Arts & Culture

Maas Ran symposium today

Thursday, October 26, 2017

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THEATRE stalwarts Oliver Samuels and Patrick Brown are among the speakers slated for the Ranny Williams Memorial Symposium at the Little Theatre in St Andrew tomorrow at 10:00 am.

Organised by the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC) and free to the public, the symposium will commemorate the 105th Anniversary of the birth of cultural icon Ranny “Maas Ran” Williams.

The event is scheduled to take the form of a discussion on the topic 'A Successful Career in Theatre'. Theatre practitioners Michael Holgate, Brian Heap, and Fabian Thomas will also be in attendance.

“The Ranny Williams Memorial Symposium is a unique and remarkable opportunity to share with some of the leading men in Jamaican theatre. We believe it is an ideal way to pay tribute to Maas Ran, an early Jamaican theatre great and someone very important to us at the JCDC,” said Gregory Simms, JCDC's director of events and production.

The director also noted it would be an invaluable opportunity for persons looking to break into the Jamaican theatre scene to learn the dos and don'ts from industry stalwarts.

“I have nothing in memory of an occasion like this, with so many greats in the theatre fraternity sitting and sharing their theatre expertise. It is a great learning opportunity for theatre students and aspiring playwrights, actors and directors alike. As we explore building a successful career in the theatre industry, we are inviting the public to come and explore with us,” he said.

Born in Panama in 1912, Williams came to Jamaica at six. He was a dramatist, comedian, and radio and TV host. In addition to numerous pantomimes, he appeared in several films including A High Wind in Jamaica, Oh Dad Poor Dad, Jamaica No Problem, and The Marijuana Affair.

His list of accolades include a Silver Musgrave Medal and an Order of Distinction (Commander class) for outstanding services in the field of entertainment.

Maas Ran died on August 11, 1980. He was interred in the National Heroes Park in Kingston.

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