Jamaica's 50th year of Independence is still in the spotlight in the United States, as Jamaica-born actress, Debra Ehrhardt, staged her outstanding monologue, Jamaica Farewell, at the Kreeger Theatre, Rockville, Maryland, last Saturday.
The play, which traces the early years and experiences of the former Debra Phillips, and which highlights the challenging circumstances of her departure from Jamaica, was applauded by an appreciative audience made up mainly of Jamaicans in the Washington metropolitan area.
Ehrhardt, a Jamaican actress based in Los Angeles, is leading Jamaica Farewell on tour, before the play is made into a movie. The play is scheduled to debut in Toronto, another city with a substantial Jamaican community.
Last Saturday's performance was organised by Ehrhardt, in association with the Jamaican Embassy in Washington, DC, and served as part of the embassy's ongoing Jamaica 50 activities.
Ambassador to the United States, His Excellency Stephen Vasciannie, Mrs Vasciannie and their children, joined the large number of Jamaicans and friends of Jamaica who turned out to see the play.
Ambassador Vasciannie said Jamaica Farewell is "a wonderful play, which evokes almost constant laughter, tears, serious reflection and feelings of great relief."
"Ms Ehrhardt's performance is stunning; she fills the stage with her versatility, grace and style, and she's helped by witty, well-structured text that tugs at our nostalgic sensibilities," he added.
The ambassador said he was delighted that the embassy was associated with the production.