The Bahamas

Gun Boys Rhapsody

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Gun Boys Rhapsody

A dynamic blend of pathos, humor and satire, Gun Boys Rhapsody is a work of theatre that centers around the murder of a high school teenager named TK and the domino effect this one act of violence has on the lives of several people connected to him. The piece explores the roots of delinquency, gang culture and violent crime in Bahamian society.

Writer/director Ian Strachan created Gun Boys to explore the price of violence in Caribbean societies. The impact is huge but the public conversation about crime focuses narrowly on policing and on punishment. Gun Boys Rhapsody looks at the impact violence has on the lives of victims and on the breeding ground of violent crime: inequality, neglect, and abuse.

Audiences have been deeply moved by the production, which features stand out performances by Valene Rolle, Jonico Pratt, Esther Louis and others.

Emille Hunt, who plays the mortician Lucius Dean in the play, has seen violence in our public schools up close. He taught English at CV Bethel in Nassau for many years and vividly remembers when a boy was stabbed on campus and he had to take him to the clinic next door before his lung collapsed. “We live in a society where people just lash out when they don’t have the tools to deal with all the pressures they face,” he says. Hunt says “Gun Boys” starts the conversation we need to have.

TK’s murder is avenged by his brother Shane and Shane’s act of vengeance, which he sees as just, results in other horrible but unintended consequences. The play also gives audience a view into the mind of Odarion, the young man who kills TK out of jealousy and several other characters impacted by these senseless acts of brutality.

With a talented cast, audiences are compelled to consider their own roles in creating communities where so many feel marginalized, alienated, disempowered and unloved.

 

 

IAN GREGORY STRACHAN

 

IAN GREGORY STRACHAN

Ian Gregory Strachan is Professor of English at The University of The Bahamas.  He holds an AA in English and Literature from The College of The Bahamas, and a Teacher’s Certificate from the University of the West Indies (1988), a BA in English from Morehouse College (1990) and an MA (1993) and PhD (1995) in English from the University of Pennsylvania. He is a former Research Fellow at the Carter G. Woodson Institute at the University of Virginia (1998-1999) and a former Assistant Professor of English at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth (1999-2001).  He served as Chair of the School of English Studies at COB from 2004-2007. His book, Paradise and Plantation: Tourism and Culture in the Anglophone Caribbean, was published in 2002 and discusses the politics of tourism in the region.  He is a poet, playwright, novelist and filmmaker. His first novel, God’s Angry Babies was published in 1997.

He has written and directed a number of plays, including No Seeds in Babylon (1991), which appears in the anthology Contemporary Drama for the Caribbean (2001) and Diary of Souls (1999).  In 1996 he founded the Track Road Theatre Foundation and served as its Director until 2006. In 2007 his poetry was included in the anthology New Caribbean Poetry (Carcanet  2007).  He wrote and directed his first film, Show Me Your Motion: The Ringplay Games of The Bahamas in 2006.  In 2007 this documentary was featured in the UNESCO Caribbean Traveling Film Showcase.

He was the author of the popular newspaper column “East Street Blues” which appeared each week in The Nassau Guardian between 2006 and 2011. He was the host of the daily public affairs talk show, “The Nation Today” in 2009 on GEMS 105.9FM in Nassau.  He was also a founder and member of the civil society advocacy group, the 1962 Foundation.  He hosted the current affairs television programme, “The Exchange,” on ZNS TV13  in 2012 and is the writer, producer and director of the television series, “Gippie’s Kingdom.”  He is also the director/producer of the documentary I’s Man: Manhood in The Bahamas.

VISAGE

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VISAGE

Visage is undoubtedly the foremost party band in the Bahamas. In recent years, the wider soca industry has become well-acquainted with this multi-talented band, having worked with top Soca performers like “Destra, Machel Montano, Alison Hinds, Rupee and Ronnie McIntosh to name a few.

The band was formed in 1981 when Lynden “Obi” Pindling son of the late Sir Lynden Oscar Pindling, former Prime Minister of The Bahamas, returned home from Law school in England. Over the years the band’s repertoire has consisted of American 70’s R&B, Reggae and Bahamian Junkanoo & rake n’ scrape, the latter being the indigenous riddims of the Bahamas.

Visage is definitely not a newcomer to the International soca scene performing at Miami Carnival in 1998, 2002 and 2003 and Trinidad Carnival in 2002 and 2003 and having hits like “Hold Ya Head” and “Still Need a Man”.

Although still highly versatile today, Visage is, today, primarily a Soca band. For some, the band started out as a Hobby. For most of its members who now have careers ranging from the practice of law to teaching, Visage is, above everything, a “family”.

Visage has taken the Junkanoo riddim of the Bahamas and fused it with Soca to create a new sound from the region, called “SOCANOO”. Visage’s fourth CD, entitled “Xplosion” is due for imminent release. The driving, pulsating SOCANOO riddim is featured in the CD’s opening track entitled “Bahamas Have a Junkanoo” featuring Ronnie McIntosh of the big band Atlantik.

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