Thursday, 15 September 2011

HOPE & PRAY: Harris and cast set to bring a tale of faith and endurance to the stage

LIFE'S STORM: Thompson's Valerie is jolted awake in God's Way.

By all accounts, few writer-directors working in Jamaican theatre today have the courage to be as daring in subject choices as Dahlia Harris. With last year’s fiery revenge saga Judgement, Harris focused her artist’s eye on lust for retribution and the eternal fight between good and evil from Kingston to New York. Her latest work, God’s Way, dives headfirst into the world of religion, particularly the realm of Christianity, and what can happen when the devout are put to the test in a fashion that recalls Job. Never saw that coming did you?

For an award-winning actress turned hardworking playwright/director, you never know where Harris’ vision, brilliance and sharp mind will lead her. But like the best of them to ever do it, she doesn’t shy away from taking creative risks. And for me, it’s majorly admirable how confident and free-thinking Harris appears with her art.

It’s a similar sort of inner fervour that apparently propels the deeply God-fearing Valerie, the protagonist in Harris’ new work, who is shaken to the core when the stability of her family life and her faith in longheld beliefs are threatened by an unforeseen comeuppance. Joining Harris on this emotionally-charged ride is a noteworthy cast comprised of Gracia Thompson, Sabrena McDonald, Trudy Campbell and Ainsley Whyte.

“It’s about a test of faith,” says Harris in the just-released promotional clip for God’s Way (watch below). “A lot of times you see people and the things that they go through, and [we] sometimes have to ask ourselves, ‘Why is it that the righteous seem as if they have to suffer?’ So when you come to God’s Way, you are a part of this test that Valerie goes through.”

I’m already intrigued to witness how everything unfolds when the play runs from Sept. 30 (gala world premiere) through Nov. 6 at New Kingston’s Theatre Place.

VIDEO: Watch Harris and the cast of God’s Way dish about their upcoming play and why it’s worthy of your time:

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