THE ROPE AND THE CROSS Announces Full Cast For Easter Sunday Production At New Vibe Lounge
Full casting has been announced for the 40th Anniversary production of Jamaican playwright Easton Lee's The Rope and The Cross, which will be staged on Easter Sunday, April 21 at The New Vibe Lounge in Rockville Centre, Long Island.
The four decade old play, considered a classic in the pantheon of Caribbean literary works, is being revived as a Staged Concert reading, directed by award winning playwright and producer David Heron (Against His Will). There will be two performances of the production at 3pm and 7pm on Easter Sunday.
Previously announced casting includes Nixon Cesar (Paul Calderon's Master of The Crossroads) as Jesus, Emilio Evans (Layon Gray's Black Angels Over Tuskegee) as Judas, Candice McKoy (Intimate Apparel, Portland Stage) as Mother of Judas and Fleurette Harris (Heron's Against His Will) as Mary, Mother of Jesus.
They are joined by Lincoln Brown as Narrator/Shepherd, Kevin Elden as High Priest Annas, Fulton Hodges as The Blind One, Hector Lincoln as High Priest Caiphas, Fitgi Saint-Louis as Sarah and Osombu Thambo as John the Disciple.
Rounding out the cast are Marsha Ann Hay as Pontius Pilate and Joanna Pickering as Herod, representing the play's gender neutral casting of roles that have historically been portrayed by men.
Set in both rural Jamaica and ancient Jerusalem, Lee's sweeping epic breaks with traditional presentations of Christ's passion, humanising Jesus and Judas as modern day Jamaican men- young, angry and determined to overturn the status quo to create an equal and more just society for the world they live in. But when the authorities around them intervene with deceptive and divisive tactics, the two young rebels tragically discover that the autocracy will stop at literally nothing to prevent change we can believe in.
According to the Jamaican born Heron, who appeared as Caiphas in a revival of the play several years ago, The Rope and The Cross is a milestone in the history of theatre in his island home.
"Easton Lee, the playwright, initially wrote the piece as a small Easter production for his church in Siloah, Jamaica- the small rural village in which he grew up," he says. "But something magical happened the first time it was performed on Easter weekend 1979.... It was a life changing, transformative experience. The audience responded in a way not even Lee himself could have imagined. And for many years after that, The Rope and The Cross became a Jamaican Easter season tradition, performed all over Jamaica and eventually overseas, and by a cast of some of the most iconic Jamaican actors of the time."
Among the renowned Jamaican thespians who appeared in The Rope and The Cross in various productions and revivals over the years were Leonie Forbes, Rooney Chambers, Fae Ellington, Bobby Ghisays, Grace McGhie, Alwyn Scott and Munair Zacca.
Heron says he is confident that the new generation of actors chosen for this New York revival will do the piece "very, very proud."
The New Vibe Lounge is located at 60 North Park Avenue in Rockville Centre, Long Island, 11570. There will be an audience talkback and a complimentary Caribbean Easter buffet courtesy of Golden Krust Caribbean restaurant, following both performances.
Tickets to The Rope and the Cross are $35 and are available here:-
For further information, contact 424 256 6574.
Pictured: Fitgi Saint-louis