Webster Memorial stages virtual play

Arts & Culture

Webster Memorial stages virtual play

BY BRIAN BONITTO
Associate Editor —
Auto &Entertainment
bonittob@jamaicaobserver.com

Sunday, August 30, 2020

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Released from Lockdown — a theatrical production by congregants of the Corporate Area-based Webster Memorial United Church — is scheduled for today at 3:30 pm.

Written by Sophia Lewin, the play will be streamed via YouTube, livestream , and Facebook@webestermemorial.

Veteran actress Fae Ellington is credited as director —a role she relishes.

“They were very willing to allow me to guide them. One of the things I usually say to uninitiated performers is that I don't want you to act, I want you to become... They applied themselves; they delivered in a short space of time. They all rose to the occasion,” she told the Jamaica Observer.

This is not the first time Ellington is sitting in the director's chair. In addition to corporate gigs, she directed the 2006 one-woman play Who Will Sing For Lena? starring Mackeda Solomon.

Solomon won an Actor Boy Award for Best Actress for the production. The Actor Boy Award recognises excellence in local theatre.

She said Release from Lockdown was quite different.

“It's not a play that stands on it's own but will lead into the sermon by Rev Astor Carlyle... The way it will be done it will appeal to an audience, not only a church-going audience. It's interesting to hear how he's going to wrap the whole thing together,” she said.

The cast comprises: Jamelia O'Connor as Jessica; Latoya Malcolm (Andrea); Alison Magnus (Yvonne); Lascelles Whittaker (Eric); Patrick Reid (Jermaine); Kemuel Walters (Patrick); Marq Johnson (Danny) and Allison Roberts (Arlene). Makeup artist Brittany South also plays a role in the production.

Released from Lockdown tells several stories, including love and family relationship, support and friendship, and Jesus's redemptive power.

“It is not about hitting yourself over the head with Christianity, but it is about offering an opportunity to see things from the perspective of release through your belief system as a Christian or embracing that. And not allowing the depression that a COVID-19 may unleash on you, this is one aspect of it. You'll find you'll have a broader set of shoulders to lean on in Jesus Christ,” she said.

Rev Carlyle is encouraging viewers to tune in to the innovative presentation.

“We are very proud to share this experience and continue to actively get behind novel ways of sharing the gospel with the Jamaican society and indeed the diaspora,” he said.

“This is what we want people to understand: The church is here to guide society, especially through uncertainty, and this mandate has taken on new meaning for such a time as this,” Rev Carlyle added.

Started in May 1941, Webster Memorial United Church is located at 53 Half-Way-Tree Road in Kingston.


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