His name is Thelron Pleas, he's 18 years old, and the folks down in Georgia are making comparisons between him and Tyler Perry.
First, they both live and work in the state of Georgia, and both have the same initials T.P. But that's not all, 15-year old Pleas is also a playwright, with 5 plays already on his resume (I'm not sure if the other T.P. was that young when he wrote his first play, so the kid might have the man beat).
And another thing, like T.P. the man, T.P. the boy writes plays that have a Christian message, which resonate with his core audiences of mostly church-goers; AND, like T.P. the man, T.P. the boy is a multi-tasker, writing, producing, directing and acting in his plays. Though, from all I can tell, there aren't any men or boys in fat suits and wigs involved.
Thelron, who wrote his first play in 2009 at just 15 years old, claims to have done so after watching a Tyler Perry play and being inspired.
"God really spoke to me and said, ‘You can do that, and do it better,’” the young Pleas states.
Whoa! The confidence in this one... :) He can do what Tyler does, and can do it better. You hear that Mr Perry? Little dude is calling you out!
Thelron's plays have titles like Don’t Look Back and Stay, You Betta Keep It Mov’n,, Family! Gen 49???, Thru It All I Am Convinced, and When It’s Time, It’s Just Time.
And his audience comes in all colors, he says: “So many different people come: white, black, with money or without. All of the different people have to deal with different issues, and they are all ministered to in some way. Each play deals with many issues; I don’t write about just one topic, because I have a diverse audience.”
Pleas' 5th play will be presented this Saturday at the Douglass Theatre, 355 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., in Macon, GA. Tickets are $20 at the door ($15 in advance).
After this, he'll be headed to Morehouse College in the fall, after winning the Bill Gates Millennium Scholarship, where he plans to study accounting. However, don't let that fool ya; he has no plans to stop writing plays. You see, this accounting thing is mostly so that he can become business savvy too, just like the man who inspired him, the other T.P.
As he states, "I’m not closing the chapter on it, as people say. People ask why I’m not majoring in theater. I’m learning now what I’m doing wrong, what I’m doing well and what not to do next time. I hope to learn how to operate a business and do all of the budgeting. These productions can be very expensive.”
So there you go people! This sounds like a kid we should be watching. The next-generation Tyler Perry in the making. He's started early, getting his pimp game down, and I can only imagine where he'll be in another 10 years, when he's 28.
Don't be surprised if we're next announcing that some film producer has optioned the film rights to one of Mr Thelron Pleas' plays :)
Look out TP, there's a new TP in town and he's gunning for ya!
You can read a profile of Thelron on the Macon.com website HERE.