UVI Theatre will present the world premiere of Communication Professor David Edgecombe’s new play “Lady of Parham” with a gala opening at the Little Theatre on the St. Thomas Campus at 8 p.m. on Friday, April 4. Edgecombe, who will also direct the play, set his story in 2014 on the island of Antigua but it stretches back to 1658 Antigua and 1882 Paris. It features a relocated Irish gentleman farmer with a chest full of gold and silver. Although his family resists, the farmer decides to help a slave, who has taught himself to read and write, to spread literacy to all of Antigua’s children.
According to Edgecombe, the play’s five characters are forced into soul searching as they find that greed, rivalry and corruption were already slowing the island’s development nearly 400 years ago. The cast is Jerome Kendall, Chanice Williams, Akela Brumant, Jelani Kendall and Manefa O’Connor. Jerome Kendall is a veteran of many UVI and VI productions, Williams is a freshman English major, Brumant is a freshman psychology major, Jelani Kendall is a senior at Sts. Peter and Paul, and O’Connor is a senior communication major. Faced with the opportunity to learn the location of the farmer’s treasures, the players must decide if wealth is the answer to their problems or just another demon threatening to derail their own development and well-being.
Admission for the gala, on April 4, is $25 and serves as a fundraiser for the Little Theatre. The play continues with performances on April 5, 6, 7, 11, 12, 13 and 14. All shows begin at 8 p.m., except those on April 7 and 14, which start at 7 p.m. Tickets for regular performances are $5 for students and $10 for adults. They are available at the UVI Bookstore, the UVI Humanities Building, Natural Livity (down town), and VI Bridal at Lockhart Gardens. For more information contact Mary Alexander at (340) 693-1344 or David Edgecombe (340) 693-1355.