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Drama dreams fulfilled

Shante and Kevin Ragin are the owners of newly opened theater, Dramatic Arts Productions Theater, located at 2125-A Pace Street in Covington.

Shante and Kevin Ragin are the owners of newly opened theater, Dramatic Arts Productions Theater, located at 2125-A Pace Street in Covington.

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Performers in the DAP Theater production of "A Christmas Carol," include, from left, Eric Jenson as the Narrator and the Undertaker, Joseph Hicock-Jenson as Bob Cratchit, David Tzikas as Jacob Marley and Bill Pacer as Scrooge. The show is directed by Theo White, and the set is being constructed by Randy Christopher of C-Force Contracting.

When Kevin and Shante Ragin produce a play, they not only want to entertain audiences, they also aim to send a message.

The couple has mounted shows such as "The Wizard of Oz," about a young woman who embarks on a journey seeking happiness only to find it within herself; "False Profits, God Don't Like Ugly," a story of corruption in the church; and "Punked, Confessions of a Bully," a play about the tragic consequences of bullying.

In their latest production, "A Christmas Carol," a greedy old miser learns that it's never too late to become a generous, loving human being.

"When we do a show, we're not just doing a show," Ragin said. "Every show we do, there's something behind what we're doing."

With several years of theater experience on their resumes, the Ragins opened the Dramatic Arts Productions (DAP) Theater in Covington in August. The DAP Theater is located at 2125-A Pace Street in the Morgan Plaza.

The DAP Theater offers Saturday morning acting classes for children ages third through 12th grade, as well as classes and private lessons for adults. Classes cover topics such as auditioning, character development, blocking, stage presence, improvisation and film versus theater acting.

The Ragins also intend for their theater to become a local performance space. Performances of their inaugural show at the theater, "A Christmas Carol," take place Dec. 1, 8, 15 and 22 at 6 p.m. Tickets are $10 and can be ordered at www.dramaticartsproductions.com.

Shante Ragin said she hopes the ticket cost is "family affordable."

"We wanted to set the price so that people wouldn't think twice," she said.

The beginnings of the DAP Theater go back five years, when the Ragins started the theater company to present a production of "The Wizard of Oz" at the Social Circle Theater. Shante Ragin cast the show with students from her homeschool drama class she instructed at the time.

Since then, the DAP Theater has produced over 30 shows, Ragin said, including two sold-out performances of "False Profits, God Don't Like Ugly," a play co-written by Ragin and her husband, at the Rialto theater in Atlanta.

Ragin performed in productions in middle and high school, and holds a bachelor's degree in communications. She and her husband, who reside in Newton County, are the parents of three daughters -- Marshonna Gunn, 14; Jada, 14; and Miangel, 10 -- each of whom have a role in the operations of the DAP Theater.

Ragin said she got the theater bug at 8 years old when she attended a summer drama camp.

"The has been a lifelong passion of mine," she said.

To learn more, visit the DAP Theater website or call 678-658-8415.