Photo: Courtesy of Renee Rivon
Houston Playwright Renee Rivon
What happens when a girl, with a vivid imagination, dreams? She grows up, turns them into reality, and becomes a successful playwright. ~BSM
Renee is a native of Houston, Texas. If the saying, “everything is bigger in Texas” has ever been questioned, then the big imagination of Renee should put those questions to rest. Renee has had big acting and writing dreams since she was a little girl. Whenever an opportunity presented itself, Renee would entertain—her friends and family, and if no one was around, she would just entertain herself or just write stories about things that she wanted to act out. Throughout her childhood and adolescent years she channeled her dreams through children’s theater and school productions. After two years at Sam Houston State University, studying Psychology, she decided to follow her true calling and left for the burgeoning entertainment town, Atlanta and later landed in Hollywood. While in Atlanta, Renee studied at the Alliance Theater. In Hollywood, she studied under Joel Asher, Bobbie Chance, and Ivana Chubbuck. -Bio
Her acting ranges from commercials for E!, to films such as; Preachers Family, which was directed by Emmy Award Winning Director Omawale Akintunde. Renee’s first play, Deal Breakers, was nominated for a NAACP Theater Award. She also was the playwright for two national touring plays, “Cheaper to Keep Her” and “Marriage Material,” which featured actors Vivica A. Fox, Brian McKnight, and Allen Payne.
This talented actress and playwright also gives back to her community. She started production company, SiLLy Charm Productions where she writes and produces; shorts/webisodes/films and plays.
Let’s see where Renee Rivon’s imagination takes us during the course of this interview…
When did you realize you were passionate about becoming an actor and playwright?
When I was twelve years old I use to mimic my family members. My cousin had also encouraged me to act. I begin to write plays and short stories around that age. When I got older, I knew that God put it on my heart to follow my dreams. I knew I was destined to do this.
Tell us about your production company SiLLy Charm.
I was reading on how to come up with a unique name for a production company and the article said to list words that described me. I’m very silly and I think my silliness is charming. So that’s how I came up with SiLLy Charm production.
What are your thoughts on black female playwrights. Do you think there is a lack or gain in the industry?
I think there is a lack of black female playwrights as in the National Urban Market playwrights. When I lived in L.A., there were only a few black female playwrights and no one knew about them. There is also a lack in the industry too. I think that female production is something that a man cannot nail. An essence of a female playwright can do things that a male playwright cannot do.
Who are some of the playwrights you most admire?
Lorraine Hansberry, Tyler Perry, Lynn Nottage and Suzan Lori parks.
How did you come up with the concept for your recent play, “The Rules of Romance?” What message did you want the audience to walk away with?
The concept of the play is about a young woman who wants to be in a relationship so bad, that she will take any man who comes her way and try to fix him up and make him marriage material. I think every woman has been through that. The message I wanted the audience to walk away with— is know your self-worth and stop selling yourself short.
At the time this article published, Beautifully Said Magazine had the opportunity to view the play on Saturday, April 18th. Cast members included; Ashley Forrestier, who played the main character, and young woman (Dee Dee Willams), Dez Abrams, Terri White, Cameron Fuller, Cole Rose, and Elijah Beckett. Rules of Romance was a delightful, and realistic account about the tales of romance from both a female and male perspective. Anyone, who watched the play, could see themselves in many of the characters. Renee Rivon brought our questions, fears, hopes, dreams, and search for “real” love to the stage, and with a group of actors that made the story line believable.
Renee Rivon (c) with comedian Netra Babin (2nd r) and a few cast members from play— The Rules of Romance
Photo courtesy of : Renee Rivon
What is normally the time frame for getting a play off of paper and into production?
I started production for, “The rules of Romance” in January, and had a completed show by April. If you have people who are willing to work, then it should not take long for a play to be put into production.
As a native Houstonian how do you help other aspiring playwrights in the city?
I try to take my students under my wing. A lot of my students are inspiring writers so I will give them tips, and I will work with them one on one. That’s how I became successful! Someone took me under their wing and I want to give back and do the same thing.
What future plans do you have for developing more shows in and outside of Houston?
My plans are to have more shows running in Houston at least four times out of the year. I want to bring more entertainment to Houston. I would also like to go back on the road traveling and doing more shows.
The last show for The Rules of Romance ended on April 18th, at the Frentic Theater (Houston, TX). Visit: Renee Rivon website to find out more information about upcoming local and national shows.
Charmaine Hudson with Playwright Renee Rivon at her acting class— Bayland Center
Play summary background:
Heartbroken Dee Dee Williams’ alarm clock and biological clock are going off at the same time telling her to get her career in order, get married and have babies. But in her world, one can’t work without the other. She’s a romance novelist who knows nothing about romance! Being a woman who can’t “Think Like A Man,” she keeps trying to get advice from people who can’t help her including her two best friends who are falling in love, her co-worker whose marriage is falling apart, and unsolicited advice from a bug-a-boo, Lewis, who is in love with her. She decides to pray to God for the man of her dreams and God delivers. But be careful what you ask for! What happens when you go looking for love? You find drama, deceit and chaos as cheating husbands are revealed, friends become lovers, and Mr. Right turns into a nightmare. You will leave with a new view on who is marriage material and who is not as you learn The Rules of Romance. – reneerivon.com
Connect with Renee Rivon @SReneeRivon
Charmaine Hudson @hudson23_hudson
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