Pierce to the Soul

Playwright Chiquita Mullins Lee and Actor Alan Bomar Jones Photo: CATCO

Pierce to the Soul premiered on April 7 in Columbus. While I have yet to see the performance in its entirety, I did attend a workshop for the play last month, presented by the Contemporary American Theatre Company (CATCO) and the Columbus Historical Society . Based on just that, I can't wait to see the show.

During the performance part of the workshop I was able to experience what the one-man play is going to be like. Actor Alan Bomar Jones transforms himself into folk artist Elijah Pierce, a woodcarver and preacher who moved to Columbus in 1923. As I listened to stories from Elijah's youth, along with anecdotes, life lessons and sermons, I felt as though I was sitting in the Columbus of Elijah's time.

Next came the question and answer with all involved in the performance – Alan Bomar Jones, William Childs (dramaturge) and Chiquita Mullins Lee (playwright). Here, I was able to get a glimpse of the whole process that was involved in creating this piece. Chiquita spoke about how creating the play involved a decade-long process – compiling facts and stories from first-hand references to make the play as accurate as possible. She also invited the audience to share any stories they may have about Mr. Pierce, that they might add into the show. One gentleman recounted how both his father and Elijah were both preachers and barbers, and how he remembered Elijah coming into his father’s barbershop on a regular basis.

The show runs selected dates through April 25. For schedule and ticket info, click here or visit the Web site .