In the world of Jamaican theater, often, the characters created in popular plays take on a larger-than-life presence, spawning their very own fan base and allegiance of diehard followers. More times than not, the character that an actress or actor skillfully takes on, becomes their lifelong namesake! In every way imaginable, the character “Delcita,” portrayed by actress Andrea Wright and created by playwright Paul O. Beale, rings true to this phenomenon. Since Delcita’s character was re-launched in 2008, Jamaican “Roots” theater hasn’t been the same. Theatergoers continuously flock to see Delcita in action. And thanks to the divine talent of actress Andrea Wright, New York Tri-State fans will be treated to Delcita at her wittiest and best in Irish and Chin’s stagings of “The Politicians” on Saturday, May 26 (Hartford, CT – Weaver High School), Sunday, May 27 (Queens, NY – York College) and Saturday, June 23 (Campus High School – East Orange, NJ).
There are many elements of the Delcita character that make her a hit among fans. Not only is Delcita loud and wise, actress Andrea Wright says “The believability of the character and her sense of naivete contribute to Delcita’s appeal, furthermore, Delcita’s ability to navigate her way through any conversation is also a plus.” Audience members avidly follow Delcita during her dialogue with cast members, crediting her for her piercing delivery, punch lines and words of advice. Wright adds “Although Delcita comes from country, she is miraculously able to reign supreme in her dialogue.”
It’s actually almost hard to believe that Delcita and Andrea Wright are not one in the same, given that Wright portrays the character so well. When Irish and Chin inquired about similarities between the two, the actress laughed and said “I am nothing like Delcita’s character, as we are two different people. I strive to be politically correct and polished when communicating, while Delcita is raw, rough around the edges and to the point. But I truly respect Delcita!”
Staying true to the times and current happenings, the Delcita character is sharp in “The Politicians.” In the play, Delcita wittily puts up a hard fight to represent the people who love her. According to Wright, “Delcita translates exactly what writer Paul. O. Beale intends in this play. I guarantee that every audience member will walk away and take home at least 4-5 of Delcita’s lines from the play.” The energy and effort that Paul O. Beale invests in the Delcita character is evidenced by the overwhelming response of theatergoers. Wright confirms “Paul O. Beal writes for Delcita, providing her with great lines, words of advice and lessons learned…I give him credit for Delcita’s growth and development.”
Just as popular as the Delcita character is her outrageous appearance. Theater fans embrace Delcita’s disfigurement, country attire and rotten-toothed shell as if she was one of their own relatives. Wright believes that fans look forward to Delcita’s costume and that it too has played a major role in the character’s success.
Wright, who first displayed her love of performing in church cantatas and choirs, constantly expressed how grateful and blessed she is to be doing what she loves. This former guidance counselor by training has done a professional 360. Yet, has no regrets. Throughout the conversation, Wright wholeheartedly thanked fans, Stages Productions, Paul O. Beal and Irish and Chin for supporting and exposing Jamaican theater. At the close of the conversation, Wright said happily “I feel that I am at a transitional period in my acting career…something major is going to happen.” Wright didn’t mention new plays in the pipeline. However, the actress did indicate that she will make an appearance in the Bronx, New York in August for a Jamaica 50 celebration.
“The Politicians,” which is written by Paul O. Beale and directed by Bunny Allen, is a political revue that captures politics in Jamaica, largely dealing with the political campaigning and the various happenings that the public rarely if ever sees. The highly anticipated play, which fuses comedy and drama, will make its New York Tri-State debut on Memorial Day weekend. The play’s extraordinarily talented and seasoned cast also includes: Keith “Shebada” Ramsay, Christopher “Johnny” Daley, Michael “Stringbeans” Nicholson, Abigail Grant, Junior Williams, Stacy-Ann Brissette and Patrick Smith.