Shakespeare in Paradise 2015 Productions

12thNightTwelfth Night, this year’s signature Shakespeare production, takes William Shakespeare’s side-splitting comedy and sets it in 1650s Eleuthera, directed by Trinidadian director Patti-Anne Ali. This production will take place on the Main Stage at the Dundas Centre for the Performing Arts. The art work for this play is by 14 year old Liam Aidan Burrows.


TheLandlordOur signature Bahamian production this year is a revival of The Landlord, Sam Boodle’s 1970s love story set in an Over-the Hill yard. Always a crowd-pleaser, this latest version is directed by Philip A. Burrows and will also take place on the Main Stage at the Dundas Centre for the Performing Arts. The artwork for this production is by Rashad Ferguson.


Murder and Poetry  is an evening of two one-acts. The first act premieres a new play by Pat Rahming, Miss Ethel’s Kitchen, a look at the Harry Oakes murder from the perspective of the servants in his household. It is directed by Nicolette Bethel. The second act presents Paradise Unmasked, an exploration through poetry of identity and independence in the Caribbean, created and directed by Erin Knowles. These performances will take place in the Black Box Theatre at the Dundas Centre for the Performing Arts. The artwork for this production is by Nowe Harris-Smith.

PantomimeThis year, Shakespeare in Paradise welcomes Derek Walcott’s two-man comedy Pantomime, produced by Guyanese-Caymanian director Henry Muttoo in conjunction with the University of South Florida. The venue for this production is TRT’s Playbox on Bay Street & Colebroke Lane (formerly known as The Hub). The artwork for this production is by Kareem Williams.



Veteran Bahamian actress Claudette Allens performs a retrospective of her acting career. Cookie Unplugged is created and directed by Philip A. Burrows. This production will be performed on three different nights at three different venues—Hillside House, NAGB and at Nirvana. The artwork for this production is by Lindsay Braynen.

The Box Office for Shakespeare in Paradise is at the Dundas Centre for the Performing Arts. This year the festival offers a great deal on its Season Ticket: for $100 you can see all five productions in the Festival, a savings of $50! Move quickly—this offer expires September 30th.

Dundas Box Office hours are 10:00am to 4:00pm Monday thru Saturday. The phone numbers are 393-3738 and 394-7179. You can also email us at

The Festival runs October 2nd – 10th.


Auditions – Twelfth Night

Auditions for Twelfth Night, directed by Patti-Anne Ali, will be held on the Dundas Main Stage on Tuesday July 28 at 6:30 PM.

Audition pieces may be downloaded below

Setting: Eleuthera, 1650


Orsino: The present Governor of Eleuthera. Besotted with Olivia, daughter of the previous Governor, his love is unrequited. Handsome, charming, poetic, an aura of authority, obsessed with his emotions, more so than with the object of them, but he doesn’t realise it. Very aware of how he feels, but not about who he is and why he feels them. His heart says: ‘how do I feel now, how do I feel now, how do I feel now’.

Orsino’s Audition Piece


Viola/Cesario: The female lead. She has the courage to disguise herself as a servant boy (Cesario) in Orsino’s household, in the aftermath of a traumatic shipwreck in which she thinks she has lost everything including, her twin brother. A survivor, she has an androgynous charm, sort of like Tilda Swinton. As Cesario, she endears herself to Orsino with her wit and intelligence and is sent to woo Olivia on his behalf, but ends up becoming the object of Olivia’s affections. Meanwhile, Viola has fallen in love with Orsino herself. Oh what a tangled web we weave… A female actor able to convincingly be male, while still being a female sincerely in love with a male. No matter the disguise and the chaos, her hearts steadily says ‘all for love’.

Viola’s Audition Piece


Olivia: The wealthy daughter of the former Governor of Eleuthera, she is aristocratic and beautiful. In mourning for her brother, she uses this as the reason to spurn Orsino’s advances, but she then rapidly falls in love with Cesario (as played by Viola), which suggests a mercurial nature. Appearance is very important to Olivia, she makes no apologies for having a mind of her own and following her heart. Like Orsino, her heart says: ‘how do I feel now, how do I feel now, how do I feel now’.

Olivia’s Audition Piece


Sebastian: Viola’s twin brother who has survived the shipwreck due to Antonia, the older female pirate captain, who has also befriended him. He is mistaken for Cesario when he meets Olivia and Olivia entreats him into an immediate marriage. What kind of man solicits such instantaneous passion in a woman, inspiring one to risk her life to save him and the other to want to marry him? A dynamic presence, particularly attractive to women. Careful not to cross the unattractive line of ‘the kept man’ but dangerously close to it. An actor able to maintain a skilful balance somewhere in the middle. His heart says ‘Come closer female heart…’

Sebastian’s Audition Piece


Antonia: The female pirate Captain (think Ann Bonny) who rescues Sebastian from watery death. This character is male in the original script. In making Antonio, the sea-captain, Antonia , the female pirate, we get to explore the dynamics between Sebastian and an older, powerful female character. An athletic, older actor, able to convey both the authority of a powerful female and the vulnerability of a woman in love and ready to risk everything. Her heart says ‘risk everything’.

Antonia’s Audition Piece


‘Sir’ Toby Belch: Olivia’s alcoholic, womanising uncle who lives with her and who considers himself to be one of her suitors. Like Falstaff, he is an extremely likable leader and instigator of ‘common’ behaviour with the rest of the group that is comprised of Maria, the head servant, Fabienne, a maid and Andrew Aguecheek, a dandy. A ‘larger than life’ actor, able to do a convincing drunk with excellent comic timing and an aptitude for physical comedy. The depth of cruelty inherent in the various plottings, reflect less a fun and harmless prankster and more a deliberate pursuer of chaos and even vengeance. A comic actor with dramatic depth, able to amuse and disturb simultaneously. His heart says ‘another rounds, and it’s on you’

Sir Toby’s Audition Piece


Andrew Aguecheek: A wealthy and gullible dandy Landowner hoping to capture Olivia’s hand. Perhaps, a skinny physicality in contrast to Sir Toby’s rotund presence. He is being fleeced by Sir Toby, which is why he is being encouraged in his wooing. What makes someone so naïve? An interesting study of a personality that allows itself to be subsumed by larger personalities, but then bursts forth with its own repressed emotions. His heart says ‘follow the leader, and it’s not me.’

Andrew Aguecheek’s Audition Piece


Maria: Olivia’s head servant, Maria is the female counterpart to Sir Toby Belch. Like most stock female servant characters, Maria is feisty, funny and rebellious. Her connection to Sir Toby is profound and there is opportunity for non-verbal as well as verbal exploration of that intensity. It is her idea to write the letter that initiates the terrible tricking of Malvolio, reflecting a sharp wit and repressed anger. An actor, able to do the stereotypical humorous servant and then blast that out of existence with a genuine, emotional journey of the heart. Her heart says ‘let’s laugh about this, my heart is in hiding, see me, see me’.

Maria’s Audition Piece


Fabienne: Originally Fabian, a male character in service in Olivia’s household and a friend of Sir Toby’s, this character is now a female maid in the household. Fabienne, plots and even instigates much of the mischief. An impulsive and energetic character, she clearly has a grudge against Malvolio that she is intent on playing out. An actor with excellent comic timing, able to explore and then project the character’s unique personality, into the dynamics of a comic ensemble.

Fabienne’s Audition Piece


Malvolio: Very much the man of the house in the sense that he is Olivia’s head steward, Malvolio is a delicious paradox of Puritanical actions and lustful thinking. Representing the Puritanical way of life in the original script, we have made Malvolio an actual Puritan living in Eleuthera in 1650. Malvolio wages war with Sir Toby and his gang from the beginning, condemning their behaviour which includes Sir Toby’s drinking and their revelling. He lusts after Olivia and falls victim to a terrible trick played on him by Sir Toby and his gang. The victimisation of Malvolio is extreme in its verbal and emotional cruelty, striking an unexpected chord in the comedy. It is essential that the actor be open to exploring this complex character and committing to wherever the journey authentically takes him. His heart says ‘I secretly desire what I outwardly condemn, and it is a constant struggle, but let no one know this, only my way, is the right way.’

Malvolio’s Audition Piece


Feste: The clown or jester in the employ of Olivia, Feste is there for entertainment. Ironically enough, Feste is often the only character speaking wisdom and insight. Feste, the theatrical device, operates almost like a Chorus at times – summarising the action with pithy wisdom and indicating the next possible course of events with witticism. Feste, the character… ah, that is another story. There is a strange sadness around this clown, as there is with most Clowns – think of Robin Williams – that genius frenetic hilarity, often underscored by an undercurrent of despair. It is in the eyes. Able to carry a tune with emotion. Open to casting either a male or female actor. His/her heart says ….

Feste’s Audition Piece


These actors are an essential part of this ensemble and must have a desire to explore each of these different characters fully and embody each one as needed.

First Officer/Valentine: A fit actor, able to convey military presence when playing the soldier and also able to play Valentine, Orsino’s head steward. Valentine, serves his master with loyalty.

Audition Piece


Second Officer/Priest: The Priest strikes a note of authority and his clerical presence must be credible. An actor able to do this, as well as play a fit military man when needed.

Audition Piece


Third Officer/Captain: Captain who aids Viola in her escape from the shipwreck and tells her about Governor Orsino and Olivia. A kindly sea-dog, fatherly and strong. Able to also play an older Soldier.

Audition Piece

The Landlord Cast

Casting is now complete for the Signature Bahamian production for Shakespeare in Paradise 2015, The Landlord by Sam Boodle. Directed by Shakespeare in Paradise’s Artistic Director, Philip A. Burrows, the production goes into rehearsal on July 1st and is scheduled to have both student matinee and public performances during the festival. Last seen on stage in Nassau in 2003, this play has been a popular one for Bahamian audiences throughout the years and we thought it was time for it come back again after a break of twelve years.

Here are the cast members for this production: d&lDion Johnson will play ‘Willie Paul’ the mechanic of Haitian decent who lives in one of the houses that share a common yard. Johnson is presently preparing to once again play ‘Styles/Buntu’ in Sizwe Banzi is Dead as he and Mark Humes (‘Sizwe’) get ready to perform that play in Cayman later this year.

Coming off of her three-character tour de force performance in The 39 Steps,   Leslie Ellis-Tynes will take on the role of ‘Olga Newbold’, the independent woman of the yard. Leslie should be familiar to many Bahamians as an actress, voice-over artist and radio and television personality aka Leslie LezzBoogie.b&vBrentwood Thompson will play ‘Ellis’ the rent dodging gigolo who is conveniently absent on rent day, or any other day the Landlord comes calling. Thompson is best known as a performer with James Catalyn and Friends, having been in just about every production the company has done since 2011. Brentwood was also in the film Crazy Love and in season two of Gippie’s Kingdom

Valicia Rolle
plays ‘Sarah Roberts’ the man-stealing daughter of the play’s chief rent dodger ‘Mabel Newton’. Rolle returns to Shakespeare in Paradise having played two roles in 2010 in our evening of Jeanne Thompson’s one acts, “Out of Wedlock”. First as the conniving ‘Young Sweetheart’ in Father’s Day and then as ‘Maude’, the housekeeper, in Back of the Moon, seeking justice from the Priest who got her pregnant.R&RRichard Johnson will play ‘Mr. Ben’ the yard’s elder statesman. Having spent his time on the contract, ‘Mr. Ben’ is content to sit out in the yard all day and take on anyone who would join him in a friendly game of checkers but does he really cheat? Richard was recently featured in.

Rosemary Barrett
plays ‘Mabel Newton’ the Landlord’s real cross. She refuses to pay any rent until she can be told “how much dis roach ness worth”. Barrett most recently played a ‘Neighbour (Christian Woman)’ in The Legend of Sammie Swain who chastises the young people about their “vulgar” dancing only to be caught up in the middle of the Jumpin’ Dance during the celebrations.R&LRudy Levarity will play ‘Rufus Clarke’ the long-suffering Landlord who had no idea the hurdles he would have to go through to just collect his rent. Levarity, so far, is the only actor in this production that returns to this play having played the same character some twelve years ago. Rudy was recently featured in Island Boy.

Leah Duncombe plays ‘Carla Darling’ who is on a quest to find the woman who has been seeing her husband. Darling was seen in Ian Strachan’s Pa and the Preacher (on stage) and Gippie’s Kingdom (on television). Other productions include, Jacinta and the Devil, First Things First and Sarah’s Wedding.scottScott Adderley will play ‘Jakes’ (the Fishman). A close friend of ‘Mr. Ben’ from their days on the Contract together, the two still hang out to drink and play checkers. Adderley joins Rudy Levarity to become the second actor in this production to return to The Landlord, having played the character of ‘Jakes’ back in the 2003 Ringplay production. Scott is probably one of the most familiar actors in Ringplay/Shakespeare in Paradise having participated in a number of the group’s productions over the years.

Announcing Shakespeare in Paradise 2015!!!

Shakespeare in Paradise announces the lineup for its
7th annual theatre festival which takes place
October 2nd through October 10th.

The signature Shakespeare work this year will be Twelfth Night, written by William Shakespeare and directed by Patti Anne-Ali who returns to Shakespeare in Paradise after a break of five years. Patti directed our first two Shakespeare offerings, The Tempest (with Craig Pinder) and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Student matinees begin on September 28th and the production closes on October 3rd. This production will take place on the Main Stage at the Dundas.

The signature Bahamian play for this year’s festival will be Sam Boodle’s The Landlord. This hilarious comedy opens on October 6th and closes on October 10th. Student matinees run October 6th-9th. The director is Philip A. Burrows and performances for this work will also take place on the Main Stage at the Dundas.

Two new works we’re calling Murder & Poetry will play at the Black Box Theatre at the Dundas. This evening features a new one act play by Patrick Rahming called Miss Ethel’s Kitchen which is the murder part of our evening. The play’s main focus is on the kitchen staff at Westbourne during the events surrounding the murder of Sir Harry Oakes and trial of his son-in-law. The second half of the evening is a workshop production featuring the poetry of leading Bahamian poets. The directors for this evening are Nicolette Bethel and Erin Knowles.

Also at the Black Box Theatre this year will be our international offering, Pantomime by Derek Walcott. Director Henry Muttoo returns, having brought us One White, One Black in our very first festival. This production originates in Florida, then moves to SiP en route to the Cayman Islands. With him also come Marc Powers, the Director of the USF Schools of Theatre, Dance, Art and Music who will play the role of ‘Trewe’ and David Bereaux, the brilliant Trinidadian actor and Calypsonian, playing the role of ‘Jackson’.

The final work of the festival is a one-woman piece featuring that favourite of the Bahamian stage, Claudette “Cookie” Allens. This evening, called Cookie: 50 Years on Stage, is just that — a look back at Ms. Allens’ life in the theatre over the past 50 years. Cookie will be joined by a few friends and together they will tell the story not only of her stellar acting career but also of her volunteer work at the Dundas. This production will be traveling to various venues during the festival and is written and directed by Philip A. Burrows.

Auditions for the festival will begin near the end of June and will continue through the end of July. All audition notices will be posted on our Facebook page as well as emailed in our Ringplay mailout. To keep up to date with Shakespeare in Paradise 2015, like us on Facebook or subscribe to our mailing list!

And tell your friends to do so as well! We look forward to yet another successful year at Shakespeare in Paradise.

Shakespeare in Paradise 2014 Images

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R.I.P. Radel Parks and family

The Bahamian theatre community has lost a prominent member with the death on Sunday November 9 of Radel Parks (née Hanna), who, with her husband Lavard (“Manifest”) and their son Johannan, were with Dr Myles Munroe and his wife Ruth-Ann on the ill-fated private jet which crashed in Freeport, Grand Bahama, killing all on board.

Shakespeare in Paradise, its parent company Ringplay Productions, and the Dundas Centre for the Performing Arts all join in with Bahamas Faith Ministries and the wider Bahamian community in mourning their loss.

In particular, we wish to recognize Radel for her work in Bahamian theatre. Along with her twin sister Ranel Pierre, she was a founder of Redemptive Productions. Radel was a playwright, actor, director, and producer who attended the very first production workshop put on by Ringplay Productions in 2005.

Our hearts are heavy. Our community has lost a light. We especially hold Ranel in our thoughts and prayers. She has lost a sister, a collaborator, a partner. Radel will be missed dearly.

For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf


October 3, 4, 5 & 6, 8 PM, Dundas Black Box

Written by Ntozake Shange
Directed by Nicolette Bethel
Featuring Claudette Allens, Oniké Archer, Aleah Carey, Michaella Forbes, Arthellia Isaacs, Erin Knowles, Myra McPhee, & Theresa Moxey-Ingraham

Artwork by Lindsay Braynen, supported by the Current Gallery at Baha Mar.
Art Managed by Julia Ames.