I’m a country boy from Glassboro, New Jersey,” says playwright Leroy “Lee” Harris. “I keep thinking this has to be a dream.”

And Harris, a 1967 Glassboro High School graduate and former all-around Bulldog athlete, hopes he won’t soon wake up, says

Excitedly gearing up for what could be as long as a four-year national tour with “When the Child Cries,” a family-oriented, five-act play he wrote and directs which has had rave reviews, Harris has signed four-time Grammy-winning gospel star Karen Clark Sheard for a vital role.

“She’s in for the long run,” Harris says. “It positions the play as one of the top touring productions in the country. Her decision to sign is due in part to her wanting to do jobs that are consistent with her ministry. She’s an evangelist, and the play is all about salvation. Real clergy are used in the final act and real people run from the audience onto the stage to be saved. We average 15 people saved per show.”

Sheard will be featured in a performance of the play on Saturday, Nov. 5, 7 p.m. in Pfleeger Concert Hall on the Rowan University campus — Harris’ 1974 alma mater. Call 856-562-0964 for tickets and information.

The national tour, recommended to Harris by the National Association of Colored Women’s Clubs as a benefit for regional scholarships, is already booked in more than 150 cities. It opens in early February at Howard University in Washington, D.C. “I’m receiving calls and emails from all over the country,” Harris says.

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