Designed to expose locals and visitors to the best in World, Caribbean, African, and African American theatre, Shakespeare in Paradise celebrates theatre in all its forms, not just Shakespeare.
Shakespeare in Paradise was conceived by Ringplay Productions for the following purposes:
Celebration and Development of Bahamian Theatre. The Bahamian tradition of theatre is a long and robust one which in recent years has experienced a slump in output, though no abatement in interest. Shakespeare in Paradise is designed to celebrate the best of the past while developing a brighter, stronger future.
Education & Exposure. We’re committed to exposing Bahamian audiences to a range of productions from classical theatre traditions around the world. Our decision to hold the Festival during the academic year enables us to offer specifically tailored educational packages to local and international schoolchildren. Integral to the Festival will be the offering of workshops and special performances in schools and for school audiences.
Community outreach. Shakespeare in Paradise is specifically targeted to offer opportunities to individuals in the cultural community who have limited outlets for their training, as well as to provide training for those with interest but no real skill. Through volunteer activity and productive partnerships, the Festival aims to expand this sector of the Bahamian cultural community.
Historic preservation/City of Nassau development. One of the goals of the Festival is to present plays in unusual spaces in and around the City of Nassau. We believe that Nassau has unique architectural and landscape qualities that can provide the ideal backdrop for various productions. By taking the Festival out of traditional theatre spaces and into the city, we hope to highlight those special features of Nassau and raise support for their preservation for future generations.
Enhancement of the Bahamian Tourist Product. Tourism is changing, and tourists are seeking more varied experiences. Shakespeare in Paradise is designed to enhance the Bahamian tourist product by providing a festival for theatre-goers and tourists alike.
Economic development. Studies carried out by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, the Caribbean Regional Negotiating Machinery of CARICOM and others suggest that culture is one of the fastest-growing sectors of the global economy. The cultural industries are more resilient in economic downturns than other, more traditional economic activities, and they are driven by changing trends in tourism. The establishment of Shakespeare in Paradise aims to build capacity in the Bahamian cultural industries, provide visitors with a different experience, and open up new markets to The Bahamas.
Among us, the members of Ringplay Productions have over fifty years’ experience in Bahamian theatre and theatre production in general.
Shakespeare in Paradise Board Members
Festival Director/President – Nicolette Bethel
Vice-President – Carrie Collins
Artistic Director/Treasurer – Philip A. Burrows
Secretary/Front of House – Claudette Allens
Assistant Secretary/Marketing – David Jonathan Burrows
Productions Manager – Marcel T. Sherman
Box Office – Delores Adderley
Anthony “Skeebo” Roberts
Festival Assistant 2013: Melissa Sweeting-Percentie