Actress Fleurette Harris Marks Return To The Stage In NOT ABOUT EVE
Jamaican born actress Fleurette Harris is celebrating the challenge of her latest role, as matriarch Agatha 'Mama' Rochester in Karl O'Brian Williams' domestic drama Not About Eve.
Williams' award winning play will be presented as a staged concert reading at the New Vibe Lounge in Rockville Center, Long Island on Memorial Weekend Sunday, May 26 at 7pm. Directed by David Heron (Against His Will, The Rope and The Cross), the all female cast is completed by Marsha-Ann Hay and Gabrielle C. Archer.
The play tells the story of three generations of women in the Shields family living together in Kingston, Jamaica- Mama Rochester (Harris), her daughter Katherine (Hay) and her granddaughter Kimberly (Archer). Their already strained relationships are further tested when the anniversary of Katherine's husband's death leads to a series of confrontations, ultimately exposing several deeply held family secrets.
For Harris, the role is the latest step on her journey back to her first love- acting.
A graduate of the prestigious Jamaica School of Drama in Kingston, Harris came under the tutelage of some the Caribbean's most respected talents during her sojourn at the school, including Dennis Scott, Rawle Gibbons and Rex Nettleford.
Recognized as uniquely gifted, she landed leading roles in some of the school's most acclaimed productions of the era, including A Raisin in The Sun, The Tempest, Antigone, The Crucible and For Colored Girls.
Following her graduation, Harris worked steadily in various Jamaican theatrical, film and television productions. But eventually, a lack of challenging roles and greater acting opportunities in her home country lead her to all but retire from the profession.
" I had been exposed to such great literature, to so many of the classics during my college years," she recalls, "That once I graduated it was very obvious early on that the roles that would allow me to use any meaningful amount of what I had learnt were going to be few and very far between. Which also meant I wasn't going to be able to survive as a working actor. It was a disappointing, but very necessary, wake up call."
She embarked on careers in the tourism and hospitality industry, before eventually migrating to the USA and becoming established in the field of holistic medicine.
But after over a decade of not appearing on stage at all, she and playwright /producer Heron reconnected last year through mutual friends, and she told him of her interest in performing once again.
Earlier this year, Heron cast Harris in the ensemble of his staged reading production of his own play, Against His Will and then again, more recently as Mary, the mother of Jesus in Jamaican playwright Easton Lee's acclaimed Easter drama The Rope and The Cross, both at The Vibe.
Now, with Not About Eve, she has her largest role in years as the feisty and formidable matriarch of a family of women in turmoil.
" It is a true ensemble piece which is very exciting because of the wonderful scenes I get to share with two other fine actresses. But the play also features three terrific roles for women of different ages. That's so rare nowadays. This is a huge step forward on my 'comeback tour' so to speak, so I'm really looking forward to sinking my teeth into this and seeing how the audiences respond."
The New Vibe Lounge is located at 60 North Park Avenue in Rockville Centre, Long Island, 11570.
A talkback with the cast and director as well as a complimentary Caribbean cuisine buffet courtesy of Golden Krust Caribbean Restaurant, will follow the performance.
Tickets for the show are currently available at notabouteve.eventbrite.com
Further information is available at email@example.com or by calling 424 256 6574.