New play presents modern twist on Biblical classic

Photo by Sander Roscoe Wolff Cheryle Robinson-Williams in front of The Downey Civic Theatre, where her new play will be performed later this month

Photo by Sander Roscoe Wolff

Cheryle Robinson-Williams in front of The Downey Civic Theatre, where her new play will be performed later this month


Sander Roscoe Wollf
Contributing Writer

Cheryle Robinson-Williams, a Chicago native, is steeped in gospel music. She sang her first solo, the popular hymn “Rock of Ages,” when she was 8 years old. She loved the feeling of being expressive, of “outwardness” and being able to affect someone’s heart with her voice, which she describes as “a natural instrument.”
Robinson-Williams moved to Long Beach in 1982 and completed a radio, television and film program at Cal State Long Beach. The mild winters convinced her to stay, and she now lives in Bixby Knolls.
Her first play, Harsh Moments, came to her when she was “endowed with a vision to do a contemporary story about the birth of Jesus.” Since then, she’s continued to write and produce plays for a growing and appreciative audience, she says.
“What goes on inside of people makes them want to be part of the next experience,” Robinson-Williams said. Her previous play brought more than 500 people to the 750-seat Downey Civic Theatre, according to Robinson-Williams.
Her new play, 2025 Sodium, retells the Biblical story of Sodom and Gomorrah in a not-too-distant future. She and her husband Terry were fascinated by the story.
“It is just cause for us to think about obedience, faith, and love,” she said. “The story illustrates a family torn apart when one family member breaks their promise to stick together, no matter what.”
2025 Sodium is Robinson-Williams’s sixth play, and it features a cast of 20 who have been in rehearsal for more than six months. It includes five popular gospel songs which, according to her, helps propel the narrative.
The play will be performed on Saturday, March 29 at the The Downey Civic Theatre, 8435 Firestone Blvd. Doors open at 6pm, and the performance begins at 7pm. Tickets are available at the Theatre’s box office on the night of the event, or in advance by calling (562) 861-8211. More information is available at downeytheatre.com .

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