Playwright's 'Unavailable' tackles the issue of domestic violence

Olaundra Grace, Hab Richardson, Whitney Odom, Rashonda Butler, Curtis Briscoe and Torrence White will bring Unavailable to the Imperial Theatre on May 31.

Monique Kenny is not afraid to tackle tough issues through the vehicle of theater.

 

“This one focuses on domestic violence,” said the playwright, whose comedic drama, Unavailable, will be staged at 7 p.m. Saturday, May 31, at Imperial Theatre. In November, she produced a show highlighting the problem of human trafficking in Georgia.

If the title sounds familiar, it is. This isn’t the first time Kenny has brought the play to the stage. It appeared at the Imperial and at the Atlanta Black Theatre Festival last year, but Kenny, also known as the radio personality Miss Monique, has tweaked it.

Unavailable focuses on the lives and loves of three main characters. Each woman has a history of falling for the wrong man, and they all pick men who are unavailable in some way for the commitment they want.

Not only do characters face abuse, but one of them struggles with terminal cancer.

Kenny said the characters are based on people she’s known.

“Each person in the play I can relate to,” she said.

People who saw the original version of Unavailable said the stories impacted them.

“I got a huge response. I have some people coming in from Atlanta to see this with the idea of possibly taking this on the road,” she said.

And if they saw the first incarnation of Unavailable, she believes they’ll like the revamped version even more. She believes it’s the best play she’s written.

“I did go a little deeper,” said Kenny who sought to add more of a balance in the comedy and dramatic aspects.

The play also features guest appearances from Benzino, Althea and Erica P. from the VH 1 reality show, Love & Hip Hop Atlanta. Also, Terrell Carter from Tyler Perry’s Diary of a Mad Black Woman, and he will be starring in Steve Harvey’s Think like a Man Too in June.

“Although I have guest stars from Atlanta in the production, I must truly say that the dedication of my local cast members will blow you away with their performance. The research they’ve had to do, the tears they’ve cried in rehearsal, and the love they all share for one another will be displayed on stage on Saturday. Augusta will be in for a treat,” she said.

Tickets are $18-$30 and available at the Imperial Theatre box office and online at imperialtheatre.com.

ONSTAGE

WHAT: Unavailable

WHEN: 7 p.m. Saturday, May 31

WHERE: Imperial Theatre, 749 Broad St.

TICKETS: $18-$30; imperialtheatre.com

 

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