JoMarie Payton joins eight-woman ensemble

admin | 11/23/2011, 6:05 a.m.

Given the many challenges of life, particularly in these tough economical times, its easier to laugh at ourselves rather than bemoan the obstacles that we must face. That philosophy is the apparent idea behind Jackie Boatwrights play, No Shells, that starts its 20-city tour here in Miami on Saturday, Dec. 3 at the Joseph Caleb Auditorium. The play is based on Boatwrights book, Shells with No Substance, and is meant to encourage women to look beyond their exteriors and to seek their inner strength for the purpose of building and leaving legacies. The idea for the book and play came in 2001 when my 14-month-old son was found headfirst and motionless in an unattended bucket of mop water at his daycare center, she said. I led a one-woman crusade to change daycare laws around the country. That moved me to want to inspire other women to make a difference in their communities and in the world. Boatwright, 45, is the writer, producer and director of the play. And while her target audience is woman primarily between the ages of 21- and 49-years-old, Boatwright, 45, says its the kind of story that she thinks will touch just about anyone. Its eight women enjoying an evening together and talking about life and the tough times they sometimes must face, she said. The characters arent real but their behaviors certainly are. JoMarie Payton, 61, who calls South Florida home and is best known for her role as Harriette Winslow in the TV comedy Family Matters, is a special guest actress in the play. She [Payton] is doing several things to help us spread our message and so we are keeping her exact role in the play a secret, Boatwright said. What I can say is that even with a limited budget and the challenge of both producing and directing the show, things have gone quite well. We have a great cast and God has been good. Boatwright is also an ordained minister and pastor, talk show host, entrepreneur and motivational speaker. By D. Kevin McNeirkmcneir@miamitimesonline.com