“The Wounded Soul”: Exclusive Interview With Playwright, Sheryl Hatwood, Of Endless Voice Productions
By:     -   December 21, 2017   -   Arts  -  Culture  -  Life Lessons  -  Lifestyle   -   Comments are closed   -   1263 Views
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Photo: Courtesy of Sheryl Hatwood

What happens when the pains of your past cut a little too deep?

Imagine your life spiraling out of control because you could no longer cope with the afflictions of your childhood. How would you pick up the pieces of your circumstance?

Through her relationship with Jesus Christ and with the love of her family, Sheryl Hatwood was able to rebuild her life after dealing with the devastation of being molested as a child, suffering from domestic violence and drug/alcohol abuse. Now, as a playwright, producer, director and the Founder & President of Endless Voice Productions, Sheryl has turned the sorrows that once silenced her into success.

Using the arts as her voice, she is transforming the lives of others through her latest work, “The Wounded Soul”. This theatrical production infused with song and dance, shares the journey of “Nicole”, a young girl who is drawn back to her past by hurt, however on the verge of self-discovery. “Nicole” has an awakening of her mind reminding her that she has an inner voice guiding her to make decisions.


Our Intimate Conversation with Sheryl


Outside of work, family, etc., we’d like to know who you are as an individual.

I am woman who has a heart for people who have needs that I am able to fill. Meaning, I am a giver.  An optimist…because I know now from my experiences that hardships do not last, and can actually become a time of refinement.  A leader, who does not lead to control, but to teach and transfer knowledge.  A loyal friend, mother, and wife.

You have quite a backstory. Describe your childhood and heading into adulthood.

My childhood was good – my parents were loving, yet strict parents. I have 3 siblings, and everyone was developed according to their talents. We were a closeknit family, and understood that dad was the head of the household (and not to disrespect our elders). They instilled in us moral and Christian values, and we attended church every Sunday!  My parents invested in our hobbies and made sure we had what we needed.  I was a spirited, likeable and curious child.  The risk taker!  I didn’t like to hear the word no, without knowing the why.  My parents rarely divulged the why, just the do!  I had to find out the whys, and I think that may be the reason I made choices completely opposite of how I was raised, or what I saw.  After the molestation, which was unknown to my parents, we moved to another city 2 hours away.  There were so many adjustments for me, dealing silently with the molestation, making new friends and trying to figure out who I was. As a young teen, I was searching for answers in people and things. Went to public school, and high school excelling in sports, and English!  In my last year of high school, I met a man, got distracted from my hobbies, became pregnant, moved in with him and became who he thought I should be.  It was an extremely physically and emotionally abusive relationship.  Drugging and drinking became my coping mechanisms.   I did not finish my grade 12, and just existed in his environment – women, drugs and jail.

What were the defining moments that awakened your spirit to move into action in piecing you back together? What did this internal process and your support system look like as you took this journey?

There were many defining moments and collectively, it forced me to realize the path I was going down was not “it”. I knew what a good home looked like, and definitely was not living that life. Being brought up in a Christian home, my moral compass knew when it was not aligned with what was right. There was an instance where he was abusing me, and I was preparing to leave. He hung our 7-month-old over the balcony, saying he would drop her, if I walked out the door. I came back in, and he beat me so bad.  He ended up being jailed for close to 2 years, and I realized that this was an opportunity to change and get out before he came out. I became a stripper because it was the most viable source of income, but was internally challenged, as I hated doing it. But it became a means to support my child. My parent supported me in good decisions, but were fed up that I did not live up to their standards. I felt I disappointed everyone, and I lived in a defeated lifestyle. My friends dropped off and loneliness set in, as well as an unsuccessful suicide attempt.  After the 2-day hospitalization, I was shaken at my realities and decided that I needed to be a better mother for my daughter. My parents ended up raising my daughter, to enable me to go back to school. I have since completed my high school degree and have B.Sc in Legal Studies and a Masters in Public Administration.

Describe your project, “The Wounded Soul”. What target audience did you have in mind upon its creation? What messages do you wish for individuals to takeaway from it?

The targeted audience is anyone with a broken spirit and a past.  There are no age demographics to pain, and I want to touch as many people with my story, so they understand that any voice that was silenced because of embarrassment or shame can become the vessel that frees you.  When you silence your hurts, it manifests itself in other areas in your life.

What led you to cope with your past circumstances through art? Looking back do you see any artistic flashes in you as a child? What’s next for Endless Soul Productions? How did you come up with the name? 

I have played the piano since age 6, but was never forced to play. Playing the piano became a method of me expressing the internal pains I would not vocalize. Later in my teens, I began to write songs and poetry, which were almost all filled with despair. The Wounded Soul is a poem I wrote in my teens, which speaks to the challenges I was experiencing in life.  The play was named after this poem I wrote, and became the theme of inspiration in writing my story.

Being involved in my church, as the worship leader, I was asked to create productions for the holidays (Easter and Christmas).  Writing plays was something that evolved from my service in church.  It became apparent to others first that I had a gift of expression, and I enjoyed seeing words become life.  Therefore, a marriage of passion and experiences became the stimulus for The Wounded Soul.

Endless Voice Productions, LLC speaks to the endless capacities of the voice to “speak”.  In retrospect, I realized that I was trying to “speak” my pain in my poems and music.  Others do it through various other forms of art, therefore, I wanted to create a platform to use endless descriptions of voice to motivate, encourage and awaken others.

How can we support this project and where may we find you on the interwebs?

Endless Voice Productions is holding its 1st Annual “A Woman’s Worth Awards” dinner in March in New York  – honoring women in the Tri-State (NY, NJ, CT) area, who have functioned as an agent for change in their communities.


 

The Wounded Soul is doing rotational showings in April 2018 and September 2018 in New York.

 

Additional details at www.endlessvoiceproductions.com

Social Media:   https://www.facebook.com/endlessvoiceproductions/

Twitter:  @EndlessVP

Instagram:  @EndlessVoiceProductions

 

 

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