Welcome to SiP 2013!

Well, it’s taken us a little while to get our new site up and running, but here we are! We’re still in development mode, so you may notice some changes on this site as time goes on, but we’re ready and raring to go!

We’ve been working behind the scenes for three months or more now, working hard to make this the most dynamic and special festival ever. We’ve got a good reason for that: it’s our FIFTH festival, and it’s the Fortieth Anniversary of Bahamian Independence. Both together make one special year.

So here’s what we’ve got lined up for you this year:

Our Signature Shakespeare Production is The Shrew, Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew, adapted by Gordon Mills for a 21st century Bahamian setting.

Gordon is the dramaturge/director who brought you last year’s Merchant, and this is what he has to say about The Shrew:

The play is farcical comedy with some serious and controversial husband – wife, parent – daughter issues. It uses disguise, slapstick, wordplay and irony to achieve its effects.

The play has caused a lot of controversy over the years because of the taming methods used by Petruchio on Katharina which many see as unconscionable abuse and for the final speech of Katharina’s which is contrary to any sort of equality in marriage and seems to relegate women to mere possessions. This production will not focus on these aspects but will highlight the farcical comedic aspects of the play and let the actors and audience members make up their own minds about the message.

Our Signature Bahamian Production is a revival of E. Clement Bethel’s The Legend of Sammie Swain, which hasn’t been produced in its full form as a folk opera since 1985.

Here are some of the things that were said in 1983 about Sammie Swain, when it premiered in its current form:

“When Sammie Swain ends, one almost wishes it were just beginning. Everything about it seemed perfect … Sammie Swain is a statement of Bahamian culture, and a statement of undeniable Bahamian talent.” Lynn Sweeting, The Tribune, April 11, 1983

“‘Sammie Swain’ seems a wonderfully collaborative production, offering some of the best talent that the Bahamas has to offer.” Karla Moore, The Tribune, April 25, 1983

Speak the Speech returns, this time presenting speeches and correspondence from 1973-2013, and our concert features Fred Ferguson and Tingum Dem.

It’s a largely Bahamian festival this year, in honour of the Fortieth Anniversary, but we’re working on bringing in talent from the region just to keep everyone mindful of the international side of Shakespeare in Paradise.

Keep an eye on us! We’re moving, as all good Bahamians should, Forward, Upward, Onward, Together.

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