A cast of 28 talented young Barbadians will take to the stage at the Frank Collymore Hall early next month to perform in the first-ever local production of the enchanting, Tony award-winning musical Into the Woods.
The cast for the April 8-10 production comprises 11 to 21-year-old students of Operation Triple Threat: Sing. Dance. Act (OTT), a developmental performing arts programme for students and a registered Barbadian charity.
“We are thrilled to be presenting the acclaimed Into the Woods musical production in Barbados, with an all-Barbadian cast,” said founder, director and trustee of OTT Janelle Headley.
She added: “Each young person brings to the stage a love for the arts, impressive talent, and a level of enthusiasm and energy that makes for a brilliant show.”
Into the Woods comes to the local stage with support from a range of partners, including the Maria Holder Memorial Trust, the Banks Holdings Limited (BHL) H.E.L.P. Programme, and Frank Collymore Hall.
The production combines the plots of well-known fairytales for a timeless yet relevant piece that has become respected as a rare, modern classic. Since its 1987 premiere on Broadway, the musical has been produced many times from New York to London.
Sponsors from the Maria Holder Memorial Trust, Banks Holdings Limited and Frank Collymore Hall said it was an honour to be on board with OTT in the venture and they were looking forward to seeing the production.
“We fully support Operation Triple Threat’s vision to provide high quality intensive education in the performing arts to young people. Our funding affords those students, who would typically be unable to afford such opportunities, the ability to form part of a network that will allow them to excel in the Arts,” said Christopher Holder, chairman and co-founder of the Maria Holder Memorial Trust.
BHL Corporate Communications Manager Sophia Cambridge said her company was committed to the advancement of the arts in Barbados.
“[We] are committed to the wholesome development of youth in Barbados,” she said. “BHL is pleased to partner with OTT to assist them in bringing world-class productions to the local stage.
“With OTT’s training and expertise, our artists will not only accrue the talents required to compete internationally but also hoist the Barbados brand high in so doing,” Cambridge added.
“The Frank Collymore Hall’s partnership shows our commitment to the development of the creative arts at all levels,” said manager Fran Wickham.
“We proudly support Janelle Headley and the Operation Triple Threat team who have proven their own commitment and dedication to this process for the past five years. We salute OTT and its role in the cultural life our country,” Wickham added.
Over the past four years, OTT has produced six well-received shows. The Wiz was the most recent.
In addition to bringing celebrated productions to the Barbadian public, OTT has been pivotal in developing young Barbadian performing artists to excel and compete on the international stage.
In 2015, five OTT students were accepted into the American Musical and Dramatic Academy’s (AMDA) Music Theatre programme for the 2016-2017 academic year. (DB)