UVI Little Theatre is in rehearsal for its main stage production this semester of "Old Story Time" by Trevor D. Rhone, directed by David Edgecombe. The play opens April 8, 2011 at Yacht Haven Grande in space donated to the University of the Virgin Islands for the production by the local marina.
"Old Story Time" is the story of Len Tomlinson (Noel Charles) and his mother, Miss Aggie (Heather Hogarth Smith), told amusingly by Pa Ben (George Silcott, Jr.), a caring neighbor.
Miss Aggie is a salt-of-the-earth Caribbean woman 'from country' who has nothing but the highest ambitions for her son, Len. She pushes him to go to school and study hard because education is necessary to help get him through a hard life.
She also pushes Len to marry the girl of her choice, Miss Margaret (Asheda Maccou), with the nice brown skin and the tall hair down to her back.
When she catches Len frolicking at the river with his neighborhood playmate, Pearle (Carlla Morris), she rains blows on him screaming, "How much time A must tell you, don't mix up with the little dutty black gal dem in the district?"
But who can dictate the path of love?
In England, as an economics student, Len marries Lois (Jamilya Christopher), the black-skinned woman he fell in love with even before leaving Jamaica. This is a slap in the face of his mother who insists he did it only because the girl 'obeah him.'
Len must struggle to keep the peace between his wife and mother as Miss Aggie struggles to keep herself from taking action against Lois and freeing her son from the spell she put on him. Pa Ben warns, "Obeah is a serious thing. Don't meddle with it."
Afreekan Southwell, originally cast as Pa Ben, has taken over instead the important administrative role of stage manager.
UVI Little Theatre is proud to mount this production of "Old Story Time" in honor of Trevor D. Rhone's outstanding contribution to Caribbean Theater.
About the Author: In addition to his many well-known plays, Trevor D. Rhone co-wrote the 1972 film "The Harder They Come," which helped introduce reggae music and Jamaican patois to international audiences. He visited the University of the Virgin Islands many times and directed his play "Smile Orange" at the Reichhold Center for the Arts in 1996. He died of a heart attack at 69 in 2009.