Aunty Donna set for BangarangTuesday, May 04, 2021
BY RICHARD JOHNSON
“EXPECT the unexpected.” That's the warning being issued by social media sensation, entrepreneur and philanthropist Donna “Aunty Donna” Gowe as she ventures into the world of theatre and acting with the upcoming premiere of the comedy Bangarang Inna Miss Donna House.
Gowe is the first to tell you that she has never done anything remotely close to her imminent stage debut but is willing, able and putting in the work to make this venture as successful as her other areas of interest.
“The truth is I have never been in an acting class. In school, I would go to drama classes just for a laugh but never took it serious... just went to laugh. But this is the time for Aunty Donna to step out. Step into new areas. And I am working hard to make it successful,” she said.
Gowe is now deep into rehearsals for the production which will begin streaming on May 14. The process of preparing the production for the stage has been a real eye-opener for the budding actress.
“My biggest misconception was that that these actors just go on stage and talk. I had no idea of the amount of work that goes into preparing a play. Mi neva know about this whole heap a work...a script to study, and the hard work of understanding the character and getting into that character. The behind the scenes is a whole new thing but, I'm enjoying it,” Gowe shared with the Jamaica Observer.
She is being ably assisted by a few veterans of the Jamaican theatre scene who are her castmates in the production. Recognisable names such as Peter Heslop, Audrey Reid, Karen Harriott, and Deon Silvera are all there giving support.
In fact, it was Reid who first suggested that Gowe try her hand at acting.
“I was in Canada last year with Audrey and we were having such a good chemistry and she said to me 'You a comedian.' We stayed in touch and one day she said her producer would love to put me in a play. At first I said 'Mi a nuh actress.' She then told me that I just have to be myself and work on my lines. So when she called me back to say they were ready I just said, 'If this is a door I'm gonna walk through it and see what it has in store for me,' “ said Gowe.
Reid, who plays Gowe's sister in the comedy about family and the differences that arise in that setting, noted that she has been very pleased with Gowe's willingness to learn.
“She is ready. She is excited and want to put her best foot forward. There are times when she herself says, 'I want to do over that line,' and she does it over and over until she gets it right. She is a raw talent. What you will see on stage is a different side of the Aunty Donna that you are used to. I don't want to give away too much but I will say that the play is full of laughter and fun and she will be giving you the Donna Gowe way of delivering lines,” said Reid.
Gowe, who grew up in Red Hills, St Andrew, and currently resides in the Mountain View area of the Corporate Area, has made a name for herself with her efforts on social media.
“I am passionate about helping people – this I got from my grandmother. When I was growing up I witnessed her helping a lot of people and I have just worked to continue that.
Bangarang Inna Miss Donna House is one of two local theatre productions being taken to the world via streaming platforms created by local outfit Whirlwind Productions. King of Jamaican comedy Oliver Samuels will take to the streaming platform starting May 7 with his Mother's Day production Fambily Fuel. The plays will be available on the streaming platform at Mytelefy.tv