Betty Knowles 5 May 1948 – 14 March 2014

Betty Knowles clip from “When a Man Dreams Dreams”

The Shakespeare in Paradise family—indeed the whole theatre family in Nassau, if not The Bahamas, was saddened two weeks ago to learn of the death of Elizabeth “Betty” Knowles, who for the past twenty-five years was manager of the Dundas Centre for the Performing Arts.

The day after she passed, the following was posted on our Facebook Page:

On Saturday March 22, SiP’s Artistic Director, Philip A. Burrows, gave the following tribute to Betty on behalf of the theatre community:

First, in my best Betty vocabulary, I would like to say that I and Betty had a very interesting relationship over the past 33 years.

My first encounter with Betty Knowles was at the beginning of the Dundas Repertory Season, in 1981, when she was brought to the Season to work by Warren Jones. I knew that she was one of the helpers backstage but she really came to my attention when the renowned Jamaican playwright, Trevor Rhone, who was here directing his play Smile Orange, came to me after that production and said that Betty would make an excellent Stage Manager. He was quite impressed with how on the ball she was and he thought that she might have a future in some area of the theatre.

Winston Saunders and I approached Betty to run the Box Office for the Repertory Season and that is where she stayed for quite sometime. In 1985 I asked her to be my Stage Manager for a production of Sammie Swain. This was the production that took place at the then Bahama Rhythm Theatre and one of the evenings of that production was the command performance for Queen Elizabeth II. This of course was at that most historic Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting. In the years to follow I would tell many stories about that production and Betty would feature prominently in them. Apart from being one of the directors of the production, I was also calling the show so I was in the booth with the lighting and sound technicians and I was communicating with Betty, who was backstage, on headset. Now sometimes in the theatre we say that the real show happens backstage and the audience never gets to see all of the drama, only the performance happening onstage.

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4 Replies to "Betty Knowles 5 May 1948 - 14 March 2014"

  • comment-avatar
    Monique Toppin
    March 31, 2014 (12:11 pm)
    Reply

    What a woman…there is only one ‘Betty Knowles’. I will really miss her whenever I think of the Dundas, many laughs and good memories. I pray that she will rest in peace.

  • comment-avatar
    Patti-Anne Ali
    March 31, 2014 (12:32 pm)
    Reply

    She exemplified committment to one’s passion. The show must go on and Betty’s determination made sure that it did. I respected her authenticity and her work ethic. She has left an outstanding legacy of commitment that will continue to enrich and inspire. Bravo Betty. Thank you.

  • comment-avatar
    Beulah Farquharson
    March 31, 2014 (12:47 pm)
    Reply

    I worked with her at productions only a few times. Dedicated, very professional, pleasant to work with always and very helpful. RIP Betty.

  • comment-avatar
    Barry Smith
    March 31, 2014 (4:22 pm)
    Reply

    It was a great loss to Dundas family and its patrons. My deepest condolences to Betty’s family.


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