On the back of its annual rollout of hilarious yet thought-provoking comedies, Stages Productions has earned a reputation for challenging Jamaican audiences – through a blend of humour and seriousness – with a range of themes that hit very close to home. The theatre house’s latest effort is no different. Domestic drama, family dysfunction, teenage angst and adoption are only a handful of the topical issues that surface in Adopted Child, opening July 22 at the Green Gables Theatre.
The story is centred on a childless rural couple who decide to adopt a daughter but find the situation much more challenging than they bargained for. It’s a scenario that blossoming actress Trudy Bell, who plays the rebellious teenage daughter, believes will resonate with theatregoers. “It’s a human-interest story that looks at the reasons behind adoption and all the things that can go wrong,” says Bell, who will be appearing in her third production. “It’s a serious storyline, but at the end of the day, it’s surrounded by comedy.” The cast also includes such seasoned stage actors as Stede Flash, Donald Thompson, Belinda Reid and Michael Nicholson.
For his part, veteran writer-director Paul Beale says Adopted Child underscores the importance all Jamaicans need to pay to something as mundane as the act of growing older. “People need to reconsider how they go into old age. You have to consider the implications of things like not having kids,” says Beale, who takes pride in crafting stories around key societal issues. “With this play we are giving to the public information on why it can be important to adopt a child but also how to deal with the many issues that may come about.”