• What: "Choices: Breaking the Generational Curse."
• When: 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 5 p.m. Sunday.
• Where: Orchard Knob Missionary Baptist Church, 1734 E. Third St.
• Donation: $10.
• Phone: 544-2208.
Charles Patterson said he was tired of seeing young people fall by the wayside.
"They seem to lose focus," he said, "as soon as they get that peer pressure."
"Choices: Breaking the Generational Curse," a drama offered Friday through Sunday at Orchard Knob Baptist Church, is Patterson's answer to what he'd seen.
The play emphasizes "empowerment" and "achieving your goals as young people," he said, instead of continuing a family trend of having sex, getting pregnant, dropping out of school and making wrong choices.
Fighting against that trend is an industrious single mother of three who is trying to influence her youngest daughter.
In the inner city, Patterson said, young women who find themselves pregnant "do not have the funds to pay for an abortion and have to raise the kids," while "privileged people have abortions" to "alleviate the problem" and then hope the pregnant young women have learned their lesson.
The writer/director/producer hopes "Choices" will "get young people to start thinking," "stay focused" and attack their goals.
The play, according to Patterson, suggests young people can achieve their goals "despite the environment they're living in," whether it be inner city or rural, and maintains there is "hope for everybody."
That hope, he said, is best realized if they "understand and learn to apply Jesus" in their choices. If they pray about their situations, he said, "[Jesus] will give you guidance."
Patterson played a lead role in the recent Tri-State Crematory-inspired movie "Sahkanaga" and has written several other faith-based dramas. He employs local actors in the stage play.
Contact Clint Cooper at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6497. Subscribe to his posts online at Facebook.com/ClintCooperCTFP.