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Sunday, September 25, 2022

Ursula V. Battle’s “Serenity House: From Addiction to Deliverance”

Stage Play Looks at Opioid Epidemic/Catalyst For New Best-Selling Book

Tour Includes September 25th Dinner Theater Performance in Sykesville, Md.

Baltimore—By popular demand, the highly-acclaimed stage play, Ursula V. Battle’s “Serenity House: From Addiction to Deliverance” returns for several encore performances in Baltimore and surrounding areas including an upcoming Dinner Theater Performance at The Winfield Community Fire Department Hall, 1320 W. Old Liberty Road, Sykesville, Maryland on Sunday, September 25, 2022. Entitled, “Sunday Supper & A Show,” the piece is being presented by Alex and Tierra Dorsey, and will feature a catered menu prepared by Southern Blues.

The presentation is part of a tour that includes shows at Restoration Temple Apostolic Center as part of The Bennett Donnell Memorial Weekend (October 15-16, 2022), Dinner Theater performances at The Forest Park Senior Center (Sat., November 19, 2022), and The Chesapeake Arts Center (February 2023).

Written by Baltimore playwright and journalist Ursula V. Battle, the show is coming off huge performances earlier this year in Virginia and Baltimore. The shows were met with standing ovations and requests to bring the production to other areas.

  Directed by Dr. Gregory Wm. Branch, the stage play takes a riveting and thought-provoking look at the opioid epidemic which has worsened since the COVID pandemic. The production features national recording artist, Randy “Fruity” Roberts of The Choir Boyz, internationally-renowned gospel female trio “SERENITY,” and songstress powerhouse Charisse-Caldwell-Bowen.

Songstress extraordinaire Charisse Caldwell-Bowen returns as “Mama Jackson.”

The piece is written by playwright Battle, who is a writer for The Baltimore Times, and directed by Dr. Gregory Wm. Branch, Health Officer for Baltimore County. Dr. Branch’s interest in medicine dates back to his childhood, seeing a former neighbor struggle with addiction, who ultimately succumbs to an overdose.

The production speaks to addiction across multiple platforms, including eating disorders and prescription drug abuse. “Serenity House: From Addiction to Deliverance” also touches on domestic violence, incest, and child sex trafficking.

Randy “Fruity” Roberts, a real-life former drug dealer who turned his life around,  portrays “James Franklin” in the production, and performs “Watch Me Work” from his hit CD “This Is My Story, This is My Song,” featuring “Kingdom.” SERENITY, Caldwell-Bowen, and Jefferson perform several gospel favorites throughout the production. Renowned musician Howard “Buddy” Lakins, Jr. is the musical director for the powerful show, which also includes original music composed by the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University student Allen Branch.

The production’s storyline centers around the journey six men and women (who are three months in recovery) take after arriving at the imaginary United in Victory Tabernacle on the Hill Freewill Catholic Baptist and Episcopal Church of God in Christ’s newly opened “Serenity House.”

   Through ministry, music, an unforgettable story, and dance, the production takes a heart-wrenching, yet heart-warming look at the devastating impact that addiction has on society – particularly on families that in some cases, spans generations. The production also highlights the supernatural power of God to help us overcome, and the transformative power of forgiveness.

The production is also the impetus for playwright Battle’s new novel, “Serenity House: From Addiction to Deliverance,” which is also drawing rave reviews, and features her original poem, “I Rose Above It All.” The book’s foreword is written by Dr. Branch.

The performances are dedicated to the late poet, Maya Angelou and “Cynthia,” a woman who overdosed in front of the building where auditions for the production were held, but was revived by the NARCAN nasal spray.

Ursula V. Battle’s “Serenity House” is rated PG-13 due to some strong content and profanity.

For additional information including show times, or to purchase tickets for an upcoming performance, call (443) 531-4787 or visit www.battlestageplays.com.

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