Roquel La Fayette
By Cora Jackson-FossettSentinel Religion Editor
Dynamic and energetic may best describe Roquel La Fayette; especially is light of her many activities. In addition to being a professional actress, poet and L.A. County employee, she is also a playwright preparing to open her latest production, ‘The Battle,' this weekend.
La Fayette's motivation is her desire to make a difference through Christian entertainment. She aims to offer that enjoyment with her play being presented on Saturday, June 4, at 8 p.m., and Sunday, June 5, at 3 p.m. at Stage 52, located at 5299 West Washington Boulevard in Los Angeles.
‘The Battle' advances a message of redemption, forgiveness and healing. The topics in the play cover substance abuse, alcoholism, racial tension and violence within the home and communities.
"This play was written to inspire hope and promote healing while building, strengthening and promoting healthy families, preventing child abuse and neglect, and helping parents develop problem-solving skills," said La Fayette.
"Actually, ‘The Battle' reflects the mission of my ministry, La Fayette Playhouse Productions, which is to enhance the quality of life and strengthen the lives of children and families as well as encourage strong, healthy and supportive communities," said La Fayette.
"It was divinely placed on my heart to begin this ministry. When I recall my own experiences growing up in the inner city and the many difficult struggles we face in life, my intent is to suggest that even in the deep crevices of secret turmoil, rays of hope can still shine through."
La Fayette's hope and faith likely stem from her long relationship with Christ. As a youth, she was active at Stephens A.M.E. Church where she served as president of the Young People's Department as well as participated in special programs. La Fayette united with Bryant Temple A.M.E. Church as a young adult and began creating stage productions. She wrote and directed the musicals ‘Joyful, Joyful,' ‘Black Stars on the Horizon' and ‘To God Be the Glory' as well as composed a series of inspirational poems.
Her acting career includes a seven-year recurring role on the NBC soap opera, ‘Days of Our Lives,' as well as appearances on several television programs and commercials. La Fayette was also featured in leading theater roles in ‘My Brothers Blood, ‘Julius Caesar,' ‘Fences,' ‘I Need Thee,' and ‘A Raisin In The Sun.' In addition, she performed in productions of ‘Busline 210' and ‘The Inquest of Sam Cooke' at the Wilshire Ebell Theater in Los Angeles. Despite her busy creative schedule, she still works full-time as assistant to the director of L.A. County's Department of Public Health Board Communications.
La Fayette gives all credit to the Lord for her success in her endeavors and with her ministry. "First and foremost, God has been influential in launching this ministry. I felt compelled to tell this story, ‘The Battle,' and I give God the glory," she said.
"Gospel vocalist, Yolanda Adams, who is an acquaintance of mine, has also been an great influence and inspired me for the title of ‘The Battle.' I love her anointed singing voice."
As for other supporters, La Fayette cited her mother, Elmarie Harvey. "She is my best friend and gives me unlimited encouragement and support. Also, my pastor, Dr. Clyde W. Oden inspires me through his sermons, his words of encouragement and faith in me and my ministry.
"My close friend, Dr. Donald Brown, inspired me to reach for my dreams and gave guidance and support. My director, Sammie Wayne, strongly believes in my vision and helped me peel away all doubts and fears," said La Fayette whose favorite scripture is Psalm 55:18 - ‘He has redeemed my soul in peace from the battle that was against me; for there were many against me.'
To others who may wish to start a ministry, La Fayette advised, "Dare to dream. God can do all things, open any door. God cannot fail. Allow God to use you for His glory. Peel away all doubts and fears and trust God whole heartily."