What: A three-act play inspired by Psalms 1, 2 and 3
When: 7 p.m. Friday
Where: McEver United Methodist Church, 3606 McEver Road, Oakwood
How much: Donations accepted
After college, Jasson Cring did what most up-and-coming actors do when they want to get into “the business.”
He went to Hollywood.
Not long after the Tennessee native moved to the West Coast, he landed a few roles in some small movies; his most recent role was in a film directed by Tamar Simon Hoffs, mother of Susanna Hoffs (now in post-production).
But when his father, prolific author Jonathan Richard Cring, sent his latest script to Jasson, the story — not to mention the love of his life, who still lived in Nashville — pulled him back East.
The script caused Cring to make an abrupt turn, taking a break from the grind of Los Angeles to take his father’s story on the road.
Cring and his fellow cast members bring “Fruit in its Season” to McEver United Methodist Church on Friday as they begin their tour around the Southeast.
The play, inspired by phrases in the first three Psalms of the Bible, tells the story of David Lewis Meriwether, a young farmer who owns land developers want to turn into a mall.
While there is no admission charge for the production, a collection will be taken following the show to help pay for the cast’s travel costs.
Cring said the original decision to move to California was fairly easy — he simply wanted to be at the center of an industry he loves.
“Acting is my life, and it’s easy to make a career out of it when you’re in the center of it,” he said, in a phone interview with The Times. But when he started reading his father’s script for “Fruit in its Season,” he found himself pulled in a different direction.
“I was like, ‘That sounds pretty rad,’” said Cring, of the idea to take phrases found in the first three Psalms and write an entire play from them. “I thought I was just judging the play and never expected to fall in love with the play.”
Specifically, the play is based on the emotions conjured up from the phrase in Psalm 1, “He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season.”
His father, an award-winning writer, has been fairly hands-off in rehearsals, although he did offer his son some very specific ideas about the lead character, a simple farmer who refuses to believe that progress means having to pave a parking lot over a field.
The lead character, Cring said, is actually based on his great-grandfather, but placed in a 25-year-old’s body.
“As an actor, your entire job is to try and figure out what the writer is trying to say,” Cring said. “To be able to reference that makes it (so much) better.”
Throughout the play, the lead character stays true to his ideals, with an underlying theme questioning how we, as humans, can own something that was here before we were — and will continue to be here long after we’re gone.
“It’s ridiculous to think we can own something that’s going to be around longer than we are,” he said.
Ideally, Cring said he would like to continue the play in a new area of the country, and follow it with a sequel based on Psalms 4, 5 and 6 — with entirely new characters.
And Los Angeles continues to loom on the horizon, again.
“I’ll probably go back to L.A., but that doesn’t mean the plays and the future of them might be dead,” he said. “L.A. is where my career probably is going to move the quickest.”