*Gospel music legend BeBe Winans’ autobiographical play, Born For This, is enjoying it’s red carpet premiere this weekend in Atlanta at the Alliance Theatre.
“When you’re a teenager you don’t think your life is being recorded for others to learn from, or be healed by, or better yet to find strength through your fears and failures,” shared BeBe Winans. “Now I know that these were God’s plans for my life. We’re all born for a purpose. This musical celebrates the journey of finding it.”
For the uninitiated, BeBe is one of the Winans family, a gospel music dynasty from my home town of Detroit. Four of his older brothers formed the groundbreaking group The Winans, after which he and his sister Priscilla took the world by storm as a duo. You may know them as BeBe & CeCe.
In Born for This, BeBe and CeCe Winans experience the ultimate in culture shocks when invited to join Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker’s Praise The Lord Network. The Winans teenagers become not only television celebrities as they were welcomed into the Bakkers’ family, helping to integrate TV evangelism. As BeBe and CeCe encounter fame, fortune, and even a young Whitney Houston, BeBe must learn to balance his desire for success with his true calling.
“BeBe Winans writes incredible music and has an equally incredible story to accompany that music,” comments director and playwright Charles Randolph-Wright. “When he and his sister left Detroit for North Carolina as teenagers, the ultimate coming of age happened and unlikely friendships developed. People who seemingly had nothing in common found a way first to sing together, then become family. Those unique partnerships changed and moved people—something we need right now. I am proud to be a part of this journey.”
As with most Winans projects, Born For This is a family affair. Leading the cast as BeBe and CeCe Winans are BeBe’s niece and nephew Juan Winans and Deborah Joy Winans. Juan is a Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter, and his sister Deborah Joy is an actress who is currently filming “Greenleaf,” the OWN original TV series for which BeBe is an Executive Music Producer.
Born For This: The BeBe Winans Story will run through May 15 in Atlanta. It is a co-production with Arena Stage in Washington, D.C., where the production will run from July 1 – August 28, 2016.
For tickets to Born For This’ Atlanta run, go to alliancetheatre.org/bornforthis. BeBe’ll keep you up-to-date on the play at bebewinans.net.