“The Sting of White Roses” play addresses people touched by cancer indirect

The NC Black Repertory Company’s first production of the year Angelica Cheri delivers the message of keeping the faith during hard times. (In Photo: Thea Seed played by Perri Gaaffney, David Seed played by Brandon Jones, Mina Seed played by Eboni Keita, and Esther Seed played by Jelia Browne)

“The Sting of White Roses” play addresses people touched by cancer indirect
October 20
08:00 2016

Photo by Tevin Stinson 

Local ministers discuss how they keep their faith 



During an interview with The Chronicle, shortly after the N.C. Black Repertory Company named him artistic director, Jackie Alexander vowed to widen the audience base, and bring productions to the area that entertain as well as educate the community on the role faith plays in coping with the diagnoses of an illness.

“We decided this year we wanted to do more than just entertain,” he said.

And that’s exactly what the first black professional theater company in the state accomplished with their first production of the season, “The Sting of White Roses,” during October, which is Breast Cancer Awareness month.

A dollar from each ticket sale and 20 percent of an affiliated art exhibit was donated to the Susan G. Komen Northwest N.C. organization.

Written by Angelica Cheri and directed by Alexander, “The Sting of White Roses” tells the story of David Seed, a gospel vocalist on the verge of stardom and expecting his first child with his wife, Mina. Everything seems to be fine in the Seed household when they arrive at David’s mother house shortly before Mona’s due date, but things quickly take a drastic turn for the worse.

Shortly after giving birth to a healthy baby boy Mina is diagnosed with breast cancer, and for the first time in his life David is faced with a challenge that he doesn’t have the answers to. While Mina fights like a champion, David begins to question his faith. Along the journey to renew his faith, David receives a lot of support from mother Thea, and older sister Esther.

While it is no secret that more than 100,000 Americans are diagnosed with some form of cancer each year, “The Sting of White Roses” is steered toward thousands of family members and friends who are indirectly affected by the dreaded diagnoses of cancer or any other life threatening illness.

That’s a feeling Winston-Salem First’s ministers Mike and Darla Rakes know all too well. Last summer, the Rakes’ family received terrible news that their daughter was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a form of leukemia that affects the circulation of blood.

Just as it did to the Seeds, the dreadful news shook the family to the core. Following a production of the onstage drama last Saturday, the couple led an open discussion on the importance of keeping the faith during times of adversity.

They also gave their thoughts on the production, and discussed what it’s like to watch their daughter fight every day. Darla said a number of scenes throughout the play hit close to home.

“All of the emotions expressed in the play, we have felt. So many parts of the play are real.”

Mike said the same questions David asked in the play he asked as well. He mentioned that now he and his wife are at a place where they have put all trust in God, and put all of their confidence in Him.

“We’re walking through this, and we’re struggling but we have put all our trust in God, and He has heard our prayers,” he said. “Deep down in both our hearts we know our daughter is going to win.”

Then asked how she is able to sustain her faith during such a hard time, Darla said, “Without faith in life there would be no comfort at all.”

“We have to trust God.” she said.

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Tevin Stinson

Tevin Stinson

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