No subject matter is off limits. Karma, interracial relationships, alcoholism and homosexuality are just a few of the controversial topics addressed in Jimmie Lee's, aka J. Lee, stage productions.
"If it's important to the community, then its not off limits," Lee says. "We are willing to tackle those subject matters that others are too shy to talk about."
Lee says he is "somewhat of a control freak," so being able to produce his own plays the way he envisioned them was a big draw to owning a production company.
J. Lee productions began with four stage plays and grew to include a short film and a two-part documentary. "I wanted to show that we could do more than just stage plays. We didn't limit ourselves," Lee says.
The Jackson State University Alumni started the production company in 2008, and it celebrates its four-year anniversary with a showcase at the Russell C. Davis Planetarium this week.
The planetarium will show a film each night starting with "No Good Comes to Those Who Do Wrong," and continuing with: "Why Am I Single?," "What Do the Lonely Do For Christmas?," "Revenge," "Everyone Plays the Fool," "Black Love" and "Black Love 2."
As for his previous productions, Lee's favorite is his third stage play, "Revenge," the final in the "Single Saga," which includes "Why Am I Single" and "What do the Lonely Do For Christmas." The plot continues with Kyndel and Cameron working on their relationship, after parting ways due to Cameron's infidelity.
"'Revenge' was one of my best pieces, and I'm not just saying that because that's what people told me," Lee says, laughing. "It just flows well, and watching it on the screen, it just came together well."
Moving forward, Lee hopes to do something geared more toward young people as opposed to his previous mature-audience films. J. Lee Productions recently wrapped on its second short film, set to come out later this year. The film's title and subject is still undisclosed, but Lee promises it will be something new for his audience. "It's going to be totally different from anything J. Lee productions has ever done," he says.
Lee is thrilled to have the chance to show his body of work all in one venue. "Clearly, we would not have been able to do this for four years if we had not had the support of the community," Lee says. "It's a good opportunity for the city of Jackson to see our show."
Enjoy screenings each night from July 16 to 21, 7-9 p.m. at the Russell C. Davis Planetarium (201 E. Pascagoula St., 601-960-1550). $5 each. Visit http://www.jleeplays.com for more information.
Also playing at the Russell C. Davis Planetarium
"Mummies - Secrets of the Pharoahs"
"WSKY: Radio Station of the Stars"
All movies play Monday through Saturday. Visit http://www.thedavisplanetarium.com for times and ticket prices.