He wanted to be the next Michael Jackson.
These days, the most singing you’ll catch Quinton Williams doing is around his house or in his car.
That’s because this 24-year-old is living a different dream.
“I have a real deep passion for the arts,” the recent USC Aiken graduate said. “For my creativity, that’s where directing and playwriting comes in.”
He couldn’t wait to get that dream started.
Licensed under his artist name, Williams is now the owner of Tony Que Productions.
Soon, Tony Que Productions will present its debut show.
“I’m nervous; I’m excited,” Williams said. “But this is something I’ve dreamed of for a long time.”
Actors, dancers and a singer comprise the cast of “The Framework of the Family.”
Williams is one of those performers.
He is also the play’s scriptwriter and director.
“We base (the story) around the idea of being a family and the idea of the family tree,” Williams said. “Through all of the issues that a lot of families face, we are supposed to stand tall and stand together like a tree.”
“The Framework of the Family” will be performed at the USCA Etherredge Center on Aug. 23.
Tickets are $20 for general admission, $10 for students and $12 for seniors.
Doors open at 6:30 p.m.
The show will begin at 7 p.m.
“The Framework of the Family” is a choreopoem, a style that blends dance, music and poetry, according to eNotes.
This term was coined by Ntozake Shange in reference to her play “For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow Is Enuf.”
The play’s style and story inspired Williams to write “The Framework of the Family.”
Except, instead of focusing on an ensemble of black women, Williams’ work focuses on a black family.
Like Shange’s work, no character in Williams’ play has a proper name.
All his characters will wear black clothing.
“I want the audience (to say), ‘That’s my sister, my cousin, my aunt, my friend.’” Williams explained. “I want people to look at themselves and their own families and to leave with conversation.”
Williams’ character is the Son of Suicide.
With him will be Eli Montgomery as the Father of Addiction, Juanita Palmer as the Mother of Depression and DeErica Reddish as the Daughter of Rape.
Palmer thinks this show will teach to never judge a family based on its social surface.
“It shows an accurate reflection of a real family,” she said.
This will be Montgomery’s acting debut.
However, this will not be his first time on stage. Montgomery is an area singer and guitarist.
“This has been a challenge,” he said. “It’s similar to what I do on stage, but this isn’t me at all. This character has aged me about 20 years ... It’s a different life.”
Joining the four cast members are five Burns Dance Studio dancers: McKenna Scott, Lois White, Hannah Barton, Natalie Barton and Shelby Kirklin.
In addition to their dancing, Williams has the five young women act as ensemble members in select scenes.
This connection was made through Kristin Allen, Williams’ friends and Burns Dance Studio staff member.
Morgan Hall is Williams’ assistant director. Sydney Fowler is the show’s stage manager, and Teddy Palmer designed the show’s set and lights.
“The Framework of the Family” is sponsored by The Chandler Law Firm and Dr. Blair Bradley.
For more information on the show or to purchase tickets, visit etherredge.usca.edu or call 803-641-3305.
Williams was born in Florence.
He has an older brother and younger sister.
Show choir and singing fueled his artistic passion until he started USCA in 2009.
“I still to this day don’t remember applying to Aiken – wherever that was; I had no clue at that time,” he said. “When I got here, I remember coming to campus for the first time and completely falling in love with this school.”
He signed up as a fine arts major.
At first, he studied theater as a way to ground his singing career.
For example, with a theater background, Williams could snag a part in a Broadway show ensemble.
However, the more he learned about theater, the more he re-envisioned his future.
“This is what I really want to do,” he said. “Directing and playwriting is what I really love ... Something about having control of that paint brush. You control the picture that everyone sees.”
Throughout his college years, Williams wrote and directed short plays for the University Theatre Players. He also performed and served as the organization’s president.
This past semester, he had one more class to complete.
During his downtime, the student investigated more into his post-college career.
He discovered that it could take months, at least, before a playwright got his work recognized.
“That didn’t work for me,” Williams said, smiling. “I thought, ‘I’ll try to do this on my own.’”
So, to help him get started, the artist turned to USCA’s Small Business Development Center and to business major Ervin Summers.
“There’s been a lot of paperwork,” Williams said, laughing.
In May, Williams finally graduated.
Around that time, he approached the Etherredge Center about hosting his play.
The Center helped him pick a date.
Marketing student Fateish Graham is helping Williams with his publicity.
“He’s not afraid to go against the grain and is a firm believer in making his own way,” she wrote via her release.
Williams would one day like to see his production company became “a global brand.”
“I would love to get my hands on the scripts of the big plays (like ‘Rent’ and ‘The Color Purple’ musical) as well as plays I wrote myself as well let other people, playwrights like myself, have an avenue for their work to be done,” he said.
He is working on four more plays.
“This is what I went to school for,” he said. “I don’t see myself doing anything else.”
For more information on Williams, visit www.tonyque.weebly.com.
Stephanie Turner graduated from Valdosta State University in 2012. She then signed on with the Aiken Standard, where she is now the arts and entertainment reporter.
Staff Photo by Stephanie Turner Juanita Palmer is an area actress who will be playing the Mother of Depression in Quinton Williams' upcoming show "The Framework of the Family."×
Staff Photo by Stephanie Turner Pictured are some of the cast and crew for the upcoming Aiken play “The Framework of the Family.” Standing, left, is Quintin Williams who wrote the play, is directing the show and playing the part of the Son of Suicide. Standing, from left, are Eli Montgomery, who plays the Father of Addiction; Morgan Hall, the show’s assistant director; and Sydney Fowler, the show’s stage manager. Sitting is Juanita Palmer, who plays the Mother of Depression. Not pictured is cast member DeErica Reddish, who plays the Daughter of Rape.×
Submitted Photo DeErica Reddish will plays the Daughter of Rape in the upcoming play "The Framework of the Familly."×
Staff Photo by Stephanie Turner USC Aiken graduate Quintin Williams, 24, recently started the Tony Que Productions company. His upcoming play "The Framework of the Family" will be the company's debut show. Williams is directing the show and playing one of the central characters.×