Dawkins set for reopeningThursday, October 14, 2021
BY RICHARD JOHNSON
PLAYWRIGHT and theatre producer Basil Dawkins is getting his machinery in place for the eventual easing of COVID-19 restrictions which have cramped the local entertainment industry.
Speaking with the Jamaica Observer, Dawkins noted that he has used the past year-and-a-half of inactivity to be productive and has written two plays as well as reworked a musical. It is one of these plays that he is currently readying for when the authorities give the green light and the conditions are favourable.
“Our team currently has new scripts and are ready to be of service to all our patrons after Government allows for the reopening of theatre spaces. Our play-in-waiting is an engaging comedy/drama titled Unforgivable, which should have a mix of some old favourite faces and new faces as well,” he shared with the Observer.
He further noted that the usual December 26 date, when a number of productions opened on local stages, would be perfect.
“Once we receive that 'get-go', we would need about six to eight weeks in order to get things going, including rehearsals and the marketing machinery. Us getting back onstage would also be dependent on the stipulations attached to the reopening of the industry. The truth is, we can't operate at 50 per cent of seating capacity... that can't even pay for the electricity, so it has to be something that is viable. I am optimistic and hopeful that within the next three months something will give and we will be enjoying live theatre once again,” said Dawkins.
He is, however, cognisant that there will have to be changes in the operations, in respect to ensuring public safety.
“I suspect that in order to attend, all who enter will have to show proof of full COVID vaccination and so we encourage all of you to take the necessary steps to be compliant with the protocols that will be introduced. We are anxious and can't wait to be able to serve you again very soon,” Dawkins said.
With years of experience as producer and playwright, Dawkins's productions include What The Hell is Happening to us Dear, Feminine Justice, Toy Boy and Hot Spot.