CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Shelly Garrett said he was attracted to Cindy Wilson's play because of the subject matter.
"Domestic violence needs to be addressed. It's not something to run from, shy away from. We need to bring it on stage," said Garrett, who was in Charleston on Monday.
Shelly is playwright, producer and director of Shelly Garrett Entertainment. His wife, Doris Garrett, is executive producer of the company that plans to present Wilson's play "Battered but not Broken."
Wilson approached Shelly Garrett about becoming involved in her story about a young girl who watches her mother being abused and then becomes a victim herself. Wilson's passion for the play impressed Garrett, who has spent 26 years staging plays.
"This is a subject that has no color, no income boundary. It affects everyone," said Garrett, who remembers his mother being battered when he was 8 years old.
Wilson has said she was a victim of domestic violence for 24 years. In 2008, her niece, Na'lisha Gravely, was shot by her boyfriend as she tried to hide in a closet in a Taco Bell on the West Side, Wilson said.
Garrett called the extent of domestic violence "incredible."
He wants to see Wilson's play presented in a professional, yet entertaining manner. He is working with her in writing the script, and is holding call backs Tuesday from earlier auditions that Wilson held and videotaped for him to review.
"I wanted to see the venue," he said, referring to the Municipal Auditorium, where the play is scheduled to open June 21, 22 and 23.
Some of the dozen actors will be cast in Charleston, most from auditions in Atlanta, he said.
His plan is to take the play on a 50-city tour beginning in January 2013.
Garrett's most successful production, "Beauty Shop," has spawned numerous updates, including "Beauty Shop-Part 2," "Beauty Shop 10 Years Later" and "Beauty Shop 2009/2010/2011."
Reach Rosalie Earle at ea...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5115.