Shakespeare In Paradise Announce 2nd Theatre Festival

Tuesday 31st, August 2010 / 09:40 Published by

The following are the eight productions for this year’s festival:

A Midsummer Night’s Dream is our signature Shakespeare production and once again our Shakespeare work has been dramaturged by students from the College of The Bahamas and our Festival Director, Nicolette Bethel. As one of Shakespeare’s most popular plays, A Midsummer Night’s Dream follows the antics of a group of four young lovers and the barriers that separate their love. By chance they end up in an enchanted forest where the fairy world emerges and love becomes a little bit shortsighted. The work has been specially imagined for a Bahamian landscape. Patti-Anne Ali, out of Trinidad and New York, co-director of last year’s The Tempest, will return as director.

Woman Take Two makes its first public stage appearance since 1995. Written by Telcine Turner Rolle in the 1970’s, this play has stood the test of time as it has forced many to examine the darker side of Bahamian society.

With the events in Haiti, this play has only gained momentum since its humble origins. For many this was their introduction into Bahamian theatre and Shakespeare in Paradise is pleased to bring this long time favorite back to the stage. David Jonathan Burrows, whom you may remember as ‘Antonio’ from last year’s The Tempest, will return to direct Women Take Two for the second time in his theatrical career.

Bahamian-American author James Weldon Johnson’s God’s Trombones will not only feature the Junior Choir from St. Francis Church, under the direction of Francis Richardson, but will also have a very talented group of actors — and some serving pastors — preaching the sermons. We are currently working on having it performed throughout New Providence in local host churches. The festival’s Artistic Director, Philip A. Burrows, will direct.

One Flesh (An evening of two one act plays) – Come Back to Me, by Jesse Cameron Alick, is a one-act play about religion, secrets and communication in the Caribbean-American family. Featuring the work of director Donya K. Washington and hip-hop composer Belief, it follows an important day in the life of three siblings, Ryokan, Isis and Jude, and tracks the conversations that they have with one another over the telephone and contrasts them with the actual life that they are living. With a poetic arrangement that flows easily from amusing banter to sticky political debates, Come Back to Me combines different voices and personalities, weaving Buddhist and Christian prayers together and taking on the themes of mistaken conception, judgment and the true nature of unconditional love. Joining Come Back to Me to round out this evening is another one-act piece called Manikato by Phillip Peters and also directed by Washington. This work takes the Song of Solomon, reinterprets it, and presents it from a West Indian point of view.

Dat Bahamian Ting comes to us from Bahamian-born writer/director Robin Belfield, who moved to Britain at the age of two. This two-hander premiered in England and has had a number of successful outings. Playing the roles in this production will be Dana J. Ferguson, reprising her role from the original production, and Joseph Thompson. Dana, who plays ‘Her’ (and all other Bahamian characters), was featured in last year’s Shakespeare in Paradise production of The Tempest in the role of ‘Ariel’, did post graduate acting training at Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. British-born Thompson plays ‘Rev. Alexander Scott’ and is new to this work. Based on a true story, Dat Bahamian Ting introduces us to a young Methodist Minister from England who travels to The Bahamas for work and falls for a young Bahamian church member. Robin Belfield is a freelance theatre practitioner. A graduate of the University of Bristol, he was awarded a bursary on the Channel 4 Theatre Director Scheme. He is Artistic Director of Yellowtale Theatre Company.

Horn of Plenty featuring Indio. Indio was a part of New York’s Public Theater’s Emerging Writers Group. “When comedian Aladdin reaches a crossroads in his career he discovers the journey of his father who left Bangladesh in the 1940′s to pursue his “American Dream” in Spanish Harlem of all places! His father’s misadventures in the land of opportunity are juxtaposed with Aladdin’s childhood growing up in the only Bangladeshi family in Spanish Harlem.” Indio is being directed by Hal Brooks who is a proud member of the Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab and SSDC. The beginning of the evening, directed by Dr. Keith Wisdom, will feature the NE5 collection, food, wine and performances of Shakespeare’s sonnets, interpreted and performed by a group of Bahamian actors, and presented against the backdrop of the National Art Gallery of The Bahamas. Keep an eye on this one — we’ve got a couple of surprises in store for you!

The World is my Home – The Life of Paul Robeson is a critically acclaimed One Man Broadway style show. Written and performed by Jamaican born and Brooklyn bred Stogie Kenyatta, this play has been performed at over 150 US universities, the Museum of NYC, and the University of the West Indies in Barbados. Kenyatta states that this is the most challenging performance of his career and the piece of work of which he is most proud. It is his personal quest to educate this generation and the world about Paul Robeson, a talented, intellectually gifted, actor, athlete, singer, human rights activist and world citizen. The play is a tribute to the legacy of this tortured genius who was so ahead of his time he lived several lives filled with triumph and tragedy as he fought for the liberation of Africa and social justice for all.

Other events that will take place during the festival will include a play reading series held at Chapter One Bookstore, the appearance of Derek Burrows, internationally renowned Bahamian storyteller, who will visit primary schools to perform for hundreds of students.

The festival will have an official opening on Friday, October 1st with a performance of Woman Take Two. The full schedule of all productions is posted on our website along with ticket pricing information. Bookings can be made online and/or by telephone starting August 30th with special discount ticket sales that will continue until September 25th. The Box Office will open on September 20th, at The Dundas. Tickets will continue on sale until October 11th, the closing day of the festival.

Shakespeare in Paradise is revving up to bring you, our Bahamian and world audience, a theatre festival you will never forget. Save the dates and join us for our second annual Shakespeare in Paradise — a theatre festival for Nassau and the world!

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