Local Playwright Honors Late Father in Encore Presentation

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His father abused drugs and growing up he said he did not feel his fathers love. Now, the young playwright has forgiven and incorporates some personal story in his upcoming stage play.

The audience can expect to see themes that address forgiveness, drug abuse and father and son relationships.

Richard Gallion is a well-known and talented Chicago actor/playwright/director. Living Without Love Inspirational Stage Play: A Story of Pain, Love and Redemption is Gallion’s encore performance, which can be seen Nov. 10 – 11 at King College Prep, 4445 S. Drexel Blvd.

The cast is a mixture of local up-and-coming actors and recognized names. Terrell Carter from Tyler Perry’s Meet the Browns stars with Gallion. Comedian Alonzo Ruffin, Shakita Winston, and Keeland Ellis also hit the stage.

Originally, Gallion said the play was never meant for an audience. He wrote it as a way of releasing emotions, he said, but it slowly transformed into a stage play.

“I let a few people read it and I was getting feedback that way. I knew it was great feedback once I let John Ruffin read it, he gave me the feedback, that’s when I knew okay, I should do this,” Gallion said.

As someone who has played John Ruffin’s roles, Gallion said it was inevitable Ruffin would have some type of influence on him. John Ruffin is a local playwright and director.

“Anytime you’re dealing with entertainment, you want to be a student, you want to make sure that you’re still learning and that’s the thing, I didn’t close my heart to learning,” he said.

“Being under him, you have no choice but to be influenced by his great work.”

This production has parts of Gallion’s personal experiences throughout it. Growing up, his father did not play an active role in his life, which Gallion said hurt as a child, but made him stronger as an adult.

“As I’ve gotten older, from enduring so much pain and hurt, it made me stronger. If it wasn’t for my father, being who he was, I would not be this strong as I am right now. It has its pros and cons,” he said.

His father abused drugs and the production addresses drug abuse. Another parallel theme, and what Gallion calls the “ultimate topic,” is the father and son relationship.

His father was able to see the debut performance before he passed away a few months ago.

“He told me how the play stopped him from doing drugs, how it made him want to change his life completely,” Gallion said.

“I give God all the glory, but if it could change my father’s way of thinking in his life, it can definitely do that for other people.”

Instead of just writing and directing, Gallion could not stay away from his other love, acting. He plays a character he described as searching to fill this void he feels.

“He’s trying to feel the void with all the wrong things. The only true person that can actually fill that void is God, but he’s looking for it through relationships, he’s looking for it through work, success, but that can only satisfy you so much,” Gallion said.

He encourages everyone to come see the production this weekend.

“The overall message is no matter how bad a situation may look, as long as you stay focused and stay positive, God will definitely work it out,” he said.

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