Ringplay Productions - SIP 2019 11th Annual Festival Introduces the Faces of Short Tales
SIP CELEBRATES 11th ANNUAL FESTIVAL OF THEATRE IN THE BAHAMAS BY BRINGING 10 NEW BAHAMIAN WORKS
TO THE STAGE FOR THE SECOND TIME
See what's new to our 2019 Festival!
Join Us for Another Season of Short Tales SiP 2019 - Introduces the "Faces" behind Short Tales. Today Meet Patrice Francis.
Story by Dr. Nicolette Bethel
Shakespeare in Paradise is a theatre festival held every October in Nassau, Bahamas. Part of its mission is to develop new works and new talent for Bahamian theatre. Short Tales is its latest project in that endeavour celebrating its second year.
Our series on the Faces of Short Tales, this SiP Festival continues with Patrice Francis.
“First Comes Mourning”, a “warm” play written by Patrice Francis and J. Ben-Hepburn, now playing in the Phillip A. Burrows Theatre at the Dundas during this Shakespeare in Paradise’s: Short Tales II. Patrice Francis is no stranger to the arts, being an actor, playwright and even a television host. We asked her to tell us a little about her play and she said, “this is the story of three sisters who run a funeral arrangement business: from the wake, to the repast and all logistics in between but they DO NOT handle the body. They work with the living to bury the dead in grand style.” She continued, “This is a Bahamian look at making a business out of mourning and burying the dearly departed.” Also, there will be singing! Patrice said, “a big part of being Bahamian and celebrating the life of a loved one who has passed away, is to sing them to glory” and to her this is the best part!
It has always been in her interest to write and to later tell stories making becoming a playwright, “a goal without being cognizant that it is a goal” she described it. According to Patrice, “in my family, so many things centered around telling stories. They fed you and told you a story. They disciplined you by telling a story of a relative whose obstinacy paid him disservice. There are stories that have been passed down for multiple generations. To tell them is to understand what it means to be a Sweeting, a Cambridge, a Thompson, a Storr, a Black, a Hanna, a Francis.”
She was 15 when she first realized her love for playwriting and how natural it came to her. However, it was only a few years ago that she decided to fully commit to becoming a master of the art. “Being a jack of all trades, rarely carves out distinction. I had to choose what I would master. It was then that I surveyed my gifts, my pursuits, my passion and realized that if there’s ONE thing I want to become really good at, it’s writing plays” she said. The theatre is her home and she feels most comfortable being on the stage and writing for her. “Gee, I suppose for me, the stage is female. She gives birth to so many aspects of the self who trusts her” she said. Although writing is what she is most passionate about, Patrice is actively exploring how powerful forming teams can be to handle running a theatre. What excites her about the theatre is that it can be a place for gifted individuals to feel they can contribute in harmony for a good that is enduring and impactful.
When asked “why Short Tales?” Her resounding response was, “why not Short Tales? It’s a BRILLIANT idea with a huge potential for developing Bahamian writers, actors, directors and support teams.” She admits, “it can be daunting to think of turning an idea into a full-length work. But, to come up with 10 pages – now, most writers feel they can do THAT. It’s a great start. It gives one the opportunity to flesh out these characters, to play with this plot and once one is done, one may decide to write more or leave the full stop where it is.” She also said its not much easier to do as opposed to a full-length work, but it is less intimidating and doable. To her, Short Tales is not only fun, but, inspiring, invigoration and creatively and culturally important to The Bahamas. “I think in that sense, these short plays can serve as a springboard to get started and hopefully to keep writing” she says.
What advice would you give to aspiring playwrights? Her advice to aspiring playwrights, “writers write.”
You can also see Patrice performing in
Measure for Measure
Directed by Jovanna Hepburn.
Now Playing in the Winston Saunders Theater
Season Two Ten New Plays
Ten New Writers
Nine Directors And A Whole Lot of Fun and Excitement
Now Playing Philip A. Burrows Theatre The Dundas Centre for The Performing Arts.
SAVE THE DATES SHORT TALES SEPTEMBER 30, 2019
OCTOBER 2, 8, 10 ,11 & 12, 2019
THE DUNDAS CENTRE FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS,
PHILIP A. BURROWS THEATRE
Short Tales is one of four productions and one special event that makes up SIP 2019 Check Out Our Other Productions for SIP 2019