‘Sistahs’ soup has Caribbean flavor

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A report from the Cayman Compass.

Cayman Drama Society patrons and visitors will be treated this month to some Caribbean fare.

“Sistahs” is a full-length play by Maxine Bailey and Sharon M. Lewis. It was first staged in 1994 by Sugar ‘n’ Spice Productions at the Poor Alex Theatre in Toronto, directed by Sharon Lewis.

Story line

Five women meet to create soup. Each brings components that they want to add to the soup which, once ready, will be consumed by all on that Sunday afternoon. Just as soup is a melding of flavors and tactile experiences, this Sunday meeting is a melding of personalities and people.

Sandra, the organizer of the event, has late stage, painful terminal cancer. She is concerned about setting up a supportive family to care for her teenage daughter, Assata. She wonders whether Assata will accept her new community, family and sisterhood. This nontraditional family includes Sandra’s lover Dehlia, her half-sister Rea and her friend Cerise. They are there to provide support to Assata during the afternoon.

Cast and managers

“Sistahs” is directed by Paul de Freitas and produced by his wife Fay Anne, both of whom have a long history of involvement in Cayman theater. Erica Ebanks will be stage manager of this production.

The cast features Wendee Miller as Sandra, the mother; Juliet Garricks as Dehlia, her significant other; Kayla Manderson as Rea, Sandra’s younger half-sister; Rita Estevanovich as Cerise, a Canadian friend with Caribbean inclinations; and making her debut at senior level, Katherine Erskine as Assata, Sandra’s daughter.

Production

“Sistahs” has been presented in many ways. The CDS production will be open-stage, but with furnishings representing a Toronto apartment with Caribbean influences.

The play has three time perspectives: real time (the present); lecture time (Sandra’s flashbacks to her lectures on history and particularly Afro-Caribbean history as a university professor); and the eye-catching ancestral time (blending rhythm of movement and words).

‘Sistahs’ runs every Thursday, Friday and Saturday from Sept. 7-23. Shows starts at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $25 for adults and $15 for children. See http://www.cds.ky for more information.

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