Take a sexy, sultry book brimming with drama and deceit, add actors and a set to bring it to life, and you’ve got yourself a play worth paying for! Author Cheril Clarke, 27, saw the stage production of her most popular novel, Intimate Chaos, sell out its first shows in November, and is currently gearing up for a second run. At such a young age, Clarke is the author of four exciting novels and is working on her fifth, a political drama.
Intimate Chaos, published in 2006, revolves around a Black lesbian couple navigating a now cold and unfulfilling relationship. It follows the couple through life and love in NYC to betrayal and heartache in Miami. Sadira, the book and play’s protagonist, has an internal conflict that ultimately connects her with the reader and audience. Played masterfully by Philadelphia native Tiffany Barrett, a veteran of the August Wilson Play Festival and a Temple University theatre program graduate, Sadira’s emotional flip-flops add the key dramatic element to the play. Tanya Randall, a former Philadanco dancer, heats things up as Jessie, the critically un-shy girlfriend that pushes Sadira’s boundaries. The actors’ chemistry is unmistakable, as extremely hot live make-out scenes between the two create a palpable energy, and make audiences’ hearts palpitate.
Clarke, a Toronto native and Pratt University graduate, who has a background in spoken word, is hyped about her goal to bring the lives of Black lesbians to the forefront in our communities. "I want to give a voice to those who feel they aren’t heard, a face to those who feel they aren’t seen or represented," says Clarke. "I want to tell more stories about lesbian women of color."
The play is loosely based on the book, which was inspired by real life.
After multiple fans and friends requested it, Clarke took it to the stage.
"They were eager to see more images of themselves in other mediums," says Clarke. "After a close playwright friend gave me encouragement and guidance, I began to write the script in March 2007. By November I was opening the play in front of an audience."
You can find Intimate Chaos at your local bookstore.
Check out intimatechaostheplay.com for upcoming shows.
Find out more about the author at myspace.com/cherilnclarke or cherilnclarke.com.