Playwright, Producer, Director: John Ruffin

Thursday, 08 September 2011 21:34 Written by  Samantha Battle

Music is an inspiration for so many people. Some use it as a getaway from reality, some for motivation, and in John Ruffin’s case, he writes plays. As a playwright, producer and director, John has lived his dreams of creating plays with the help of some of the songs we may hear every day.

“My storylines come from songs that I hear. I hear the song and I see the story,” he explains.

He particularly uses gospel songs as inspirations for his productions, such as “Tired” by Kelly Price for his Ideal Husband play, “God Blocked It” by Kirk Carr for Love Me or Leave Me, and his new play All My Single Ladies was inspired by James Fortune’s “I Believe.”

John produced his first play back in 1991 and even 20 years later, he still feels anxious and nervous before his plays, which he says are feelings he doesn’t want to lose.

“I’m always nervous before every show,” he admits. “The anticipation of what everyone is going to think, what they feel and how they are going to react always runs through my head. I want to keep that for the rest of my life. I think once it stops being exciting like that for me, I’m going to retire because then it’s work and I don’t ever want it to become work.”

His new play, All My Single Ladies, is about five women on their journey of singleness. Along the way, for one of the women, an ex-boyfriend comes back into the picture after meeting someone new who is better for her. The woman then has to choose between the man she wants or the man she needs. The playwright feels that single women today may deal with these same problems, and he wants to give his take on it in this new play.

John says he wants his audience to understand the message he is giving in his plays and for them to take something away from it, whether it be just a good time to being inspired.

“When they come see my plays, I want them to laugh, I want them to cry, and I want them to be able to think,” he says. “I want the message to be so provocative that it makes them think. At the end, I want them to rejoice, and those are the things I make sure that my audience follows every time I do a show.”

As John develops ideas for his play, he not only writes them, he also serves as the producer and director so that he is an integral part in its creation. He wants to be known for his work in all these categories because he says they make up who he is.

“I want to be known as a playwright, a producer who created great work and that each and every time I was able to please my audience,” he says.

Along with the accomplishments of All My Single Ladies, John is working on a couple of shows that are being written for some television networks, along with a new show that he is putting out entitled The Marriage Makeover. He also aspires to pursue film in the near future.


Samantha Battle

Samantha Battle

Samantha Battle is a recent graduate from Columbia College Chicago with a Bachelor of Arts in journalism. She was born and raised in Chicago. She has a passion for writing but also aspires to be on television one day as a reporter.

Follow her on Twitter: @SamanthaB089