Benefiting: Male Survivor
Produced by The Layon Gray Experience & The Black Gents Of Hollywood
Written by Layon Gray
“WEBEIME is a journey, an emotional excursion of one man, dealing with the demons of his past that contributed to his present predicament. The nameless protagonist takes his audience on a path down memory lane, filled with child abuse, mental isolation, domestic violence and becoming a man”
- Thur 6/7/12 – 5:00pm
- Fri 6/8/12 – 8:00pm
- Sun 6/10/12 – 3:30pm
- Fri 6/15/12 – 10:00pm
- Sun 6/17/12 – 12:00pm
- Wed 6/20/12 – 6:30pm
Answers by Layon Gray
Karen Tortora-Lee’s Question
How did you come up with the title for your show?
Layon: I always get asked this question because many people pronounce the title wrong. lol. The correct way to say it is WE – BE – I – ME. I created this to symbolize that although each human being in the world is different we have some kind of common factor. In WEBEIME although the protagonist is an African American male his issues are universal.
Diánna Martin’s Question
If you were going to invite 5 people (from the past or present) to see your show – who would you invite … and why?
Layon: This play is based off another show I wrote in 2003 called “Diary Of A Catholic School Dropout” which featured a diverse all female cast. My childhood friend who died inspired me to write the piece. I know she would appreciate her story being told on stage from the female and male perspective. I would also invite as many people who have suffered from mental, physical, and child abuse, and let them know its okay to talk about it.
Antonio Minino’s Question
What is the biggest sacrifice you’ve made for your art and was it worth it?
Layon: Breaking off a wedding engagement to move to LA from Louisiana to be an extra on Days Of Our Lives. I apologized years later.
Geoffrey Paddy Johnson’s Question
Was there any unexpected discovery made during the development of this production and can you share it with us?
Layon: Wow! This is a very good question. You have to understand the show is dealing with sexual child abuse amongst other things. Its always a tough subject matter, then you throw in 8 African American men, where if it does (or has) happen it’s just not really talked about amongst African Americans. Watching these actors go from hesitant about being raped on stage (stylized), and breaking down in tears/becoming this child was an incredible moment for me as a writer/ director and artist to witness the transformation. The actors really have to trust the director’s vision, and these men who were sheltered at first slowly let their guards down and reveled something unique and free on stage.
Michelle Augello-Page’s Question
What do you hope the audience receives from the experience of seeing this show?
Layon: Interesting. Here you have a man who is on death row for brutality murdering his wife. In his last 2 hours before he’s executed he is trying to find peace. From a writer stand point my goal is for audience to understand murder is not good, and for some people they live by the saying “an eye for an eye” . However for those 2 hours of the show I want the audience to walk in his shoes, his path and then make up their decision on his fate.