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YouTube Series: “Heist” by Maya Wilkinson

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Heist” was originally a 20-minute short play that won “Best Production” at “Tallawah” Dramatic Arts Festival in 2014. After that success, I was super excited, and I had the crazy idea to stage “Heist” as a full-length commercial play. I was nervous and I had no money, but in 2017, I managed to stage the play with an amazing production team and a cast of 16 males. Apart from the success and the fact that so many people came out to see “Heist”, one of the best surprises was the fact that we were nominated for 11 Actor Boy Awards.”

This is the first part of the recorded introduction to episode 1 of a Jamaican online theater experience I promise you will enjoy. The words are spoken by Maya Wilkinson, an established writer, director and multimedia artist. You would have seen her artwork on the album cover of “Heaven On Earth” by The No-Maddz, and on much of the flyers and info-graphics released by the local creative collective known as The Quilt Performing Arts Company.

 

From the get-go, I found myself being able to find a chuckle here or there (I wouldn’t consider myself the humorous type). We can see how wit and wordplay go wonderfully together in the conversation between the employees and their boss at the newspaper office. At one point when the boss starts beating down on them because they aren’t selling enough copies, one of the journalists starts complaining about the easy money photographers make. He goes:

What’s that thing they always say?….(pauses, then remembers)…ah! If it mooooves, shoooot iiit!” *cue mocking photographer pose*

His boss doesn’t miss a beat in retort: “…and if it happens, wriiittteee iiittt” *writes an imaginary article in the air*

Comedy is a genre that will always draw its audience, but in the middle of the year 2020, we find that the entertainment sector on a whole has been mostly immobilized. This, however, only applies to those who have not yet made the transmission to online social media and video-hosting platforms. Therefore, in the aim of sharing and preserving good art, you are encouraged to partake in the in experience of Jamaican Theatre – right in the comfort of your own home, as you socialize in a distant manner.

All involved include the Philip Sherlock Centre for the Creative Arts, Allison Harrison, Kaiel Eytle, Desmond Dennis, David Crossgill, Everaldo Creary, Kaleb D’Aguilar, Darian Reid, Rodney Campbell, Darynel Beckford, Jonathan Dwyer, Ackeem Poyser, Duncan Ellis, Christopher McFarlane, Marlon Walker, Tyane Robinson, Michael Holgate, Nicholas Amore, Nadia Roxburgh, Patrick Russell, Michael Lorde, Aisha Robinson, Alexandra Gregory, Shanice McCatty, Sheldon Scott, Darin Tennent, Kenardo Phillips, Akeem Anderson, Alex Anderson, Cesar Buelto, Joanna Blake, Jonathan Barrett, Kalia Ellis, Katherine Johnson, Kim-Michael Black, Patrick Watson, Shane Wright, Stafford Marshall, Stefan Marshall, Steven Anderson, Cashyaka McDonald, Jadon-John Barton-Williams, Moya McIntyre, Rosini Robinson, Javier Dayes, Monique Kidd, Charl Baker, Danielle Burke, Gabrielle Murdock, Ikem Smith, Joshua Solas, Lauren Silvera and Romario Lynch.

I’ll use Maya’s own words to round out this review: “For those of you who are gonna watch “Heist” for the first time, I hope you enjoy it – and for those you of who have seen it before and are coming back to watch it again, thanks for your support!”

Blessings in abundance!

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