Though it Rained: The Review
The Deliverance Baptist youth "Dream Team", ages between 12 and 23 put on their 6th theatrical production titled "Though it rained" two weekends ago at the Arawak House of Culture. This introspective play was written and directed by Peter Panthier while Daniel Leslie formally of New Dimension Theatre served as the director's assistant.
The production was well received particularly on night one which was nearly sold out. Commencing 15 minutes late on the Sunday I attended, the setting which greeted the audience was one where a ceremony was about to take place in the midst of a dinner. It was revealed at the podium, that God's favor smiled upon the devout Christian Barak Williams, brilliantly executed by the multi -faceted Jed Ferrol; he also won a raffled ticket to Miami. This unearthed the first signs of the typical workplace jealousy and hypocrisy as two co- workers took the opportunity to "bad talk" Barak on one hand and compliment him with the other.
The scene quickly changed via the convenience of panels to showcase a living room and kitchen set of the William family. This presented the audience with an opportunity to experience the inner workings of the family. There was the graceful, supportive wife Grace devotedly embraced by Desma Patrick who was still basking in her husband's success of "Worker of the Year", then the three children, the disagreeable big brother Joseph (Kervaughn Dover), the entertaining Jacob and defiant sister who was always at logger-heads with Joseph where the diminutive Jacob seem to always get caught or slapped in the crossfire.
From time to time, the writer/director utilized the actors to communicate matters of discipline comparing children of the past to the present or health, cleanliness and tourism in which Shevaughn Dover doubled with an excellent mimicking of a "paro" to drive home the point.
Back at work, true friend of the Williams family, the charitable James, played by Marvin George fails in his request to get a raise from his boss, the cool, calm and collective but always in control, Clem (Dwayne Bellot). His work ethics and devotion to the job clearly did not match that of his co- worker and friend, Barak. All these fortunes were to change as quickly as it came when a call from the "boss" revealed what Barak had feared- the shipping company was losing money and the suspense and intrigue meted out to the company's "best worker" only delayed the inevitable sentence "redundancy!
"The already heavily financially-committed Barak was to experience further catastrophe; his wife mammogram prognosis revealed cancer in its early stages, and his daughter "Tracey" broke her leg.
Now the banks were calling, the utility companies, no internet, no television, no lights. In a few months the family hit rock bottom save for their cellular phones, which served as bearers of bad tidings.
But worse was yet to come. Tracey was raped. By then all sense of reason had left Barak who no longer found solace in prayer or the wisdom of Romans 8 verse 28, the world was against him. The 'favored' individual he once espoused himself to be seem no more as he sharpened his cutlass to seek revenge on the perpetrators. As his cutlass became sharper, his hopes become duller and duller.
"I am going to do what the law cannot do…next thing they out on bail!"
The enwrapped audience wept with him. Not even his cries of exasperation "Jesus Mary, Joseph!" which comically had his son Joseph rushing to his side, did nothing to ease the tension and hopelessness the audience also felt. It "rained" mercilessly on the Williams family.
The director came to the rescue by providing some measure of comic relief when a couple talent scouts from the US held an audition in which an Obama impersonation was done by Jimmy (Devon Patrick) while Jacob (Kervaughn Dover) sent the audience into peals of laughter with his monologue which evoked unsolicited responses by the scouts (Dwayne Bellot) and his counterpart Paula (Amelia Winston). Their foreign intonation all added to the realism of the production and temporarily took minds off Barak's woes.
The flirtation by the sexy curvaceous Sandy (Amelia John) towards a rather lukewarm James ( Marvin George) whose eyes seem to be set not at her rear but instead towards Judith ( Giselle Francis) a dependable confidant of Grace Williams. While noting that justice can never be served in the case of rape as the scars are everlasting, the family turns to prayer to see this through this difficult period. The writer used his actors and actresses to interspersed the production with commentary and enunciate views on the importance of breast self-examination for women with respect to early cancer detection or as Policeman Lenny Dover proposed, that sex offenders should be made known, as is done in the US.
Alas! The rain ceased. His prayers were answered, piloted by a super generous offer of 100 thousand by friend James toward the mortgage, followed by a higher paying job , the capture and incarceration of the rapist, the healing of Tracy's leg and the successful treatment of Grace's cancer prognosis.
If this sounds like a story book ending wait; a 10 million dollar contract was offered to Jacob through the efforts of the US scouts. Incredible! Unrealistic or otherwise is not the message of focus but rather if we trust and remain unwavering in our belief in God, all is possible and the blessing he will bestow will be overflowing in spite of our Job-like difficulties.
Jed and Dwayne were brilliant throughout and displayed innovativeness and maturity even when they had to manufacture lines to cover for a technical telephone blunder. A major omission would be the lights on stage even while Barak lamented he had no electricity, the lack of co -ordination between sound and telephone conversations in particular and it was a bit too lengthy…Could be tighter, more fluid!
Nonetheless a great effort for a young inexperienced group; I give the Dream Team a 7 out of 10 rating.