Extended run Off Broadway welcomed
Not About Eve, the award-winning drama by Jamaican actor and playwright Karl O' Brian Williams, extended its New York run at The Stage 2 Theater, Roy Arias Studios, Off Broadway, until this evening.
You would have almost missed it, but this evening the final two shows at 4 and 8 p.m. take place.
There were also shows on Friday and Saturday.
Produced by Braata Productions and directed by Daphnie Sicre, Not About Eve has played to consistently sold-out houses since its premiere on November 29 and has emerged as one of the theatre season's box office surprises, strongly supported by both Jamaican and non-Jamaican audiences.
Critical praise has run high for Sicre, Williams and the all-female cast, comprised of Jamaican actresses Sharon Tsahai King and Stacey Ann Brissett, as well as Ilana Warner, who hails originally from St Kitts/Nevis.
The resounding success of the production has been inspirational for producer Andrew Clarke, the founder of Braata Productions.
"To have this kind of response to a Jamaican production in the heart of Manhattan, literally stepping away from Broadway's Great White Way, is both humbling and tremendously gratifying," said Clarke.
"For so long now, we Jamaican artistes in New York have been asked by audiences here to provide more diversity in the theatrical and other entertainment products we offer. They told us that they were literally starving for something different, with substance and with broader appeal. We went out on a limb and with very limited resources to do this production, but the results are in and numbers do not lie. The message is clear that there is a market - both Jamaican and otherwise - for this kind of Jamaican theatre, that amuses and entertains, but also provokes thought and conversation as well."
According to Williams, "We never knew quite what to expect, mounting this in Manhattan where competition is so very stiff and options so varied. But our Jamaicans here have not only come out in numbers - they have spread the word and brought out their non-Jamaican friends, resulting in a wide and diverse audience that pleaded with us to extend the run so others could share in the experience of the show. This is my New York City debut as a playwright and I could not have asked for more. We are immensely grateful for all the support and will continue to proudly fly the Jamaican flag high right here in Times Square as cultural ambassadors for our country."
Not About Eve is a modern-day drama set in the middle-class home of the Shields family in St Andrew, Jamaica. The household's three women - Agatha Rochester (Sharon Tsahai King), her daughter Katherine Shields (Ilana Warner) and her granddaughter Kimberley (Stacey Ann Brissett) - are at a crossroads in their lives, confronted by a changing society around them and the family secrets that could tear their world apart.
The Stage 2 Theater at Roy Arias Studios is located at 300 West 43rd Street at Eighth Avenue.