Hello, and welcome to my world! My name is Nanette Marie, and I am passionate about the works the Creator allows to flow through me.
Words have always intrigued me. While growing up, I enjoyed playing Scrabble for hours; and I especially cherished playing with my mother. In fact, I still do enjoy playing Scrabble and other word games, as they nourish my love of words. Scrabble also helped build my vocabulary, which ultimately prepared me to become a playwright and writer.
I am the seventh of nine children. Even as a child, I was questioned about having a different father than my siblings. I endured unsettling and painful moments because my appearance was easily distinguishable from them. Some people acted out of curiosity; while others' intentions were to be hurtful.
Both family and outsiders "told" me about him since I was little, yet Mama was unwilling to be honest. I was well into adulthood before Mama confessed the true identity of my biological father. A devastating event had occurred in her life, and she revealed the truth. Writing the plays and book has been a cathartic experience for me. I continue to work on self-acceptance and healing.
Mamas' Drama (book and play) and Suzette's Saga (play) are inspired by my true story, and have been a means for me and others to heal from the "mama's baby, daddy's maybe" condition (when the identity of father is questionable). I've taken artistic license as well, and Mamas’ Drama and Suzette's Saga are traditional plays and the Mamas' Drama book is classified as historical fiction. This compelling book focuses on the choices females make to keep secrets or tell lies about the biological father, and the impact it has on the family dynamic of four generations. The Mamas' Drama play follows main character, Josephine, as she deals with the mama's baby, daddy's maybe condition. The Suzette's Saga play follows Josephine's daughter, Suzette, as she and others deal with issues surrounding the identities of their biological fathers.
The Creator purposed me to write about this sensitive subject that most find difficult to think about and discuss--whether openly or behind closed doors. As you accompany me on this healing journey, if you are directly or indirectly affected by the "mama's baby, daddy's maybe" condition, I pray you realize that your life on this earth was intentioned--and you're here on purpose.. One of the first feelings most have after seeing the plays or reading the book is that they are not alone.
My Mama passed away in 2007 while I was at the National Black Theatre Festival (NBTF) in Winston-Salem, North Carolina for the first time. I did not realize God was nudging me to write plays and a book about her life. When I returned to the NBTF in 2009, I shared with Garland Thompson, Jr. of the NBTF staff that I felt I was to write a play about my life. He listened intently, and after a brief discussion with his father, Garland Thompson, Sr., he suggested the play was about my mother’s life, not mine.
In 2010, I was on a flight returning from my birthday celebration. I began to write in my diary, and within 30 minutes the outline for 21 scenes of what I perceived as a play filled the pages. A stranger seated next to me asked if I was a writer. I had to think for a few minutes before I responded, “yes”. I inquired as to what made her ask that question. After all, we were departing from the Bahamas and I was writing in a diary. She said she noticed I was very cathartic while writing, and could easily see the emotional changes I was experiencing. In talking further with her, she shared that she is a physician's assistant, and good observational skills are critical to doing her job properly. It became very clear to me that the Creator wanted me to take on this life-altering work.
My son, Chad, picked me up at the airport, and I shared what I had written. His supportive response, coupled with a desire to enter acting for the first time to be in the play, were welcomed confirmations. My shy granddaughter, Dominique, asked if she could play the role of her Maw Maw (Mama) as a child. It became wonderfully apparent that my solo journey to the Bahamas was divinely ordered!
Mamas’ Drama debuted in 2011, and I had an exhilarating time touring the plays in 2012 and 2013. The voice inside didn't quiet down—the Creator was adamant that I was to complete the book. In April of 2014 I was pleased to give birth to the Mamas’ Drama book. It is now available in paperback, e-book and audiobook on Amazon, Audible and iTunes.
My plays, Mamas' Drama and Suzette’s Saga, have been juried and performed nationally at the DC Black Theatre Festival, Atlanta Black Theatre Festival and the National Black Theatre Festival. I am humbled when people express awe that I know their story, and openly share how their lives connect with mine.
I've written poetry; and wrote and recorded a lullaby for a children's book series prior to becoming a playwright and author. Directing, producing and coaching are other aspects of theatre I enjoy. I am honored that you chose to read and share your precious time and attention with me. I warmly invite you to stay with me on this wondrous journey in the arts. I also encourage you to take action on anything you feel purposed to do, and to embrace the journey that awaits. Stay blessed beyond belief!!