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D


A Conversation with Del Shores


WE’VE ALL GOT A LITTLE CRAZY IN US


el Shores has something to say. Whether it’s in the form of a television show, film or play (like his latest creation), you can always expect his message to be inspiring, from the heart . . . and, most importantly, funny! Shores spoke withThe Rage Monthly aboutThis Side of Crazy, a play he wrote and directed, which had its first


Los Angeles preview on January 30. Missed it? Don’t worry: The play runs until Sunday, March 8. Yes, there’s time, but not that much time — so hurry all you kweens who like to wait until the absolute last minute to get stuff done. Without giving too much away for free (i.e., buy a ticket and support the arts),


the story revolves around Ditty Blaylock, the most prolific singer in gospel music history. Ditty is being honored by Gospel Music Network, but there’s one issue: She’s promised a reunion of the Blaylock Sisters, her three adult daughters who were once national sensations. Unfortunately, the complicated sisters have been estranged for over 25 years. Once reunited, secrets are revealed, tempers flare and family wounds are exposed. Who can relate? Yep, just about everyone reading this! Funnily enough, it was the perfect combination of marijuana and


YouTube that helped give Shores a spark of inspiration. Again, who can relate? Further, though, it was a deep appreciation of gospel music and Dottie Rambo that really enticed him to put pen to paper. The play was written three years ago, but the concept had been rattling around in his head for five years. It was during the course of teaching playwriting that Shores decided to sit down and get to work. When drafting the play, which debuted last fall in San Francisco, Shores had


every single actor in mind that he wanted — and hoped — would be a part of the production once it came to L.A. And they all said yes! Throughout his career, Shores noted that he has been blessed to work with some amazing people, people who are his chosen family. He even joked: “Once you work with me, you got me for life.” Wonder if he’s taking applications. The many different layers ofThis Side of Crazy has themes ranging from


betrayal to family, but the biggest is forgiveness. The idea of forgiveness and whether or not people are capable of forgiveness was part of the creative fuel Shores used to finish writing the play. To effectively grasp the psychology of his characters and show their journeys


through the play’s central themes, Shores noted the importance of rewriting, editing and “scratching deeper.” He is always reworking, retooling and straighten- ing out kinks within his creations. It’s important to understand that the first draft is just that: a draft. And first drafts are never the final draft — in writing or in life.


February 2020 | RAGE monthly 41 This Side of Crazy runs throughSunday, March 8 at the Zephyr Theatre in Los


Angeles. Audiences can expect some amazing performances that will evoke laughs and tears. This is an opportunity to forget about the outside world, if only for a little bit, and be entertained. But Shores hopes the audience, which he is so blessed and appreciative to have, is more than just entertained; he wants to inspire people to talk, to remember the significance of communication — especially now, at this moment in time.


Tickets and information listed at delshores.com


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