Following the success of its first-ever spring concert last May, the University College of the Cayman Islands will host another major fundraiser entitled The Christmas Cake, a musical presentation on Saturday, December 17, 2011.
The Christmas Cake offers a wholesome, uniquely Caymanian holiday entertainment for family and friends.
“We intend to capture the imagination of the audience as we take them on a journey reminiscent of Caymanian Christmases of yesteryears,” says Director Monika Lawrence, renowned Jamaican dancer-choreographer who developed the play from the short story written by JA Roy Bodden in his book, Stories My Grandfather Never Told Me.
The play features the comedic stylings of Caymanian superstar Quincy Brown, who will be joined by other local favourites Rita Estevanovich, Swanky Kitchen Band and Evomere Band. The University College’s very own rising stars, the UCCI Choir, UCCI Dancers and the multi-awarded UCCI Pandemix Steel Pan Band complete the ensemble cast.
“I am truly excited to be performing in The Christmas Cake,” Quincy says. He adds that he has utmost respect for the faculty and students involved in the show.
“I consider it a great privilege to co-direct with the ever-so-talented Monika Lawrence and work with music genius Glen Inanga. In my estimation, this collaboration of the UCCI Choir, Dancers and Pandemix band will showcase the best production that UCCI has staged to date.”
He muses that accepting to appear in The Christmas Cake was an easy decision.
“I have tremendous amount of respect and admiration towards UCCI President Roy Bodden. Not only is he a Caymanian educator par excellence, he is also a very good storyteller, capturing the very essence of Cayman’s history and culture. When I heard that UCCI was going to adapt his short story to stage, I immediately accepted, confident in the knowledge that it would be greatly successful and of high standard.”
Monika tells us that the timing is right for an offering such as The Christmas Cake.
“Cayman is well poised in the direction of rediscovering its cultural identity. As we remember our past and rich cultural heritage, it is also important for us to embrace our present identity, as we move forward into the future. It is crucial that people in Cayman’s multiculturalism support the cause of the University as we impact our islands through arts with hopes of leaving an indelible mark of Caymanian identity in the minds of our scholars. The cause is bigger than UCCI, it is an inspiration for cultural nationalism in Cayman.”
The performers have been undergoing serious preparations for the play.
“Apart from regular rehearsals, our Musical Director Glen Inanga, Quincy and I are currently conducting workshops that expound on dramatic exercises, such as role playing, stage presence, breathing exercises, trust techniques, facial expressions, body language and characterisation.”
The development of a Performing Arts programme is part of Mr. Bodden’s vision for the University.
“In addition to offering an opportunities for students to build self-confidence, the performing arts also provide avenues for students to explore and understand the importance of other persons and the roles they play, both literally and figuratively, as it is through interdependence that we thrive as a people.”
He expresses his hope that students realise the myriad possibilities for career development in the Performing Arts, and that events such as these will keep them motivated.
“The objective in this case is threefold. First, to provide a constructive outlet for our students to explore the performing arts in all its facets. Secondly, to showcase to the public some of the abilities our students have and finally, to raise funds to promote Performing Arts as a course of study.”
Regular admission is $15 while students and children will only be charged $10. Fabulous gate prizes including an 8 GB iPod Touch from Kirk Office Equipment, a gift certificate from AL Thompson’s, cinema tickets from Weststar and many more goodies await lucky attendees. Christmas cakes, peppermint, sorrel, tamarind juice and other local favourites will be on sale.
Tickets are available at Funky Tangs, Books and Books, the UCCI Student Services Office. You can also reserve your tickets via email: [email protected] or call 623-0561.