Tag Archives: African American drama

Meet the Strong Family in ‘No Ordinary Days’!

No Ordinary Days is a sometimes funny, sometimes intense story about the impact of mental illness  on an urban family.

Being raised in the church, the Strong children grew up with a deep faith ethic. A family crisis unites them in prayer but when their prayers go unanswered their faith is wanes. After that, nothing is ordinary!

No Ordinary Days

Meet the members of the Strong Family in         No Ordinary Days:

                                      TAWANNA JACKSON

Simone Madison is a true Boss Babe! Her assertive, ‘I get what I go after’,  personality doesn’t put her high on the girlfriends list. If you don’t serve a purpose in her life, she will not be present in yours. As a result, believing that God has turned his back on her…she is turns her back on God.


                                      ANITRA WHITFIELD

There is something about being the middle child! Janey Baptiste, Simone’s peacekeeping sister, is bearing the weight of the family right now. In addition to caring for their mother, she is being mother and father to her teen age son, Josh. And in case that isn’t enough,  she constantly monitors her weed smoking brother who has issues of his own. That doesn’t give her much time for herself…and she needs it.


                                       ADARRYLL PERRY

Their weed smoking, philosopher brother,  David Strong, has his own ideas on how to handle life.  Personal and military problems have cause him to doubt his self worth-without his ‘stash’.  As a result, making no plans to succeed,  he fails…frequently . Two tours in the Middle East changed him ways he can’t explain. Not trusting the VA  hospital to provide the proper care for him, he uses what he calls a holistic approach to his mental health-weed and alcohol.  Which may explain his different view if life.


                                       SABRINA SIMPSON

The family matriarch, Miriam Strong has not only dedicated her life the church but made sure that her children were under the Christian arch.  However, her devotion Christ and the church couldn’t stop her mental collapse. Accepting it as God’s will, she returns home  from the hospital with her faith in God unshaken.  Her attempts to restore her children to church are not going well.  She awaits the  answer to her prayers for total  restoration of her children to the church and to her.


                                        YASHUA JOHNSON

Josh Baptiste, Janey’s ‘can’t wait to be a man’ teenage son is trying to figure where to stand and what to stand for as he transitions from manchild to man as his mother struggles to be both mother and father.


                                     ROBERT WALKER JR.

Sterling Madison is Simone’s ex-husband , who is very bit as strong willed as she is. In addition, he is the custodial parent of their seventeen year old daughter, Raina . While he still cares for her,  Simone’s attitude and unpredictable behavior, particularly since her promotion has caused a rift in their relationship to the point of them constantly clashing when it comes to setting boundaries and priorities for their daughter.



Tamica Monroe as Zenobia                                       TAMICA MONROE

Zenobia Hairston, Simone’s long time artistic and eclectic friend who doesn’t pull any punches and notices the change in Simone since her mother’s return and tries to intercede.


                                      LANDO SHEPARD 

Pastor Quentin Gilmore, is not just the pastor to the Strongs but a close personal friend.  He struggles to minister to Miriam after her return home because it triggers a tragedy  from his past, causing him to feel as though he let her down.

KARMA STEWART                                          KARMA STEWART

(Understudy ) as Zenobia Hairston, the eclectic and straight shooting friend.

Online tickets at:


We would like to acknowledge the support of the City of Austin Cultural Arts Division of the Office of Economic Development, Austin Creative Alliance and the National Alliance on Mental Illness in the production of No Ordinary Days.


JWHill Productions LLC is holding auditions for a cast of talented, energetic actors for a September production.

‘No Ordinary Days’ is a play about mental illness and its impact not only in our African American communities but in our African American churches.


Simone Madison, strong-willed, career-driven woman who loved God is facing a faith crisis. Her devoted Christian mother is institutionalized following a mental breakdown.

Believing that mental illness is something that happens to the weak, she is devastated that her mother would succumb to this ‘weakness’ and she is angry that God would allow it to happen. Feeling she can no longer trust a God who cannot protect his own, she leaves the church. She is determined to prove that she alone controls her fate.

Her mother, Miriam finds that her return home causes tension in the family. Welcomed by other family and church members, it is obvious that Simone is keeping a noticeable distance. This leaves, Janey, Simone’s sister to take on the family caregiver role which includes raising her teenage son, and keeping an eye on David, her cannabis tripping brother.

Finding that everyone is so understanding of Miriam, causes more discord. Simone begins to make more and more questionable life choices. Attempting to prove to everyone that she is stronger than her mother, every day becomes a struggle. She begins to lose those around her ….and herself.


PERFORMANCES:  September 15th through                                                                  September 23rd (weekends)


  • Boyd Vance Theatre
  • 1165 Angelina St.
  • Austin, TX 78702
  • Non-Equity
  • Austin commuting area only!
  • Paid roles

REHEARSALS BEGIN:            July 23rd *rehearsal calendar at audition.

CASTING: African Americans unless otherwise noted.

Character Descriptions

SIMONE MADISON – Early 40s, divorced, strong-willed, successful career woman

JANET BAPTISTE– 30s, Simone’s younger sister,  the family peacekeeper with strong religious values

MIRIAM STRONG-60s, Mother, devote church worker recently released from hospital after mental breakdown

DAVID  STRONG JR. – 30s, Simone’s brother. A military veteran, he suffers from PTSD prefers to self-medicate using alcohol and ‘herbs’.

JOSHUA BAPTISTE– Teen, son of Janet, looking for a strong male role model. (African American or mixed race)

ZENOBIA HAIRSTON – 40s. artistic friend of Simone’s family, who notices the change in Simone

PASTOR GILMORE- 50s, pastor of the family church.

ELLIS MADISON – 40s, Simone’s ex-husband.  Friends after their amicable divorce with him getting custody of their daughter, Ashton.

NOLAN LOPEZ – 40s, streetwise man from the neighborhood.  (All races)

NATALIE  BAKER–    Church member who maintains a close friendship with Miriam. (All races)

Please send a current head shot,  resume and contact information, as well as the role you are auditioning for . You may submit a  1-3 minute video and or 1-2 minute recording (singing )  if not able to appear in person. Submissions should be received by July 17th!


Email: Jeanette@jwhillprod.com

This project is supported in part by the City of Austin Economic Development Office and the Austin Creative Alliance.

Our Summer Sip & Slay!

The Front Porch Divas is hosting its first Summer Sip & Slay event on July 13th at the Water@Wine!

The Front Porch Divas are women of a certain age who refuse to be limited by a date on a calendar or any limitations that society sees fit to assigns to them,

They are determined, in, vibrant and ageless.

You loved the Divas in Past Perfect and now they are coming to share a little more of their lives and the lives of their friends.


Join The Front Porch Divas

At their Summer Sip and Slay! It will be an evening of fun, food, drama and music at the intimate Water2Wine venue.

$20 gets you in for this evening of a little theater, food, beverages!

Tickets at:  https://summersipandslay.eventbrite.com

For those wine connoisseurs, Water2Wine is offering for an additional $20 a wine tasting form over 100  types of wine. (A great evening for $40!)

Mingling, Music & Munchies and we also showcase a few staged readings from JWHill Productions!

You’ll see scenes from:

The Best Lesson-

How far would you go to prove to yourself…and your ex…that you still ‘had it’?


Picking Up the Pieces


Life’s trials bring an entirely new definition of family!





And as an unexpected surprise- a few scenes from the debut of the newest play,

‘The Wednesday Woman’.

Could you be a man’s part-time woman? Not his side-chick, just part-time…

For some women, that’s just fine!


And a sneak preview of the play we are doing at the Atlanta Black Theatre Festival:


When generational blessings collide with generational curses. Who’ left standing?


So dress in your Divalicious Style,  come out and enjoy a night of friends, food and fun with The Front Porch Divas!


  • $20 for the staged reading, appetizers and music
  • $40 includes the wine tasting

The Front Porch Divas’ Summer Sip & Slay

Get those tickets early! Seating is VERY limited!


Water2Wine   3300 W. Anderson Lane

Suite 304  Austin, TX 78757

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Contact us at jeanette@jwhillprod.com with any questions!