BC1_7050 (2)

 Cast: Jerry (Clay Raines) & Peter (Zack A. Rayburn)  Photography by Sherrod Z. Knox

I came to be in Wilson NC because my Mum transitioned in July 2013. I was in London appearing in THE BODY GUARD starring HEATHER HEADLEY at the time and as I’m the eldest and needed to rally and comfort my siblings, I sold my church conversion flat in London’s Canary Wharf area, paid off 25 years of bills, put stuff I couldn’t transport to the USA into storage and got on a plane.

Everyone thought I’d settle in NYC and chase a Broadway dream but NYC is either a young man’s or a rich man’s playground and I’m not the former…I WILL be the latter…but at the moment I’m neither and the game I need to ace is called ‘BUILDING THE BRAND’ and that’s why I’m here in Wilson NC. My ‘BRAND’ is called TAIP LAB and we’ve had a bizzy year; last year we inaugurated TAIP LAB with a series of SCRATCH NIGHTS…buzzy entertainments delivered with passion, community artists and zero budgets. Through our ‘SCRATCH NIGHTS’ I was able to see what Wilson had to offer…which is mucho! Wilson is vibrant, sexy, mysterious and very kool, with lots of talented peeps…but nobody outside the area knows this; I intend to help change that.

Since I’ve been here I’ve directed DEATH OF A SALESMAN for The Playhouse of Wilson,. CROWNS for the Imperial Centre of Rocky Mount, A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM (SOUTHERN STYLE) for Barton College, had a workshop of a new country/blues/gospel musical called STARBOY, again at Barton, currently producing and directing a film called GRAYHOUND and just produced and directed THE ZOO STORY (by Edward Albee) with my new partner, Harold Anderson, owner of BIG HAROLD’S DINER on Tarboro Street.


We opened our new DINNER THEATRE experience last Thursday evening, March 16th and our audience ate it up…literally. After the show, the audience wouldn’t leave…it was like a NYC theatre salon. THE ZOO STORY features two actors, CLAY RAINES and ZACHERY RAYBURN who have set a higher level of drama for Wilson. Every person in Wilson who considers themselves an actor/actress should see these guys in action to either appreciate their craft, learn from them or change their profession. I’ve worked with some of the Masters of World Theatre in NYC, London and…all over the world…and these two guys can kick it with whomever you care to name…all they need is a break…and an AUDIENCE.

AUDIENCE. That’s where YOU come in. Theatre is NOT a solo enterprise, its a participation game…we act for YOU…you engage and suspend your imagination for US but if YOU don’t JOIN US in this participation then the game is one sided, boring and pointless.  Wilson! Come out! Join us! Play with us! There is lots of performances currently being created for YOU. Zachery Rayburn, my ZOO STORY Peter will soon be directing the musical 9-5 for The Playhouse of Wilson, Barton College will soon be presenting the 2nd workshop of my musical STARBOY, directed by Adam Twiss…we will be needing the best actors, actresses, singers and musicians Wilson has to offer to put this pre-Broadway musical on its feet and we will soon need YOU…our AUDIENCE.

There’s a new, vibrant. performance wind blowin’ through Wilson, catch the wind, SPREAD THE WORD and be a part of this new level of drama…we’re better than good but you’ll never know until you engage and witness us…looking forward to seein’ you in the house! – Ray Shell, Director

The Zoo Story Wilson


RAY SHELL is the director of THE ZOO STORY; performances Thursday evenings: March 23rd, March 30th and April 6th @BIG HAROLD’S DINER, 126 Tarboro Street, Wilson NC, 27893. Enjoy a sumptuous STEAK, CHICKEN, FISH or VEGETARIAN option dinner then sit back and enjoy this ‘RIVETING’ ‘FUNNY’ ‘INTENSE’ ‘STUNNING’ production. Tickets: $25 for Dinner and show or $12.50 for Dinner only or Show only. For Reservations call: (252) 291-3663 or email: dulamaes@gmail.com

Press info: Janet Conner-Knox; jconnerknox@gmail.com


Leave a reply