Friday, March 1, 2024

‘Angel’ deals with social issues


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SEVERAL OF THE social issues facing today’s youth were woven into a neat package titled Angel In White.

The Anthony Hinkson play was the chosen piece for Portfolio 2015, which was staged at the Frank Collymore Hall (FCH) last weekend. It was also an assessment towards the final grade for second year theatre arts students at the Barbados Community College (BCC).

Members of the Friday audience, which included 15 arts students from the Nancy Campbell Academy in Canada and local secondary schools, learnt that the students had between five and six weeks to get into character and rehearse the script.

The entire cast of students and guests did so well that the average person would not have known of the limited time they were given, however.

Angel In White was adapted for Portfolio by director/producer Michelle Cox. Cox said the script went through several major changes from what her father originally wrote. One of them was making Fox, the lead character, female.

Fox/Jonell (played by T’Shan Bishop) and boyfriend Jason (Kwasi Perry) were the main players in a class of high school students who appeared to be headed for prison.

Lovebirds Fox and Jason having a heart-to-heart


As the play unfolded, bullying, peer pressure and drug abuse were some of the main themes explored.

Fox was the drug dealer in the school and the neighbourhood, and she had her set of loyal followers. Jason was at the crossroads as to whether to tap into the academic potential his teachers saw to please his mother or whether to join the love of his life in the hustle of the drug and the rewards it could bring.

The decision was just about made for him when Fox was taken out by a bullet. After Jason and the class bid a tearful farewell to Fox and laid the white roses, he donned thedark shades and took Fox’s trademark backpack. There was no doubt what he was about.

If the on point portrayals were not impressive enough, members of the audience were bowled over with the stories of the journey to the FCH and the unveiling of Portfolio 2015.

Even though Fox is from the “hood” and experienced the drug trade from her own home, she said she went out on the blocks and studied the behaviours and the subtle actions that often go unnoticed to get herself ready for the role.

It was a piece of advice the aspiring theatre artists grabbed on to. Quite apart from that, she described herself as a “girlie girl”, so the transformation to the rough, gangster-type persona was noteworthy.

Then there were Christians and others in the crowd who had to step away from years of a particular upbringing and way of thinking, to be the bashy lesbian who could “skin out” in a flash, or perform some other role. There was a valuable lesson in those stories as well. (YB)

Theatre Arts students from secondary schools applauding the efforts of the Angel in White.  




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