Stage production has serious message

Published 9:40 am Tuesday, November 1, 2016


Stage production has serious message

By Rupert Howell
Local entrepreneur Atonio Barragan wants people to see a good play—but he also wants people to understand its message and raise money for the Batesville Safe Shelter Project that will house abused women until their lives can be straightened out.
These 4 Walls, a stage play that addresses domestic violence, drug addiction, wasted teen talent and rape, will be presented at Batesville Civic Center this Friday, November 4 at 7 p.m.
The production is being sponsored by Batesville Safe Shelter, Bim Bam Burgers, Sardis Baptist Association, and Boys & Girls Clubs of North Mississippi and is the product of Brandon McMillon of McMillon Productions who wrote and produced the play.
The play is being presented to bring awareness to those problem areas with speakers specializing in those areas to offer hope and help.
Dr. Jake Julian is heading the Safe Shelter movement and is chaplain at Batesville’s Merit Health Medical Center. He has previously stated Panola County continues to experience situations involving all these issues noting that he gets from four to seven calls weekly from agencies and churches looking for a location to place persons affected by domestic violence.
Barragan had recently spoken to Batesville Exchange Club and picked up the newspaper and read of five charges of domestic violence in one week.
A location for the Women’s Shelter near Hosanna Church south of Batesville has been secured, now funds for the construction are needed. According to Barragan  funds are available to reimburse payments to operate the facility, but not to construct the facility.
He said he wanted to bring the stage play to his local community through his Bim Bam Burger business but after seeing the need for the Women’s Shelter, thought additional sponsors like the Women’s Shelter could benefit from proceeds.
Barragan serves on the board of the Boys and Girls Club and included them to help with ticket sales and Sardis Baptist Association, a large regional group of predominantly African American churches, also joined as sponsors.
Previous attempts to locate a safe shelter met opposition from residents who did not want it in their neighborhood when the issue went before Panola County’s Planning Commission.
Tickets are available online at or at Bim Bam Burgers.

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