Help us revive The Legend of Sammie Swain!

For this, our fortieth anniversary of independence, Shakespeare in Paradise has taken on the mammoth task of reviving E. Clement Bethel’s The Legend of Sammie Swain.

It will cost us over $100,000 to produce!

We’re asking the supporters of Shakespeare in Paradise to help us make it happen.

We have started an aggressive fund-raising campaign. We have approached the Government of The Bahamas, who have asked that it be done for the Fortieth Anniversary of Independence. We have approached corporate Bahamas.

So far we have succeeded in raising only $8,500 from these sources, which we’ve been bombarding since May.

So this month we’ve also started a crowdfunding campaign at Indiegogo! We’ve raised over $2,000 already. In one week, ordinary people have given 1/4 of what it has taken us 3 1/2 months to raise from the government and the business community!!

Join them!

What is this Sammie Swain anyway?

For those of you who don’t remember, Sammie Swain is both the first full-length Bahamian ballet and the first Bahamian folk opera. It is based on a story collected by former editor of the Tribune, Etienne Dupuch, about a disabled Cat Island man who loved the village beauty and took drastic action to win her heart. Part ghost story, part love story, it defined two generations of Bahamians between 1968 and 1985.

Between 1968, when it was presented in Mexico City at the Olympic Games, and1985, when it was performed for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Nassau, it was produced several times. But it has not been performed for the past 28 years.

It is now in danger of being lost forever, because many of the elements that make up the story exist in the minds of the performers. The dances have not been written down, the handwritten score is incomplete and the script exists largely in the minds of the actors who played the parts.

To save this important part of Bahamian culture, Shakespeare in Paradise is producing a run of 8 performances this October. But the cost of producing it is so much that we’re risking the entire future of Shakespeare in Paradise going forward.

Ticket sales, EVEN IF WE SELL ALL OUR SEATS AT FULL PRICE (which we never do), will garner only 2/3 of the cost of the production.
Why do it, then, if it’s so risky?

We happen to believe that there are certain things that are worth the risk. And we happen to believe in you, the people who support us.

We’re taking this risk because we live in the 21st century, and because we have access to the internet, and because we know that a large group of people who believe in something can make it happen if they all get together and give small amounts. We’re hoping to raise 50% of our costs on Indiegogo.

How can you help?

We’ll save Sammie Swain and the festival if 500 people give $100 each. Or if 1000 give $50 each. Or … you get the point.

Think we’re dreaming? Think again. We have a Facebook page with 2500followers. If each of them gave as little as $20 we would hit our goal! Crowdfunding makes all things possible.

If you believe too, join us:

Give as little as $1, or as much as you like! It’s up to you. Every dollar counts!

The Legend of Sammie Swain, 1983

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