January 31, 2023

RENT –a- message of two or three

Pin It

Cast and BandMessages and IMAGES from The Cayman Drama Society and RENT

From The CDS Chairman

We certainly have had an exciting past couple of years at the Drama Society. It looks like there is no stopping! We are extremely happy to have been able to provide a two week intensive summer acting workshop this year for teens ages 13 to 18, and an evening adult workshop which culminated in a one night, sold out showcase of adult monologues and duologues and a full production of Twelve Angry Wo-Men by the talented teen participants. We would certainly like to thank all of our participants and especially our workshop leaders for such a successful undertaking. Stay tuned for future workshops and courses!

Late last year we were approached by a very enthusiastic young lady who convincingly made a case to our production committee to direct Rent. This young lady, Sophie Gough, gave her hand in directing for the first time a full musical…little did she know what lie ahead! Her first hurdle was to persuade the musical genius of Chuck and Barrie Quappe to come on board as her Musical Directors. She did this equally convincingly and off to the races she went. I am sure you will agree with me that her first attempt rocks—and we certainly expect many more to come! Well done, Sophie!

As Chairman of the Cayman Drama Society, I could not be prouder. The next generation of Caymanians who have spent much of their youth at the Prospect Playhouse and being an integral part of CDS over the years are now taking over the baton. Our young new leaders of the Society are active and include the talents of ensemble members Teri Quappe, Rory Mann, Sophie Gough and Dominic Wheaton…each of who have spent considerable time on stage and at CDS-one might say they did part of their growing up here! Theatre is a place where magical things can happen. At CDS we cherish that magic but must ensure that we are not only viable but remain relevant and sustainable. With our upcoming group of young leaders, we will ensure that we can continue to provide quality live theatre to audiences in the Cayman Islands.

It is hard to believe that Rent will soon be celebrating 20 years since it became a hit Broadway musical. Rent’s creator Jonathan Larson sadly passed away just a few hours after Rent’s final dress rehearsal in January 1996. He never knew the success it was to become. Rent indeed has a cult following, the “rent-heads”. While it is the story of eight friends over the course of one incredible year, it has many themes. It deals with poverty, struggling artists, New York City, HIV in the early days, drug abuse, sexuality and most of all friendship. It will make you laugh, it will make you cry. Rent has been performed to audiences around the world in over 15 languages. We do hope that you will enjoy our production, right here in the Cayman Islands.

Rent has been quite an undertaking. Sophie certainly has been brave, but it is not just a one man, or should I say, one woman show. Each show has a team of enthusiastic members, from the Company, to lighting and sound, props, back stage…each part is what makes a show a success. I would like to give heartfelt thanks to Director Sophie and Musical Directors, Chuck and Barrie Quappe. Chuck and Barrie continue to bring their perfection and love of music to our stage, and for this we are grateful. Thanks also to their amazing band, who are not normally in the theatre. You can see them as Sea ‘N B at Havana Club and the Wharf many Friday and Saturday nights. Thanks must also go out to our magnificent stage manager, Karen Gray-Gunderson, the Company, our props manager, Ashleigh and her volunteers making cows and coke cans, our incredible costume designer and artistic designer Anika, and all of our back stage crew, painters, set builders and designers. Our front of house and bar volunteers who have each had to learn to make our special cocktails, and what could be more appropriate than that Manhattan favourite, Tom Collins? Thanks also to our Executive Committee, theatre management and especially our Treasurer and Bar Manager. Thank you all for your dedication to our small theatre and for making each and every production possible. Without our volunteers none of this would happen.

The Cayman Drama Society and community theatre in the Cayman Islands are thriving. There is a wealth of opportunities for theatre enthusiasts whether they be budding thespians, sound technicians, lighting technicians, costume designers, props managers, producers, directors, stage managers….you name it. Theatre is a place where magical things can happen. Please let us know how you would like to become involved. For those that may not be so keen on the productions themselves, we also have a full bar for all budding bartenders! We would like to welcome you to the Cayman Drama Society (CDS) and thank you for sharing the show.

Visit us at www.cds.ky for information on becoming a member and to subscribe to receive information on our upcoming auditions and shows.

Sheree Ebanks

From The Director

Who would have thought that at the age of 23 I would be directing my first musical! I must say directing adults is a whole different ball game to directing children those children are a breeze! I decided to give this directing thing a go and let me tell you it is not for the faint hearted!!! As stressful and chaotic as my life has been these last 6 months I have grown so much as a person and couldn’t have asked for a better team of people and cast to help me along on this incredible journey!

Thank you all for believing in me and trusting that I could actually pull this off! I chose to direct the musical Rent because the music is quirky, complicated and powerful! It isn’t your normal “jazz hands” musical; it is an emotional rollercoaster that I believe audiences can relate too! It’s all about love! Love is a powerful thing, it never fails, it makes the world go round! No matter what you face in life the love around you will get you through!

I would like to thank Chuck and Barrie Quappe my musical directors for their invaluable guidance, they have helped me so much doing more than what their job requires so a huge thank you! To my producer Sheree Ebanks thank you for the numerous emails and phone calls from “Sophie I need this by this time” to “Sheree what do I do Help!” There is no other producer like you so thank you for your expertise! A massive thank you to my stage manager K’Dog, Karen Gunderson it was your first time too and you did an awesome job! The show couldn’t have run the way it did with out you! Thank you to Anika Hewitt who I call my right hand woman; you have been such a support always there to encourage and calm me down and your artistic touch on everything is second to none so thank you! To John Elliott and Chris Mann thank you for getting in my head and making my vision a reality and producing a set that is outstanding! To my cast, thank you for being amazing! You are all so talented, its been super fun and we should do it again some time but not for a very long time! To my crew, thank you for making this production seamless and professional! I honestly had so much fun backstage with you all; you brought such energy to the show! Lastly I would like to thank my family Peter and Anita Gough and my boyfriend Garrett Conolly! I have been pretty MIA these last 6 months and all you have heard is “Rent this, Rent that, Rent Rent Rent!” thank you for listening to all my crazy ideas and giving me advice, supporting me through the late nights after the rehearsals trying to determine the next step in the process, and I know it sounds silly but making sure I had food after a long day!

Thank you for choosing to come out to the Prospect Playhouse tonight! I do hope you have a lovely evening and you are thoroughly entertained! Sit back and relax with your wine, beer, or Tom Collins and Enjoy the show!!

Sophie Gough

From the Musical Directors

“We absolutely will not direct the music for another musical next year – we’ve made up our minds and that’s final” so said us October 2014 at the finish of the Cayman Drama Society production of Jekyll & Hyde which we provided musical direction for. Fast forward about a month later to Nov 19th when daughter Teri Quappe was celebrating her birthday. Invited to her party, held at our house, was her usual corral of friends which included talented dancer and singer Sophie Gough. You’ll remember Sophie from Teri’s production of J&H as Jekyll’s love interest and as the show’s choreographer. At Teri’s urging, Sophie told us we were to be the musical directors for her directing debut of the 2015 CDS musical production of RENT. You will note she did not ask – we were told. Either way the answer of course was an immediate “no” as we had made up our minds that we would take at least a 2 year break from this because of the time and commitment involved in really producing something professional. Frankly we wouldn’t have cared if Broadway great Carol Burnett herself had asked us – the answer would have been the same – no. (Not that we are on Madam Burnett’s short list – or even long list of choices for anything)

Well, something funny happened along the way – by the end of the birthday party (after a heavy dose of cake, champagne, mojitos and Cuban cigars) we relented and somehow had agreed to direct the music. “Whaaat? How did this happen? Why? Who talked us into this? We don’t even really know the show that well!” We still don’t have the answers to exactly how we got talked into this but nonetheless when the dust cleared we were the musical directors – so be it. At first listen the music sounds fairly basic and straight ahead and we were thinking this will be an easy show to do. Wrong. In music, things that are complicated but well written often sound easy to the listener upon first hearing. As with all things we are involved in, we don’t it half way – we give it our all. So shortly after we committed to the show we started to explore every nuance and angle of the score and its wonderful songs. RENT was originally conceived on Broadway as a straight rock musical with a typical rock band sent up – Drums, Bass, Guitar and Keyboard. But because of the subjects this show explores, we heard so many emotional and poignant moments that we felt we needed to make some additions. Strings were the answer. We got busy writing new parts and produced a new score to now include Violin, provided by our friend Kate Allenger, and the beautiful aching sound of a Viola played by Richard de Lacy (he’s a QC for those who keep track of those things). Kate and Richard along with us, Roger “Bugs” Wilson and Mark McTaggart round up the rest of the instrument line up. The choice by the director Sophie to have the band not only on stage to play the music but to perform and sing as actual characters in the show is brilliant and a refreshing change to the normal pit orchestra concept. Musically speaking the item that stands out in this show is the precise and tight vocal harmony required many of the songs. We started working these harmony vocals back in early May when the show was first cast and we are very proud of the cast’s ability and talent to be able to have pulled this off so well.

This show breaks new territory for Cayman’s normally conservative minded audiences so please put on your acceptance hat and ears and enjoy CDS’s production of RENT. We now publically state in writing that for the 2016 theater season we will NOT be directing the music for another musical – and that is final – unless Carol Burnett actually did call us.

Chuck and Barrie

RENT: The Musical
Opens Thursday September 10th, 2015
Runs to October 3rd, 2015
Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays
Doors open at 6:30 PM for Happy Hour
try our special Tom Collins cocktail!
at The Prospect Playhouse
Do not miss out on the musical event of the year!
No Day but Today!
Click here for tickets: http://www.eventbrite.com/e/rent-the-musical-all-ticket-prices-in-us-tickets-17993960420?aff=ehomecard


Print Friendly, PDF & Email
About ieyenews

Speak Your Mind