The Suitcase, the book and now the play actually started for Ruby Manuel in her childhood. But it wasn’t until she was middle aged and could no longer hold inside all the turmoil and abuse she endured, that she began to write. Through her book and play, her suitcase has been opened for herself and others to be inspired to carry on with life.
The Suitcase is making its way to different theaters. On, Saturday, February 17, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia, we will see the different characters portraying parts of her life story.
Ruby Manuel’s long life’s journey started in Wabbaseka, Arkansas where she was abused sexually, physically and mentally. Ruby tried to continue with her life but she kept everything locked inside her. At age 16, through Job Corp she headed to Los Angeles, California. Life was still rough but gradually it started changing for her.
Before long, she found herself single and raising three children who were watching their mother suffer from depression, which was very hard for Ms. Ruby. With faith, she found strength and the determination to receive her high school diploma at age 40 and she earned her degree in Childhood Education at age 46. These academic achievements qualified Ms. Ruby Manuel to have her own licensed family home childcare facility.
Talking with Ms. Ruby she said, “At age 54, I identified with myself to live life, to open me up, love me, shave off my hair and step out on faith”. This is when she wrote her first book, “If Not Today, Maybe Tomorrow”, which was her autobiography, which led to her second book “The Suitcase”. Many people were appreciative of her books because they had been through the abuse similar to hers, while others gave encouraging feedback and support for sharing her life story.
Her book caught the attention of Shelly Garrett, the Godfather of Urban Theatre, a recipient of the Hollywood Walk of Fame, an inductee into the Smithsonian National Museum of African-American History and Culture in Washington, D.C. and widely known as the creator of the stage play “Beauty Shop”.
Mr. Garrett and Ms. Manuel met and collaborated in writing “The Suitcase” script. In addition, Ms. Ruby earned her Playwriting Certificate from Shelly Garrett’s Workshop, which inspired her to continue sharing her life story. Mr. Garrett suggested she leave Los Angeles, California for Atlanta, Georgia to showcase her Stage Play, “The Suitcase” and he would direct the production. It debuted in July 2017 with rave reviews. Since that time, it has been revamped with additional real life stories and comic relief. It also boasts a phenomenal cast and crew.
I had the opportunity to watch with excitement Director, Beverly Banks and the actors in character in which I was so moved. I can’t wait until February 17.
In addition to her first two books, she has also written “When Words Inspires“ and “The Suitcase Two”. When writing these books she was still managing life’s misfortune with a diagnosis of stage three liver diseases from Hepatitis C. Then later, her husband, Nick Arline, suffered a massive stroke putting him into a coma.
“When Words Inspires” was written she continued to have faith in God, believe the gift given to her would be utilized to the fullest to help her and to heal many of those who walked a path similar to hers. Her motto is that no matter what life throws your way; develop a relationship with and a trust in God. Bust your Suitcase wide open to relieve all the turmoil you have inside in order to help yourself and others. We see Ruby Manuel, the author/playwright did this through her books and her play. See you at the play or at the book’s website.
For additional information about Ruby Manuel, go to the rubymanuel website
To find her books, go to the lulu shop bookstore website
For tickets, go to:Eventbrite, Ruby Manuel, The Suitcase