New theater company brings message of hope, redemption to Mt. Airy

While Quintessence Theatre Group takes a summer hiatus, a newcomer has stepped up to fill the void in Mt. Airy’s Sedgwick Theater. Come & See Productions hopes its plays will also fill a spiritual void, providing a positive message in a troubled modern society. The company begins a summer season with its play, “Distorted”, which opens tonight at 7 p.m. inside the Sedgwick Theater.

“People need hope now more than ever,” stated Director, Garfield Randleman.

Come & See Productions is a year old theatrical ministry which puts on original plays set in contemporary situations. An all-volunteer, predominantly African-American cast perform modern takes on the traditional morality play. Randleman noted that the company’s mission is to present a vision for life in hopes that its audience will come and see the Light. The company is not affiliated with any church, but seeks to minister “in creative way through the arts,” said Randleman.

The theater group is also a family project for Randleman and his wife, Gissele.

“Distortion” is a investigation of how people inherit ideas, particularly negative ones, which then can direct the course of their life for many years. “Its our small part to reach people who are hurting,” said Randleman. The play’s characters struggle with their identity and critical moments from the past which altered their life in a seemingly inescapable way. The faith-based production carries a message of spiritual redemption.

Randleman co-wrote the play last year with three others, Pamela Adams (who is Come & See Productions’ stage manager), Christopher Griffin and his wife, Takesha Griffin. Randleman, who has 30 years in the theatrical ministry, got his start in John E. Allen’s Freedom Theater. Prior to Come and See Productions, Randleman and his wife Gissele presented plays through another company called Ekklesia based in North Philadelphia.

Come & See Production’s “Distortion” runs this weekend, June 29, 30 and July 1, and the next two weekends for a total of nine shows. Sundays feature matinee shows. The theater company’s next production, “Me, Myself and I… An Argument Worth Having”, will hit the stage in August. Auditions for that play are happening now.

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