Actor Boy Awards revamped


Actor Boy Awards revamped

Rising Stars adopts wait-and-see approach

By Richard Johnson
Observer senior reporter

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

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REPERCUSSIONS of the spiralling COVID-19 pandemic continue to affect the local entertainment scene. Among the latest events to be affected by the disease caused by the coronavirus is the Actor Boy Awards.

The award ceremony, which recognises excellence in local theatre, was originally set for May 4. However, with the prevailing circumstances regarding the ban on large gatherings, event producer Maurice Bryan said discussions are currently being held to see what alternate plans can be put into place.

“We may have to do everything on TVJ... nomination announcement and awards,” Bryan told the Jamaica Observer, alluding to a launch and presentation show staged inside the studios of Television Jamaica without an audience.

“We can't get an OK to have a large gathering at this time,” he continued.

Bryan said the nominees should be made known in another week, but discussions will have to be held to arrive at the final format.

“Not really looking to have an audience in studio for nominations or awards if this situation isn't lifted or gets better,” Bryan concluded.

All local theatre productions have been put on hold since Government's announcement of the first case of COVID-19 last week. The National Pantomime Ruckshon Junction; Dahlia Harris' Hell & Powder House, Basil Dawkins' Once a Man Twice a Wife; and Jambiz International's The Windscream Posse have all been put on hold.

Meanwhile, producers of televised talent show Digicel Rising Stars are taking a wait-and-see to the upcoming season.

In an interview with the Jamaica Observer, senior producer Sharon Schroeter said the production team is sticking by its schedule.

“We usually hold auditions in May, based on our schedule. We will adjust accordingly based on the situation, but there are not talks of cancellation,” she said.

Schroeter would not release the audition dates, but said the venues will remain the same as they were last year — Turtle River Park in Ocho Rios, St Ann; Manchester High School in Mandeville, Manchester; and the Ranny Williams Entertainment Centre in Kingston.

The pandemic is also having an effect on international tours by reggae acts.

Two weeks into their Spring 2020 Tour, reggae band EarthKry has announced the cancellation of their remaining 25 dates.

The tour, which kicked off on March 8, had the quartet down to play in North Carolina, Vermont, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Virginia, Washington DC, Pennsylvania, New York, Minnesota, Illinois, Texas, California, Utah and Nevada.

“In light of the spreading and growing fear of COVID-19 affecting people worldwide, we unfortunately have to postpone shows on the tour as the developments happen. We were strongly advised to take the necessary precautions and follow the protocol orders by the health officials. We also want all of our fans to be safe and healthy. We will postpone the March shows for now as we watch the developments for the next two weeks before coming to a final decision on the entire tour. We are sorry for any inconvenience caused. We would like to thank the promoters and fans for understanding the situation at hand as we head back home to Jamaica to our families. See you all soon. One Love, be safe,” said band member Phillip McFarlane in a statement.

The New Rules Festival, which was set for April featuring deejay Alkaline, has also been postponed. The organisers note that in light of global and local developments this decision has been taken regarding the event.

“We are presently consulting our advisors on the best date to host the event, based on the predictions by medical experts on when this unforeseen virus will be contained,” a statement read.

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