Theatre off the stage

Theatre off the stage

Observer writer

Wednesday, April 08, 2020

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The theatre community is feeling the pinch from lockdown of entertainment events and large gatherings due to the novel coronavirus outbreak in Jamaica.

Speaking with the Jamaica Observer, actor Oraine Meikle said he and his colleagues have lost their bread and butter.

“To be honest, it is really rough for us, this [theatre] is our main source of income. The outbreak really affected us because our work solely depends on interaction with people,” he told the Observer.

Despite the hurdle, Meikle stressed that it is important for actors and others in the entertainment industry to stay relevant.

“We are now forced to hope for the best and put in the most work possible. So that means more engaging of social media posts with live video sessions, interactive convos with those who follow us, writing new scripts as well for future production,” he said.

Last year, Meikle was nominated for an Actor Boy Award in the category Best Actor in A Lead Role for the play One Blood.

Theatrical productions islandwide have been cancelled in an attempt to curtail the spread of the coronavirus disease. They include Jambiz International's Windscream Posse at Centrestage in New Kingston; Dahlia Harris's Hell & Powder House at Jamaica Shopping Club Theatre, and Basil Dawkins' Once a Man Twice a Wife at Little Little Theatre.

Jamaica has, to date, recorded 63 cases of the coronavirus disease and three deaths.

Meikle offered words of encouragement.

“I know it's hard to keep off stage doing what you truly love, but to all my fellow entertainers, stay safe, keep positive, be patient, don't get overwhelmed. Use this time to learn, research, rebrand if necessary and grow. Make ultimate use of social media responsibly,” he urged.

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