Review: Deadly Sins by K Zamore, Zamore Foundation at Mary Hardin Baylor University
by Michael Meigs

Dr. Kerry Ann Zamore-Byrd (via is community; it has always been community, from its formal origins in ancient Greece through our own day. In his  2008 essay The Necessity of Theater philospher Paul Woodruff defined theater as "the art by which human beings make or find human action worth watching." People gather at an appointed place and time to witness an action. The audience may be vast -- think of the 57th Superbowl of last Sunday -- or it may be limited and exclusive, as in a private wedding ceremony. One satisfaction for me as a theatre reviewer has been stepping into many different communities to understand what they consider to be valuable, vital, or entertaining.


Dr. Kerry Ann Zamore-Byrd is a member of the faculty of Mary Hardin Baylor University (MHB) in Belton, about an hour north of Austin; she's also a writer, speaker, and polific theatre maker who gives voice to the ambitions and dilemmas of African Americans in Central Texas. CTXLivetheatre has listed thirteen stage plays she's written since  2016 and produced under her own name or the KZFrazier Drama Company. Deadly Sins, her most current production, is produced by the Zamora Foundation and sponsored by a constellation of individuals and businesses in the metropolitan area of Killeen and Temple, Texas. 


Zamore's drama ran only two nights at the MHB performing arts center, but on opening night it filled most of the seats in that five-hundred-seat auditorium. Her drama drew in her community, and her community embraced her stories and lessons. There was excitement before, during, and after the performance


Amp Roscoe, Will Moleon (CTXLT photo)Deadly Sins is not a complex drama, but its conflicts are full of emotion. In brief, a couple who married eighteen years earlier are moving into a new phase of life as their son prepares to leave for college. David (played by Will Moleon) is an entrepreneur and contractor whose business has prospered; his wife Micala (Kaylynn Wilkerson), after supporting child and husband, has gone back to work, establishing herself as a real estate agent. She works hard, has had outstanding successes including one that opened new opportunities for David, and she's often away from home on business. This couple is surrounded by friends and relations. In the opening David's getting a touch-up from kindly, crusty barber Cooper (Amp Roscoe), and their exchanges provide exposition. 


Will Moleon, Amp Roscoe, Kaylynne Wilkerson (CTXLT photo) David's frustrated that Micala's not around to support him. Micala's annoyed that David seems to wish she weren't so successful. He wants her at home and available to him more often. Into this grumbling, simmering contact steps the devil. Or at least, his surrogate, in the person of Tonya (Nicole Williams), the devil with a red dress on. Tanya's known mainly for two things: her impressive skills in marketing and public relations, and her snaky sexuality. In the course of this lengthy one-act play the audience sees Tonya slipping into David's business as a consultant and gradually coiling herself around him.


Cooper, David's friend Maurice (Courtney Williams), and prospective business partner Mr. Garza (Samson Logan) caution David. Micala is supported and counseled by women friends Parker (Cece Godbolt), Deja (Anettra Dozier) and Samantha (E'Brnadla Perry) as well as sister Eden (Miriam Manifest). 


The spacious venue with its immensely wide stage is something of a disadvantage for this intimately personal drama. Set designer Winston German of Frontier Sounds makes the best of it, locating an elaborate living room on stage right (occasionally obstructing action that takes place in the home behind the seating area). He suggests David's office on stage left with a conference table and a receptionist's desk set far upstage. The audience's intense engagement with the story overcomes any scenic disadvantages. 


(CTXLT photo)


Playwright Zamore steadily raises tensions for the married couple. Conventional plotting would move the story arc toward a resolution of their conflicts, even after Micala and friends turn up evidence that David is lying about his whereabouts and can't explain away the lipstick on his collar. Caught in a compromising situation at his office, David becomes despondent -- and we don't know whether to believe his claim that he "just couldn't go through with it." Tonya coolly bids him farewell, evidently on her way to hunt for her next conquest.


E'Brandia Perry, Kaylynn Wilkerson (CTXLT photo)That's where Zamore leaves their relationship. More interesting and certainly more uplifting are the reactions of the couple's supporters. During earnest conversation in that luxury living room, Cece Godbolt breaks into song and counsels Micaela in gospel anthem style that Jesus is always at her side. The sudden shift from personal drama to gospel took me by surprise; Godbolt has a fine, expressive voice, and she was accompanied offstage by backup singers and a praise band. Later in the action the tower of power E'Brandia Perry as Samantha steps up and delivers powerful gospel messages.


Samson Logan, Amp Roscoe, Will Moleon (CTXLT photoOnce David is all the way down and out, his friend Cooper reappears to warn him about pride and envy, and Samson Logan as Maurice reinforces it with complex, vigorous, surprising, and deeply satisfying church phrasing that calls forth hallelujahs from the characters and the audience alike.


Zamora's message is clear. Even with the best of intentions, virtuous, hardworking people may find themselves in an emotional wilderness. Pride and envy are destroyers; forgivenness is not easy. God is there, always, and God never forgets you. Consolation comes with contemplation and with praise.





Click here to view the Zamore Foundation program for Deadly Sins

Click image to view 45-second video of curtin call for Deadly Sins

Click to view video (CTXLT video)





Deadly Sins
by Kerry Ann Zamore
K Zamore

February 09 - February 10, 2024
Sue and Frank Mayborn Performing Arts Center
University of Mary Hardin - Baylor
810 N Main St
Belton, TX, 76513

Friday, February 9, 2024 at 7 p.m.

Saturday, February 10, at 3 p.m.

UMHB Sue and Frank Mayborn Performing Arts Center

810 N. Main Street, Belton, TX 76513

General admission $30, Students at University of Mary Hardin Baylor, $20

Tickets at or