All negotiations are done, all plays have been chosen, actors are in rehearsal and the venues are all set for the 4th annual Shakespeare in Paradise Theatre Festival. In one month from the writing of this post, October 5th, the festival will officially open. This year there are five productions in five venues throughout Nassau.

1. First our Signature Shakespeare production Merchant. This is the classic tale of the Merchant of Venice but since our production is set in The Bahamas, the Venice part of the title has been dropped. Gordon Mills, an actor in previous Shakespeare in Paradise productions and a veteran of the local theatre scene has taken on the task of directing, and for the first time in our short history, the venue for our Signature Shakespeare production has moved from the Dundas to the College of The Bahamas in their beautifully renovated Performing Arts Centre. There will be eight performances with four of them being exclusive student matinees that will take place at 11:00am on the 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th. The other four performances will be open to the general public and can be seen on Thursday, October 4th, which will be a special preview performance with discounted tickets for students and seniors. Friday, October 5th is the opening night for the festival and Merchant will be performed at 8:00pm and again on Saturday evening, also at 8:00pm. The closing performance will take place at 4:00pm on Sunday, October 7th.

2. Our Signature Bahamian production welcomes back playwright/actress/director Jeanne Thompson with her playwright hat on this time and her newly written One Act play, Back of the Moon. We will also present one of her classics, Father’s Day. This evening of two one acts is being called Out o’ Wedlock and is directed by our festival’s artistic director Philip A. Burrows. The cast is a mixture of newcomers and veterans and this production will take place at the Dundas. There will be a total of eight public performances beginning with a special preview on Thursday, October 4th where again we will offer discount tickets for students and seniors. The remaining evening performances will take place on the 5th (our opening night), 6th, 11th and 12th. Out o’ Wedlock will also have two matinee performances, one on the 6th and another one on the October 12th holiday. Both matinees begin at 2:00pm.

3. As a part of the celebration of the 50th Anniversary of Trinidad and Tobago’s Independence, Shakespeare in Paradise is pleased to present Lion City Live. This production features Freetown, which consists of two Trinidadians, Muhammad Muwakil and Lou Lyons. This evening offers music, poetry and more. Performances will take place October 9th and 11th at Antonius Roberts’ Hillside House and on the 13th at Nirvana. Performances will begin at 8:00pm.

4. Continuing with 50th Anniversary celebrations Shakespeare in Paradise will also present, from Jamaica, Mr and Mrs Blacke. This play is coming off a very successful and critically acclaimed run at the Philip Sherlock Centre at the University of the West Indies. The cast features Keiran King, who is also the playwright, and Sakina Deer. Paul Issa directs and the play is co-produced by Raisha Lovindeer. Performances will take place at the Dundas on October 9th, 10th and 12th at 8:00pm.

5. Speak the Speech is a new work created by Philip A. Burrows and compiled by Nicolette Bethel. Research for this work comes mostly from the College of The Bahamas with help from Stephen Aranha, Christopher Curry, Clifford Rahming, Michael Stevenson, Nicolette Bethel and her students. Other research help comes from Reva Cartwright-Carroll, Dr. Gail Saunders and Philip A. Burrows. This production will consist of a series of speeches and correspondences from the landfall of Christopher Columbus to the present day Bahamas. Toni Francis, Nicolette Bethel and Philip A. Burrows will handle the staging for this work. Appropriately, this production will take place at The Bahamas Historical Society and performance dates will be the 8th, 10th, 11th and 13th at 8:00pm.

Tickets for Shakespeare in Paradise productions are $25. We also offer discount ticket rates for students, seniors and groups. We believe that the best deal is our Season Ticket that gives you the opportunity to see all five productions with a savings of $25. The Box Office for Shakespeare in Paradise will open on September 17th at the Dundas Centre and will run Monday thru Saturday from 10:00am to 4:00pm until October 13th, the closing day of the festival. If you have questions about advance bookings please feel free to contact us at 431-7197. A full calendar for the festival will be posted here soon and there will also be further information added to this site as we move closer to opening so continue to check back here and also follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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