'Posse' rides on Father's Day weekendThursday, June 03, 2021
Since March 12 last year the local theatre scene has been at a standstill. The current pandemic has dealt a crushing blow to this brand of live entertainment.
For entities such as Jambiz International, producers of popular stage productions, this has been particularly stressful considering that for its employees theatre was their mainstay.
“To say this time has been tough for us is an understatement,” Lenny Salmon, one of the principals in the company, told the Jamaica Observer.
“It is an open secret that we have been dealt a hard blow. For over a year, we have not been able to take to the live stage and this has been particularly difficult for those among us who rely on the theatre as the only source of income. For over a year, many have been living on just savings, and as you can imagine that could be running low after more than a year,” he added.
To add insult to injury, the production house was forced to give up the lease on the theatre space from which it operated in New Kingston.
As with everything in entertainment, Jambiz International ventured into the virtual space last month with the comedy Windscream Posse, the work that had been yanked from the stage at the onset of the pandemic.
The production was staged virtually for the Mother's Day and Labour Day weekends, and is set to return for the Father's Day weekend – June 19-20.
“Theatre is what we do for a living and it's been truly disheartening and extremely difficult for us since COVID-19 forced our doors closed on March 12 last year,” said resident writer/producer/director Patrick Brown.
“But the good thing is that our loyal fan base stayed in touch with us through our Facebook page primarily and urged us to take the plays online so that they could continue to enjoy our productions. This is the first effort along those lines,” continued Brown.
As with other Jambiz productions, Windscream Posse uses a comedic vehicle to shine the spotlight on a societal ills, without seeking to trivialise the situation. This time writer Patrick Brown looks at child abuse, and he does so through the lens of a set of runaway children who roam the streets of Kingston in an effort to escape unbearable abuse, whilst making a honest hustle to survive by wiping windscreens.
The cast of Windscream Posse is led by one of Jamaica's leading actors in Glen “Titus” Campbell, who needs little by way of introduction to theatre lovers over the last four decades. He just seems to be able to reinvent himself with each role he tackles, giving fresh new interpretations each time, whilst still maintaining a high standard of comic portrayals. The cast is complemented by fresh new faces who have now become regular members of the Jambiz 'krew' in Sakina Deer, Courtney Wilson, Keisha Patterson, and David Crossgill.
Brown noted that the online version of the play will be just as entertaining as the actual stage version, ideal for the entire family, and may even cause a few teardrops to fall amidst the laughter as the story unfolds. He also said that the online space opens a window for Centerstage fans in the Jamaican Diaspora, who migrated from our shores in recent times, to be able to once again access our productions; so for him, this new paradigm has also brought a great measure of positives with it.
Access to Windscream Posse starts at midnight on Thursday, June 18, and will be available until midnight on Sunday, June 20 (Father's Day). Tickets may be accessed via the Caribtix platform at www.go.caribtixplus/centerstage.