Tears of joy: Play will become film

A play written by Youngs-town evangelist Earline Gilford-Weaver is on track to be turned into a film.

Weaver has signed a contract with Royal TV productions of California for her original play “Who Will Wipe My Tears Away?” The play debuted in August of 2011 at Powers Auditorium.

Weaver had sent a copy of her book of the same name to Prince Zaire Productions of Los Angeles before the play was staged. Afterward, she sent Zaire a tape of the play.

Weaver said Zaire then became interested in rewriting the script as a screenplay and turning it into a film. She and the cast will head to Los Angeles in September for taping. Zaire and Weaver are currently doing the rewrite.

When it’s complete, Zaire will shop it to cable networks and release it as a DVD.

“Who Will Wipe My Tears Away” is an autobiographical story of Weaver’s rough life, beginning with abuse as a child to her eventual turnaround and involvement in ministry.

“I just had to tell my story to tell other people who have been abused, been through foster homes, and made many wrong turns in life,” she said.

Weaver has been very excited since she got the news of the film prospects.

“I’m still like, ‘Lord, is this really happening?’” she said. “I’m also excited for my cast.”

Many members of the Powers Auditorium cast will make the trip to Los Angeles for the filming.

The full cast consisted of Angela Duckett (who plays Weaver), Lanesha Williams, Theresa Gilford, Richard A. Weaver, James Carter, Jennifer Johnson, Renee Newmen, Eboni Gordon, Tijah D Reynolds, Olivia Queener, Snetha Davis, Sam Jones and Floyd Eliis Jr.

Weaver is not even close to being done with stage work. She has written seven plays — some of which have been performed at community churches and other stages — and already has plans to perform another one, “Busted and Disgusted,” this summer at Powers Auditorium.


Emayatzy Corinealdi, who lived in Youngstown as a child (she moved away while in middle school) and still regularly returns to visit family, has been nominated for Outstanding Actress for her work in the film “Middle of Nowhere” in the 44th annual NAACP Image Awards, which were announced this week.

She is up against Halle Berry for “Cloud Atlas,” Loretta Devine for “In the Hive,” Quvenzhane Wallis for “Beasts of the Southern Wild” and Viola Davis for “Won’t Back Down.”

Corinealdi already has won Best Actor for the role in the Gotham Awards last month, and her name has been mentioned as a contender for Best Actress in the Academy Awards.

“Middle of Nowhere” is her feature film debut. In it she plays a wife who drops out of medical school in order to focus on her husband’s well-being while he’s incarcerated — leading her on a journey of self-discovery in the process.

The film, which also stars David Oyelowo, was written and directed by Ava DuVernay.

The NAACP Image Awards honors diversity in film, TV, music and literature. The ceremony is scheduled to air Feb. 1 on NBC.

Don't Miss a Story

Sign up for our newsletter to receive daily news directly in your inbox.