Announcing Shakespeare in Paradise 2010

Shakespeare in Paradise is pleased to announce the major works for its 2010 theatre festival to be held in Nassau, October 1st – October 11th.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare
Woman Take Two by Telcine Turner-Rolle
God’s Trombones by James Weldon Johnson
Indio by Alaudin Ullah
One Flesh (Come Back To Me by Jesse Alick & Manikato by Phillip Peters)
Dat Bahamian Ting by Robin Belfield
Horn of Plenty by Shakespeare and others

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.

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.

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. Reprising their original roles in our production will be Dana J. Ferguson and Simon Tcherniak. 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’ and did post graduate acting training at Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. British-born Tcherniak, who plays ‘Rev. Alexander Scott‘, is a graduate of the Bristol Old Vic’s two-year acting programme. 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.

Last but not least, Horn of Plenty is an evening 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!

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, and other events that will be revealed in the weeks and months to come. 

Audition announcements will also happen soon, so look out for that information if you are interested in participating. You can also sign up on our website to be a volunteer in the festival here.

The festival will have an official opening on Thursday, September 30th at 7:00 p.m. and a full schedule of all productions will soon be posted on our website. Bookings will be accepted online and/or by telephone starting September 13th with special discount tickets sales that will continue until September 25th. The Box Office, at The Dundas, will open on September 20th. Full-price tickets will be on sale until October 11th, the closing day of the festival.

The countdown is on! 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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