Marcia Rowe, Gleaner Writer
Colleges like the University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona, are the incubators and upholders of traditions.
There are some ever-so-slight generational adjustments, however. On Saturday, third-year medical science students continued a fifty-year-old tradition. They call it Smoker.
Chairperson for 2013, Danielle Levy, explained.
"Smoker is a charity production put on every year by the third-year medical students, its been happening for about 50 years. Each year the class chooses a charity. This year we chose the Savanna-La-Mar Public General Hospital. We are trying to get them neonatal incubators," she said.
"Originally, Smoker was just something that was held by classmates, parents and teachers, but it evolved into just the students putting it on, and then one year they decided to put it on for charity and now we have a big theatrical production every year."
Levy was not exaggerating. The gala performance of the 2013 production, 2 Intents: sometimes you have to lose to win, held at the UWI's Philip Sherlock Centre for the Creative Arts, was big.
After approximately nine months of rehearsals, cast and crew gave birth to a lengthy production, divided into two acts and further subdivided into 17 short screen-like scenes. The script was akin to a steady slow saline drip of expositions with numerous twists and turns.
On the other hand, the language was bloated with humour and had the doting audience tickled pink, for the most part.
With the fusion of different styles and genres, the overweight production is best described as an epic-melodrama-comedy.
The story begins with a narrator by the name of Faith, well played by Ronique Gordon, providing relevant background information.
Somewhere towards the middle of act two it is revealed that Faith is the deceased mother of Charity (Raeanne Hutton), the central character. Charity is the artistic director of her own dance studio.
On a trip to the hospital, Charity encounters her former lover Dimitri (Stefan Brown). Soon the now-married Charity has more than the challenges of her upcoming concert season to contend with.
But with another surprising twist in the plot, she is able to salvage her marriage to Michael, played by Dane Allen.
Using mixed acting styles, the cast gave a fair attempt at characterisation, especially the principals Allen, Hutton, Brown along with Jonathan Mitchell (Greg) and Phillip Coombs, who plays Milton. But the strongest component of the production came from the dancers.
The seemingly well-rehearsed dances spanned different genres. The movements were well-coordinated and justly executed.
The band must also be commended for providing fine music, especially during the intermission.
Named after Charity's concert, 2 Intents is the combined works of three playwrights (Rouaj Shirley, Lori Ann Miller and Gillian Walcott). There were two directors (Sean-Patrick Prince and Juliann Allen) along with drama coordinator, Krystal Mills, as well as directors Bradley Rolle (music), Anniki Witter (dance) and Shirley (band).
While the medical and dental students must be commended for performing for a cause, it was evident that the class of 2016 is also a talented group, their production of 2 Intents lending support to that opinion in no uncertain manner.