Laugh to keep from Crying is a stage play originally produced by Tyler Perry in 2009. The play is about the tenants who reside in a multi-unit apartment building within the inner-city. Living in the building is a very eclectic group of individuals and the play tells the story of their struggles staying one step ahead of poverty, deception and destruction in a mostly African American community.
Some of the main characters include: Carol who is raising a teenage son and daughter by herself. Carol's son Tony who is a conscientious student with a strong spiritual background, he even sings in the Church choir; her daughter Lisa, who is the exact opposite of her brother, she is rebellious and wants nothing to do with Church. Carol works long hours but always seems to find time for her close friend Belinda, who lives across the hall. Carol and Belinda dislike Niecey, the neighbor who lives upstairs, because she is a prostitute. Peter and Anna and Anna's mother, Jane are the only white family in the building. They moved there to save money while Peter attends law school. Floyd is the landlord of the building.
Carol struggles throughout the play with employment, relationship issues and raising her children, particularly Lisa who appears to be suffering from a broken relationship with her father. Floyd is the typical busy body of the building and gossips with all of the tenants. He is seemingly unsympathetic to the plight that Carol faces when she loses her job and is unable to pay the rent. There is a short musical parody where Floyd sings (gospel style) "I better get my Rent". Although the play is a comedy, it delves into some very serious issues such as unemployment, single-parenting, prostitution and family secrets.