Positioned at the kitchen table in the isle of Jamaica, a Jamaican lady tried to explain to a visitor why it was so important to know where her daughter’s boyfriends lived. She liked her daughter ’s current boyfriend. The visitor asked, “So what happens if you live in a particular place and do really well, does that make a difference?” “Not really.” The lady explained. “That is just how it is.” This was a real conversation, unscripted, but might have well been the prompt for Patrick Brown’s play, Right Girl Wrong Address.
Throughout the region, our different isles are plagued with ‘isms’ of different kinds and to varying degrees. In addition to this collection, and individually, we are a people searching out our identity. The play Right Girl Wrong Address is set in Prince Productions Studio in the Caribbean, it is owned by the Prince Brothers. Here, we meet Charm who must find a way to change her position in life while remaining positioned in the same place of residence. How does one do that, if not through a little ‘white lie’? After all if, ‘that is just the way it is’, that we remain in the position that we are born into, then how does one move, especially when movement means more. For Charm more was necessary, she is the sole breadwinner.
Charm Ned struggles with the truth as she greets, meets and falls in love with her well-to-do boss, Adam Prince. Understanding that well-to-do appreciates well-to-do, Charm considers her significant strides toward success and gives herself that cutting edge, the ‘right address’ to entice her love interest, her Prince. Brown and his co-director Trevor Nairne understand that in such a play where the theme is: How or where do I now fit in? we must have a ‘Ras’ character. So, we meet Ras Oily who mirrors Charm. Charm is trying to get into her dream resident position and place in society and Ras Oily is trying to ‘buss’ into the music industry. Ras Oily outwardly takes on many characters along his journey. Charm on the other hand subtly takes on the identity of the ideal girl for her Prince with her chosen address. Ras Oily engages the audience with his live musical performances and Charm alerts the audience to ask, Who are we? Are we who we say we are? Or are we who people say we are?
Well, regardless of who is doing the saying, some things are simply facts and some are fiction. Charm knew that she was flavoring fact with fiction to create favor with her desired Prince. Unlike the fairy tales though, the play demonstrates the tangled web we weave, when we try to deceive. Yet, Brown and Nairne push their audience to some depths. Would the audience really be able to condemn Charm? Conversely, would the audience understand the stiffness of some societal norms and silently condone Charm’s behavior? Nicey, the office cleaner, with her disability and her speech impediment almost begs the audience to come to assistance.
Again, a crafty means of the playwright leading the audience to ask, “is it really so wrong to help out our situation if we are differently-abled?” For many inner-city persons, the experience of stigmatism could almost feel like being differently-abled. But is anyone tempted to come to their aid like the audience is as Nicey stammers?
Right Girl Wrong Address is entertaining, enjoyable, and thought-provoking. The play features Glen Campbell as Ricky Prince, Sharee Elise as Charm), Sakina Deer,
Glen ‘Titus’ Campbell receives Actor Boy AwardEarlier this year, at the 2018 Actor Boy Awards held at The Jamaica Pegasus Hotel, Campbell received an award for Best Actor in his supporting role as the Prince brother in Right Girl Wrong Address. In response to an interview with The Gleaner, Campbell noted that he works for the ongoing development of his craft recognizing that, “They (the audience) are not going to buy a ticket because Glen won an award. They are going to buy a ticket for what I am doing now, and if they are happy, they will buy a ticket for the next show.” Well, Campbell brings four decades of experience to the stage with a schedule of two shows a year for the past two decades at Jambiz, and when we meet him as Ricky Prince, we can bank on a performance par excellence. Further, in the interview with The Gleaner, Campbell shared that “people like Viola Davis, Meryl Streep – they tell you they’re not there and they’re still growing. I believe that.” What a treat to theatergoers to know this!
Patrick Brown, with his dedication and delivery over the decades, was recognized in 2017 for the distinction of his drama productions. He was among the Jamaicans last year receiving the Order of Distinction for his contribution to theatre. In response, Brown commented, “Those who know me well, know that I don’t do this for the awards. but the truth is, it feels better than I thought it would, so I am pleasantly surprised and honoured at the same time.”
An engineer by training, Brown switched career positions. He recalls, “While I was at University in Trinidad, I was the entertainment coordinator for Canada Hall. Each year there is a major show staged by Canada Hall. This event not only attracts students, but was a calendar event for the wider public, and I was charged with finding entertainment for this variety show. I wrote a short dramatic piece that went over very well and was well-received. That short play would later be expanded to a full-length production and since then extended to a playwright career.
Plainly said, class is class and when patrons arrive on Saturday 1st December 2018 at High Point High School, 3601 Powder Mill Road, Beltsville MD, they can expect a first-class performance. Tickets are currently on sale in Washington DC at Spicy Delight, and College Park, Jerk Pit, among other places. The flyer gives the other places, and yes, all the address locations are right.
By Kerriann Toby
Kerriann Toby is a dynamic therapist currently pursuing her Doctorate of Psychology (PsyD). She is a member of the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association (CCPA) and has trained as a cyber counsellor. Her areas of experience, expertise, and interest include child development, sexual and reproductive health, gender-related matters, marriage and family life, and promoting the idea of positive psychology, using strengths to support mental health and wellbeing. Visit her Wellness Blog www.karryonservices.com/blog or Facebook : Karry Morph https://www.facebook.com/ongoingProgressiveMovements/