Wilson Playwright’s Creation to Be Performed in Charlotte Aug. 10

Spare the Rod, Spoil the Child play flyer-small. Source: Dr. Mildred Summerville
Spare the Rod, Spoil the Child play flyer-small. Source: Dr. Mildred Summerville

Tall One Outreach Ministries presents the Award-winning Gospel Stage Play, “Spare the Rod, Spoil the Child” Part 2, written and produced by Dr. Mildred Summerville and directed by Trina Jeffrie (AKA Sister Cantaloupe), to be performed at the Ovens Auditorium, 2700 East Independence Blvd, Charlotte, North Carolina on August 10, 2019, 7:30pm.

Viewers are in for an unforgettable experience! Gracing the stage are Grammy Award-Winning artist Dorinda Clark Cole, Gospel singing sensation, Shawn McLemore, who is known for his hit single “I Believe” featuring James Fortune, Tra’Lesha Willis, Rhonda McLemore, Queen of Gospel Comedy,Trina Jeffrie and Apostle  Aaron McNair, reknown preacher, teacher, and author.

A must-see story; the play is alternately a moving drama and a side-splitting comedy that will be talked about in families and generations to come. These insurmountable challenges have been encountered by most families.In this gripping and engaging dramatic piece, a woman is simply known as “Grandma” serves as the pillar of her surroundings. Her son’s family is in crisis, and those within her neighborhood are drowning in chronic troubles of their own. Through it all, Grandma seeks God on behalf of those who are not spiritually inclined enough to seek Him for themselves. Even those who resent her, such as her son’s sometimes-rigid wife, Linda, ultimately end up on Grandma’s prayer list. And when the walls of the lives of those around Grandma seem to come tumbling down, they know who to turn to for guidance and sound counsel. It’s not always advice that they want to hear, but it is consistently the precise word needed to steer them in the right direction.

Using spirit-filled music and memorable characters like James, the doting son, Linda, the insensitive daughter-in-law, Tracy, the high-strung teenager, and Sister Cantaloupe, Grandma’s feisty sister, Spare the Rod, Spoil the Child portrays issues within the community such as family dysfunction, peer pressure, substance abuse, and other pertinent matters that are too often inadequately addressed or considered taboo altogether.

Other characters in the cast bring even more drama to the script. In her God-given wisdom, Grandma confronts Tracy’s suppressed anger and bitterness, convincing her to disclose facts about a rape kept secret for years. Also, she fervently prays for her grandson, William, who has a change of heart and avert a life of gang involvement.

Though compounding events take a toll on Grandma, the audience will rejoice in knowing that this elderly woman’s life was prayer-centered, purpose-inspired and inevitably not at all lived in vain. Extraordinary drama, corrupt karma, a supportive pastor, and a praying grandma, all come together to make Spare the Rod, Spoil the Child a must-see theatrical production! Infused with foot-stomping gospel music, this is soul-stirring entertainment that will warm hearts, tickle funny bones, uplift the spirits, and search the souls of all those who experience it.

The 2019 Charlotte production of Spare the Rod, Spoil the Child is being sponsored by The Rock Worship Center in memory of Gabriel Michael Jacobs.  Gabriel was the son of  Pastor Fank and First Lady Kimberly Jacobs who passed away unexpectedly at the age of 12 years old.  Because Gabriel was best known for his Big Heart, his parents founded the Gabe’s Heart Foundation in his honor.  The Foundation recognizes individuals who display a giving spirit and a compassionate heart.  A portion of each ticket sale for this Charlotte, NC production will be donated to Gabe’s Heart Foundation.

Tickets may be purchased online via Ticketmaster.


Spare the Rod, Spoil the Child play flyer. Source: Dr. Mildred Summerville, Wilson, NC
Spare the Rod, Spoil the Child play flyer. Source: Dr. Mildred Summerville, Wilson, NC


Dr. Mildred Summerville (Writer/Producer)

Playwright, Dr. Mildred Summerville, is the writer of the award-winning gospel stage play, Spare the Rod, Spoil the Child. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree from Fayetteville State University and her Master of Education degree from Bowling Green State University. Dr. Summerville received a Principal’s Certificate in Educational Administration from East Carolina University. She received a Doctorate of Humane Letters from Interdenominational Bible Institute in Lawrenceville, Virginia.

Dr. Summerville founded the James and Leanther Summerville Academy in memory of her parents. This educational initiative is known for its success as a community-based alternative school giving suspended students an opportunity to continue their education. Dr. Summerville believes her three greatest accomplishments during her tenure as an administrator are as follows: (A) Receiving the President’s Lifetime Achievement Award, which was given during President Barack Obama’s Administration, (B) Being recognized as one of the contributing authors of the book entitled, Mr. President, and (C) Establishing the community-based nonprofit organization “Tall One Outreach Ministries.”

Dr. Summerville received two prestigious awards at the Resa Mitchell Awards Celebration in Griffin, Georgia, on December 19, 2009. The play was recognized as Best Stage Play Production and Dr. Summerville was recognized as Stage Play Producer of the Year. During the Wilson Idol Show, Dr. Summerville received an additional award honoring her as the Playwright of the Year and acknowledging her production as the Gospel Stage Play of the Year. Dr. Summerville was also nominated for the Gospel Playwright of the Year Award and her play “Spare the Rod, Spoil the Child” was nominated for the Gospel Stage Play of the Year Award by Church Stars Network. This play earned rave reviews after its performances in 2007 at the Progress Energy Center in Raleigh, NC “Spare the Rod” was also performed in 2009 at Ralph L. Fike High School in Wilson, NC. In addition, Summerville’s play was showcased during 2016, at the River Center in Columbus, Georgia, premiering The Queen of Gospel, Pastor Shirley Caesar, Trina Jeffrie — AKA Sister Cantaloupe, and Shawn and Ronda McLemore. In 2016  and 2017“Spare the Rod” starring, Le’Andria Johnson was performed in front of an over-powering audience at the historic Lincoln Theatre in Washington, D.C. and at the Carolina Theatre in Durham, NC in 2018. The play is scheduled to be at the Ovens Auditorium in Charlotte, NC on August 10, 2019 premiering award-winning gospel songstress Dorinda Clark Cole, the Queen of Gospel Comedy Sister Cantaloupe, Shawn McLemore, and others.

Dr. Summerville is listed as an honored professional in the National Directory of Who’s Who in Executives and Professionals, 1996 -1997 Edition.  She was also recognized as an honored member of The Heritage Registry of Who’s Who, 2010-2011 Edition in the field of entertainment.  Additionally, The Directors of The Heritage Registry of Who’s Who, a New York based biographical publication, announced the inclusion of Dr. Summerville, Writer/Producer, Award-Winning Gospel Play, “Spare the Rod, Spoil the Child” in the 2011-2012 Edition.  She was also recognized in the Who’s Who, 2010-2011 Edition as CEO/Principal of  J&L Summerville Academy for her accomplishments and achievements attained in the field of Spiritual Education Entertainment Services.

Heritage Registry of Who’s Who, 2015 Edition recognized Dr. Mildred Summerville as a distinguished member of the Top 100. The National Association of Professional Women honored Dr. Summerville also for her outstanding leadership and commitment within her professional  employment at Summerville Promotion and Production Co., where she serves as CEO. 2017 Who’s Who Directories recognized Dr. Summerville as a Top Professional VIP of North America.  Dr. Summerville was one of 27 heroes across the country that was singled out for their work in their community. WIDU Radio & TCP Magazine honored her as a Hometown Hero for Wilson, North Carolina in 2013.

Dr. Libra Boyd, Gospel Music Fever

Armed with a remarkable legacy and a powerful musical gift, Dr. Dorinda Clark-Cole has built an iconic career in music and ministry. She is daughter of renowned late Dr. Mattie Moss-Clark, and member of the legendary vocal ensemble The Clark Sisters. Dr. Cole has skillfully mastered life’s delicate balance between her enduring preaching ministry and her music.  She has built a rich musical legacy that continues to exceed expectations. Having garnered three Grammy® Awards, six Stellar Gospel Music Awards, A Lady of Soul award and countless other awards, Dr. Cole’s anointing as an inspirational leader allows her to serve across broad platforms as administrator at Greater Emmanuel Institutional Church of God In Christ; as a gospel radio host for the nationally syndicated Dorinda Clark Cole Radio Show; as television host on the the TCT Networks’ Gospel According to Dorinda; as proprietor of her clothing line – The DCC Rose Collection and The Couture Collection; as CEO of Harvestime Ministries and as founder of Singers Musicians and Arts Conference.  Dr. Cole is also the Elect Lady of the International Department of Evangelism of the Church of God In Christ (COGIC IDOE). Despite wearing all of these hats, Dr. Cole continues to be a doting wife, mother of two children and proud grandmother of two beautiful grandchildren. Continuing to live boldly and on purpose, Dr.Cole is clear about her future and openly speaks of being from a family of strong wormen, “I want my legacy to be where my children see a strong woman – A woman of faith and a woman of power”.

Trina Jeffrie

Trina Jeffrie’s break out character “Sister Cantaloupe” has become a household name in the gospel community.“Sister Cantaloupe”, created by Trina, is a cat eyeglass wearing, colorful, and loud speaking church-going sister. She is often compared to Tyler Perry’s character “Madea”. But this church busybody was created some 25 years ago and has performed in every religious community you can imagine. Trina, the writer of all of her one-woman acts, has left audiences rolling in the aisles with her unique style of comedy and drama. Trina has three award winning hit DVD & CD’s, and has recorded five Video/CD/DVD that are nationally distributed including Go Cantaloupe Go (1996), Laffing Out Loud with the Lord (1998), Un-Be-Weave-able (2002), Dr. Bobby Jones All Star Comedy (Lions Gate 2004), and Armed and Dangerous (2006). Her DVD 3pack Classic Comedian Collection (2012) was awarded Best New Artist and Best Video. Jeffrie is the 2014 winner of the AMG award for “Comedian of the Year”.

Though Sister Cantaloupe is a huge success, Trina’s talents range far beyond the character. She has also toured two years in the national play, “Friends and Lover” with stars such as Leon (Waiting to Exhale), Mel Jackson (Soul Food), Megal Neuye (Jawwana Man),and Monica Calhoun (The Best Man). Trina has been afforded the opportunity to be involved in motion pictures, television, and magazine publications. Because of her versatility and ambition, she has written movies, plays, produced and directed. She co-wrote and starred in Casino starring Gerald LeVert and Kelly Price, she was also in “Leap of Faith” starring Steve Martin and “Necessary Roughness” starring Sinbad and more. Trina made the vow that God would be her first love and acting her second. Trina is quick to say, “God is the only Daddy I’ve known and HE spoil’s me so, to God be the Glory.”

Tra’Lesha Willis

A Dallas, TX native, Ms. Willis has known since she was a toddler that she had a special love for the stage. Church became the place where she was able to explore and discover her talents. Whether preaching, singing, acting, writing songs or writing plays, her multi-giftedness has always made room for her to share her gifts and her art with others.  With her special way of lighting up the stage, from portraying a drug addict, to a leading lady, her wide range of roles have proven to be equally as captivating.  With her strong background in music and performance, Tra’Lesha is no stranger to the stage. As she began to plunge into acting, it has become certain that Tra’Lesha has secured her place on the stage with a presence that is easy to remember.

 Rhonda McLemore

Rhonda McLemore knew that the stage would be her platform, which was confirmed by her parents as they watched proudly at her first solo performance at the age of 10 in her church choir. Growing up in a Houston, TX, church gave Rhonda the opportunity to sing week after week; nourishing and developing her gift from God. During her journey of song, stage, and Christ, Rhonda was blessed to share the stage with Dr. Bobby Jones, Pastor John P. Kee, Yolanda Adams, Mary Mary and Pastor Donnie Mcclurkin, to name a few. Rhonda has traveled across the country while performing in gospel stage plays with Mr. Michael Matthews and Marvelous Entertainment. She also had the opportunity to share the stage with her husband, Shawn Mclemore.

Shawn McLemore

Shawn McLemore felt that it was his calling to spread the word of God. The Los Angeles native grew up in the church under strong tutelage. Shawn’s very first album, Wait on Him by Verity Records, was released in 1997 and placed on the Billboard Magazine Gospel Album. Since then, Shawn has released three more albums, Sunday Morning: The Live Experience, The Shawn Mac Project (2010), and One Percent Miracle: Any Minute Now (2011).  In addition to his music career, Shawn is an accomplished stage actor, starring in productions that have toured across the country such as Come Out of the Rain, I Need A Man, Momma Don’t Get God Started, and Friends and Lovers. Shawn’s latest project includes a collaboration with fellow artist James Fortune on the hit single I Believe, which reached number one on the Gospel Billboard Chart. Shawn is also starring in the upcoming hit stage play Baby Hold On to Me, a musical tribute play to the late great Gerald Levert. Shawn is the proud husband of Rhonda Mclemore.

Apostle Dr. Aaron B. McNair, Sr.

Dr. McNair is the Senior Pastor of the Mt. Moriah Community Church, Farmville, NC and Mount Calvary Word of Faith, Raleigh, NC. He is Founder of Mt. Moriah Community Church Raleigh, Warsaw and Wilson, NC.  Exceeding 20 years of ministry, he understands the laborious calling and assignment upon his life yet walks in sincere humility and exorbitant integrity.  Apostle McNair serves as the Establishmentarian and General Overseer of the Life Changing Ministries International Fellowship which currently consist of over 50 Churches and Ministries.  He is the author of two books.  His signature sermon “Preaching with a Problem” is featured in Oxford Sermons Volume III.   He has been distinctively proclaimed the “Preacher’s Preacher”.  He is a national and international revivalist & conference host.

Dr. Trish Harleston

A woman of great influence and vision, she is founder of Trish Harleston Ministries and the Liquidated Ladies Women Conferences and events. As a licensed and ordained minister of the gospel, Rev. Dr. Harleston has served as preacher, workshop presenter, and anointed teacher throughout the area. She is the author of several publications, including a Devotional and Prayer Journal. Although Dr. Harleston shared her dramatic abilities in the early 2000’s through the portrayal of 2 characters displaying inspirational humor, Mother Moses and Miss Sadie; it was Spare the Rod, Spoil the Child in Durham, NC where she made her on-stage acting debut. Dr. Harleston is an award-winning community servant, and a highly sought preacher and speaker.

 Carolyn Traylor

Carolyn Traylor has shared the stage both nationally and internationally with such artists as Dr. Bobby Jones, (the late) Ms. Albertina Walker, Pastor Marvin Sapp, Kirk Franklin, The Williams Brothers, Myron Butler, Paul Porter and Vicki Winans to name a few. Carolyn was nominated for GMWA’s (Gospel Music Workshop of America) Traditional Artist Award and has won numerous awards including two in 2008, The Texas Excellence “Trailblazer Award” and the “National Female Gospel Soloist of the Year” Award at the Mississippi Gospel Music Awards.   

Now Carolyn says, “When I look back over my life to times when I was so weak from crying I could hardly raise my head; God gave me the strength to raise a hymn. Now I thank him all over again because I know that no matter how things may seem, He is continuing to write my story.”

Alayla Mercedes Jenkins

Alayla Mercedes Jenkins is a rising eighth grade student at Southern Nash Middle School.  She has been singing since the age of 2. Her love of singing has led to her to be the church musician and youth choir director at the age of 13.  She loves the Lord and has a compassion for music.  Her desire is to minister all over the world through the gifts/talents that God has given her. She has a big heart and loves everyone she comes in contact with.  One of her most recent accomplishments includes being the 2017 winner of the local “Wilson Idol” competition.  Her biggest accomplishment is being selected to be a cast member in the award-winning play “Spare the Rod, Spoil the Child.” Alayla will have her first shot at acting, which is another gift that God her blessed her with. Alayla is very excited about what God is doing in her life at such an early age.  She looks forward to seeing what the future holds for her life.

Symone’ Spencer

At the tender age of two, Symone’ Spencer showed great vocal promise when she wowed her family as she sang different nursery rhymes. She has performed for several local churches inside and outside of the area. But her biggest surprise came when she was invited to sing for Pastor Shirley Caesar. In Fifth grade, she played Annie in the Musical, and in Seventh grade, performed the lead role in You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown. Then in Eighth grade, played lead in the Oklahoma Musical. The very talented young lady has also sang the National Anthem for the Durham Bulls Game. God has opened a lot of great opportunities for her to share her vocal abilities. Symone’ is a great student at Enloe High School in Raleigh, NC where she loves math, reading, writing, singing, dancing and acting. Symone’ is the one to watch out for as an aspiring singer and writer.

Trenton Lumpkin

Trenton Lumpkin is the younger of two children born to Deborah and Travis Lumpkin, and a native of Birmingham, Alabama. He received his Bachelor of Arts from Alabama A&M University in Communications with a concentration in performance. Acting has always been a strong passion of his and upon graduation he decided to move to Atlanta, Georgia to pursue his dream of becoming a professor actor. With God leading his every step, and the support of family and friends he continues to walk into his calling.

Will Ellis

Comedian, Entrepreneur, and Producer is an open vessel for Christ.  Celebrating 23 years as an actor, comedian, and musician, Will Ellis strives to spread positivity through outreach and entertainment.

From a 14 year career as an on stage professional comedian, Ellis has entertained countless audiences with his stand up act entitled “Ms. Mini the Shouting Granny” and has shared the stage with Queen of Quartet, Evelyn Turrentine-Agee; Melvin Williams of the Williams Brothers; The Sensational Nightingales, The Tuskegee Airmen, and has opened for the late, legendary Natalie Cole, and The legendary Dorothy Norwood. Aside from the stage Ellis is gainfully employed as a lead secretary for the Wake County Public School System and loves mentoring minority youth students weekly. Ellis also serves as Library Commissioner for Wake County North Carolina.

Ellis is a graduate of North Carolina Central University with a degree in Public Administration. “EAGLE PRIDE”


Source: Dr. Mildred Summerville

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