Over this weekend of October 15 – 17, the Jamaica Association of Dramatic Artists (JADA) will mount a novel two-in-one suite of plays which will mark the start of JADA’S efforts to raise funds toward establishment of the “Theatre Artists Benevolent Fund” which will help members of the theatre community who are in need of urgent assistance in meeting pressing health and other expenses.
The premium theatre experience of two one-act plays, written, directed and performed by some of Jamaica’s best talents, will be on for four (4) shows only at the popular Theatre Place, 8 Haining Road, New Kingston . The first of these two plays will be Amba Chevannes’ two-hander – the hilarious “Ms. Burton Gets a Promotion.” This piece premiered at the Kingston on the Edge [KOTE] theatre night, and stars the multi-talented Rishille Bellamy-Peliece in the title role of the indomitable Ms. Burton. Theatre critic and occasional actor, Keiran King, will cap his pen and venture on stage as the second actor in this play. “Ms. Burton Gets a Promotion” is directed by two-times Actor Boy Award Best Actress winner, director and producer, Nadean Rawlings.
The second featured play will be the world premiere of Basil Dawkins’ “Josephine’s Night Out” – a play in one act for one actor. The talent for this production is Christine Ann Bell – a multi award winning actress who has taken home three (3) “Best Actress in a Lead Role” Actor Boy Awards for Louise Marriott’s ‘Office Chase’; Lenford Salmon’s “State of Emergency” – Salmon’s Jamaican adaptation of the famous Chilean play “Death and the Maiden” by Ariel Dorfman; and Lorraine Hansberry’s “A Raisin in the Sun”. Also much loved for her interpretation of the role of “Rose Madden” which she played for several years in the TV series “Royal Palm Estate”, Christine Ann Bell last seen in the lead role of the mother in Basil Dawkins’ “A Gift for Mom”.
Ms. Bell – who credits famed writer and director, Dennis Scott, as the greatest influence on her approach to acting – returns to the stage after an 8-year absence, specifically to aid this worthy cause. For this, her first one-woman performance, she is being ably guided by the direction of Eugene Williams, a critically-acclaimed theatre director and principal of the Edna Manley School of Drama.
According to Scarlett Beharie, the JADA member who is coordinating the production, “this rare theatrical offering marks the launch of a concerted effort – which will involve the mounting of at least one annual fundraiser, as well as an outreach to corporate Jamaica – toward ensuring that the TAB Fund will be able to grow and to achieve, in a very meaningful way, the purpose for which it is being established.”
The inaugural fundraiser, which will run from this Friday, October 15 to Sunday, October , is a 100% voluntary effort with everyone involved giving of their time and services free of charge. Show times are Friday at 8:00 pm; Saturday at 5:00pm and 8:00pm and Sunday’s Closing Gala performance at 6:00 pm.