Dream Big, Believe and Push, Push, Push

October 3, 2015

by Rosalin Moss

The Mississippi Club


 Jackiee Francis-Howard


As I talked with Jackiee Francis-Howard for the first time, it was very plain to see that she was very passionate about the work that she was doing.  A hair stylist by profession, Francis-Howard is evolving into an accomplished producer of stage plays that address real-life issues from a practical and moral perspective.  Starting out with nothing but a vision and her faith in God's divine guidance, Jackiee Francis Howard has written and produced several gospel plays, and she is now getting ready to take her latest production, "Where Are All The Real Men", on the road to Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  The production company Jackiee Francis Howard Productions will present "Where Are All The Real Men" on October 24 at the Independence Park Theatre in Baton Rouge.  Visit the Jackiee Francis- Howard Productions website for more details and ticket information.  The play is based on relationships and the dilemma of women who say they want a good man but cannot find one.



Where Are All The Real Men?, October 24, 2015

Independence Park Theatre

7800 Independence Blvd.

Baton Rouge, LA  70806


A Moss Point native, Francis-Howard uses local talent to bring her plays to fruition.   Her entire cast and crew are locals who have embraced Francis-Howard's dream and are dedicated to producing quality performances on the stage.  Many of the cast and crew have been with her for most of the 14 years since she started this venture.  Some of these locals have proven to be very talented in songwriting,  making music, and acting.  Howard said that it was amazing how members of her cast sometimes fit right into the molds of the characters she has written about.  She also does some of the acting roles herself, and when needed, the production company will do a casting call to allow interested parties to audition for a specific part. 


A Jackiee Francis-Howard Productions play


Although Jackiee Francis-Howard declares herself a saved woman and her plays are written from the core of her spiritual side, she made it clear that she is not trying to preach or put crosses around everyone's neck.   Her plays depict real life situations in the raw but with endings that point to a higher understanding, an understanding that might help someone going through a similar journey in their own personal life.   She is not ashamed to admit that she seeks God's guidance in revealing the deepest truths possible on stage, and does not consider herself a writer, producer, actor or anything other than a vessel of God's will. 


When talking about the play "Where Are All The Real Men", Francis-Howard says the play is not a man-bashing play and is meant to be a wakeup call for both men and women about the situation that has been created when it comes to relationships.  Although she did not tell me this, I believe the gist of the matter is that women have some power to change the situation if they have the knowledge and strength to do it.  This will be about the fourth showing of this play, so if you have not already seen it, you will have to wait until you see it on October 24 to find out what the ultimate take-away message is from "Where Are All The Real Men".  The play has been put on three times in Mississippi, and the Baton Rouge performance will be the first time the cast has performed out of state. 



Jackiee Francis-Howard during a stage production


The Mississippi Club will definitely be keeping an eye on Jackiee Francis-Howard Productions and I look forward to seeing the play currently in production and whatever else this talented and courageous Mississippi producer will bring to us in the future.  In addition to the actors, Howard gives credit to her assistant director Barbara Payne, creative director Kevin Watkins, songwriter Jacqueline Purifoy and music producer Kelvin McMorris. 


My interview with Jackiee Francis-Howard was casual, relaxed and charged with passion as she talked about what is clearly her real calling in this life -- producing these plays.  I had the feeling that I was in the presence of greatness and was glad I was getting this interview now.  It was good to see someone from my hometown of Moss Point, Mississippi, with the courage to step out on faith and go for their dream.  When I asked Francis-Howard what advice she had for others who had a desire to make something happen, she said "Dream big, believe and push, push, push".  She admits that sometimes she wanted to give up, but her desire to succeed, encouragement from others and her trust in God gave her the strength and courage to persevere.  The general message for all of Francis-Howard's plays is a message of hope and her vision for her production company is to take her plays nationwide and even global in order to spread that message of hope.


It was truly a joy talking with Francis-Howard, a Mississippi woman who is carving out her own way in the stage production world.  I truly admire those who do not wait for others to make a way for them or to tell them it is okay for them to do what they want to do.  I look forward to seeing what this lady produces in the future and I hope she will grant me a follow-up interview up the road.  The only other thing I can say about Jackiee Francis-Howard is "You go, girl!"


--Rosalin Moss aka Mississippi Traveler

September 4, 2015