This is something that is very close to my heart. The plays which are produced and acted out by a usually Jamaican cast have become a staple in the idea of being Jamaican as the plays usually explore the “ghetto life” with all its ups and downs, trials and crosses. Over the many decades Stages Production has been in business they have brought some of Jamaica’s most memorable and certainly out of the norm characters. From Oliver Samuels (foundation member) to reoccurring roles played by Bad Boy Trevor, the stage at the Little Theater is consistently packed.
The plays are loved by locals as well as Caribbean people for there dynamic and comical delivery that holds the audience in their seats. One of the reason I believe for its treasured status among locals is because for Jamaica’s mass working class, the themes portrayed are reminiscent of their daily lives. From the “Money Worries” to the “Love Games” its all familiar to the average Jamaican and they love it!
Probably the reason why the plays haven’t had more international appeal is because the entire play is usually delivered in Jamaican local tongue or Patois(Patwa). This would make it very difficult for a non-Jamaican especially non-Caribbean people to understand. Regardless the stellar performance from Decita are without question worth every penny, I love each one. A newer face to the scene would be Keith “Shebada” Ramsey, who will be explored by on a different post for what he represent regarding Jamaican cultural change and growing acceptance.
Here is a very interesting example of the power of the plays to examine and critique attitudes in Jamaica, especially those regarding class perception and expectations because you are apart of a particular social strata.
Patrick Brown’s “Vibes” with Camille Davis playing a leading role.