want to see a lot of young people come,” said Anthony Johnson, who plays Leo. “If they come with open hearts and open minds, they’ll leave a better person.”
All eight of the local actors agree the play is valuable to the community.
“It’s got a good message, a family message,” said Charlotte Lovette Norman, who plays Leo’s mother. “A lot of lessons can be learned from the play,” said actor Kenny Howard.
 This isn’t the end for Lovette or his characters — he said a sequel already is in the works.
For more information or tickets, call 312-0669 or 977-3293.
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