Wingard play debuts Saturday

Published 11:00 pm Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Makelia LaRee Wingard is not afraid to dream big.

“If you don’t dream big, you can’t do big things,” Wingard said.

On Saturday night, a dream will become reality for Wingard and, by all accounts, it’s a big thing.

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“What’s Next,” a stage play written, produced and directed by Wingard, will debut at 7 p.m. at the Claudia Crosby Theater on the campus of Troy University.

“The concept of the play is ‘what’s next for you after a life changing situation has occurred in your life,’” Wingard said. “The play discusses teen pregnancy, AIDS and the importance of education. We have 16 cast members who are students from the local area and two teachers at Charles Henderson Middle School, Gwen Higgins and Michelle Armstrong, are cast as teachers for the GED scene.”

Wingard said “What’s Next” delivers a powerful punch.

“The message is strong and one that should get through to those who need to hear it,” she said. “We’ve sold more than 600 tickets for Saturday night and are considering a second showing if there is enough interest.”

Wingard said the debut of “What’s Next” will be a gala event.

“We encourage everyone to come at 6 p.m. to be there for the rolling out of the red carpet,” she said. “We’re going to make this a Hollywood like-production. The cast will arrive in style and the red carpet will be rolled out for them. It’s like Hollywood coming to Troy.”

“What’s Next” will be performed at the Davis Theater in Montgomery in March, and in Dothan and Birmingham in April and Atlanta in May.

“I liked to see myself as the next Tyler Perry,” Wingard said, with a smile. “I can always dream. I’ll keep dreaming and pushing and praying and believing that big things will happen.”

Wingard graduated from Charles Henderson High School in 2003 and is a senior at Faulkner University majoring in counseling and psychology.

In 2011, Faulkner launched a television talk show called, “The FedUp Show.”

“I speak out on issues that are going on in the government and in local communities,” she said. “I do so with a comedic twist.”

She has appeared on area radio stations to talk about teen issues including body image, body appearance and weight.

“I’m passionate about community service,” Wingard said. “My motto is ‘Redefine brotherhood and sisterhood by first redefining yourself.’ I mentor young females in my community in an effort to show them that they have to know their own self-worth and cash in on it.”

Wingard is working on her first book titled, “You Thought You Knew.”

“I do dream big and I move ahead without any fears,” she said. “I believe in what I’m doing and doing what I believe in.”