Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Shakespeare in Paradise - From Paradise to Prague: Bahamians in Bohemia

Shakespeare in Paradise Contingent of Seven Represent
Ringplay Productions and The Bahamas
in The Czech Republic

There’s something about capital cities. They are oft regarded as the hearts of nations – the culturally beating centres intended to confirm for locals and introduce to visitors the essence of a country. They don’t hold the whole of a nation’s story but theirs is a significant contribution to the overall landscape of what defines a country. In this regard, Nassau is no exception; neither is Prague.

After 10 years of declaring and demonstrating that The Bahamas is an ideal place for a Shakespeare theatre festival, Dr. Nicolette Bethel, Shakespeare in Paradise (SIP) Co-founder and Festival Director, led a team of seven delegates to the annual Shakespeare Theatre Association (STA) Conference in Prague, the city of a hundred spires. The capital city of Czech Republic, Prague is best defined by its amazing architectural nod to a storied past, crowded pubs, a vibrant theatre scene and that undeniable, energizing buzz typically emitted by capital cities.
The “Praguelodytes”, a term coined by SIP Co-Founder and Ringplay Productions’ Artistic Director Philip Burrows, also included Delores “Red” Adderley, Claudette “Cookie” Allens, Erin Knowles-McKinney, Dario McKinney, Jovanna Hepburn and Patrice Francis. They left Nassau on Thursday, January 3rd and arrived, via Atlanta and Amsterdam, in Prague on the morning of Friday, January 4th and spent the next nine days being immersed in Shakespearean goodness: joining Shakespeare theatre practitioners from around the world in acting workshops, plenary sessions on artistic, educational and management issues as well as performances in both English and Czech. Both Dr. Bethel and Knowles-McKinney served as panellists on two separate provocative discussions on “Shakespeare around the World” and “Colour Conscious Casting” respectively.
Associate Artistic Director Erin Knowles-McKinney remarked: “STA 2019 was an invigorating, inspiring charge of theatrical energy I never knew existed. To say that I enjoyed would be an understatement. I have found an added driving force behind the title Associate Artistic Director and I am looking forward to SIP 2019 with an insatiable hunger.”

The nine-day conference culminated with a banquet in the Lobkowicz Palace at Prague Castle.

“It was so rewarding and fulfilling for all of us,” said Delores “Red” Adderley, Dundas Manager and Box Office Manager.
The contingent has returned home inspired with a renewed commitment to produce excellent theatrical productions both during the SIP Fall Festival and during the Dundas Repertory Season which has just been revived by Ringplay. The inaugural production, which ran for two weekends in January (18th – 20th and 25th – 27th ), was Trevor Rhone’s Smile Orange, directed by Anthony “Skeebo” Roberts.

Our mailing address is:
Shakespeare in Paradise
P. O. Box SS5144
c/o The Dundas Centre for the Performing Arts, 103 Mackey Street