Each year the Columbus Black Theatre Festival deals with topics that pertain not only to the African American community but society at large and this year is no different. July 10 -12, 2015 come share in the three day event of workshops, plays and entertainment at the Columbus Performing Arts Center in Columbus.  This year the festival concludes the weekend with the stage musical “Come Alive” written and directed by the founder of the CBTF and Ohio playwright Julie Whitney Scott with music by Cassandra Stewart. This play tackles the issue of suicide in America head on as seen through the lives of college students and adults who have either attempted to or had someone they loved succeed at killing themselves.
  Suicide Awareness Voices of Education reports suicide takes the lives of nearly 40,000 Americans each year and that for young people 15-24 years old, suicide is the second leading cause of death, and 1 in 65,000 children ages 10 to 14 die by suicide each year. Over half of all suicides occur in adult men, ages 25-65 and the highest suicide rate is among men over 85 years old. Suicide rates among the elderly are highest for those who are divorced or widowed. Most people think that men commit suicide the most by using firearms; however, over half of all suicides are completed with a firearm.
  Is it any wonder that Cassandra Stewart, who had made plans to kill herself at one time and Julie Whitney Scott who had attempted suicide as a teenager and as a young adult decided to minister to others to keep them from attempting to follow in their paths; Cassandra with her music and Julie with her words? Suicide doesn’t discriminate in any way. It doesn’t separate one person from another. The young, old, rich and poor try it. People of all races try it. People of all religions, regardless of their beliefs, try it. You may have even attempted it at one time.
  M4GP and the CBTF Board members know the importance of community involvement when the goal is to bring education and awareness to such an important issue as suicide prevention and are asking for your organization or individual support to help them “save a life.” Their goal during the festival is to bring in speakers on the topic, provide free youth acting workshops, information on suicide prevention and support systems in the community and they appreciate, welcome and need volunteers and community support. Email or call 614-302-6681 for information.
  Cassandra Stewart of Jehdeiah Music Co is responsible for directing the dance/music and wrote the music “Arise” which is the inspiration of the play “Come Alive” and Julie Whitney Scott

is the director and playwright. Actress Faye Ray is the co-director. They plan to bring the production of “Come Alive” to Cleveland and again in Columbus during Suicide Prevention Month this October 2015.