A busy year under lights

BY RICHARD JOHNSON Observer senior reporter johnsonr@jamaicaobserver.com

Friday, December 13, 2013    

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LOCAL theatre scene continued to show growth during 2013. Approximately 21 plays have been mounted so far with another eight scheduled to open before year end.

On reflection, 2013 can be classified as the year of sex in the theatre. Leading the charge was the David Tulloch-penned, Stages Theatre-produced erotic thriller Risqué.

This play did not just push the envelope, but tore it open with its strong sexual content which included frontal nudity.

Though much tamer, Jambiz International's Ladies of The Night explored the 'world's oldest profession'.

Playwright Aston Cooke also looked at sex in the 21st century with Internet Affair, while Keiran King tackled forbidden love in Taboo, which saw the acting debut of beauty queen and television presenter Yendi Phillipps.

There were other memorable productions. These included the Little Theatre Movement's 73rd annual pantomime, Skoolaz; Joan Belfon re-mounted Earl Warner's seminal and controversial Man Talk and Dahlia Harris' DMH Productions staged Thicker Than Water.

Other highlights included the Order of Distinction for actor Volier Johnson; actor Oliver Samuels turned 65; Toni-Kay Dawkins made her directorial debut with Basil Dawkins' (her father) Toy Boy; and the return to theatre of performance poets Nomaddz (Everaldo Creary, Sheldon Shepherd, Oneil Peart and Chris Gordon) with their play Breadfruit is The New Bread Baby.

On the business side, Stages Theatre in New Kingston closed its doors and relaunched as RBT Productions at Green Gables Theatre.

The fraternity also said goodbye to a few of its members. Producer Ralph Holness, actor Calvin 'Mas Jasper' Morris, comedian Garnet 'Apachie Chief' Allen and wardrobe mistress Barbara Kaufmann.





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