Fae Ellington said it at the start of the show where she was the MC. Basil Dawkins said it at the end of the play he wrote. Theatre is back and the stage is alive again. Fae shared the pain the industry suffered under Covid-19. Basil said he went numb when the theatres went silent.
Now audiences are venturing out slowly. At both shows, we saw anticipation – and hesitation – from people who left the safe confines of their home to brave this Covid-19 still ah keep new normal. Outside the theatres they greeted friends cautiously, when they could recognize them. Inside, most were guarded, even in their laughter, much of it behind masks. But they seemed overjoyed to be simply sitting in a theatre and enjoying a creative outburst that the pandemic had bottled.
The arts community is regaining its footing. People were clearly happy to see other theatre lovers they knew and even those they didn’t. Folks smiled more often than they had to, and everyone was polite to a fault. Basil, who knows how to market his work, gave a bouquet to a lady in the audience who was first to call Little Little Theater for tickets. He said his staff was slightly confused because they had not even printed them yet. She bought twelve and her crew took up an entire row. That got a hearty applause!
At the end of Basil’s play, Hide Your Husband, the actors also shared gratitude big time. Maylynne Lowe said how delighted they were to be back on stage and working. Basil reminded us that theatre helps us make sense of our society and our world. Think we can all agree that it brings issues into focus and the wisdom to solve them.
Fae said the same thing more dramatically at Rhythm, Rhyme and Storytime at the Denis Scott Theatre at the School of Drama. She paid homage to Miss Lou and other icons of the Jamaica stage in praising the young talent of poets, singers and storytellers who appeared that night.
We are thinking of reviewing theatre and other stage works in the future in this blog. But for now we urge you to see Basil’s play. And Blakka Ellis says he may do another staging of Rhythm Rhyme and Storytime because of the enthusiastic audience response. Not to worry, we will prips you about what is happening at http://www.pripsjamaica.com