'ONLY IF YOU KNEW': A RAPHEAL DE'ANGELO HAYDEN STAGEPLAY

“If you want to write something good there is three elements to which you should be doing. You should always want to make people cry, laugh, and feel encouraged." –Rapheal D. Hayden

Having a creative passion is a phenomenal way to express yourself through different facets of art. The definition of art is endless due to the vast expression of creativity people put within their artistry. Prime example, writers’ are textual artist, who creates imagery and emotion through its words. Like any artist, a true writer commits his/her occupation to write with their heart as an act to bring their true spirit to life. Particularly, 26-year-old Rapheal D. Hayden exude these characteristics in his current stage play “Only If You Knew."

The play ‘Only If You Knew’, which debut Dec. 18th, is based on the relevant hardship and struggles Chicago’s youth and communities across the world face every day. Writer-Director Rapheal summarize this play as a riveting drama connecting multiple stories of class, judgement, drugs, violence, and education in the city of Chicago. In a dynamic way, the stage play enacts the human interaction and environment within the secondary education. In the play, according to Rapheal, several students at George Elliot High School are forced to confront their beliefs about their peers when the English teacher (Ms. Jackson) assigns them group projects. As they start immersing into each other’s lives their beliefs begin to shift, which causes a chain reaction of intertwining events. 

“Don’t be a shallow thinker." –Rapheal D. Hayden

Indeed, Rapheal’s quest to denounce stereotypes and negative perspectives is well played within ‘Only If You Knew.’ And being the CEO of his own company, H.B. Creations, gives him the freedom to take the normality concept of a fantasy play and flip it to reveal harsh realities. “Happiness comes after struggle because you wouldn’t appreciate that happiness unless you had some kind of struggle to get you there,” said Rapheal. That is why the play strives to provide insight on what’s going on in today’s communities, as well as, help motivate the youth to choose better paths. However, where did the passion to write an outspoken play come from?

“I’m kind of a people watcher and a lot of people console to me. So I wanted to create something that exemplify these different stories I encountered to influence people’s perception in how they judge another person’s caliber,” said Rapheal. This keen of observation is one of his many strong points. Another, is being able to relate to the hardship with finances and violence. This attribute propels this writer-director to connect these multi-elements of struggle and hardship fluently without forming a sense of disconnect in prevalence.

By the same token, to be great writer you must vigorously practice. Like the saying goes ‘practice makes perfect’, which is why Rapheal is no stranger to the pen. Over the course of 15 years he has been acting and writing. Though acting is his first love, writing soon became a close companion after helping people write their plays and skits. His role as a director kind of slither through the cervices of being a Good Samaritan. “They would ask me to explain my vision. So while explaining my vision they would ask me to help that person achieve that vision, which kind of led me to the director chair,” said Rapheal.

In fact, it safe to say that this young man is definitely a triple-threat in his artistry. That is why, this Sunday, Dec. 20th, will surely be an encore event. Not only is it the last showing date for the play; it is also Rapheal’s birthday. Two wonderful occasions happening at once is definitely a site to see. So make it a priority to get your tickets at Eventbrite.com and experience the laughs, the cries, and encouragement to pursue your dreams while keeping the negativity at bay.