Just in time for Women’s month, Jamaican playwright Marcia Forbes takes on sex, disloyalty, lies, promiscuity, hypocrisy and Christianity, in an off Broadway presentation that not only makes you shift in your seat, it also necessitates a 17-year and older policy! “Play or Be Played” mirrors the life of a young Christian woman who travels from the Caribbean to the USA, to reunite with her fiance, in hope of a better life. Reality strikes when she discovers her ‘married’ fiancee is living in squalor and that the stories she has been told about America being a land of “milk and honey” quickly fades. Soon fear of abandonment, homelessness and deportation threatens her loyalty to her love, and she spirals into a life of frivolous sexual escapades.
Playwright Marcia Forbes hails from the beautiful island of Jamaica and started her theatre career as a performer. After her study at the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts, she decided to focus her attention on Directing and Playwriting. She has received many awards as an artistic Director in the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission’s Drama, Music and Speech competition. She has also been successful in the International Schools’ Drama Festival and has collected several accolades for her original plays, directing and set designs. Marcia believes in creating opportunity for raw, unharnessed talents. She is working tirelessly to create a theatre that embraces the talents and culture of Caribbean Artist and inner-city youth.
Ms Forbes was inspired to write this play after personal discoveries about friends and associates. She tuned into those that found themselves trapped in circumstances that lead them into a life of lies, infidelity and eventually compromising their relationships with God, spouse, family and the country they love. She also takes the opportunity to bring clarity to the exploitation of immigrants who are trapped in relationships and have succumbed to abuse because of their immigration status.
Divided into two groups, the cast is made up of 14 talented Individuals from diverse background;- Jamaicans, Trinidadians, American, as well as an actor from Gabon Africa. Each has it’s own unique interpretation of the script. The first group is comprised of older actors while the second provides a welcome introduction a fresh batch theater hopefuls, who want to ensure local theater is relevant to their generation and plan to use New and emerging tools as well as social media to attract and engage new audiences. The play’s hashtag is ‘#playorbeplayed’. You can also connect to the plays Social media profiles Social.beplayed.com
As a director, Marcia Forbes hopes that men and women alike will leave the theatre accepting the fact that their destiny lies within themselves and not in their “mates”or those that can ‘bankroll’ their basic needs. She further hopes that at the end of the play; the audience, the cast and the playwright, will view the play as a teaching tool. She aspires to develop a new educational theatre interest, especially to people of Caribbean affiliation. She believes that for far too long, some Caribbean immigrants to the USA, have lived under the guise of lies, deceit and fear. She points to the reality that to date we have people still landing in the USA believing that America is a ‘ bed of roses’ in which everything comes easy. For a limited time Merchandise and products designed specifically to support the production can be purchased at the website www.beplayed.us Group or promoters rates for tickets are available at www.beplayed.com, or 646-450 2692
GRAFORSHA THEATRE & PRODUCTIONS is dedicated to producing Caribbean plays and will be collaborating with Caribbean and American playwrights.
Play or be played premiered on Feb. 28 at Roy Arias Theaters with five scheduled shows before the production is moved to the Producers Club Theater for 15 shows.
Play or be Played fills a void that has been absent from local theaters. It brings to focus issues relevant to the Caribbean community and also provides a platform and an opportunity for discussion. Live local theater needs to be supported and encouraged.
Play or be Played is the first production of GRAFORSHA THEATRE & PRODUCTIONS. A new company engaged in theatrical and diversified communication activities. Praise goes out to Caribbean nationals such as Producers Kemar Forbes & Krystle Ainsworth who believe in the investment and harnessing of Caribbean culture and talents.