The F.J. Harquail Cultural Centre, which marks a special anniversary next year, continues to be an entertainment mecca for local residents.
Managed by the Cayman National Cultural Foundation, the cultural center will turn up the drama this month and take center stage itself when it opens its “30 events for 30 years” celebrations, staging three plays in November and December.
The 15-month-long anniversary festivities start Friday and Saturday with the staging of “Pantomime.” The Caribbean comedy classic by Nobel Laureate Derek Walcott will be produced by the CNCF and the School of Theatre, University of South Florida.
Directed by CNCF’s artistic director, Henry Muttoo, the production was well received recently in Tampa and at the Bahamas’ “Shakespeare in Paradise Festival.” The production will showcase the talents of both Marc Powers, director of the School of Theatre and Dance at the University of South Florida, and David Bereaux, a Gimistory regular.
The second production will be the Tony-award winning “Sizwe Banzi is Dead” by Athol Fugard on Nov. 13 through 15. Starring Dion Johnson and Mark Humes, the play is set during apartheid and is billed as an “intensely funny and poignant drama.”
Directed by Bahamian director/producer Philip Burrows, it was chosen by Muttoo for its qualities as a “captivating, bold, painfully honest play about the physical, psychological and spiritual trauma of the human dilemma.”
Rounding off the opening three plays is “The Fallen Angels and the Devil’s Concubine,” a social satire exploring several taboos in Jamaican society. The play uses situational comedy to highlight the protagonists’ experiences in a journey that bonds them together in shared secrets with an intriguing twist.
Starring local talent Rita Estevanovich and Lesley-ann Bernard, the production will run Dec. 4 through Dec. 6. It was last staged at the Harquail in the early 1990s.
All three productions, apart from the last night of “Pantomime,” will be staged in the smaller Studio Theatre and are for adult audiences only. For performance times and ticket prices (including anniversary packages available until Saturday and group discounts), visit CNCF’s website artscayman.org/calendar.
Tickets are available from Funky Tang’s, Foster’s Food Fair at the Strand, Health Care Pharmacy at Grand Harbour, CNCF 949-5477 or by emailing [email protected] Tickets for the Prospect Playhouse performance of “Pantomime” on Nov.1 can be booked online at cds.ky.