RICHMOND -- A new stage production that has a local setting and examines issues and choices facing young people on the road to their future will debut at the De Anza High School Theater, 5000 Valley View Road, at 6 p.m. March 7 and 8.

"Po'Boys Kitchen," written and directed by Donte Clark, is both the title of the play and the setting, "a black-owned corner restaurant in the heart of Richmond."

The establishment is frequented by the people who reside in the area, from the homeless, prostitutes, drug dealers and addicts, to the families who live in the once thriving neighborhood.

"Some come for Po'boys' signature butter-me-up-cornbread and Big Mama's southern lemonade; some stop in to talk trash, crack jokes, or gossip about daily news," is the description. "Others visit seeking wisdom and redemption, a clean slate where they can rewrite themselves. For most people, Po'boys is more than a restaurant, but a place that saves lives. Will they find the courage to transform their futures or will the ghosts of their pasts pull them back?"

The production is staged and acted by Richmond Artists with Talent (RAW Talent) under the direction of Clark, a North Richmond resident who wrote and produced an earlier play set in Richmond, "Te's Harmony," that was presented to a full house at El Cerrito High School last year and brought back by popular demand for additional performances.

The new play strives to deliver the message that "There's hope," Clark said. There's a possibility that we can all come together. We can laugh and heal together."

"Po'boys Kitchen" is presented in collaboration with the RYSE Center, the Making Waves Education Program, the Richmond Arts & Culture Commission, the California Shakespeare Theater and the California Endowment.

Advance tickets are $20 adults, $10 youths, available online at poboyskitchen.eventbrite.com or at the Making Waves Education Program, 200 24th St. in Richmond. Tickets at the door will be $25 adults, $15 youths.

There are also $45 VIP tickets that include premium seating and a signed "Po'boys Kitchen" book.