Wednesday, October 6, 2010
Bahamian play set to take place in Grand Bahama in November
The new stage production by writer/director Conrad Knowles makes a number of promises, including a well-written, well-directed and well-acted stage play. Perhaps the biggest promises the new production can make is that everyone who attends will be able to relate to the story and the characters in one way or the other.
Knowles say that the script came out of his frustration of seeing the divide that exsist between people in church and people in clubs and on the streets.
"It felt like there is a great divide between these two sets of people and I felt like there has to be a way to bring these two together," said Knowles.
"So, when I wrote this play, I had that at the forefront. It appeared that the people in church did not want to go anywhere where those people were drinking and cussing and the people out in the world, seemingly did not want to go to church where they felt fake people were.
"But the truth is they need each other. So, I came up with One Big Circle."
Conrad Knowles is no stranger to productions, having been around acting and productions for more than 15 years. His résumé of acting and writing include "You musse gat dat ting", "traffic court", "the fatal fabric", "Poison in the mother's milk" and "fame-the musical".
He's also been involved in a few films in Nassau.
But getting to write One Big Circle did not come without its challenges. For the most part, the biggest challenge for Knowles and actually completing the script was more emotional and mental than anything else.
It took him five years to write and rewrite One Big Circle, until he was satisfied with the final production.
For Conrad, this production serves as a statement of him taking control of his career as an actor, writer and director.
"When I first read the script, I not only enjoyed it, but I somehow related to it and I believe that the story is so true that there are many people in our society who will be able to relate to the story and to the characters," said Alexis Pelecanos, who plays Katie Cummings , the down to earth, shy house wife who happens to be going through some rough times in her marriage.
However, because her mother is one who does not believe in divorce, Katie does her best to bear with her situation and put on a good face.
"All of the characters have their own unique set of problems and because of that it comes together wonderfully, especially in the end. I believe that people will enjoy this."
Pelecanos is not new to the stage, having been a part of a number of productions, but mostly musicals. Theatre fans would remember Pelecanos from her most recent role in Dream girls, where she played Effie. This will be the first production where she will come from behind her singing and focus more on her acting.
"For me, this is different, but I like it because now I get to concentrate on the character, the emotions and the way the character feels, rather than depending on my singing," admits Pelecanos.
"In a way it has been a bit easier for me."
As one of the lead characters in One Big Circle, Pelecanos will get to test just how much her acting has improved over the years, without having to depend on her singing. Her character of Katie is not only one of the lead characters in the production, but because many women will be able to relate to her, Pelecanos knows she has her hands full.
In the meantime, her husband Virgil, played by Earl 'Daddy Steelie' Neilly, is a businessman, who is a go-getter, but who also has to face the issues that is taking place in his marriage.
Neilly is convinced that his character in One Big Circle could be any guy, any husband who has to struggle through everyday life. Like his stage wife, Katie, he feels that all of the guys who will be in the audience watching the production will be able to relate to his character.
"There will be some humour in it, but at the same time, they will be able to see the positive side of it," said Neilly.
This will be Neilly's second stage production, but his first big production, where he holds a major role. Having grown up watching other family members take part in stage productions, Neilly is hoping to make a big impression.
Conrad Knowles said that although he has written a number of short scripts before, he wanted to embark on a big production because he was tired of having to wait on some foreign company to bring a big production to The Bahamas.
"Although I have been a part of the theatre for years, I want fans to know that there is nothing like this play," said Knowles.
"This is totally Bahamian. It's written, directed by Bahamians with an all Bahamian cast. Other actors expected to be a part of this production include Wesley Butler and Diane Morgan, both of whom are well-known stage actors.
And what can theatre fans expect when they attend One Big Circle?
"They can expect a roller coaster of emotions, inclusive of drama, humour and the possibility of even shedding a tear," explained Pelecanos.
"The best thing would be for the fans to come to the theatre with their minds open and with high expectations."
One Big Circle is presently in rehearsal and is expected to hit the stage November 13-14. The final venue has not yet been decided.