2017 Entertainment Highlights

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Print this page Email A Friend!

On October 30, the country lost one of the giants of local theatre. Douglas Bennett, the chairman of the Jamaica Musical Theatre Company (JMTC), died at the University Hospital of the West Indies in St Andrew. He was 88.

Playwright David Tulloch spoke of Bennett's selflessness.

“He was instrumental in me starting my career. When I joined the JMTC at 14, he was the chairman... He's a legend, caring, and believes in your talent. He was selfless,” Tulloch told the Jamaica Observer.

The Scottish-born Bennett, who had lived in Jamaica for more than 50 years, helmed the popular theatre group and its youth arm, the Jamaica Junior Musical Theatre Company, since the early 1980s after there was a motion to dissolve the company.

In an interview with the Observer, Bennett recalled that moment.

“It was the annual general meeting of the JMTC, just ahead of its 21st anniversary, and there was a motion on the floor to disband the company. I was totally against such a move and, therefore, got up off my hind legs and objected to the motion. I guess I was that convincing that we received a vote of confidence rather than a death sentence,” he recalled.

Over the years, the JMTC has received a lot of flack over the types of production it stages. Its productions have primarily been remounts of Broadway musicals.

“Everybody else is doing Jamaican productions, so my position has always been, why not introduce our young people to other types of shows? Jamaicans can be proud of our local theatre. It is exciting, vibrant and varied. It showcases all aspects of Jamaican life and affords us the opportunity to be exposed. I am proud to have been associated with theatre over the years,” he asserted.

Bennett is survived by four children — Anna, Kristina, Fiona and Donald; grandchildren, other relatives and a host of friends.

— Richard Johnson

Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at http://bit.ly/epaperlive




1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper � email addresses will not be published.

2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.

3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.

4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.

5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed: advertising@jamaicaobserver.com.

6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email: community@jamaicaobserver.com.

7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy

comments powered by Disqus



Today's Cartoon

Click image to view full size editorial cartoon